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So. Do you know what 70+ bicycles parked in front of a bar looks like? It looks about like how the world ought to work. the photo heading this entry was taken just prior to the mass start. We all laid our bikes down in the parking lot (it’s traditional) and lined up against the wall until the word “go.” Then there was a mad scramble, with much dodging of already-rolling cyclists. I was tempted to leave my bike parked on its kickstand, but I didn’t want to be a jackass and mock the rules. I really dig having a kickstand, though. I did ride the Schwinn, though I discovered a broken spoke while I was placing my spoke card. It was on the non-drive side of the rear wheel. There had been an unaccustomed noise coming from back there on the way to the race, so I guess that explains it.

There were five checkpoints arranged roughly in an upside-down star shape if you looked at it on a city map. At each stop, we had to do one stunt or another. At the first stop, we had to draw a symbol that was on a sign posted on the back of a mailbox. Next stop, we had to do three rounds of mumblety-peg with a steak knife, with bonus points if you did so after taking a shot of tequila. I declined the tequila. Next stop involved withstanding being shot in the stomach with one of those little air-pressure BB guns that shoots the little yellow rubber BBs. They’d originally been planning to shoot us in the asses, but somebody pointed out that cyclists typically have toughened ass-hides, and it would be more evil to attack at a more vulnerable location. The next stop was the last one at which a stunt was required of us, and at this one, a dude was handing out doses of this hideously hot pepper sauce. The doses were tiny drops on the ends of a toothpick, but that one little drop was enough to light my tongue on fire and make my lips numb. A couple of riders admitted to nearly barfing when they got their dose. I was riding high on bravado and adrenaline, so I sassed the sauce-dude and hooted “MMMMM TASTES LIKE LOVE!” After that, it was back to the Record Bar, to turn in our manifests and start partying in earnest. There were bands, there was dancing, there were cute punk girls being ostentatiously lively, there was free beer (for a little while…70+ Kansas City alleycat racers made fast work of that keg), and there was pizza. I think it’s pretty safe to say that a good time was had by all. I know I had fun…I had a stiff neck from all the headbanging two days later. An amount of buttrock and metal happened. You understand, don’t you?

Event Tee! Love the evil pentabike.

There aren’t really any big informal organized events until the Halloween alleycat, AFAIK, so I’m cooking up a little somethin’ for either the end of July or the beginning of August, involving a cyclists’ picnic. Because if there is one thing every cyclist I have ever met has in common, it’s a great love of biking and eating. So to combine the two should create a highly enjoyable festivity for all comers. It won’t be an alleycat race, of course, but I expect certain amounts of creativity and ingenuity may come into play in getting all of the appropriate supplies to the event location, and I am planning on having some games and stunts take place at the picnic.

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