Dan Chabanov knows a thing about bike racing. Scoop up one of these “Lousy” t-shirts at his web shop.
Dan Chabanov is one of the first people I knew who transitioned from a cocky bike messenger to a less cocky, more mature professional bike racer. His perspective is unique, especially at the Red Hook Crit, because, you know, he won it a few times.
I reached out to Dan to lead into the Tales from the 2014 Red Hook Crit series here on the Radavist. Below you’ll find his report.
Red Hook Crit Observations from the Ground
Words and photos by Dan Chabanov
It’s amazing how much access you can get to an event when you know pretty much everyone putting it on and you’ve won it three times. Dave Trimble runs a really tight ship so I consider it a special privilege that he lets me get away with running around with my little point and shoot in places where I clearly shouldn’t be.
I have a love/hate relationship with the RHC. I love going and supporting all my friends who are racing. I love taking weird photos of them. I don’t really like having random strangers bugging me in the bathroom about why I’m not racing though. Honestly that question is getting pretty old. I imagine it’s like being a marathon runner who constantly gets questions about why he isn’t running the 1000m or something like that. Maybe that analogy makes no sense but I don’t really have a good answer to that question anyway. Bike racing is supposed to be fun and I’ve had more fun watching the last two years. So let’s just leave it at that.
In that time, this race has gotten pretty crazy, but this year with the downpour it was particularly intense. After a bad crash interrupted the women’s race there was a sense of dread ahead of the mens race. Dave and Al were crazy stressed out and worried. They couldn’t realistically cancel the race but at the same time I know they at least considered it. In the end the race was shortened to 15 laps and a couple hundred people stood out in the rain and cheered.
The RHC has changed a lot in the last four years. In 2010 I got made fun of for bringing a trainer to warm up on. Last Saturday three hundred people showed up with rollers. The field has also grown decisively more international. Thibaud Lhenry’s win on Saturday is the first in Brooklyn by a foreign rider. The field gets deeper every year and at this point I think it’s no longer possible to be successful at the RHC without being full on. For better or for worse this is no longer a race that can be won with a cavalier approach, some track bike experience, and a bunch of fitness.
So there’s this new sports nutrition service called the Feed. It’s actually kind of genius. You subscribe to a series of “boxes” that contain everything from hydration, to nutrition and recovery supplements. Either purchase their selection, or make your own. Then, each month, a box shows up at your door.
Photos by Jeremy Dunn
I saw this portrait of Dan and Britlee on the Rapha Survey and reached out to Jeremy Dunn of the Athletic for a higher-res file. Not only did he send it over, but he wrote a little blurb about them as well. What a nice guy!
Check out more below!
Dan’s been one of my favorite people to watch from afar as he takes on his dreams. One of which was to race for Richard Sachs. He recently acquired his race bike from this year as his new ride and I can’t be more stoked for him. Head over to Bonedeth to find out the back-story.
Don’t do drills, shred the hills!
I love seeing photos like this, especially of Richard Sachs team racer Dan Chabanov. Follow BoneDeth if you don’t!
Here’s a video from last weekend’s Bubblecross, a cross race in New Jersey… Congrats to Dan Chabanov for winning the pro division (with a guitar solo). Also, make sure you check out Dan’s column on Peloton’s blog!
Photos by Dan Chabanov
I’ve always wanted to hang out with Richard Sachs at his home in Warwick, but it’d have to be before cross season, ATMO. Dan Chabanov has been racing under this legend’s name for a few years now and last week, he got to see ATMO’s digs. Check out the full photoset here!
“We’re gonna go race bikes for 120 miles and we’re gonna go up a wall and people are gonna yell. It’ll be good. There’s no point waxing poetics about it.”
Manual for Speed takes a look at Dan Chabanov’s first Philly Pro Race in a very informal piece, written by, you guessed it: Dan himself. I love MFS’ unique approach to cycling journalism, if for only pulling quotes like this:
“That’s kind of a stupidly large statement, but it’s true, and here I am. And I don’t care that it’s not the same promoter, and its a different Philly race and its a different course—that doesn’t fucking matter. It’s a pro bike race, it’s going up the Manayunk wall, it’s fucking Philly. For all intents and purposes, if it walks like Philly, if it smells like Philly, if it goes up the Wall, it’s Philly.”
Check out more Phillyness from the mouth of Dan at Manual for Speed.
Dan posted this photo up on his Tumblr earlier today. It’s of the new Stanridge Speed prototype track frame. Adam and Dan worked together on what I would call a much more practical geometry. The early name for this prototype is the “Highstreet Compact”. We’ll see if that one sticks. Personally, I’m more into compact lines on a track bike, rather than a low pro and this bike looks like a beast. We’ll see how it performs tonight at the Red Hook Crit Navy Yard!