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August 21, 2016

My First Alleycat

How well do you know your downtown streets and back alleys? An alleycat race will definitely put you to the test.

Before moving to Minneapolis, I had never heard of alleycats probably because these races are often done in big cities and typically organized by bike messengers because of their familiarity of the city streets and shortcuts through back alleys. The bike community of Minneapolis embraces alleycats and will host quite a few throughout the year. I am happy to have completed my first with a Minneapolis local by my side.

So, what is an alleycat? Let's break it down together: Before the race starts, each racer is given a manifest with check points, pickup and drop off locations, location of manifest sealing and your finish point for the race. Each racer is then given roughly 30 minutes to map out the order of their checkpoints, their routes and what they need to do to be the first one to the finish point. From there, it's utter chaos once the race begins with racers weaving in and out of traffic, hauling ass through crowded downtown streets and being absolutely relentless to be the first one to complete their stops and claim their fame as the alleycat winner.

The race was an absolute blast and BikeJerks did a great job organizing and hosting the event with a wild afterparty at the finish point, Modest Brewing.

August 14, 2016

Powderhorn 24

Photo by Saisha Harris

This past Friday, I teamed up with 5 other girls to compete in a 24 hour relay race through Minneapolis. We were joined by 580 other Minneapolis cyclist riding solo, in teams and completing tandem. The goal of the Powderhorn 24 is to see who can complete the most laps within the 24 hours with bonus stops being a wildcard for teams to stack on extra points. 

Our bonus stops were hosted by local artists and local businesses and also included a dance party, arts and crafts and finding a cyclists carrying pizza and taking a slice as checkpoint. This was a great community focused event for cyclist to engage with local establishments and other cyclists throughout the community. 

The Greenway (Minneapolis' bike highway) and neighborhood streets turned into a big party during this event, so while waiting your turn to ride, there was more than enough to do to stay busy. There were tents set up along the entire route, music and people everywhere and local neighbors doing their part by cheering us on and handing out snacks and drinks along the way. 

It truly is Minneapolis' cycling community that drives this city. There is never a shortage of cycling events or comradery throughout the city. Love this city and all the people I have met along the way from riding. 

August 7, 2016

Gone (Sel)fishing

Photo from Campgroundsigns.com

Life is a never ending journey of learning lessons. Unfortunately, sometimes those lessons are learned in a painful, humiliating and sabotaging manner. Regardless of how hard we get slapped across the face, I believe the way in which we recover and what we do with these valuable lessons will shape our future.

After a very difficult week and taking time to reflect, I realize I need to make serious changes in my life and get selfish about my goals, dreams and personal well-being. So, if you need me, you will notice I'm not around; I've Gone (Sel)Fishing. What this means to me is I am setting boundaries around "friends", eliminating extra curricular activities and focusing that extra time and attention on myself.

I am making the most of this hurtful lesson and using it as my fuel to get my college applications in, set longterm goals for myself and realize what's most important in life. I have never been more excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and can't wait to see all that comes from this.

*Every set back it a setup for a comeback*

Thank you Ken for being there for me this week, helping me through this and being the strongest support system anyone could ask for.