Fixed Gear Crit

Interview with world-class track cyclists Callum Skinner and Kian Emadi on RHC BK 10

Since the news came out that Huez* would bring two world-class track cyclists into RHC BK 10 everyone is curious how they will keep up with world-class fixed gear riders. Of course we can only tell after the race, but it is interesting to see how Callum Skinner and Kian Emadi got into racing RHC BK 10, their views on the scene, and how they prepared for the race. In cooperation with Huez* we had a chance to do an interview with them.

When did you guys first hear about Red Hook Crit and fixed-gear crit racing?
KA: I first heard about fixed crit racing about 2 years ago.  I saw pictures and videos of Red Hook Crit on Instagram and YouTube, and a few of the guys I follow on Instagram were racing Red Hook in Brooklyn and in London.  I saw the kind of style of racing and thought it was pretty cool!
CS: I’d known about fixed gear crit racing for a little while. I’d always wanted to give it a go but it was never really the right time…until now.   Red Hook specifically, a few months ago as I started looking at videos of the racing.

And what are your thoughts on the sport?
KA: I really do think it’s a positive thing, as an event in itself and also for the sport of cycling, and I think it incorporates all the things that are good about cycling; it’s a very competitive race, but at the same time it seems to be really exciting and new and dynamic, it doesn’t feel like it’s corporate, it feels alternative and different, which I think is really cool to see and obviously it attracts a massive crowd and support, so yeah, I think it’s really positive for cycling.

Why do you guys want to compete in Red Hook?
KA: I wanted to compete in Red Hook for all the reasons I said earlier!  It just seems like a really exciting and different event, it seems pretty unique really, and the thought of track bikes with no brakes, on a Crit circuit, seems pretty cool, so that’s also a plus!
CS: I’ve seen videos online and it all looks a bit bonkers. But I’d never been presented with the chance to give it a go until Huez asked me.  When they wrote to me I was really quite keen to give it a shot.  As I said earlier, what we do is so specific and focused that it’s a good time to give something else a shot, and get involved in a new and exciting scene.

Did you get any response from fellow track cyclists when you told them you would race in RHC BK10?
KA: Yeah, we got a bit of a response, when we mentioned we were racing Red Hook, everyone just kind of raised their eyebrows a bit and were like “are you sure you’re ready for it?”.  I think just because it’s so different, people, myself included, don’t really know how it’s going to go, but yeah, everyone was pretty supportive, but at the same time a bit surprised.
CS: They were all quite jealous to be honest. It looks like such an exciting and dynamic event.

I hear Dave Trimble from Red Hook Crit is giving you his famous bikes.
CS: Yeah, we’ve checked them out and obviously we’ve been in contact asking him what all the bits and pieces are.  In cycling it’s bred into you to be quite aware and conscious of the kit you’re using and this is the best kit for the job.  We’ve both been pretty impressed with the set-up we’re looking to get when we get there. Before that I’m looking forward to giving it a shot in Manchester, get used to cornering on a fixie bike before we get out, and hopefully make the best of them when we get there. We’re just pretty excited about getting going – I think it’s going to be a great trip.

So how are you guys preparing for the race?
KA: Hopefully we’ll get to ride the Trimble Bikes we’re going to use a little bit before, just to get used to the feel of them and the feel of pedalling through corners basically, that’s going to be the main difference, just remembering to pedal as we enter and exit the corner.  Obviously Callum and I spend a fair amount of time on track bikes anyway, so we’re used to that aspect of it, it’s just going to be about transferring that to a circuit with more technical aspects.
CS: Since I’ve returned from the World Championships I’ve been smashing some turbo sessions to try and improve my fitness with the help of my physiologist.

The legendary Trimble bike that both Callum and Kian will be racing

For the full interview head over to our friends from Huez*