Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
Reload this Page >

First alleycat - anything I should know?

Notices
Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

First alleycat - anything I should know?

Old 02-09-06, 06:17 PM
  #1  
caveat audiens
thismachinekillsfascists
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Allston, MA
Posts: 25

Bikes: https://fixedgeargallery.com/2005/oct/JeffreyKelley.htm

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
First alleycat - anything I should know?

I'm thinking I'm going to race in one of these upcoming alleycats in Boston. Not to win or anything, just for the fun of it.

So, this being my first time (insert cheap joke here!) I was wondering if there's anything I should be aware of. I don't know, is there an unwritten book of alleycat etiquette? I searched for a similar thread on the forums but didn't really find anything...
caveat audiens is offline  
Old 02-09-06, 06:19 PM
  #2  
xthugmurderx
poser/hipster/whatever
 
xthugmurderx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: milwaukee, philly, and back, minneapolis in july
Posts: 994

Bikes: d/a allez -trek t1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
don't do anything stupid if you're riding in a group. if you can't stop as well as you should be able to, don't follow to close behind anyone. be careful. keep your head up. ride with a friend. have fun.
xthugmurderx is offline  
Old 02-09-06, 06:25 PM
  #3  
caveat audiens
thismachinekillsfascists
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Allston, MA
Posts: 25

Bikes: https://fixedgeargallery.com/2005/oct/JeffreyKelley.htm

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
sounds like good advice. thanks!
caveat audiens is offline  
Old 02-09-06, 06:27 PM
  #4  
dolface
Iguana Subsystem
 
dolface's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: san francisco
Posts: 4,016
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
helmets are good too
dolface is offline  
Old 02-09-06, 06:31 PM
  #5  
marqueemoon
or tarckeemoon, depending
 
marqueemoon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: the pesto of cities
Posts: 7,020

Bikes: Davidson Impulse, Merckx Titanium AX, Bruce Gordon Rock & Road, Cross Check custom build, On-One Il Pomino, Shawver Cycles cross, Zion 737, Mercian Vincitore, Brompton S1L, Charge Juicer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I've only done one, but I was surpised at how little being fast mattered. It was more about choosing a smart route and picking the right people to follow/ride with.

I opted to ride a geared bike for it, and I'm glad I did.
marqueemoon is offline  
Old 02-09-06, 06:31 PM
  #6  
xthugmurderx
poser/hipster/whatever
 
xthugmurderx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: milwaukee, philly, and back, minneapolis in july
Posts: 994

Bikes: d/a allez -trek t1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
^excellent point. +3
xthugmurderx is offline  
Old 02-09-06, 06:32 PM
  #7  
lumenredundas
im just better than you
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: milwaukee
Posts: 203

Bikes: 2 white custom track frames

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
not doing it...when you race, you race to win.

XVX
lumenredundas is offline  
Old 02-09-06, 06:34 PM
  #8  
xthugmurderx
poser/hipster/whatever
 
xthugmurderx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: milwaukee, philly, and back, minneapolis in july
Posts: 994

Bikes: d/a allez -trek t1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
hahaah. i love you jon. it's true.
xthugmurderx is offline  
Old 02-09-06, 06:36 PM
  #9  
caveat audiens
thismachinekillsfascists
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Allston, MA
Posts: 25

Bikes: https://fixedgeargallery.com/2005/oct/JeffreyKelley.htm

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
haha. I supposed I should've expected a response like that.
caveat audiens is offline  
Old 02-09-06, 06:37 PM
  #10  
TRaffic Jammer
Dances With Cars
 
TRaffic Jammer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 10,527

Bikes: TBL Onyx Pro(ss converted), Pake SS (starting to look kinda pimped)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ride fast, faster if there is someone in front. If you're gonna go down, make sure only you go down. Wear your brain bucket. AND HAVE FUN!!!!!!!
TRaffic Jammer is offline  
Old 02-09-06, 06:55 PM
  #11  
dubmess
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 11

Bikes: fetish cycles fixie, khs fixie, klein pulse comp mtb, azonic ds1 mtb

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Follow someone that knows where they're going.

No matter how cold you are before a race, only wear a short sleeve jersey whe you go to race. I learned this to my peril when during a winter alleycat I wore my raincoat and nearly melted while cycling. Had to take the thing off or I wouldn't have finished the race.

