Friday, July 6, 2012

All American Alley Cat Race

Lock your bikes to the fence and stand on the other side of the tennis court.  Reg fees go to Mat Barton.  Over $600 raised.  A stack of manifests on the ground.  Ready set go.

Dash and scramble, cleats on the court, an on-foot wipe-out.  Quick grab a sheet, unlock, roll out across the grass.  There's some riders turning south, follow.  Read the manifest.  Find the the closest point.  Don't think.  Go.

Apex on Division.  Watch another wipe-out, this one on-bike.  Stick out the paper for a signature.  Go.  GO.  Next, what's close.  OMSI.  Go go go. 

A checkpoint worker waving, stop, shove the paper in, take it back.  Now there's time to think.  Go north.  If it's red, run it.  If there's traffic, turn.  Take no particular route, find the path of least resistance.  FLOW.  Go flow.

Lloyd Center outdoor theater.  Only a smattering of racers here and there now.  This is the alley cat mind.  Alone, but not alone.  Mind-racing.  Turn and turn again quick so you don't show anyone the good way to go.

Up 42nd to Prescott, no need to look it up.  Memorizing northeast streets pays.  AKA GPS SF beitch. Ainsworth Killingsworth Alberta Going Prescott Skidmore Shaver Failing Beech.   Jump the fence, ten push ups, jump again and back.

To Mississippi and Beech.  Running light after light after stop sign.  Ear forward, hear anything?  Look left.  Quick glance right, really look left.  That's where the first car that can hit you will be coming from.  Nothing there, one last chance to look right. 

Fitness.  Breathe, breathe, drink drink, Cup & Saucer, dart out, manifest in mouth.  Down, down the hill.  Follow the fixie and watch him spin.  Up over Broadway.  This part I know so well. 

Right, left on Marshall, left at the Bent Brick. Western checkpoint.  Slam an energy drink, wish it was beer, say the pledge, get a second manifest.  Second place chick right now.  Yee haw. 

Silverado?  Strip club.  No address given.  Asking everyone everywhere, where the f is Silverado.  SW 3rd.  No, up by 6th.  Check 13th near Powell.  Skip it.

Ash Street Saloon, shoulda gone first since it's known.  Silverado's round the block.  Cross the river, to the finish line.  A little desolate.  Many aren't in yet.  Lock up!  Hand in tag. 

Fifth place out of twelve women, three places lost getting lost looking for the strip club.  Beautiful little spoke card.  Memories of old times, old talents not yet dead.