The Criterium collection: Red Hook Crit bike race now a multi-leg, global championship

The Brooklyn Paper
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A Brooklyn bike race will expand into an multinational cycling series — proving once again that the borough leads the pack when it comes to two-wheel culture.

The Red Hook Criterium, a formerly underground but now much-buzzed-about jaunt around the waterfront neighborhood, is riding back for its sixth year this weekend — but this time the South Brooklyn race is just the start of a four-leg global cycling competition.

After cyclists tear through Red Hook on a three-quarter-mile course for a nighttime romp on March 30, race organizers are planning a June 8 contest at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, an Aug. 24 bout in Barcelona, Spain, and a finale in Milan, Italy in early October.

Red Hook Crit honcho David Trimble said transforming what was once an “alley cat”–style street race into a point-based international championship series with big-time sponsors is a sign that biking — and Brooklyn — are in high gear.

“It’s really cool being able to export and promote the Red Hook brand and the Brooklyn brand elsewhere,” said Trimble, who has hosted stand-alone races in Italy under the Red Hook Crit name since 2010. “Being able to travel to Europe was my initial motivation to bring the race to Italy — now I can see how powerful it is in building a global cycling community.”

On Saturday night, bike-lovers will head to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal to watch a hundred cyclists, including Lycra-clad road racers and bike messengers, whiz around the short, technical course on single-speed, brake-less track bikes for the 24-lap main event.

“People really love the atmosphere of racing at night with the camera’s flashing,” said the Red Hook resident. “It feels a lot different than a normal race in the daylight.”

Riders can rack up points that will help them win the overall championship if they are among the first ten to cross the finish line.

Cyclists are by no means are obligated to compete in more than one of the races, but those who place within the top ten are likely to move from one race to the next one, culminating with the coronation of the first-ever Red Hook Criterium world champion in Milan, said Trimble.

Red Hook Criterium at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal [72 Bowne St. in Red Hook,]. March 30, qualifying rounds start at 3:30 pm.

Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her at
Updated 10:09 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

jay from nyc says:
do people actually watch this?
March 28, 2013, 7:49 pm
Red Hook rez from Red Hook says:
Yes. Thousands of people in fact. It brings in a huge amount of money for Red Hook restaurants and other businesses.

Just because you haven't heard of it or aren't a fan doesn't mean it isn't popular. I'm not a huge golf fan, but I hear lots of people are into it.
March 29, 2013, 8:25 am
jay from nyc says:
golf is on tv and is this ? are people really watching it? where? Is your statement true? just wondering.
March 29, 2013, 5:28 pm
Pops from Bklyn from Bushwick says:
Just because it's not on TV doesn't mean people don't know about it and aren't excited about it (hello internet age!). This is a very well-attended, exciting race - and yes, thousands of people come to watch every year. Maybe you should check it out for yourself, instead of wondering aloud in the comments section of the local paper. Come on out tomorrow night!
March 29, 2013, 8:03 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
the wall street journal had an article last week about doping and dopers in these thigs - are audited procedures in place ?0 would not want tyrone the bike messeneger wooping the white boys rear end - so - are doping procedues i
in place?
March 29, 2013, 8:58 pm
Tyed up from Greenpoint says:
Geez, can't you people leave a good bike story alone? Are you that threatened by people actually getting exercise???

This is a great event! Come out and see it, and maybe eat & drink a little!
March 30, 2013, 6:23 am
Abortnick from Bay Ridge says:
If they let these irresponsible hobbyists ride laps around Red Hook, why can't I buy the parking spot in front of my house?
April 6, 2013, 12:43 pm
BenR from Boerum Hill says:
Seriously! WTF? What kind of small minded crap is that? Only when a sport is on TV is it legit? In fact, there is a lot of cycling on NBC Sports. You don't like it, don't show up. Doping - I don't see people boycotting baseball. Every sport has this problem. Stick to your own stuff and stop ragging on something you clearly know nothing about. @Jay @ Old Time Brooklyn @Abortick
April 16, 2013, 10:52 pm

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