Monday, September 21, 2009

Sunset Alley Cat 2 : Race Report

Now, to call this a race report is kind of deceiving. Sure, it was race in that there was a start and finish. But what made this just a great over all event was the fact it was a points based race. Meaning, you didn't necessary have to be fast, more-so through and quick [which we all know is different than fast].

As with all Alley Cats, it was a checkpoint based where we had differing tasks to do at some of the places. Some we simply had to find the hidden check point envelope. As you can see from the map below we had a good area to cover for the race. 13 checkpoints to be exact. All are shown except the Lookout Park checkpoint, as I was unable to find said checkpoint. My bad.

The race got underway around 7:30p and each rider had differing checkpoints they had to go to first, then we were free to hit up any or all of the points in any order that we felt necessary. There were 2 bonus options being Artprize entry photo and/or bringing back any type of snack food to the finish. I decided at the beginning that I wasn't going to attempt getting a picture or snack instead hopefully getting all of the checkpoints.

Unfortunately, my strategy didn't pay off. I did get a great start to my assigned checkpoint, the Meanwhile Bar, but the bouncer did not have the checkpoint slips with him and my 3 block lead on the other riders to that point was gone as I received mine just as they arrived. At that point, I decided I didn't need to push it quite as much. I then headed to the Midtown Green and at this checkpoint I was given the task of rapping... and as anyone in their right mind, I jumped right into this... yes, the Fresh Prince of Bell Air theme song... I did it all... because I could.

I then rode down to GRCC parking ramp and found the slip with the help of some skaters, then to the tire swing followed by drawing a picture of a sunset at Rosa Parks Circle. I felt good at this point, no real hang ups but then what seemed to be the most logical checkpoint to hit was the Ford Museum. Unfortunately, this is where my luck ran out. We found out later a security guard took the checkpoint marker down, but I still ended up riding around the entire building a few times. After giving up on this check point, I headed to fish ladder where we had to eat 3 saltine crackers and then get drawn on. Heading over the 6th street bridge [this checkpoint disappeared also], I cruised to the Division St. stairs and had to do 10 jumping jacks. I then rode in circles for a bit looking for the Lookout Park to no avail. Giving up on this check point I was 2 down and not all too happy but figured I was making good time seeing that I had passed a few other riders. I then headed to GVSU's clock tower, followed by Teamwork bags, which had kind of a tricky placement of their marker, then hitting up the final checkpoint at Founders Brewery. I finished with around 10-15 people ahead of me, I was pleased.

As we waited for everyone else to finish, good times where had and we then had one final event. Bike Bowling. The basic concept being that we had 10 mini-kegs set up and we then proceeding to ghost ride a few old bikes into them... Everyone got one chance, and the bikes took a beating to say the least. When my turn came to past, I conjured up some of my state champion bowling past [yeah, I don't want to brag but I could still beat you all, I was good, real good] seeing that most of the riders before me had only knocked down a few kegs. With a little adrenaline pumping, I ghost rode the bike to knock down 9 of the 10 and in the process endangering one of the organizers, Josh, seeing that I hadn't waited for him to clear out. I still feel horrible for that. More riders had there try and by the end, my 9 count was enough to rope me a $15 gift certificate to Vertigo Music. Not too bad at all.

Overall, I do one of these even if there was just food and drink at the end. Just good times to be had and I can't wait for the next one. Thanks to all the guys who helped put this on and all the sponsors Commute Bike Shop, Teamwork Bags, Vertigo Music, and Velocity.

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