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Red Hook Crit Takes Over Brooklyn Navy Yard June 8

The Red Hook Criterium, the professional racing series of growing fame, is coming to the Brooklyn Navy Yard Saturday, June 8, for a night of competition under the lights and cranes of the yard.

Spectators are welcome into the yard for this event, which will feature a 5k run and qualifying races, as well as the main event, when 200 fixed-gear bicycle racers will take on 26 laps of a 1.25-kilometer course that zips through the heart of the yard.  Qualifying races will begin at 6pm, and the rain race will begin at 9:45pm (see the full event schedule – on race day, racers will enter through Building 92, located on Flushing Ave at the corner of Carlton Ave, while spectators will enter the yard through the Clinton Ave gate, also located on Flushing Ave).


The racecourse begins in front of the imposing Building 77, a 16-story concrete storehouse built during World War II (and slated for a major renovation), with a sharp turn and a straightaway past the unused dry docks #2 and #3.  The course’ centerpiece will be the gargantuan skeleton of Building 128, formerly a machine and engine fabrication shop that is now being repurposed as a 220,000-square-foot Green Manufacturing Center.  Racers will then loop around at the Cumberland Gate, past Building 92, and back past the starting line.

Red Hook Crit 2013 Brooklyn Navy Yard racecourse.
Red Hook Crit 2013 Brooklyn Navy Yard racecourse.

If you want to get an insider’s view of the racecourse and of the yard, Turnstile Tours is offering a special 2-hour bicycle tour at 3pm, which will take you to areas that will be off-limits to spectators during the race – you’ll even get the chance to test your mettle through the corners on a practice lap of the course (get tickets here – this tour is expected to sell out).

This will be the second of the four-race Championship Series, which will then move  to Barcelona in August and Milan in October.  But this will not be the first leg of the Crit with a maritime backdrop.  In March, the first race crammed its hairpin turns into the confines of the Atlantic Basin (best known for its cruise ship terminal) in Red Hook, from whence the event got its name when it started there a 25-racer/20-spectator guerrilla race in 2008.  Several thousand spectators – including Cindy and I – came out to this sleepy stretch of waterfront to watch some pretty harrowing competition, as racers zipped by at speeds topping 30 miles per hour.

Earlier this month, we hosted some of the racers, organizers and other interested folks on an orientation tour of the yard.  Part of the New Museum’s StreetFest, the ride started in the Lower East Side and came over the Manhattan Bridge for a quick jaunt around the circuit and a crash course in the yard’s history.  We hope you’ll join us for a similar ride next Saturday (minus the ride from Manhattan, of course).

Courtesy David Trimble.
Courtesy David Trimble.

Don’t miss this opportunity to see an amazing race in a truly unique setting.

Turnstile Tours offers Sustainability Bicycle Tours of the Brooklyn Navy Yard in partnership with the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92 and the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative.  Public bicycle tours are offered several times per month on select weekend days between March and October – our next tours will be on Saturday, June 1, 12-2pm, Saturday, June 8, 3-5pm, and Saturday, June 15, 12-2pm (see the full schedule and purchase tickets).  The Sustainability Tour is also available as a private group tour by bus or bicycle year-round – please contact us for more information or to schedule a tour.  All tours begin and end at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92, which offers free admission to three floors of exhibitions on the yard’s past, present, and future, the Ted & Honey rooftop café, and a host of great special events and programs.

This post was authored by Andrew Gustafson.