Alleycat racing is a big part of bike messenger culture in the States, and Wellington now has it's own little race around the city streets: Wellycats! The best thing about it was there wasn't a bike messenger in sight, just a bunch of mountain bikers on whatever singlespeeds or fixies they could cobble together. Of course, the best place to start an alleycat is in an alley, and behind Emporio was the gathering spot. The rubbish skips and broken beer bottles added to the authenticity.
The rules are simple; get to the checkpoints in any way you please, first one back with all the points stamped on his card wins. Then drink beer. There were time bonuses for the first rider to each checkpoint, and I picked up the one at the SPOKE office (only about 200 metres from the start, and no-one else went there!).
And they're off! Owen and me almost didn't make it out of the street, trying to go in opposite directions on the wrong side of each other. Most went to the Basin Reserve first, Mark headed to the Beehive for the sprint win, then it was a heinous climb up to the Met Service.
Benji got a flat down near Parliament and ended up running his 50c dumpster-special back to the finish, proving that you should spend at least a dollar on a bike.
I show off my unco-ordinated running dismount skills. A couple of monumental navigational errors had me riding up Cuba Mall, like a salmon swimming against the current, pissing off a few pedestrians.
And the winner is.... Ricky stomped around the course on his brakeless ghetto fixie in 20 minutes, then made us all feel ill with this unbuttoned shirt victory salute. Thanks to Paul for putting this on, it was a blast and I can't wait for the next one (last Wednesday of each month is touted).
*For some real hairy Alleycat action in London and New York, plus other stuff, check this site out.