The Red Hook Crit what now?

Cycling is fun and that’s the reason I love it so much. Over the years my interest in cycling has grown exponentially and transformed into a full on addiction, it is not a negative addiction and I am certainly not going to seek advice or join a group to stop it. I ride as often as I can, I feel guilty when I miss a day and I learn more with every pedal stroke.

I haven’t done a lot of official races, I do prefer unsanctioned events as the atmosphere is amazing and for me they represent cycling and racing in it’s rawest form. A bunch of riders pitting their skills against one another see who’s the fastest. As I get older and my life becomes filled with more responsibilities and I seem to think a lot more. I am becoming more meticulous and I think about consequences. Undoubtedly this has made me a more cautious racer, I want to ride as often as possible and whilst I will still go blasting through junctions and red lights I do so at a reduced pace. I suppose this is slightly odd as I have got more into riding all mountain and do not give speeding over a 20ft road gap a second thought. I guess the reason for this is there are no other factors to take into account, I cannot control traffic and drivers, and in the woods everything is under my control.

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This has made me think about entering more crits and road races. The fixed gear crit scene is booming, the Red Hook Crit has set the standard and events are popping up all over the world. This new found popularity has given the fixed gear scene a second wind and caught the eyes and interest of new riders and racers wanting to enter this arena to prove themselves.

The RHC Brooklyn is just around the corner and it is undoubtedly the biggest event in the Fixed Crit calendar. The RHC attracts the best racers from all over the world, the standard is so high that simply qualifying is an achievement. Finishing the race is a great feat and if you place in the top 20 then to me you are one of the fastest fixed gear riders in the world!

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Where road racing is categorised into groups depends on speed, experience and points the RHC is a free for all. This definitely makes for some interesting racing and many uncatagorised riders have proven themselves against some highly seeded opponents.

So where will the RHC go from here? With teams becoming increasingly keen on podium finishes we are seeing more and more professional racers being drafted into teams…will the field soon consist of mostly professional road racers? There will always be the die hard strong original teams such as Cinelli Chrome, Dosnoventa, State Bicycle Co and MASH that give this pros a run for their money.

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I am unsure how I feel about professional road racers being drafted into fixed crit teams, I get why people do it but it leaves me with mixed feelings. I guess as the race grows in popularity more people want to race and more importantly win. What ever happens it is a great race to watch, I have a huge amount of respect for the riders and after I have got a bit more race experience I will join State Bicycle Co on the start line.

Wishing everyone from my team all the best in Brooklyn, I look forward to reading the reports and checking out the photos   and videos. Massive thanks to David Trimble and his team for all their hard work and making the RHC what it is!


About Dave Noakes

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