Don't believe what other racers tell you. While this racing thing is mainly for fun, you can't trust anyone!! People will try to throw you off the scent to gain a few seconds on you, which is fair enough, if you don't know where you're going, that's your tough luck, hence point 1, follow someone who knows where they're going.

Piss before you race. Squeez it out of you!! Nothing worse than those few pre race beers catching up with you mid race and cramping you up.

Carry a map. **** street cred. I've been doing this job over 10 years and I still carry a map, 'cos you never know when that blank is gonna come screaming on you and a place you visit 20 times a day could be on another planet for all you can remember.

Lights, helmet, pen. While I don't use a helmet in work, I also don't take the risks I do when I'm in an alleycat. Adrenaline I guess, but you can pay for that ****, so better safe than sorry. You can always take it off for the post race photos... While lights aren't gonna stop a crash, at least you can comfort yourself with the fact that 'I had lights, I can't believe he didn't see me!!!' Pen, well you never know what these checkpoints are going to throw up, and if you don't have a pen... well you're not gonna get much work done if you're a messenger, so you may lose out in a messenger style race.

Have fun. When all is said and done, all this **** is about having fun. It's why we ride our bikes, it's why we're on this forum. Ride fast, ride safe. some of the greatest stories of my life have come from alleycats and i want that trend to continue, for me and everyone else that takes part.

Oh, and in case I didn't stress it enough, follow someone who knows where they're going... and then outsprint those dumbasses in the final straight...
Enjoy!!!
dubmess is offline  
Old 02-09-06, 06:58 PM
  #12  
dubmess
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 11

Bikes: fetish cycles fixie, khs fixie, klein pulse comp mtb, azonic ds1 mtb

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
And i apologise for all my heavily editied profanities, they were unintentional but just spewed forth from my overzealous fingerbobs.
Keep it rubber side down...
dubmess is offline  
Old 02-09-06, 06:58 PM
  #13  
mascher
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 894
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I only raced in one alleycat, as a total rookie rank-amateur courier (wanted to sort of proove my mettle in the bike-handling department) and I was blown away at how competitive it was. I wasn't the slowest rider, but riders that I'd seen ride prudently and cautiously working went like a bat out of hell for the prize, while it was raining cats and dogs. Crash right off the bat with someone spraining a wrist, and when I ended up right behind the leading riders, one of them lost control dismounting his bike at like 30km/h and rammed his shoulder into a post when he hit a curb and flew over the bars.

Everyone dropped what they were doing to attend to this dude writinging in pain with an obviously either dislocated shoulder or broken collarbone, and he was screaming at them - to ignore him and get back to the race! I thought they'd all taken off to get an ambulance or something, so when I was the last to come check on him, and everyone was gone, he was like "dammit, go! Get out of here! I'm fine! Win the race!"

I dunno whether that's standard issue or not, and that was my first and last.
mascher is offline  
Old 02-09-06, 07:01 PM
  #14  
TRaffic Jammer
Dances With Cars
 
TRaffic Jammer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 10,527

Bikes: TBL Onyx Pro(ss converted), Pake SS (starting to look kinda pimped)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Winning isn't everything, but losing sucks the big one. Ya if he's awake and screamin for ppl to GO GO GO then you book!
TRaffic Jammer is offline  
Old 02-09-06, 07:03 PM
  #15  
xthugmurderx
poser/hipster/whatever
 
xthugmurderx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: milwaukee, philly, and back, minneapolis in july
Posts: 994

Bikes: d/a allez -trek t1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
claim dfl off the bat. it's cool. and don't claim victory unless you're gonna win. that said, i'm getting first out of town at mmi5.
xthugmurderx is offline  
Old 02-09-06, 07:06 PM
  #16  
SURFER1316
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: New Brunswick
Posts: 65

Bikes: Panasonic 900 pounds o' heavy ass steel

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
in the words of C4FL, my housemate, "my plan for this race is to pick the shortest route and ride faster than everybody else"

HAHA, if it was only that easy
SURFER1316 is offline  
Old 02-09-06, 07:09 PM
  #17  
TRaffic Jammer
Dances With Cars
 
