Red Hook Crit, Brooklyn No. 11


Apr 28, 2018 // Ever since we started racing bikes we operated under a simple motto: “maybe this time”. We are like the bee in Bee Movie repeatedly trying to fly through the window... because maybe this time it will work.

In the early spring while developing the race calendar, EVAN MURPHY and I made plans and schemes to make our lives a little more complicated (and richer with tegaderm) but also very awesome. Below is a quick recap of my first - and Evan’s probably 67th or something – Red Hook Crit, Brooklyn No. 11.

The name of this game for this trip was ‘bare bones’. A $40 used hockey bag tossed on a plane contained everything I needed to race in NYC and incurred no bag fees.  Navigating the streets from Queens where I was staying to Brooklyn for a country bumpkin was almost as hard as stopping the fat gear required for the race. Thankfully, I had a good mentor and got on the line for the first heat feeling good about myself.

After a steep learning curve akin to my first pro race roll out, I set myself up in good (so I thought) position with a couples laps to go in our last qualifier heat. But, this being fixed crit racing, a couple late crashes jammed me up and I ended up narrowly missing the finals.  EVAN managed to go on through smoothly because he is Evan… and also a very competent bike rider.  Either way, I had a good spot on the grid for the next race in which qualifying wasn't enough... I now wanted to win.

After catching up due to my complete inability to clip in under pressure, I made my way to the pointy end and started rotating with the stronger guys. Not wanting to risk another later crash, I decided to burn up the open side heading into one lap to go. The pack, playing poker, decided to move to the right at around the same time sending me into the barriers. I thought I might save it until my wheel was taken out and I ended up on the deck. After checking that nothing was broken, I grabbed my bike and walked with my tail between my legs back to the pits to get cleaned up.

I was disappointed and totally blamed Evan for bringing me there ;p… but at least I got to see that OG RHC salty old dog rip it up to a massive 6th in the finals – in epic pouring rain! If you guys haven't seen this guy party yet, I suggest you do, it's quite the clinic.

When I got home, I told the story of how I sucked and hit the deck instead of qualifying and helping EVAN in the finals. With a smile on my face.

Will I do it again?  Of course, because “maybe this time…”

BENOÎT BOULAY