Bikes to Rwanda News Red Hook Criterium Race Favorite Riding for Bikes To Rwanda

Red Hook Criterium Race Favorite Riding for Bikes To Rwanda

New York City’s most exciting urban race to draw a talented field this Saturday night


Red Hook, New York’sBikes To Rwanda, a non-profit organization that supplies custom cargo bikes to coffee farmers in Africa, is proud to announce that professional rider Neil Bezdek will be guest racing for the newly formed Bikes To Rwanda Cycling Team in the fourth annual Red Hook Criterium.

The event is happening this Saturday, March 26, in the industrial Red Hook section of Brooklyn.

The race marks a homecoming of sorts for Bezdek, who worked as New York City bicycle messenger before he started his career as a professional bike racer. Bezdek won the Red Hook Criterium in 2009, and although he didn’t compete last year he did race last fall in the international running of the Red Hook Criterium in Milan, Italy. Bezdek was heavily favored to win in Milan but was overtaken in a daring effort by Jon Ander Ortuondo’sa sour loss that Bezdek says stayed with him all winter.

I love the Red Hook Criterium because it seems to cut across so many different little segments of bicycling culture. You’ve got the roadies and the bike messengers and the cyclocross guys all coming out, says Bezdek, who started riding as a mountain biker in Colorado and says he has always put his love of bikes first, and bike racing second.

I just really believe in bicycles, he says. So when I get a chance to take bike racing, which sometimes seems like such a meaningless and selfish thing’sriding a bicycle around in circles’sand do something like help promote Bikes To Rwanda, it’s something I can really get on board with.

Bezdek comes to New York this weekend after an intensive two-week training camp with his regular race squad, Team Mountain Khakis, and although he’s heavily favored, he’s making no bold predictions. Being an excellent bike racer can only increase your odds of wining, he says. But this race, and this format’sit’s anyone’s game.

Indeed, Bezdek will face a field thick with talent. Jon Ander Ortuondo is flying in from Italy and last year’s winner Daniel Chabanov will be there to defend his title. The field also includes pro mountain bike racers Harlan Price and teammate Ruben Klein, a host of elite area road racers and an untold number of NYC bike messengers Some 85 racers will line up in Red Hook Saturday night at 11 PM in a bid to take home the coveted cobblestone trophy’sracing 20 furious laps around a dark and twisty one-mile urban course on brake-less, fixed gear bikes.


About the Red Hook Criterium: Organized by Trimble Racing, the Red Hook Criterium is entering its fourth year as New York City’s premier urban track race. Every past winner of the event has gone on to a pro contract, and the race has grown in size and popularity every year’sthis year selling out in less than 24 hours. Last year Trimble Racing expanded the event to Italy, which it will repeat this year, along with a new stop in Berlin. For more information go to

About Bikes to Rwanda: Started in 2006, Bikes To Rwanda is dedicated to supplying farmers on coffee cooperatives in post-genocide Rwanda with tailor-made cargo bikes. As a 501 ( C )( 3 ) non-profit organization, Bikes To Rwanda is funded exclusively through donations and the sale of coffee and merchandise’ssuch as the team kit that Neil Bezdek will be sporting this Saturday night. Find out more details, merchandise and team information, go to