It’s been a while since I’ve written anything. There are probably good reasons for that, but let me just give you some indication of the *mindblowing* things I’ve been doing during that time.

Last Friday, a few of us from the maths department decided to go on the I Bike MCR mini-festival’s Dynamic Duo Superhero Treasure/Alley Cat. For those of you that haven’t heard of alleycats before, they are messenger races around a city. Competitors race to reach a series of prescribed checkpoints scattered throughout the city of choice, the fastest to the final one being declared the winner. The checkpoints (apart from the final one) can be reached in any order and via any route, so it really seems to make a big difference if you can plan well before getting in the saddle. To win, you basically need a pretty good knowledge of the city and how to ride a bike through it.

As part of the I bike MCR mini-festival, a Manchester alleycat was organised for Friday night, starting at the Sand Bar, a favourite bicycling hangout. This one, it seemed, was geared at the casual cyclist out for a bit of a laugh as well as the seasoned track-bike owning messenger type. As such, this alleycat was meticulously organised to include various challenges and missions where speed wasn’t necessarily paramount. Each of the checkpoints was strategically located next to a phonebox. The main organiser would call the phoneboxes periodically and reveal the location of one of five stuffed toys which had been duct-taped to lamposts around the city. If you happened to be at the right checkpoint at the right time, taking the mission might get you some extra points. If that wasn’t enough, participants raced as teams of two and were encouraged to dress as superheroes, prizes being awarded for the best dressed.

All in all, it was a great night out – a bit of exercise, lots of caffeine, and general jokes all round. Friends who were out and about reported unexpectedly frenetic cycling throughout the city-centre.

Watch out for the Christmas alleycat. Rumour has it that this will involve shopping lists at grocery stores, the goods being put into hampers for asylum-seeking families. Adrenalin *and* a warm fuzzy feeling.

Here for your delectation are two particularly crazy videos of alleycats in NYC and London.

One Response to “AlleyCat!”

  1. glad you had fun x x x

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