You’ve probably never seen bike racing like this.
The Red Hook Criterium is returning to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal this Saturday, and if you haven’t seen it yet, get ready for an adrenaline-filled experience. A highly technical street race, the criterium challenges athletes over a short race circuit riding brakeless, fixed-gear track bikes that would traditionally be raced at a velodrome. Participants will be vying to win the men’s and women’s championships at all four race destinations.
In what has become a Red Hook Crit tradition, the Brooklyn round will also host a 5K running race on the same circuit, and in the same spirit as the criterium.
Photo by Tak-Sakamoto
From its roots in Red Hook, the Red Hook Criterium has flourished, expanding first to Milan, host city of the championship finale; and then to Barcelona, now enjoying its third year on the roster. With the latest addition of London, the series is firmly established as the world’s premiere international criterium series.
Red Hook Criterium, 2014 | Brian Vernor via Facebook
Last year’s race was held at the end of March, as usual, and the racers experienced some epic rain. This year, organizers moved the event to April, in an attempt to avoid another cold rain situation. It turned out to be a great move, as this year saw colder temperatures and even some morning snow.
Photo by De Mis Ojos
As ever, the event is free for spectators, where they will enjoy a full day of races, with qualifying races starting at noon, the 5K running race at 7 p.m., and the women’s and men’s finals at 8 and 9 p.m., respectively. While watching the races, spectators can sample food from food trucks such as Fleishers Meats and Solber Papusa, as well as beers from Sixpoint Brewery.
Local bars and restaurants will welcome thousands of customers from all over the world who will descend upon this normally quiet neighborhood for the most exciting day of the year. Fort Defiance has had a Criterium cocktail on their menu for a few years now, and this year they’re creating feature sandwiches as well.
Photo by Eloy Anzola
Amenities will also be available in front of the cruise terminal at the race track. For those who want to ride to the event, a complimentary bike valet service will be made available courtesy of Transportation Alternatives.