In the not too distant future, RHC athletes will have names like Blaze, Zap, Nitro, Malibu and Gemini. And they will be maximum security prisoners fighting for their lives on a globally televised (live) game show. Or genetically-engineered über athletes designed in a state-sponsored laboratory run by NASA in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Exploratory Genetic Testing & Modification. Or maybe both, maybe they will be über athletes seeking redemption after a life spent using their science fiction athleticism in the pursuit of cat burglary. At home viewers will be able to vote, airdrop Energy Enhancements mid-race using drones and participate in high-stakes (winner takes all) simu-competitions on Virtual Reality trainers. But for now, RHC athletes are just like you and I. If you and I were exceptionally fast and brave. We’re not saying you have to be a warrior to race an RHC, but it helps. And just because you’re good at making bikes go fast doesn’t mean you’re good at bikes—but to race RHC you have to be good at bikes.
Listen, that not’s our point. Our point is that part of what makes RHC so interesting is that half (or more) of the field are essentially amateurs and but they’re amateurs racing at an increasingly professional level.
It’s a little bit like that time in ’90s when skateboarding went from illegal to X-Games. Only RHC is way cooler and way more legit than the X-Games. But again, we’re off topic. In the future, who knows what the RHC field will look like? It’s already kinda-a-little-bit changed considerably in the last ten years because you know, as the event matures and moves naturally and understandably towards excellence, so too does the field and level of competition. But in 2017 at least, the field is still an interesting and dynamic mix of racers from a pretty wide—at least by cycling standards and maybe even by “athlete” standards—variety of backgrounds. There is still a scene, it’s still kind-of a family, it’s still pretty tight and close knit. All of which is yet another reason the RCH/WHOOSH series is remarkable.
Maybe you know because you follow Manual for Speed. Or maybe you don’t know because you just tune-in for the RHC coverage that we do on a tri-annual basis. But trying to get the racers of a World Tour race to participate in a Yearbook the day before Tour de California for example just wouldn’t happen. For sooooooooooo many reasons like lack of interest, not enough time, doctor mandated forced rest, etc. But you can do it with the Red Hook Crit.
- Thanks, RHC for not being Gratuitously Professional.
- Thanks, RHC racers for representing the widest possible spectrum when the barrier to entry is being ALL THE WAY (fast AND skilled) good at bikes.
- Thanks to everyone that came out to make the Brooklyn edition of MFS’s 2017 RHC Yearbook possible.
- In the future shit is going to get wild. Personally, I can’t wait to synchronize my pain receptors to Stefan’s Schäfer’s pain receptors via a system of electrodes coming out of my couch (included in my $11.99 a month membership to SCHAIR-IT).