Rain, rain rain- Jesus. What is it with me traveling to bike races and getting the worst weather? Back in November when I went to Philly for SSCXWC2013 we had a gigantic snow storm. Now, here in NYC, we get monsoon-like rain conditions. It’s a good thing cycling culture looks at suffering as cool and epic, otherwise who would want to do stuff like this?
Track crits (pavement circuit-courses raced on brakeless fixed gears for those who are lucky enough to not be bike nerds) are the new hotness, and with the flagship Red Hook Crit race being covered by the New York Times, I figured it would be a rad race to attend, and an excuse to see good friends, meet internet friends, and make new friends as well. Check, check, and check.
The weather only grew worse as the day went on and qualifying races lead to qualifying crashes. I have so much love for the course crew who were out using push brooms to keep flooding at bay, and it was a responsible move for the organizers to move the races up in the day as well as shorten them. For us spectators, the racing was still intense and fostered a respect for those out there holding their line on tires as narrow as 19mm.
The race grew into two cultures. There were those inside, avoiding/recovering from the cold and wet by goofing off, talking strategy, spinning their legs, or acting natural for the roaming packs of photographers with press passes. Folks outside stayed under awnings, partying hard, and offering cheers to the soaked racers. Pretty much everyone ended up bouncing between the two. I was pumped, to say the least, to see C̶h̶i̶c̶a̶g̶o̶ Nowhere-based Tatitos out racing, and that friggin’ Liz So Wut took second place!
Not gonna lie, it should be obvious that being a hobo cyclist is what gets you onto podiums.
With the race done, everyone was excited to say “fuck that” to the $15-entry after party and instead search out low-key hangs, a place to hang up endless amounts of wet clothing, and fresh, warm socks.