Fixed gear racers and fans from around the world converge on Brooklyn each year for the Red Hook Criterium. This year felt different then years past. Rumors circled the race pits questioning if this was the last Red Hook Crit. With no future dates announced this well oiled machine’s future felt unclear. Maybe in the back of some racers minds they wanted a win because what if this was the last RHC? For the past 7 years we have enjoyed this series as MASH and hope the future is bright for this microscopic subculture. It is exciting racing, Fast, Brakeless, Large fields of skilled riders, but the unknowns can show their face in crashes, and podiums. These variables make for some very fast racing for the athletes and the fans. Enclosed are a series photographs recorded on April 28th 2018 at the RHC.
The weather was great for most of the day. This event used to be scheduled in March/April, but May has proven to be quite nice.
Bay Area racers woke up to rain on November 26th and that is a special treat for this part of California. The CX Nation Cup was a new race course in Sonoma and it was ripping fun. It had the standard long straight grass sections expected at these events but over half of the route was more technical and as the day went on, became a proper mess. Enclosed are some details from a day of racing the CX Nation Cup.AdvertisingChelsea changed her program mid-season this year, and is starting to see those results. It was a blast to see her dig in.The new Santa Cruz Stigmata team bikes are ripping. The carbon is built up to create a more forgiving ride, with this same ripping geo. File tread is a common tire pattern for our dry race season. Skinny mud tires with tons of clearance worked on this day. Always fun to race with the Vive La Tarte team here in the Bay.Red on the racers rightChelsea took 2nd for the Elite Women.Pit bikes would be nice for these conditions, as mud added weight and resistance quickly to all the racers.OakThe team is racing on our new X-Grid tape. Rubberized, so it is super grippy in all conditions.Dylan finding his own way of staying warm and dry. Time to get out of the van and race bikes.Bike Monkey supported the event and ran the timing for all the races. Thank you.Chas coming out of a wet rooted section that was ran more then ridden.This section was made up of a series of rollers both up and down before heading back into the trees.Crihs was in town for the holiday, so was nice seeing him in nature, where there are bugs and poison oak.Lots of this all day.This was the first time Chas raced CX with disc brakes and he was so hyped at the end of the race with no mechanicals and brakes that worked in the wet and mud. Three years ago it was death before…Sometimes the best line was on the grassy edge. The faster line often put you in the bushes.When one racer would bobble a technical section, it was a chain reaction slowing the next line of racers until the gap.Found object.Down + outOut + backChas is always so positive in races and his energy is contagious. Fully muddy tongue for an hour of racing.The oak leaves on top of the wet earth made for some very slippery sections.Glasses did not help on this day, but once racers eyes filled with mud, it took tears to continuously flush them.Kell smashes but found a flat with only a lap or two to go.As a photographer I love these course tape drawings in nature.Brue is 40 and putting in some of his best racing of his carier.Ryan fully coated.Cantis did not stop at all. You could tell the fixed gear riders by hearing the foot jam brakes coming into a corner on a descent.Not recommended.Thank for making this race happen. The proceeds go to help Junior development teams and their campaign to race at cx nats in Reno. Such an awesome reason to come out and race and support the kids.WinnerLoserMakeshift laundry rack.Dylan is new to racing geared bikes but is learning what all the cogs and levers do. This day may have been better suited for a single speed.That’s a wrap. Thank you CX Nation and Bike Monkey for making it happen and helping support the Junior program.
