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Sun, 19 Nov 2006

Cranksgiving AlleyCat Race
Here's the writeup of my first alleycat race. I got to the Javits center where the race started, and there were about 60 bikers hanging around. I met a guy named Aaron that recognized me by my bike. Turns out he had gone to college with Tony, the builder of my bike. Me, Aaron, and his friend Mattio decided to try and stay together to navigate the race. We got our route map, and it was a sort of figure 8 around Manhattan. You could decide what way to go first, either North or South. You would have to buy a certain food item at a "Gristedes" grocery store then go to the next, so on and so forth. At the Columbus Circle checkpoint you gave your two receipts, they gave you the location of the finish line, and you did the side that you hadn't done yet. Basically there were a few ways you could do the figure 8 around Manhattan, and it was up to you and figure out the best way. Make sense? Play by play is below.

At the start about 70% of people started by going North. The 3 of us went south towards the 1st Ave Gristedes. In retrospect this wasn't a good idea as the food item to purchase there was a 10lb sack of potatoes. Next stop was the Gristedes in Battery Park. I lost Aaron and Mattio somewhere between the 2 stores, evidently they crossed tires and got into a slight crash, but I saw them as I was heading out of the store. They beat me back to the road and lost me as I screwed with my bike lock. I meant to get a key lock instead of my combination lock as the combo lock adds a decent amount of time to unlocking/locking, and I had quite the time in Battery Park with the combination. I took the bike path from Battery Park to Columbus Circle, which seemed like it would be faster then fighting traffic, but was slightly longer then a direct route. There was a brief cobblestone section I encountered when I tried to make a shortcut, but I made it to Columbus Circle and found Aaron and Mattio had just got there. We handed in our 2 receipts and got the location of the finish, 37th street and the East River. This location seemed to favor those that went North originally, but we had to deal with it. I lost the other 2 somewhere on the way to 96th St, and had a hell of a time finding Turkey soup at the store. Must have taken 5 or 6 minutes finding that damn soup. There was another biker there who had wrecked sort of bad and messed up his fork and bars but was still going slowly on. Next I crossed central park and almost wiped out in some sand under a bridge. When I made it to the 84th St Gristedes I found that Aaron and Mattio were just getting there. We'd been making the same time despite losing each other about 4 times. We all left the store and cranked from 84th to 37th St. I made my way through traffic pretty well and made it to the finish ahead of them, despite them kicking my butt on the one hill we encountered. The results aren't in yet, but I think I was somewhere mid-pack. Not bad for a new kid from out of town. Plus I had the added bonus of surviving.

Below is the approximate route that I took for the race. I vaguely remember what route I took for the most part, but the lines are my best guess used only to tabulate distance, which was about 19 miles.
Cranksgiving 2006 route

After the race we hung out for a bit, then went with Steve to pick up his newly pressed Scream-O album (evidently its big in Japan?). The 4 of us thought we knew where we were supposed to drop off the food at, and planned on meeting the rest of the bikers there, then going to the after party at the Lakeside Lounge. Well, we were wrong about the food drop off place, but we found a willing homeless shelter and called it good. We were more successfull in finding the bar.

There's some pics at Fixed Gear NYC Can you spot me in this pic?

posted at: 23:40 | path: /blog | permanent link to this entry