We had the pleasure of having David Trimble present at OpenBag. He talked about the Red Hook Criterium, and how he turned it into a Brooklyn’s biggest and highly anticipated bike race by racers and spectators alike.
The Red Hook Crtierium began five years ago as an ad-hoc, unsanctioned bike race. The racers were friends and acquaintances. Publicity was grassroots. It just happened. And then it kept happening. In the subsequent years, demand for the race increased: more spectators showed up, registration became publicized online and Red Hook overflowed with more and more people. It outgrew its on-street course and made a move to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal’s large (usually un-parked-on) parking lot. In 2011, the Red Hook Crit attracted 5,000 spectators and 100 racers. It also grew a companion race in Milan, Italy.
These videos capture the spirit of the race:
What these videos don’t capture:
+ The almost universal acceptance by the Red Hook community, merchants and residents, elected officials and police.
+ The struggle with the Port Authority to secure use of the empty parking lot at the Cruise terminal.
+ The race’s explosive growth – David estimates that it is one of the biggest bike races in NYC.
+ The many many hours that David has put in, securing sponsorship, battling bureaucracy and organizing ovals to make each race happen.
+ The future: the race has a lot more to offer with a lot more partners in the future and a lot more cities to come to.
The next Red Hook Crit takes place on 10/13 in Milan, Italy, followed by the Red Hook Crit on March 23 back at its birthplace, Red Hook, Brooklyn.
Registration for racers opened on October 1, and is already sold out.