Safety First Alleycat
Yesterday’s Safety First Alleycat, organized by Pirate Molley, MaLora Ann of The Ladies of .83 Calendar fame, had all that and more; I had a swell time, an enjoyable afternoon of bike-riding and a heart rate of only 116BPM after ascending the switchbacked hill from Golden Gardens to Crown Hill at the penultimate stop before the final one on the manifest.
Met up at 1:00 at Cal Anderson Park and mingled about for a bit; in keeping with the “safety first” theme, I consumed (and offered about to interested parties) a pat of bud butter on a Saltine; this proved to be a fairly successful compromise on my oft-ignored admonition to refrain from getting baked before the race.
Instead of starting out all confused and introspective, I began the competition with testosterone flowing, riding hard to the first few stops, (including straight up the Queen Anne counterbalance, although I pushed my bike most of the way); but then, about 45 minutes into it, as I pedaled along Shilsole Bay towards Golden Gardens, it was all about enjoying a lovely misty afternoon in our fair city, taking in the sights and sounds of an early fall afternoon, and celebrating the camaraderie of cyclists, especially .83-er ZAnimal, with whom I formed a mini-peleton, after we both got smoked by first-finishing female, Lucia, somewhere along the bike trail in Myrtle Edwards Park.
A couple hairy moments going east along 85th in traffic and a harrowing crossing of Aurora marked the final part of the race; then a festive finish at the Wayward Café in the U-District, perfect except no beer for this thirsty competitor.