Sunday, June 8, 2008

ALLEY CAT!

This afternoon I participated in an ALLEY CAT race organized by Ryan of Bicycle Smile.

I dropped off my five bucks at the Bike Doc on a Wednesday morning when I was on my way to Story Time at the library with the kids. Ryan joked that trailers were acceptable and the kids could join in for free. Seth chimed in that that might actually give them an “edge” – like I’m some sort of serious competition or something… (Dudes… sure I was a bike messanger…. For a grand total of five months FIFTEEN YEARS AGO!!?)

Anyway, I somehow then forgot about the Alley Cat earlier this past week while Amanda was planning a ride with Susan. Well I hadn’t entirely forgotten about it, it was always in the forefront of my mind, I just didn’t somehow make the connection that it was at the SAME TIME that Amanda would be riding with Susan and I would then have the kids…

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)


So I got to bring along a mobile cheering section! HUZZAH!! I did, in fact, hear Keira shout on more than one occasion “GO GO GO DADDY!!”


Couple of fixed gear nerds checking out each other’s rides (the guy with the orange bike is Greg – one of the owners of the Bike Doctor)


Ryan explaining the rules and what’s in the package.


Some of the competitors with a couple of historic Saskatoon landmarks in the back ground – the Vimy Memorial to the right and the (Delta) Bessborough Hotel behind the bushes on the left.


Seth, in Red, large and in charge!


The Le Mans start!

I should have had my camera in a more accessible spot and took my time and stopped to take pictures as I went… I did actually run into a few people who were lost or doing things in a different order… Ah well…

Here’s how it went – we all had to go to Ryan’s place on Cumberland first (of course for any who were paying attention that took us right by one of the other places on the list…) where we were to pick up a package that we would have to carry with us for the rest of the race and if it was damaged at the end there would be a 5 minute time penalty. I expected it would be an egg…

Of course everyone tore away from me and bythe time I made it to the bottom of the University bridge there was on one in sight. At the top of the bridge as I pulled on to Clarence I could see someone in black three blocks ahead walking an orange bike… Greg? I caught up to him and he had flatted and had no repair kit so I pulled over and helped him change his tire – I left him with the pump to finish pumping it up figuring he would easily catch up… didn’t see him for another hour and a half…. Good thing I didn’t flat anywhere…

At Ryan’s I met Emily who was handing out balloons – which I thought was fun – of course they were rather large, very full balloons which took up a large amount of the space in the trailer – so the kids couldn’t really “play” with it much at all…

Next stop was the College Building where we had to take a rubbing of the corner stone – which was placed by Sir Wilfred Laurier on July 29, 1910 (Each race package included a crayon and three sheets of paper. It was there that Finnegan popped out balloon – I thought there would be tears, but no one seemed to upset…

Next stop the grave of John G. Diefenbaker where we were to take another rubbing.

Back across the river and over to the Woodlawn Cemetery for a third and final rubbing. WE were supposed to take a rubbing from any grave but I just took one from one of the plaques along the Memorial Boulevard… I don’t know... something about taking rubbings from a grave… it was close enough…


The one picture I did take DURING the race (well.. other than the Le Mans start…) I ran into these guys leaving the cemetery.

The rest of the locations were all of the “What business is at [THIS] address” sort. All four I could have guessed and a quick trip to a phone booth could have confirmed them all – but I didn’t think that very sporting so I rode around to all four; The Granger Building (home of White Cat Book Company my favourite book store!), TCU Place, Star Egg Company and Lien Thahn Bakery.

The I rode up the Broadway Bridge to make my way over to Amigos Cantina – the finish point. At 10th and Broadway I saw one of the other riders on a mountain bike and sprinted him to the finish and beat him… of course he still had his balloon….


Ryan and Tyler – the winner – waiting for the rest of the riders to show up. They had apparently been waiting a while. Tyler had finished the course in under half an hour!? I took about an hour. I wish I’d hooked up a computer (that works) to this bike so I could’ve had some STATS for the race…

Well I wasn’t DFL – even towing two kids there were at least five or six (out of 17 or so) that showed up after me…. And I know at least one of those that showed up before me didn’t actually make it to all of the locations… If only I’d had THE ROCKET… and a few less children to tow along…


Everyone hanging out at Amigo’s afterwards.


Tyler and his medal (and courier bag prize)


Finnegan and our medal. We won the “Most Fun Between the Legs” medal – which was supposed to be for the person with the coolest bike, but they decided to give it to us instead…


Some of the competitors bikes piles outside Amigos

It was totally a lot of fun! Big thanks to Ryan for organizing it. He was saying he’ll probably be doing another one in July (which I’ll definitely be adding to the “Race Schedule”!).

Ryan will probably have his own race report and pictures at Bicycle Smile - roll on over there and check it out!

1 comment:

Tyler Rittinger said...

Great summary of a great event. Congrats on hauling 3 people around the entire course. I am really curious about this whole fixed gear crowd. Looks like fun.