TRaffic Jammer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 10,527

Bikes: TBL Onyx Pro(ss converted), Pake SS (starting to look kinda pimped)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
With strategy like that you can't lose.... :lmao:

Yo xthug.... DFL?
TRaffic Jammer is offline  
Old 02-09-06, 07:13 PM
  #18  
dubmess
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 11

Bikes: fetish cycles fixie, khs fixie, klein pulse comp mtb, azonic ds1 mtb

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
also, if ya wanna keep your bike, depending on how nasty the organisera are, bring your lock...
dubmess is offline  
Old 02-09-06, 07:15 PM
  #19  
Jesse M
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: out and on the parkway
Posts: 949
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by TRaffic Jammer
With strategy like that you can't lose.... :lmao:

Yo xthug.... DFL?
dead ****in' last
Jesse M is offline  
Old 02-09-06, 07:16 PM
  #20  
TRaffic Jammer
Dances With Cars
 
TRaffic Jammer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 10,527

Bikes: TBL Onyx Pro(ss converted), Pake SS (starting to look kinda pimped)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
thank-ya
TRaffic Jammer is offline  
Old 02-09-06, 07:21 PM
  #21  
46x17
dances with bicycle
 
46x17's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: SF
Posts: 1,683
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Bring a bag you can access fast.

Fanny pack rules for pen, map, and manifest.

Bring a patch kit and CO2 cartridge.
Changing tubes and handpumping can really suck during race.

If you can try to visualize your route. Write major intersection and or checkpoints on your hand or cheat sheet if your brain needs backup.

Think about the route in terms of hills, wind, etc too.

Don't get stressed out at the start. Take your time to make sure you know where you are going or as others suggested stick to a back wheel

Listen to Slayer.

Enjoy!
46x17 is offline  
Old 02-09-06, 07:48 PM
  #22  
wunder
Senior Member
 
wunder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: ND
Posts: 265
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You'll learn a lot about what works and doesn't work for you once you get out there and actually do it. There's a million things I am going to do different when I do my next alleycat.
wunder is offline  
Old 02-09-06, 10:17 PM
  #23  
lumenredundas
im just better than you
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: milwaukee
Posts: 203

Bikes: 2 white custom track frames

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by xthugmurderx
claim dfl off the bat. it's cool. and don't claim victory unless you're gonna win. that said, i'm getting first out of town at mmi5.
out of town yes, not over all. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

XVX
lumenredundas is offline  
Old 02-09-06, 10:34 PM
  #24  
humancongereel
live free or die trying
 
humancongereel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: where i lay my head is home.
Posts: 6,999

Bikes: bianchi pista workhorse, cannondale r1000, mountain bike fixed conversion

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by 46x17
Listen to Slayer.

Enjoy!
i've only done one, but those are two good suggestions. that, and make sure you know where you're going. i was almost DFL at the one i did, because i didn't ride with anyone. at all, after the start, i was going solo the whole way. which included several miles of very unnecessary riding, and then doing the several miles again, on my way back.

then again, i may have gotten a crappy finish, but everyone at the afterparty knew me as "that dude who rode all the way out to harris ranch".
humancongereel is offline  
Old 02-10-06, 08:13 AM
  #25  
Aeroplane
jack of one or two trades
 
Aeroplane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Suburbia, CT
Posts: 5,640

Bikes: Old-ass gearie hardtail MTB, fix-converted Centurion LeMans commuter, SS hardtail monster MTB

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by 46x17
Fanny pack rules for pen, map, and manifest.

Bring a patch kit and CO2 cartridge.
Changing tubes and handpumping can really suck during race.

If you can try to visualize your route. Write major intersection and or checkpoints on your hand or cheat sheet if your brain needs backup.

Think about the route in terms of hills, wind, etc too.

Don't get stressed out at the start. Take your time to make sure you know where you are going or as others suggested stick to a back wheel
Holy hell, good advice. Also, bring a couple tubes and a handpump too. Sometimes just getting home can be a challenge, and redundant safety measures can't hurt.

If you're not in it to win it (I'm sure not) don't be a dick. It's just not necessary.

If your pride can handle it, (and it's not monstertrack) run a brake. You can ride more aggressively with one.
Aeroplane is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.