Tales from the 2014 Red Hook Crit – Chris Lee

In order for the Red Hook Crit to maintain its unofficial title of the gnarliest track bike criterium, it sometimes must rely on mother nature. This year’s race was a total wash. Literally. Rain poured all day and well into the women’s and men’s circuit, shortening both and creating a less-than-desirable mental mind fuck for the racers.

Even the photographers and crowds suffered.

Chris Lee has contributed multiple times to the Radavist and I couldn’t think of a better person to capture and document the eerie environment of the 2014 Red Hook Crit…

Tales from the 2014 Red Hook Crit - Chris Lee

Red Hook Crit Observations from the Ground
Words and photos by Chris Lee

It was a little eerie walking around the Red Hook Crit grounds last Saturday afternoon and not see anyone out. In years past, you’ll have groups of racers anxiously examining the course and all its turns and nuances, photographers scouting out good angles and supporters taking it all in.

Tales from the 2014 Red Hook Crit - Chris Lee

This year, in RHC’s seventh installment, it was non stop rain and rapidly dropping temperatures. Everyone was huddled inside the cruise terminal and didn’t step out unless required.

Tales from the 2014 Red Hook Crit - Chris Lee

With the relentless rain not showing signs of letting up, organizers were forced to move all qualifying heats and main races ahead of schedule. But the race must go on and it didn’t stop the athletes from battling each other in the miserable conditions. One by one, qualifying heats were called up: first the women’s, then the men’s. As the qualifying heats went on, the whole terminal was a buzz: In depth discussions of tire pressure, racing technique and reports of crashes. Eyes were also glued to the RHC app that displayed lap times and real time standings.

Tales from the 2014 Red Hook Crit - Chris Lee

A field of 31 women racers staged at the start line and then battled it out on the course. Reports of crashes start coming in. It wasn’t until a broken collarbone near turn one was the race neutralized and restarted with only three to go. Wolfpack Hustle’s Jo Celso took the win for the inaugural women’s race.

Tales from the 2014 Red Hook Crit - Chris Lee

The men’s race started shortly after, but not even one lap in that the biggest crash of the day occurred near turn two stringing out the peloton. In the end, In’b’s Thibaud Lhenry took the win on his custom made bamboo bike.

Tales from the 2014 Red Hook Crit - Chris Lee

Though it was a long, wet, cold and difficult day, David Trimble, Pavel Marosin and the dedicated volunteers completed another successful race and an epic start to the 2014 Red Hook Crit race series.

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Follow Chris on Instagram and at his Flickr account.

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  • ASSAD

    no one talks about the winner, lol.

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      From this post:
      ” In the end, In’b’s Thibaud Lhenry took the win on his custom made bamboo bike.”

      From Dan’s post yesterday:
      “Thibaud Lhenry’s win on Saturday is the first in Brooklyn by a foreign rider.”

      So…

      • chris campbell

        Maybe another way (better way) to say it is that the winner seems to be overshadowed by the dramatic race conditions…

        • http://theradavist.com John Watson

          The way I look at it, these are stories from people who were there, about the conditions, mood and environment. It’s not about saying who won, or who placed what… That’s all coming.

        • chris campbell

          I meant to reply to the OP. This comment thread took a wrong turn…

          • http://theradavist.com John Watson

            Ah. All good! xo

      • ASSAD

        but he has a bamboo bike and loves rain ! has anyone done an interview, héhé

        • http://theradavist.com John Watson

          If you want to plug your buddy (which is what I’m assuming you’re doing) – holler at us and get his email to us! contact@theradavist.com

          • ASSAD

            you can find him on fb, i think. i don’t know the guy. whatever, pics are nice.

    • Christopher Lee

      What John said!

      The way I went about making the images was to try and capture the experience of that day. I personally feel like if I were to go and only cover the highlights of the event it would take away from what the participants (racers, volunteers and spectators) actually felt, saw and experienced, thus straying away from what the RHC meant for the people that were there. Just my two cents.

  • Chris Loudermilk

    That crash is crazy…

  • boomforeal

    wonder if anyone ran fenders

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      Kelli ran a clip on fender.

      • Drundu

        Correction: a velcro-on fendor. :-)

    • http://www.pedalroom.com/bike/fuji-track-10-2011-15436 Jaap

      during qualifying lots of guys ran fenders, especially the bigger teams (mash, iride, chrome/cinelli). I think for drafting teammates

    • Walton Brush

      fenders just let people draft you in the race. and you don’t want to help those suckers out! :)

      • boomforeal

        ah, that makes total sense. but a fender up front would help keep the spray out of your eyes/face

        • http://theradavist.com John Watson

          As seen in the new Tales from the Red Hook Crit – Manual for Speed – a pretty face is destined for mud.

  • Andy Brown

    The guy in the T-Mobile kit is grinning… HAHA fuckers i’m taking the inside line.

    • http://www.pedalroom.com/bike/fuji-track-10-2011-15436 Jaap

      I’m not sure he’s grinning

  • Jorge Hernandez

    I would really like to see the RHC get a live feed! That would be awesome! Can’t imagine hauling ass in such slippery conditions! Props to everyone out there.

  • Richard Smith

    This might be a weird place to ask, but I’m having issues with my track bike and I hoped you guys could help!
    When I shift my weight around on the saddle I get an irritating clicking noise, which sounds like it’s coming from the seat tube. I’ve checked (and lubed and torqued) everything: the saddle, saddle clamp, seatpost clamp, bottom bracket, chainset, chainring bolts, spoke crosses. It definitely only happens when I’m sat down and it’s not regular, but intermittent.
    I’d be super appreciative for any advice to try and make it stop

    • Felix

      Did you try chamois cream?

      • BleekBleek

        Hahaha I literally LOL’ed!