With the third stop of the 2017 Red Hook Criterium series in the books, we take a moment to look back at the details from Barcelona, Spain. With a solid six years of racing this series as a team, we have a good understanding of what to expect. International travel includes packing smart and light, remembering the power adapters, snacks, and sleeping on couches. As a small bike shop, we never have enough support for our racers, always bare bones, no private shade tent, cooler, our own rollers, chairs, limited tools, and it always works out. We adjust to the ever-changing rules for qualifying and the press.Duke’s custom Giro road shoes. Chas draws on his friends’ stuff, and we love the finished results.The series is a well oiled machine with almost all details sorted out for the athletes and spectators. Gabe is the MC for the day, offering insight to the crowd. Racers love hearing their names come through this mic with high energy.Wearing the red jersey marks you with the racers and the cameras. The new qualifying format is a much safer system for the racers, which are set up as mini races with the top transferring.Duke qualifying in group four.Volunteers fill the course to notify racers of what to look for through a series of colored and pattered flags.David Trimble started this series as a birthday party, with racing in his blood, he wanted to grow it to an elite event. His vision is coming to fruition with a solid budget, events running like clockwork, and over the years, has gained the attention of world class athletes, billion dollar brands, and the UCI.It feels good to be passionate about something. The racers are fulfilling personal goals while working for their teams and the logos they wear, and the photo/video crew have a job to tell a story, and fill obligations for publications. We are our own client, so there is no pressure to make something specific, just what is striking. Been all over the world with Chas and have watched him drink from every faucet and eat like a local with no effect, but the stomach bug caught up to him on race day, and he still smiled and dry-heaved his way through qualifying like a champ.Hot DogThese events are part bike-race and part car-show of sorts where looking is part of the day.The concrete in corner two had a very smooth surface, and took some cornering adjustments for racers to ride it in a more conservative way. The learning curve was steep.This kid was having a blast, and it reminded me why we all fell in love with bikes in the first place.Evan crashed in the first hairpin corner during qualifiers. He re-wrapped his bars between events, offering fresh mojo for the main race.Crihs has raced this series since it’s inception, and still shoots from the pits between racing.Turn 2 was very slippery, the organizers tried adding grip tape but the pavement was too smooth for it to stickEvan MurphyDukeSuper Pole is phase 3 for the top 25 qualifying racers, where each racer will put in one fast lap to decide the top 10 start positions.Evan qualified 4th in group one, so was eligible for the Super pole.Ash DubanAsh raced a smart race and gave the crowd a very exciting show.Qualifing men to the line600mm Prime GoProWith spotty rain the days before, Barcelona gave the racers a clear night.Evan singing at the start and nobody having it.Dave about to call racers up.The goal is to get in and stay with the lead group. The first few laps string out the field quickly.The barriers on the last straight to the finish are covered with corrugated plastic and create a drum that brings good energy to the finish.Evan animated the field throughout the race, breaking for a few laps at a time, regrouping, and going again. This is what the races used to feel like before super teams bought their way into this format of racing, and it is very exciting to see the underdog mix things up symbolically, and actually.We have seen the pace of these races increase from event to event. You can no longer turn a gear ratio that would have kept you in the front a year or two ago.Official bell lapEvan was in the lead group going into the last lap, but was crashed out in corner eight with several of the projected front runners.David Van Eerd avoided the crashes, and out-sprinted Davide Vigano to take the win on this night. Bring your own just in case.Alec bobbled the last corner and crashed. He will be back for Milano no question.Pack it up, and send it to Italy.
Thank you to all the organizers, staff, crew, and volunteers who help make this traveling series happen.
Resistance Racing gathered up the crew and headed to the Port of Oakland for stop three of their Track-X series. Racers met on a warm Sunday afternoon, ate tacos, enjoyed a coffee or beer, registered, and lined up to race mostly brakeless track bikes in the sandy landfill that is the port. Enclosed are some photo details for the day. Massive cargo ships unload fidget spinners and whatever else as a backdrop for some bike racing.Tacos and coffee reg was so nice. Thank you!53 for the dirtUCI testing some road disc options for the 2018 road seasonQuick negotiation GO!stopGO!Jeff made a good showing having not been on a track bike in the dirt maybe ever.Chas so was hungry to get out front eary and hold it. He won, and is in the lead for the series.Kel is a beast. He chased Chas on this day, but there is always tomorrow. 2nd for the day.Drez was the only kid out there, and did the entire race. You inspire us!Wild lifeHand up recipient 40 minutes of brakeless ripping in the loose sand and dirt3Ferda BoysNick and Jean counted laps, and placed the podiumPodiumWet PodiumRolling cargo keg stands. Why notThanks for organizing, and look for Golden Gate Park next!
