Colleen Gulick, who is a multiple national track champion and field-hockey champion, took the win in the women’s field of RHC BK 10. She was one of the dark horses that we, more precisely race director David Trimble, predicted for RHC BK 10. We briefly spoke to her a day after her amazing victory in New York.
How did you experience RHC BK 10?
Who would have guessed that a cruise terminal in Brooklyn just before midnight would be the site of the largest race crowd I have ever seen? I did my homework before arriving at the event by talking to prior racers, reading the website, memorizing the rules, training, etc.; but I was still expecting some kind of back-ally free-for-all. In reality, it was extremely well organized with an edgy flare that somehow seamlessly combined the biggest party in Brooklyn with serious cycling talent from across the globe! I come from a 15 year crit and track background so the closest I have ever come to RHC was a downtown twilight pro road tour crit. As for my race experience at RHC BK 10, it couldn’t have gone better. When you have a great time with friends/family, win the largest fixie crit in the country, and end your day on a podium in front of the statue of liberty spraying Champaign… well a girl can’t really complain about that.
The qualifications heat went extremely well. Since I am relatively new to the fixed gear crit scene, I was unfamiliar with most of the riders. My goals were to stay towards the front, stay out of trouble, and earn a top 8 qualifying spot. I wound up leading the majority of the laps and qualified 2nd. The Q heat allowed me to become more comfortable with the course and instill a bit of confidence leading into the final.
The entire day led up to the final. My legs felt good, I was confident in my gear choice, and anxious to get started. My biggest concern was making sure that I didn’t underestimate anyone. The field was full of great riders and the win was up for grabs. I have a lot of tactical experience from my 15 years of track racing so I wanted to put those skills to good use. Before the race my coach and I discussed tactics and the plan was to stay towards the front (yet again) then let the track instincts take control. I made my move just before 1 to go when I went to the front. If anyone was going to take an unnecessary risk I thought it would have been on the first hairpin. I knew if I made it through that hairpin safely and in first place that it would be my race to lose. Luckily, I was able to defend my position on the front and use track match sprint tactics to set myself up for the final turn. After the last turn… go like hell and don’t look back! After the finish I was utterly overwhelmed with the crowd, the press, the result, everything. Even 24 hours after the race I am still on cloud nine about this result. Thank you RHC BK 10 for promoting a phenomenal race, spectators for their loud cheers, and sponsors for their support. I’m looking forward to future RHC races.