Sunday, February 15, 2009

Race of Shame

Completed my first alleycat of the season, Emerald City Bike Bloc’s “Race of Shame,” a post-Valentine’s Day-themed race in which all the checkpoints connected in some way to places that could be tied to events one might regret, such as one last drink at the Twilight Exit or a lost evening down by the gum wall or a motel room out on Aurora Avenue where a person might imagine waking up with someone they couldn’t remember going to bed with.

I was pleased to complete whole course, which started by the Colonnade mountain bike park then, for me, went east to my new favorite neighborhood bar, then south and west down Jackson and up First Avenue to the Market.

I think I was almost sort of in the running at this point, but then I missed the turn on Dexter at Galer to cross the pedestrian bridge over Westlake and almost gave it up altogether, but glad I didn’t when after crossing the Fremont Bridge and heading north to the motel room I got a good laugh at the guy, naked from the waist up and wearing a Nacho Libre wrestling mask with whom you had to pose for a picture.

Afterwards, it was back towards the U-District and the Wall of Death before pedaling west to Golden Gardens and then back for a walk across the locks to Magnolia and the Boxcar Alehouse for prizes, which as 29th finisher out of 40th, I was the first person not to get any loot, an outcome that while initially causing me a twinge of consternation, now feels just right.

There were some real athletes in the competition and it seemed like some number of riders were in it to win it, but that could be because I finished so far behind the leaders that descriptions had come to seem like bragging.

I didn’t stick around for the bike films at the bar; no shame in coming home early.


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