The Red Hook Crits are a series of races that take place every year in New York, Barcelona, Milan and London. But these aren’t normal road bike criteriums, these are raced on fixed gear track bikes where the only braking is to stop pedalling.
The third edition of the London race took place recently on the Greenwich Peninsula, in torrential rain conditions which make a dangerous form of racing even more dangerous.
The racers are usually well aware of the dangers but the crowds, lights, music and live commentary make them feel like rock stars for the night and they play their role well. On the other side of the barrier, the crowds are also well aware of the dangers the riders face.
This event could not have been any different. Soon the news of a “massive pileup between turn 1 & 2” spread and sent people running to see what has happened. Team Specialized / Rocket Espresso’s rider Eamon Lucas has been caught up against the barrier on the turn (without brakes; taking a turn too fast in the wet can be catastrophic).
With blood running from his cheek, Lucas stands up and grabs the nearest can of beer from a spectator and starts drinking to the cheers and screams of the nearby crowd. Soon after the race restarted (it had been neutralised due to the crashes) and he is back at the front animating the race.
Competition continued into the night and after crashes and mechanicals (requiring Alec Briggs to grab a teammates bike from behind the barriers to continue racing) winners are decided in both the women’s and men’s categories, along with the first full and mid-point lap winners as well as Top Antagonist.
A highly entertaining day (evening) with plenty of drama, blood and tears. The Red Hook Crit series is an exciting form of racing that is picking up more fans every year. If you have a chance to go and see one, don’t hesitate.