Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pedaling All Over Town

Remember in yesterday's post when I said I would write a post specifically about our Alley Cat Bike Race from over the weekend? Well this is that post! I'm going to try to keep this pretty short and sweet (because I know I tend to talk too much), but really I can't promise anything...

First, let me explain what an Alley Cat is... it's kind of like The Amazing Race, but done on a bicycle. We have to go to certain checkpoints, and complete "challenges" in order to collect proof of going to that checkpoint. At the end, you have a little collection of things from each place. It's a timed event, and usually you should be able to do all the stops within the given time frame. The point is to do as many as possible, and just to have fun while doing it!!

This alley cat was called "Talloween," and the whole thing was Halloween themed. Get it?! :)

We started out at Landis Green on Florida State University's campus. We had to get there early to register, and there were so many people! Turns out, there were almost 160 racers! The race started at 8:30 p.m., and we had to do as much as possible on our maps, then return to Railroad Square Art Park by 11 p.m.

{HERE you can check out my RunKeeper profile and see all the stats from the actual ride...things like distance, map, calories burned, pace and elevation. It's a pretty awesome app.}

Checkpoint # 1: So first, we went up to Sweet Pea Cafe, where we had to stick our hand in a pot of boiled okra to fish out a tiny marble. Man that stuff was nasty and so slimy! It was a bit like super wet snot.

Checkpoint # 2: Next we made our way to the Oakland Cemetery, where we had to search in the gutters for some glow bracelets, indicating a bucket of silly bands. Then we had to grab/wear a silly band, and keep on bikin'.

Checkpoint #3: Cobb Middle School was up next. There we had to head back to the soccer field (or Cobb bowl - because that's literally what it looks like), and slide down the hill in an intertube, holding a cup of what I'm assuming was V-8 Juice, to "sacrifice" to the Jack-O-Lantern at the bottom of the hill. Our booty's got a bit soggy here...

Checkpoint #4: Was at Old Fort Park. We missed the turn onto Maple Drive, and so we ended up adding a bit more distance, and a bit more hills on to our ride. But we found it eventually. Once here, we had to slip-n-slide through "pumpkin guts" in order to collect a wrist band. I hurt my knee on a root in the process of sliding, and Jeff hurt his thigh on probably that same root. And then we were quite chilly the rest of the night, because we were wet!

Checkpoint #5: Ended up being at someone's house! We hopped off our bikes and got our challenge, which was to run to the end of the street to someone else's house. My legs were so wobbly at this point though, I could barely walk, none-the-less actually run! But I tried anyways... At the other house, we just had to find a little ghost, pumpkin or bat (made from paper) to bring back with us, and we got back on our bikes!

Checkpoint #6: Was at a skate park that I didn't even know existed... it was down by Messer Park, almost at Appleyard (for any of you locals who need to know where the skate park is...). Here, we had to climb in the bed of this pick-up truck, where someone dumped buckets of nastiness on top of our heads, while someone else took pictures. It was freezing cold, and smelled sooo weird, so I asked her what it was. Turns out it was just cool-aid and coffee mixed together! Weird. And so cold. And such a strange smell combo.

Checkpoint #7:  Turned out to be one we had passed a lot earlier, without even realizing it. While waiting at a stop light on Gaines street, we heard awful music booming from this tiny building next to us. Apparently it was other racers doing one of the challenges - karaoke!! When we found it again, we had to pick one of four songs to sing with a band they had there. We chose "Thriller" and I must say, we absolutely killed it. Thankyouverymuch...

Checkpoint #8: Was optional - and we skipped it. Because it was a tattoo parlor, and you had to actually get a tattoo! If you did, you had to choose one of two "race logos" to get, and you got 20 minutes taken off of your race time. But that wasn't quite worth it for us...But we did see some people after the race who had actually done it! Craziness.

Checkpoint #9: We also chose to skip this one too,simply because it was too far away. It was way up at Mission San Luis! (Again, for the locals...) And that was just too much for us...

Final Checkpoint #10: Krank It Up bike shop in Railroad Square. This whole race was actually a fundraiser event for this bike shop. It's a really cool place that provides the tools and a place to work on bikes, as well as learn how to do/fix things on your bike yourself.

We started at 8:30, and made it to the end by 10:30. And we rode 20 miles total! This is my farthest distance so far, and I am so proud of myself. Also, I only got off the bike and walked it up a hill ONCE! During our first alley cat back in May, I had to do that like four or five times, so I've definitely improved my riding skills. And we absolutely LOVED this race, guys!! This was the eighth Talloween race they've done, and only our first. But we definitely hope to do it again next year!

After the race, we tried to clean up a tiny bit, and then met all the other racers at Bird's Oyster Shack for the Talloween "after party" where we had the biggest burger of our lives so far. And many was it yummy.

Just thought I'd taunt y'all twice with this glorious beast...

So again -- we LOVED this race, and had so so so much fun! I'm actually surprised at how much fun I had, simply because I had been so nervous the whole time leading up to it. But I think the thing that helped me so much was how supportive and encouraging Jeff was! I had told him at one point that it really helped me when he was motivating and encouraging me from behind. I said it was harder for me to follow him up a giant hill, with him way far ahead, and me feeling like I couldn't catch up and like I wasn't as good of a rider. So he was really good about getting behind me up a hill and talking me through the whole thing. He was so great at encouraging me, and I know I wouldn't have been able to do this race without him and his support! So, thanks Baby!

We're already keeping our eyes open for the next alley cat race around town, because we're itching to do another one, and soon!!


Nicole McKenzie said...

I wish they had this in Pensacola! Sounds so fun!!

Bev said...

hi, i'm following the GFC blog hop. i would love for you to visit my blog and follow if you it.


new follower bev

Megan said...

That sounds like a lot of fun! Definitely a good bonding experience.

I nominated you for an award on my blog. You can check it out here: http://justasmalltowngirlsblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-triple-crown.html

Anonymous said...

There is that huge burger again!