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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.