Racing Under the Radar

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Mainstream racing and the bullshit fees and attitudes that come with it are for the birds. My days of forking over $35 plus a license fee + a parking fee + three bucks for water only to hear the organizer whine about not making cash-money are pretty well over. Once or twice a year maybe, just to taste the poison. For me its all about the under the radar secret handshake races. Alleycats as the kids call them. A couple bucks, a just-as-fun race, a party, and no squares killing the mood with their tri-singlet.

Its been an alleycat heavy week.


Saturday the 30th- Alleycat Soup. No entry fee, all proceeds go to the foodbank. Checkpoints were grocery stores around town where you had to pick up various food items, delivering them to the end. I’m a fucking idiot and bought the biggest jar of applesauce in the store at the first stop, and a giant jar of sauce at the second. Moron. The old lady not sure how to write a a check crushed my chances of real glory. Reeled in third place towards the end on my most favorite bike.


Sunday the 31st – Pittsburgh Roubiax. 40+ miles, 3000+ feet of elevation gain, a dozen cobble/brick sections and it ended with two and a half laps at the ghettodrome. Oh yeah, and it was all pretty well within the city. With traffic. Once again, my stupid muscle was flexing and I raced to a 3rd fixed, 8th or 9th overall finish. At one point on a hellish, cobbled climb I cramped up to the point of crouching and chewing up some Sportlegs in the middle of the road. Classy, really classy. Some sandbagger pulled in the win – for $100 – before kissing his cobble and “retiring” for the year. Yeah, he was afraid of the doping controls.


Wednesday the Fourth – Creamcycle. A race for awareness of testicular cancer, put on by a girl, which was fucking awesome being that odds are one or two of us (at least!) at the race will have to deal with it. 80 registrants, had to ride all over creation to far off ice cream stands for toppings. Feasted on frozen goodies at the end. Wasn’t planning on racing, brought out the keirin bike again, was just going to hang. But nah. Turnout and peer pressure made me go… 6th place? 7th? Something like that.

What’s that saying? Always a bridesmaid, never a bride? I haven’t even found the church.

Tomorrow its off to COLUMBUS OHIO for the Jumpinships. Heading West!

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About Brad

Bikes are cool, and I’ve been making a go at this ‘industry’ thing for a while now. You may remember me from some nine years at Dirt Rag Magazine. Or not. Now I do some writing, wrenching and photography to pay the bills. And run my half of a little magazine project called Urban Velo. We love riding in the city. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

3 Replies to “Racing Under the Radar”

  1. Pingback: » Links Of The Day: 7 July 2007

  2. i like how i’m somehow lurking in half of the pictures you’ve posted from bikefest. I hope JumpinShips sucked, since i didnt go. On the upside Tennessee is still a million degress with infinity percent humidity in the summer.

  3. Complaining about the cost of a bike race is sort of ridiculous — after witnessing my girlfriend organize a large Ultimate tournament, I can say that being that person sucks (and it doesn’t pay well).

    That said, I can also say that bike racing sucks but not because it costs $35 or whatever; it started sucking for me over a decade ago because it took all the fun out of riding a mountain bike. After declining a few invitations for beautiful, epic “just recreational” rides, I realized that racing had reduced me to riding 12km laps around muddy-as-fuck courses and PAYING FOR IT, while any other riding had to be justified as “training”. Hmmm.

    So I stopped.

    Now, I spend the money on mid-ride beer instead…but these “underground” races sound like they’re on the right track.