For Red Hook Crit Royalty, There’s Always Next Year

Neil Bezdek is a four-time winner of the Red Hook Crit in Brooklyn and Milan.

Sung Han

Three weeks before the 2015 Red Hook Crit, we bumped into Neil Bezdek on a weekday at around 7:30 a.m. in Central Park. Well, sort of. He blew by us on an Argon 18 Gallium while we were spinning out a few laps before work. He didn’t rub it in, though. Since 2008 when the RHC began as a birthday party for race director, David Trimble, Bezdek has won the Red Hook Crit four times — once in Milan and three times in Brooklyn — and finished on the podium an additional four times. During that time he’s alternately been a bike messenger, a pro racer for SmartStop/Mountain Khakis, and (currently) a planner on the bike share program for the New York City Department of Transportation. As track bike crits go, Bezdek is royalty. Despite a long day of qualifying and stiff competition, he was kind enough to let us inside his world as one of the most unique bike races in the country unfolded.

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