I had been wanting to do a brevet for a few years now. Back in 2012 Matt Shapiro and I rode down to LA on our track bikes. It took about 13 days and we averaged 100 miles a day. On this trip we meet a good friend Erik who long story short, roped me into the world of long distance riding. This year was the first year where I felt fit enough, and mentally prepared to attempt rides like these. My goal, to get a Super Randonneur title the first year.
The Super Randonneur title isn’t something to joke about. Although many have achieved this title, it is more than just finishing a ride. By the end of the season, you will have had to complete a 200k, 300k, 400k, and a 600k brevet. The Russian River 300k is a classic, with a 20 hour time limit. Starting the the Golden Gate Bridge, running north through Petaluma, Santa Rosa, through Healdsburg, over to the coast through Guerneville, south Bodega Bay and back to the starting point on the south side of the Golden Gate Bridge. Map here
The ride left the Golden Gate Bridge at 6am. Erik had been briefing me on the way to the start. Usually it’s fast off the line, then it mellows out into a softer pace, something reasonable for the 189 miles in front of you. We were the first onto the bridge, getting out in front and figuring out who was going to work together. We we’re hauling through Sausalito when two guys on a tandem come up alongside our breakaway of 5 or 6. These guys had some serious power and it become very apparent that they are going to turn this ride up to 11. We start to shed riders after a climb 10 miles in, and were left with the tandem, Erik, myself, and Bill Brier, previous president of SF Randonneurs… dream team.
Let me get something straight, there aren’t classes or categories when it comes to randonneuring. No masters, no pro, cat 5, or tandems. Which means were all in it together. Also, let me make this very clear, two really strong riders on one bike will always be more efficient than one rider on one bike. Therefore, the three of us had to WORK to hold onto the tandems rear wheel. We made it to Petaluma in 2.5 hours, and all the way to Healdsburg before noon. Those are fighting words.
Erik and I were sick, I forgot to point this out. We started feeling pretty shitty two days before. We weren’t sure what was going to happen, if we would be able to finish the brevet, or if we should even attempt the ride in the first place. Our plan was, if things go south we turn around in Petaluma. But with the tandem, and Bill in tow we were a well greased machine. We just might have been some rusty gears. My throat would get scratchy, so a banana, and a bite of a chocolate bar to fix the problem. Erik had some Blueberry soup as his secret weapon. Basically we were patching a sinking ship every mile we rode.
But… we were the lead group and we were hauling ass and that felt @$*%ing good. Averaging 23mph, we were on schedule for a 10 hour finish time. As 300k brevets go, thats fast. Once we made it the coast, the illness hit Erik like a brick wall. He fell off the back just south of Jenner so we waited in Bodega to regroup. Pizza, coconut water, candy, fix. Erik rolled in about 10 minutes later. The tandem and Bill rolled out and at that point we changed our pace to two airplane whiskeys per hour. The next 40 or so miles were becoming familiar territory. This just makes things feel slower and although you know you’re almost there, the anxiety level builds. The weather was overcast for most of the ride, so rolling into Pt. Reyes at 76 degrees meant a power nap and beer. This is the typical brevet style when you go fast and chill hard.
We made our next move, this time warm and filled with some liquid courage to grease the gears and 130 miles in our legs. I had a dinner date at the Martin house, so I had some motivation to get to our point B. Erik was on cruise control. At this point the sickness had grabbed ahold of his DNA and started to attack his soul. His cough would produce some red tinted phlegm so there was no point in trying to ramp the pace up. We parted ways just just before descending into Fairfax. As punishment for leaving my friend, the ironic fate of my front shifter breaking and leaving me in the big ring only solidified my need to hit mach 10 to get home on time.
