2.09.2017

Dead City Alleycat 2016 (a post that never got finished...)

days have passed... so many days that I am not sure if I can dredge up any details
yet... since I want to post some images
I might as well try to throw down some words
so... here we go

RACE REPORT: Dead City Alleycat

What is an Alleycat?
An alleycat is a urban bicycle race that is normally run by messengers for messenger with a day in the life of a messenger sort of format
but since the messenger culture is shrinking and the urban cycling culture is growing
these racers are open to others than just messengers

Still confused?
Well.. a messenger normally has to pick up and drop packages
In the Alleycat... the racers have to go to various check points.... they can often choose the order that they go to these checkpoints as well as the routes. Knowledge of the City is KEY! Knowing now to navigate traffic at speed is imperative. The modern day technology of Google and Google Maps helps... but most messengers already have this information cataloged in their heads... no need for GPS and such,,.. just pedal and point.

The race met at Fort Slocum Park in NW Washington DC.This was especially conveniet for me as I live three blocks from this park... this is where I walk my dog each day... twice a day.. once before work and once after work.

The race was Halloween theme... the notion of racing in costume passed... passed and kept going... I just did not feel like trying to figure out a costume.  My energies had to be spent on prepping my bike. So the morning of the race I pulled the rear wheel off and threw the wheel into the trueing stand and tried to get the brake hitting hops out of that wheel.  To my pleasure I got the wheel pretty straight.. then I lubed the chain... aired the tires... tapped the brakes and felt that my bike was race ready.

The 4 PM meet up time came up more quickly than I had anticipated. Initially I had thought I would march up with my dog and the camera.. take some photos.. throw the frisbee for my dog...  but that is not how it happened... by the time I had tunned up the bike... set aside my riding gear... and packed my pack with tube\tools\pump\and fuel it was time for me to head to the race start.

At the pavillion at Fort Slocum there was a gathering of a wide variety of people... many of which I know... many of which I have never seen before.  As per usual I tried to get an idea of who might be the wheels to chase. AZ was there... I was not sure if he was racing or running a check point. Bruce was also there... dressed in a Sear Sucker Suit playing the role of a bicycle riding ambulance chaser. These would be my top two bids for racers to chase. Their knowledge of the city and its grid with its little quirks is tattooed on each of their brains. Sure there are other potential race winners present.. but not only are these the seasoned pros from the messenger game... but their engines are similar to mine. Lots of the young bucks on their fixed gears run a higher top speed than I do... so they are harder to pace with in these often long races.

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