What follows is a preemptive-defense of our position regarding our decision to refer to the 7th edition of the Red Hook Crit (RHC) as the 1st edition of the Red Hook Critical Mass Tournament (RHCMT). First of all, throughout our RHC Weekend in the Big Apple, we conducted extensive impromptu focus-grouping of our suggested nickname proposition. Our “selection group” included, among many others, racers, RHC illuminati, longtime members of the greater RHC community, a homeless dude in SoHo, spring breaking German teenagers taking selfies in Times Square and various spectators. After conducting 72-hours of systematized opinion data collection we learned that 80%—that’s 8 out of 10 people—thought characterizing the event “in this manner” was insensitive (most of the German teenagers were “decline to state”). Nobody thought it was an unfair characterization, everybody just said it was insensitive and like, mean or something. We asked several key members of the RHC community to explain what they meant by “mean”, invariably their responses went something like this: I don’t know dude, it’s just not cool…?
What follows is an enumerated & prioritized list in defense of our to decision to refer to the RHC as the RHCMT. This list includes but is not limited to our intentions, rationale, reasons, concerns, moods, thoughts, creative process, hopes, dreams and whatnots.
- It’s funny. It’s funny because Criterium and Critical share the same root—Crit. So like, it’s funny.
- It’s funny too because this RHC Race Series is bigger and more popular than ever. Evidence that it has achieved a “critical mass” of its own. Critical Mass the bike-movement-thing may be contentious, but critical mass is, by definition, a pretty cool thing.
- This race feels like a race for the people, of the people, by the people. Critical Mass the bike-movement-thing has the same deal going on. We love that deal. We love for the people, of the people, by the people.
- Many of our readers are likely too young to remember, and/or to have experienced, as in “participated in”, ’90s era Critical Mass(es), but they were, arguably, instrumental in the paradigm-level shift from Drivers Will Kill You to Share The Road, Bro (STR,B). STR,B is, essentially, a whole new world for cyclists, a world of bike lanes, bike advocacy, bike awareness, etc. We’re not suggesting that Critical Mass is entirely responsible for STR,B but it did a lot to force drivers to really “see” and “consider” cyclists.
- We (MFS) are committed to Cycling, the whole Spectacle. RHC is a TRULY beautiful and wondrous spectacle. Adding the play-on-words/descriptor words critical, mass, and tournament only evokes the beauty and wonder that is the RHC spectacle further.
- RHC is so street! Critical Mass is so street! #streetpals
- We are Manual for Speed!!! MFS!!!!!!! #whatdidyouexpect #funsies
- Professional Cycling takes itself too seriously, like as in like institutionally and systemically, it’s like a “medical-grade” problem, trust us, we first-hand-know this to be true. So, Dear RHC, don’t make that mistake. We’re not suggesting that you are in any way!, we’re only saying that if you read this, please don’t get mad. We love you. Like L-O-V-E “love” you. We saw old friends. We made new friends. We flirted with your volunteer girls—you know who you are! We went to parties. We partied. We got so fucking wet, like you don’t even know. Like we called Noah up to commiserate it was that fucking wet. All in all it was the most fun we’ve had at a race in like forever. Because, because, because, because it was Legit & Chill. Stay chill please!
- You are a PRC (Punk Rock Race) race, not a UCI race. However, you ARE, in fact, transitioning from underground to aboveground, we get that, we recognize that, we know that’s a Big Deal. We don’t want to diminish your efforts or legitimacy. But dude, Dear Race, you gotta keep it real, son!