Alleycat bike racing is a form of competitive racing practiced around the world in places like Mexico and Germany. This race, however, promises to be welcoming to participants of all abilities.
Owen Hipwell, the shift lead at Four Points Brewing in Allegheny West and the organizer of the race, says he's excited about its community-boosting potential.
“[Alleycat races are] good community-building events. It's nice to have a race that you and everyone can participate in,” says Hipwell. “And then afterwards, there's an after party, and you can hang out and mingle and meet people and … compare notes on the race and things like that. It's a good way to meet people and feel more involved in a biking community.”
The event is free for all and allows for teams of up to four.
Unlike typical races with a clear start and finish, alleycat bikers are given a list of locations, and must reach as many as possible before returning to the finish line before time is up.
The event is also being co-hosted by Bear Dog Bicycles, a local bike shop down the street from Four Points, which will offer free tune-ups beginning an hour before the race.
Hipwell says prizes will be awarded to those who place in first, second, and third. Four Point will be offering gift cards and brewing glassware, while Bear Dog will give out gear and apparel.
Hipwell emphasized that this race is for beginners and anyone lacking competitive experience shouldn't feel intimidated.
“I wanted something that would be accessible to as many people as possible, and would give people the opportunity to do some more interesting city biking without feeling intimidated and a fairly low stakes environment,” says Hipwell. “And because it's not a race with a set route, if there's one stop that you think is too hard to get to, you can just skip.”
Alleycat Bike Race. Sat., June 18. 919 Western Ave., Allegheny West. Free.