NINE THINGS ABOUT RED HOOK CRIT: LONDON 2017
First of all the traffic in London is supernatural. It’s like nothing we have in America or anywhere else, really, on Earth. The city is 602 square miles and they have laws there dating back to the 1600s about the nature of “long straight” roads connecting two disparate points or “locations.”
- No single road may connect two points if the aforementioned two points are more than 600 yards away from each other. If Point A is 601 yards away from Point B then, as far as roads are concerned, the two points MUST be separated by an intersection or exchange or roundabout or turn or similar. There MUST be an “interruption” between the two points.
- Roads can only be straight for 50 feet. After 50 feet there MUST be a curve or bend or a dead-end.
- No single road can go in any one direction for more than half a mile. After half a mile, a road must completely change direction by an entire axis.
- Turnpikes, freeways, highways, thoroughfares, boulevards and “cross town” routes are forbidden.
- Circuity is a standard and therefore legally mandated.
- Most bridges are kinda exempt.
Second of all, summer, this year at least, is cancelled. Or maybe it was lost in the Brexit deal. I don’t know. I was told they are aware of the situation and are working to restore the service as quickly as possible.
Third of all, Greenwich Peninsula:
- Is where time lives.
- Is where time is born.
- Is where time dies.
- Is where time was invented.
- Is home of the O2 Mall. I only went in the O2 mall to visit the Starbucks so I don’t know much about it really, except that it looks like a bad use of space, you can’t legally photograph it, and you can pay to go on an alpinist-style hike up the outside of it nearly to the top of it on a red carpet, roped-up the whole time, it looks stupid.
- Is not really in London.
- Is car show heaven.
- Is under construction.
- Is close enough to real London that who cares?
- Is, in fact, only a forty-minute ride from Regent’s Park where formal and informal Knife Fights happen every fifteen minutes. I know this because I participated in a few. While we’re on the subject, riding through London while listening to music is one of the best experiences of my life. Big Ben, Parliament, the Eye, Waterloo Bridge, Tower Bridge, all the Bridges, the roundabouts, Google Maps getting its ass kicked every forty seconds (so much recalculation!!!!!!!!!), Big Ben, etc.
- Is where we came to watch our first non-Brooklyn RHC because RHC is a WHOOSH-approved event. In fact RHC is a proto-WHOOSH event. And part of that proto-ness is RHC’s international schedule. I mean, American Crits like Tulsa Tough are A M A Z I N G but conceptually speaking, they’re gratuitously local.
- Is where we came to document Team Specialized Rocket Espresso’s campaign to dominate, like the Gladiators of the Street that they are, the Red Hook Series.
Fourth of all Alec got third.
Fifth of all Eamon was recognized as the Top Antagonist Rider.
Sixth of all, speaking of Team Specialized Rocket Espresso (TSRE), they have a woman on the team now and her name is Carla Nafria.
Seven of all, TSRE’s campaign is maybe a metaphor or a lesson or catalog of all that can and will happen in a race like this race. For example:
- Aldo was NOT able to make it to the race. There are rumors. There are good vibes. There are bad vibes. There are suspicions. There are theories. We don’t know the details.
- Carla was sitting good, real good, like going to factor for sure good, with two laps to go then crashed.
- Stefan flatted in his second lap and could not get back on.
- Alec crashed. Had to get on Stefan’s bike and get back on. He kind-of but not-quite did that until the race was neutralized because Eamon, who was DOMINATING THE RACE AND CLEARLY GOING TO WIN, crashed.
- During the neutral period Alec ran down the course in his Team Specialized Rocket Espresso S-works 6 LTD Road shoes (Chris if you’re reading this PLEASE send me a pair in 46.5 ASAP) to get his bike because Stefan’s bike was too small. Which Stefan, if you’re reading this, I don’t get it, you’re taller than Alec by like three inches. What’s happening here?
- When the race resumed Alec’s group was released ten seconds and twenty feet behind the lead group.
- Alec caught back onto the lead group in less than a lap. Because of a heroic and impressive effort. Because he was willing to dive into wet and sketch corners when and where others weren’t.
- After baby-stepping like a lion his way out of relegation and marginalization over the course of the race, Alec finished third.