I rolled over the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge to finish my ride in 11 hours 27 minutes. 4th place, considering the tandem as two. 45 minutes behind Bill Brier and the freight train who broke the course record by 20 minutes. Do you remember when Felix Baumgartner space jumped out of the Red Bull Stratos, falling 39 kilometers breaking the sound barrier? This ride, that finish, same feelings.
Mike snapped a few details of salt and grease on my way home.
In a few days hundreds of racers will converge on the streets of Manhattan to once again battle it out for the glory that is a Monstertrack Win. Monster Track is the Epitome of an Alley Cat. Brakeless Trackbikes only make this race the real deal. One race to rule them all if you will. It’s got style. It’s got History. It pits you against the Jungle of a city, some of the quickest witted street racers in the world, and all of the drama that comes along with that. People get their feelings hurt. People Get lost. People Quit. And some of the fastest few will make it to the last manifest. But regardless of win or lose everyone will have a damn good time. So to tide you over until the chaos ensues once more – Here’s a few photos from Last years race and surrounding events. -Sean
Stoked Johnny & Hiromi
Nico Jammin’ out the Karaoke
Cooper’s Zine release @ Deluxe Cycles
BLACK LABEL BIKE CLUB
The Ace Bar
Pre-race jitters @ the Ace
The line for Registration @ Tompkins Sq Park
1st – 2nd – 3rd – 4th
shut up n roll
WTF podium announcement
WTF Podium hype
all the way from Barcelona!
a few words from Brandon Lockfoot and a Moment of silence for BMX Dave
5th place Goat trackbike prize
Victor announcing men’s podium and awarding chris with the winners challace
When you visit with Rainier, the emits a sense of calm. He is thoughtful, and does not speak to fill in the gaps of silence. Watching him on the bike you can see those moments of peace, but it is the power he puts down on the pedals that motivates us to this day. We have traveled the world together racing bikes, but going to Yosemite to shoot him descending Tioga Pass is something we will never forget. He was truly in his element there and our cameras witnessed it first hand. Take a moment to also watch him share how he fell in love with the track bike, as he prepares his meals for the week.
As artists, we look for tools that allow us to create looks in the recording of light that continue to celebrate bikes and their riders. This new project is an experiment in polarizing reflective light. With support from Apple, we wanted to shoot a video with equipment that is accessible to a large population of the modern world. The best camera you own is the one you have with you, and the smart phone is in your pocket day after day. We used two ExoLens Zeiss wide angle lenses and one B+W circular polarizer mounted to a Movi M5 gimbal. We recorded through the MoviePro app to create a camera rig that shoots duplicate images, with one camera recording all reflectivity, and the second camera, with the polarizer, blocking all the reflective light in the
scene. By editing between the two recordings, we created an effect that feels like the cyclist is powering his bike and clothing through the energy he puts into his pedals.
Westside invite is the west coast’s flavor of messenger summer camp. Originating in Portland over 10 years ago this years event made its way down the coast to San Diego where Courier Collective hosted messengers from Vancouver to Mexico and everything in between for 4 days of events, hot and sunny beaches, and hills…way more hills than I think any of us expected. As always It was nice to have an excuse to lay on the beach all day and sleep in way too late, but Joven and the dudes over at CC really killed it. Both the main Alleycat, coffee cat, and Out of towner race were ripping! There was a day committed solely to a group ride which ended at the beach complete with all the track bike shenanigans loved by all. I took first in the skid comp. NBD. The main race was a work simulation – which tested everyone’s wits and speed In the San Diego’s hot downtown streets, not to mention, during a Pirates game. Chas took home 1st place with the one and only fully completed manifest with just 2 min before the cut-off . Oakland won the bid for Westside Invite 2017 – so you already know where you’ll be next summer. Thanks again San Diego for the good times and sunburn. – Sean
Racing some UCI weekends in Ohio has been on my Cyclocross calendar for quite awhile. I am originally from Ohio so when I heard that this year there was going to be a UCI weekend in Cleveland with CincyCX the following weekend it seemed like a perfect match for visiting family and racing some UCI Cyclocross. I purchased flights months ago. Plans were made, family was ready to carpool, I had a pit mechanic lined up and for the first time I had a pit bike. The perfect UCI weekend was ready to roll. My entire family and I would arrive in Cleveland Saturday morning where they would for the first time witness my pre race rituals and madness.
