If the name Trimble sounds familiar, it should. The Trimble Aero TT Bike was among the most radical frame designs in the early 1980s. Designers James and Brent Trimble were on the cutting edge of carbon bike design and early aero frames such as the Kestrel 4000 and GT superbikes used by the United States Olympic team in 1996 and 2000.
Twenty-seven year old David Trimble is now making his own mark in cycling through grassroots race organization. Trimbles Red Hook Criterium will enter its fourth year in Brooklyn, New York, combining track bikes (fixed gear; no brakes), night racing, and the off-the-beaten-path energy of the Red Hook neighborhood. An art exhibit and after-party complete the Red Hook Crit package, set to run this year on March 26.
Coming from a bike-building family, have you been riding and racing your whole life?
Actually, no. I started go-kart racing at age 12 and raced professionally for several years. I was wheel-to-wheel with a lot of guys who are racing Indy Car or Formula 1 now, but I didnt have the money to make the next big step in Formula 1 racing.
Im super competitive, and basically decided that I needed to race something after I retired from car racing. I was 21 when I did my first mountain bike race, so actually I started rather late.
What brought you to New York and how did you get into the racing scene here?
I grew up in Alaska, where my dad built the original Trimble bikes, and also lived in Boston, Arkansas, Houston, and Indianapolis. When I got out of working as a mechanic on the race car circuit my uncle offered me a job at his architectural firm here and Ive been able to apply a lot of my hands-on mechanical (and problem-solving) skills from race cars.
I wanted to get away from anything that involved an engine. I got into alleycat racing and won a few of the big races. Monstertrack was my first alleycat. I’ve raced mountain bikes, track bikes, road bikes… Last year I did my first downhill race.
The Red Hook Criterium in Brooklyn started out as a birthday party for you, with a bunch of friends showing up to race. How has the race grown since then?
Each year weve had more riders show up and the number of people watching has been crazy. Theres no formula yet. Every year something completely different has happened at the race.
What does bike culture mean to you? How do you see the Red Hook Crit fitting into the equation?
I think New York City is the real center of diversity in cycling. Weve got every type of racing here and every type of rider. Everyone is interested in all facets of cycling (messengers, road racing, cyclo-cross, alleycats) To me, thats the appeal of the Red Hook Crit.
There arent too many options for unique events. Here theres no real advantage for any one group. Youll see kids from the neighborhood dropping Cat. 2 riders who dont have the experience riding track bikes. The first Red Hook Crit was won by a woman (multi-time national champion, Kacey Manderfield – Ed.).
This year youll have a closed course for the first time, along with some big name sponsors like Eastern Mountain Sports, but the race will still be held at 11pm. Where do you see the race heading?
Ive already taken the format to Milan. The turnout there was bigger than in New York and the race has already been copied several times in Italy. Well be bringing the winner of the Milan race to Brooklyn this year. Its pretty crazy for me to bring a race to Italy and have it copied! Im also working on taking the race to Berlin this Fall.
All I really want is a short, really hard race. Its a new style of racing and I think theres an opportunity for more cycling events to be cool and interesting for people who arent necessarily cycling fanatics.
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