This is a great watch!
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.
While this isn’t exactly new to the avid followers of the Red Hook Crit’s Facebook page, I wanted to give Cinelli and David Trimble some love for building two great looking prize bikes: one for the women’s winner – Jo Celso – and one for the men’s winner – Thibaud Lhenry – of the event.
See more photos below.
Photos by Kyle Kelley
With the biggest and best race of the year coming this weekend, the biggest and best artist just got done signing each poster. Hey Geoff! The Mudfoot Dirty Hundo is this Saturday in Los Angeles and Sunday, after your legs are ripped off, All-City, Golden Saddle Cyclery and mother nature are going to throw a sunset ride.
Posters and t-shirts will be available at the Dirty Hundo start and whatever is left over will be sold online.
The 2014 Red Hook Crit is approaching and to celebrate this year’s race, they’ve continued to roll out collaboration products, like these San Marco Concor Saddles.
Monster Track. The world’s most infamous, dangerous and in my opinion, most significant alleycat. In the 15 years it’s been thrown in New York City, it never ceases to surprise its contenders. There are only a few rules, the most important being two words: NO BRAKES.
Typically, there’s a weeding down process, at the hands of multiple manifests. Everyone starts with one, but only a select few make it to true completion by filling up to three. This year, mother nature smiled on the event, delivering somewhat favorable conditions (when compared to previous years being riddled with rain and snow). At the end of the event, the winners of Monster Track XV were Cooper Ray and Hannah Todd.
On the scene at the event and working the Williamsburg Bridge checkpoint was Chris Lee, who provided a few photos from the event. Check them out in the Gallery!
… we’ll take a break from NAHBS-ness for a second to post some Red Hook Crit love. Up top is this year’s Monster Track winner, Cooper, wearing the new Red Hook Crit Jersey by Castelli and below is Crihs’ documentary on the race.
Red Hook Crit is less than two weeks away – March 29th.
Back in 1999, a rider named Jon Anderson got the idea to start a group ride in his old stomping grounds around St. Francisville, Louisiana, West Feliciana Parish and Wilkinson County, Mississippi. Jon had been riding these roads since the early 80′s, as a form of escapism and reflection. Like most cyclists I know and ride with, Jon enjoyed a bit of pain at the hands of the dirt gods.
It wasn’t until the early 2000′s that the Rouge Roubaix shifted from being a group ride to a sanctioned event. Racers from all over the Southeast came out for promises of punchy, steep climbs, lots of gravel, scenic roads and yes, pain. It boasts 100 ish miles, with 30-40 miles of undulating gravel and dirt roads. This year, the Rouge is being run by Will Jones, the current organizer and I gotta say, he really delivered a hell of an event!
As part of an ongoing story detailing the design of a new disc road bike, Ben from Argonaut Cycles flew out two members from the Rapha / River City Bicycles Team to race with as well as Brian Vernor and myself to document the event, the culture surrounding it, the performance of the bicycles and let’s be honest, to experience one of the oldest and most intriguing gravel races in the United States.
See more narrated photos in the Gallery and don’t miss those last two photos!
Monster Track is this weekend in NYC and that means there will be a prize bag up for grabs. Not just any prize bag either. Philly’s REload Bags have been sponsoring the event for ten years and each year, their designs just keep getting better and better.
Rather than a messenger bag, Roland went with a Flight Pack. My personal favorite bag in REload’s line.
Now the question: who’s gonna win this?
Two classics in the bike messenger racing world are coming in hot, head to head, this weekend in New York City.
Great artwork, Greg!