Sunday, July 8, 2012
alleycat bike race.
On June 23rd, I participated in my first ever bike race, the Girls of Summer second annual all-girl alleycat hosted by Menstrual Monday.
An alleycat style race is one where there are checkpoints on a manifest and the riders get to choose their own routes to those places, in whatever order they choose. Usually you have to do something silly at the checkpoints before heading off to the next one. Since this was an all-girl alleycat, the proof that you went to each checkpoint was a painted fingernail, different colors for each checkpoint, resulting in a really punk-looking manicure.
I am not the fastest cyclist, but one of the things that is nice about an alleycat is that good route-planning gives you a reasonable advantage. I was lucky that most of the checkpoints were locations that I had a pretty good idea how to get to and what order to do them in, and ended up placing 15th out of 50. I won a helmet!
Here's a map of my route and a list of the 6 checkpoints. It was a little over 20 miles of cycling, with 3 major hill climbs, and took me just over 2.5 hours. I should also mention that I almost didn't ride because it was POURING out the 2 hours before the race, and I got soaked on the way to the start. But it got nicer as the day went on, to almost no clouds in the sky by the end.
Miles has a set of photos from the ride, there's a flickr pool with a bunch of photos from the various checkpoints, and the official write-up is here. Even though it was like three weeks ago, I'm still super excited that I rode in it; serious thanks to the organizers, that was awesome.