Looking for any excuse to head back to San Francisco after my super awesome October trip, I found the Supermarket Sweep Alleycat race. Basically you start near the Embarcadero, head to the first, predetermined grocery store and then to four others in any order you choose to pick up the required food on the manifest. It all ends at the SF Food Bank. Since riding a bike around a city and food shopping makes up the majority of my existence, I thought it 'd be a great race to do.
My good friend Trystan, who built my track bike, now works for Chrome Bags, my Friday afternoon post-flight destination.
Over 200 people raced! First hill was brutal. I should have known, right? Since my SF geographical knowledge is pretty basic so I utilized a few skills to get around: asking people in line if they knew which store on the manifest was closest and how to get there, pulling up a map on my phone, and making friends with a local and jumping on. The last of these was the most effective. Till we bombed some seriously steep hills and I'm the only one on a brakeless track bike. Definitely slightly more danger than I'm usually into to, but hey, that's part of the experience.
We ended up covering over twenty miles! And people say Los Angeles is spread out...I rode with a number of friendly (and fast!) folks. Ended up 11th or something in the fixed category. Ex-Angeleno Swarm! rider Paul Barclay got 5th in the geared division and current Angeleno (and sxe BMXer) Hern got 4th in fixed. The organizers were unbelievable and hooked up dozens of sponsors and a banging after-party. Thanks!
That night Trystan and his bike racing housemates decided that I was going to do the Cyclocross race the next day in Coyote Point on Dan's 'spare' cross bike that is nicer than any bike I've ever owned.
The course had some sweet technical sections, long straights and tight turns on pavement. Seemed my road skills came in most handy as I railed them as fast as I could. Think I ended top third in a field of 60.
Also ate a ton of food, dranks lots of coffee and was often cold; the usual SF happenings. And hung out with this amazing guy:
Thanks Trystan, Dan and Maria!