The Northcoast GP of Cleveland was located in Kirtland park which was almost a stones throw away from Lake Erie. The winds were mighty and the temps were hovering in the high 40s. I would spend my time not on my bike inside of the truck seeking shelter from the wind. My pit mechanic Paul drove up from Columbus to help out for the weekend. Everything was in order. I felt good about my pre ride, my bikes were in check, the course was hard but nothing I didn’t think I couldn’t handle. Thirty minutes until start. I changed out of my kit and pre ride shoes and into my skinsuit and clean shoes with toe spikes freshly put in the night before. I was ready.
I did a few practice starts and made my way over for call ups. I was bib number 9. Having UCI points I was slightly disappointed with not being on the front row with such a small field but I got over that quickly. I made the decision to line up in the middle right behind Amanda Nauman. 1 minute until start. I took my jacket off and threw it to my mom. Thirty seconds. GO.
Everyone’s fitness level at the start and eagerness to be in the front of the race was equal. We all surged forward with everything we had and within seconds I realized I was stuck in the middle of a group that was incredibly close and where no one seemed to be letting off the gas anytime soon. I knew this was bad and within seconds a shove came from my left knocking me into the girl on my right. I hit the ground with my head facing north and my legs facing south. I would end up the complete opposite with my head facing south, my legs facing north and my bike somewhere off to the east. A million different things ran through my mind. If you follow me on social media at all then you know one of those things was that I was pretty sure I shit my pants from the impact of the racer behind me running me over. I would later realize it was just because I was on my period and the impact was so hard that it forced out an obscene amount of uterine lining. Sorry boys. As I was laying there not being able to move my lower half I was freaked out. I touched my lower back by my tailbone and it was numb. I couldn’t get up and all I could think about was how disappointing it had to be for my family who has never seen me race to witness my first ever DNF of my entire cyclocross career. I never even made it over the start/finish line and clearly my weekend of racing was over. Potentially even the rest of my 2016 season was over.
Eventually I would get up and painfully walk it off. The next 24 hrs I would go through a wide range of emotions. I was angry and frustrated that my weekend of racing was taken away from me. The moment of pride from my family and the understanding of what I spend day in and day out training for was ripped away. At the end of a race is where the sportsmanship comes in. You congratulate your fellow racers for the hard work and you all share that moment where you are happy that the suffering for the day is over. I didn’t get to take part in that. I left without talking to anyone I was to compete with that day and I didn’t know any of them to begin with. I left the race Saturday feeling pretty dismal about the midwest cx racing scene.
The next day my mom would drive me the 60 miles to Cleveland to spectate the women’s UCI race that I wasn’t going to be participating in. I had a friend competing from Portland I was excited to meet and didn’t want to miss out on that. In the process I would chat with Sydney, the woman who ran me over and a couple other women I lined up with day before. We wished each other good luck on our upcoming races and laughed about the previous day’s results and injuries. I finally got my post race chatter. I left Cleveland on Sunday feeling good about my experience and the people I met along the way. Shit happens in races but never underestimate that post race chatter. Those are your people out there on that course with you and if you can’t put your shit aside and congratulate each other and say good job, share a laugh, a smile and shake hands then mentally this game will be much harder than it needs to be.
Next weekend I will take on Devou Park for the Pan American Championships and Kingswood Park for KingsCX. I am eager to pass that start/finish line.
The most entertaining spectator in Cleveland.
Dropping in to a steep off camber sketchy descent. The only way to take it was SLOW.