Sunday, September 27, 2009

Photos From "Oh! What An Alleycat!"

Omaha's first annual Oh! What An Alleycat! event was a huge success! Read the official blog here.

When Sean announced that he was going to organize an alleycat race, I knew I wanted to help make it happen. Rather than participate, I offered to help run a checkpoint. I'm not terribly fast, and sometimes not the best navigator, so helping out seemed to be the thing to do.

About 15 people showed up to race, and several more to help out. Our gathering at the arch in the Gene Leahy Mall was certainly noticeable. There were bikes everywhere of all kinds. Fixies, single speeds, racing bikes, mountain bikes, and hybrids. It was a beautiful thing.

We helpers showed up early and Sean briefed us on the protocol. We each were given a grease pen for marking player's playing cards, and an index card telling us where our checkpoint was, and the location of the next checkpoint.

I rode off to my post in the Heartland of America Park. Sean had directed me to an area on the lake that was near the boat ride piers, describing a boardwalk. I think most people interpreted their clue, given by them by the officials at the first checkpoint, as the wooden footbridge over 8th and Farnam. In the confusion, some people rode all the way to the wooden bridge leading to the riverfront before seeing me waving from my checkpoint. Please explore the map below.

I got a kick out of seeing the leaders trying to get to me at great speed. Some bombed down the steep grassy hill (on fixies, no less), while some hefted their bikes on the shoulders and ran down the steps from 8th Street. I think everyone ended up finding me. However, I had forgotten to ask Sean how many riders there were, so I wasn't sure when I was done.

Just to be safe, I moved out more in the open to the boardwalk at the boat piers, waited, and fed some cookies to the ducks.

Finally I got a message from Sean telling me to rejoin the group at the arch. By the time I got back, all prizes has been awarded. A few of us went on to Upstream for some post ride refreshments.

After some snacks, some of Upstream's finest beverages and some fun conversation, I rode off toward home. Ben was looking to get some more saddle time, so he joined me for the ride to my house. I think afterward he might have continued on to the Keystone Trail for some more miles.

Everybody I talked to seemed to enjoy the alleycat, and is looking forward to the next. Thanks to Sean for putting this together, at his own personal expense, and thanks to everyone who came out to race or to help. Also, thanks for The Douglas for making the special event spoke cards. That's something you don't see every day in Omaha.

View Oh! What An Alleycat! Checkpoint #2 in a larger map

Here are some photos I took.

Click here if you can't see the slideshow above.


brady said...

Thanks for the write up, Scott. Since I couldn't be there, I was curious how it all went down.

The D said...

Scott, Thank you for donating your time to make this event such a success. I had a great time racing. Sean did an excellent job putting this thing together. Without all of the volunteers this would not have gone so smoothly. And thanks for wearing an orange shirt. Without it I think some of us would still be out there looking for you.

Great pictures!

I'll have my fall alleycat (or scavenger ride) put together soon (october/november). You'll have a chance to partake in the fun this time.

Biker Bob said...

I was bummed that I missed it. While you were racing, I was slogging home along the wabash and stopping every few miles (one of the riders with use was having a REAL BAD day...I counted 6 flats total). I so wanted to be there, but decided to stick with the group. I didn't pull into town till 5:30 after leaving Shenandoah at 8:30am.

Thanks for the pictures Scott.

The D... I'll be looking forward to that fall alleycat.

Biker Bob said...

Man... I want one of those spoke cards ;-). Pretty cool. The Lucas is a creative guy.

2sean9er said...

"The D" made the cards. Just given credit.

Biker Bob said...

Ah... good job "The D".

2sean9er said...

Nice write up and photos Scott

Scott Redd said...

Too bad you couldn't join us, Brady and Bob. Like TD said, there will be more.

For the record, The Lucas is a pretty creative guy, too. :)

I'm riding with my spoke card. I expect Rafal will tease me about it. He's just jealous.

Thanks again, Sean.

The D said...

Hell yeah Scott! All the cool kids are rockin' spoke cards. I ride with mine as well. I consider them my hipster starter kit. They also make you faster. Proven.
See you on the next one.

And Bob, thanks for the props on the card design. There were a few left overs. I'm sure Sean wouldn't mind giving you one if he still has them. However you will have to simulate the route we rode on Sunday.

Biker Bob said...

Sounds good. I'll have to drag Scott with me since he didn't "officially" complete the route, now did he? ;-)

I'll even do it on a single speed for more hipster points.

Scott Redd said...

Bob: Don't forget your skinny jeans, clove cigarettes, and ironic t-shirt. :)

Biker Bob said...

Nice... I guess I'm not fully hipstered yet.

RD said...

i don't need a spoke card to make fun of you scott :D

RD said...

go on fighting them west omaha folk. I refuse to sing up for any local media crap ... good job dude

2sean9er said...

Nice comments on KETV. I'm assuming that was you.

2sean9er said...

Bob: I do have a few left over so if you want one let me know and I can try to get one to ya.

Biker Bob said...

Rafal...yeah, I didn't want to sign up just to respond. They should allow non-account comments and just moderate them for any inappropriate content.

Sean...I'd love to have one. I'm going to try to make it to the Oct 31 alleycat. I'm not sure I'll run it in my spokes all the time, but I can put in the spokes when I participate in similar events.