We’d like to share our Key Thoughts with you about the race, but first some background:
- This is the only Red Hook Criterium location we’ve ever done.
- This is the third time we’ve covered Brooklyn (2014, 2015 and now 2017.
- This year we will cover the whole series, but for now all we know is Brooklyn.
- After a series of extensive interviews with the Specialized Rocket Espresso team it’s clear that, from their perspective at least, this particular race has a slightly exalted or special significance within the series. Brooklyn is the origin, the birthplace, it’s a little bit of the holy ground.
We’re almost ready to share those thoughts. But real quick, we came to this event, as well as the whole WHOOSH project (along with WHOOSH’s relationship to Road to Rad), with some assumptions and preconceived notions. I think we should share those here and now. It will only take a second.
- From a spectator’s POV, criteriums are the coolest form of cycling to watch and attend and spectate.11In America. It’s basically an outdoor party. You can mill around and mingle. Drink. See friends. Talk. Listen to music. Eat a pan-Korean vegan taco or Belgian Frites or whatever from an artisanal, locally-sourced cart. The only decision you need to make is: “Should we watch the speed exhibition from the infield or the outfield?” Every three minutes 70 gladiators in speed suits come past you at insane speeds on bikes, too close to each other to even fathom, before literally diving into a corner and disappearing again until the next time.
- Circle-shaped courses22Circle-shaped courses are a type of course defined as having a closed-loop shape and a distance of less than a mile. Some, but not all, circuits are circle-shaped. Technically speaking, circle-shaped races can be hooks, button-hooks, figure eights, swirling molly’s, lollipops, under/overs, etc. are smaller and easier to manage and enjoy than non-circle shaped courses. For E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E everyone. Staff. Local governments. Police. Crowds. Fans. EMTs. Traffic Control. Etc. You can do circle races in the country. You can do circle races on a highway outside of Fresno. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand you can do circle races in a city where people live. And people, as you probably know, love entertainment. Which brings us to our Key Thoughts for the day.
- Red Hook Crits are entertaining.
- Cycling as Entertainment is a novel idea and but it shouldn’t be.
- Outside of cycling, fans of racing sports (in a general sense) like the culmination and cocktail of drinking, bright lights, carnage, exhibitions of speed, impossible physical feats, jock jams, TV cameras, cornering, alcohol, food, crazy outfits, luck, chaos, skill, heroes, villains and rock stars.
- Most cycling events are designed, presented and “covered” such that they’re ONLY interesting if you’re a cyclist. And even then, only just barely.
- None of the millions of people who follow NASCAR actually race cars, for all intents and purposes. None of them. Cycling doesn’t get that. Cycling needs to get that.
- You don’t need to know shit about bikes to enjoy a Red Hook Crit.
WHOOSH is made possible by:
Artwork by Michiel Schuurman.