Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Alley oop oop. Oop. Oop. Oop!

July 3, 2011 - First Annual (hopefuly) Brevard, NC Alley Cat Race.

What a blast! Thirty some odd people (i use odd loosely) including kids, adults, adults who are still kids and in-betweens. This was my first participation in an Alley Cat Race.

Typical alley cat format is basically no format at all. This race consisted of 10 or so check points, each worth a certain amount of points based upon their distance from the starting point. Also in the mix were a number of local landmarks, people and combinations of both that were each worth an additional 3 points each.

Who ever has the most points and returns to the designated finishing area by the cut-off time wins.

My buddy and official H8R, aka ZB, decided he just wanted to follow me for the race since he doesn't know Brevard all that well. Together we sped through Brevard and its outskirts, collected pictures, signed sign in sheets, danced, busted some rhymes, begged, consumed liquid refreshment, obeyed all and any traffic laws, improvised as necessary and hauled booty for an hour and a half and made it back to the Square Root (the official race end) within the designated time frame.

The race started from a very educational location and proceeded to a place of higher education where we received our official maps/passports. We had to race to the first checkpoint to get our maps. It was a dead sprint from the beginning. There was no direct route to the designated check point so i figured it would be best to stay off the main roads and enter through the back door. It seemed that half of the racers went for the main road route and i was part of the other half. We zoomed over to the side entrance of said place of higer education but i was uncertain where the building was that we had to go to. Up ahead of the pack was a recent graduate of said higher learning center so i knew it would be prudent to follow her lead. Sure enough, she led us right to the maps.

I grabbed our map, looked at the various spots we had to ride to and photograph, decided upon a route and busted off through the field. I decided upon a clock wise route that would enable us to hit every check point.

The obvious check points were mostly well known businesses in and around Brevard (Poppies, Red House Inn) but the extra credit points were as follows: catface, waving preacher man, running umbrella man, big roosters, iron elk, city limit sign, grazing yard cows, FL license plate, white squirell picture and a few others.

Since we are residents of the nearby towns and not Brevard "townies" like most of the competitors (i'd like to be a Brevard townie though) we didn't understand the signifcance of "waving preacher man" and "running umbrella man" but like i said, we improvised.

All of the navigation was made on the fly, with map in hand, trying not to soak it with sweat and some of the pictures were taken while still riding. Thanks to my former life as an Adventure Racer and my current life as a real estate appraiser, i'm fairly good at navigating, reading maps and taking pictures while still in motion.

If you look at the pictures, you'll see the fun embedded in our activity. We worked hard and i thought i was going to hurl several times. I'm not used to sprinting on my bike for that amount of time. Give me a six hour ride and i'll blow it out with much more ease than a dead on 1.5 hour sprint.

To my surprise, we ended up having the most points and I was awarded with the best trophy (other than my trophy fiance') that was hand crafted by Dan Ennis. This was hands down, the most fun i've had in a race in years! Oh, and my trophy fiance' tied for third!

Much thanks to Dan and Tristan for an awesome event!