starting to look at my photos from the Tour de DC Summer Alleycat.... I think I got a few shots before... but not much during or after...

 Tour de DC Summer Alleycat event info on Facebook

today was a good day
the event was well put together
challenging route around the city
the format was pretty straight forward
meet\start at Thomas Circle 
then follow a list of check points in order
first person to the final check point after visiting all the check points in the stated order would be the winner

people started arriving at 1 PM
manifests were handed out at sign up
there was time to review the manifests
which allowed for conversations and more importantly some smart phone searches

the promoters were younger than I would expect
young and non-messenger
high school students in fact
students at "walls"

the event was set to send people all around the city
hence the name... tour de dc
as I said... the rules of the day stated that the check points had to be done in order
this sets the tone of the race
making it more of a fitness race than a messenger race

knowing the city is not as much of an advantage
a skilled messenger an work to order the check points in an efficient manner
the top alleycat racers are not just fast... but smart
taking the most logical routes and visiting each check point in the most efficient manner

the routes to the check point were still up to the racer
so knowledge of the city could be a factor
but the movement of the packs
the working together of the racers
in pairs or clusters usually sorts out the best path

the release occurred a few minutes after 2 PM
the first check point was "the bottom of Hains Point"
there was a bonus for the first racer to the first check point
at the start things moved pretty fast and straight down 14th Street 

a handful of fixed gears pushed a fast off the line pace
brian was on the lead bike... he seemed determined to be the first biker to the first check point
I moved in a small pack that was chasing Brian
at one point after we passed the Department of Commerce I turned right off 14th and pointed my bike towards the Washington Monument
then took a left with the monument just on the other side of the sidewalk

tourists were everywhere

as I crossed at the light by USDA right before the Holocaust Musuem Brian came into the intersection arcing a left
he was alone... my turning away from the pack ended up putting me just ahead of the pack

at the light before the tidal basin I thought there was a chance for the light to change and slow down the chase
but early into the loop at Hains Point I started to get passed
totally random I saw a cycling friend Chris McGill was out for a ride tried to get me to draft
but it was not vital for me to expend any more energy
this was the first check point in a multi check point race

just the first miles of a race that would have people sprinting 25-28 miles depending on your route choices 

I did not turn on my Strava until after the first check point
spaced out

80% of today's alleycat on Strava

too busy socializing and taking photos to turn on my Strava
then... I was too busy trying to pedal my bike to set up my Strava
early on I would learn it was going to be a little too intense for me to balance racing and taking photos

I need to get my ride on more than I need to take photos
all I did try to handle both

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