Bicycle Buff. Gregarious Globetrotter. Crit Creator. Take a morning cruise through Brooklyn with cycling entrepreneur, David Trimble.
“When I first moved to New York, I lived in my uncle’s wood shop. No heat. No kitchen. So, just being able to make breakfast is pretty nice.”
Just outside David Trimble’s front door is a freeway overpass. And the contrast between what is happening out there (cars overtaking one another in a sprint towards Manhattan and beyond) and what is happening in here (Trimble quietly preparing breakfast) make for a delightful morning contradiction.
But Trimble must be used to polarity. Unassuming and polite, David is the brainchild behind a most brutal, short track bicycle race – The Red Hook Criterium (“Crit” to its competitors and fans). Trimble came up with the idea for the Crit 8 years ago – a way to celebrate his birthday with friends. Now the spectator-friendly event – where competitors (some of whom are Olympians and National Champions) ride fixed gear bikes with no brakes around a mile-long, turn-heavy track – has spread to London, Barcelona, Milan and Tokyo. And for Trimble, the Crit has gone from a passion project to his livelihood – one that keeps him abroad for half of each year.
“It’s kind of like a Formula One for bike racing,” Trimble is telling us more about the Crit from behind he kitchen counter. He grinds coffee beans with a hand grinder. As he cranks, he says: “Does this process actually make the coffee taste better? Probably not. But it’s a little more satisfying way of doing [it.]” He cracks a few eggs. “Normally in the morning, I’m groggy, but I just got back from visiting my sister in Tokyo, so, at this hour, I’m wide awake,” he says. As David cooks breakfast, his roommate, Nathan, appears from his bedroom in full riding regalia. This is a cycling household. The pair exchange pleasantries and Nathan grabs a bicycle off the wall and walks out into the cold morning.
“I’ve been trying to eat healthy,” David says. He has prepared a meal of sautéed kale, scrambled eggs and sliced tomatoes. “But now here’s the key,” he says as he liberally sprinkles fresh Parmesan cheese over his plate. He sits quietly at a dining table, leafing through Apartmento, the contents of which launch David into a story: “When I first moved to New York, I lived in my uncle’s wood shop. No heat. No kitchen. So, just being able to make breakfast is pretty nice.” David showers at night, so after brushing his teeth and splashing cold water on his face, he’s on his bike headed towards the office.
We’re riding south on Hicks Street towards Red Hook. David is a few blocks ahead – effortlessly cruising and signaling where to turn. “Not a bad commute, eh?” He says as we hop off our bikes. The Red Hook Crit office is modest and light-filled. Jerseys, posters and memorabilia line the walls. We assemble around David’s computer to watch a video of last year’s race in Milan.
“I never thought this would turn out to be my job.”
The high intensity of the race is vivid in the film. Between racing footage, a young, European rider is interviewed, praising the event. Later in the clip, David stands within a massive crowd, cheering and watching his hard work unfold. The look on his face says more than he’s been able to explain this morning. He turns to us. Shakes his head. “I never thought this would turn out to be my job.”
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