The Lightning Alleycat
This year we wanted to do something a little different for an Alleycat, often they can be a little daunting and mainly experienced men riding. To try and entice some newcomers to the format we held a Lightning Alleycat for women, NB riders and trans men who felt more comfortable racing in this space.
With 2 categories, fixed and any bike, we opened up the race to a few more riders yet 14/18 riders turned up on some skiddy fixies ready to race the taxis through the London traffic. There were 3 single speeds and one geared bike, the playing field was pretty level. Most riders seemed to have chosen around a 75-80 inch gearing for a good balance.
There were 6 checkpoints throughout London, spaced out to create a scenic 25km loop around some of the most famous Landmarks. With bridges and piers the route swung below the Thames from Monument and then pulled back up over towards Chelsea, then riders headed over to Hyde Park, Regent’s Park and Seven Dials. This added in a devious cobble section and some cheeky multi-use zones where those bells came in handy.
Each checkpoint had at least 2 fantastic volunteers holding the fort and signing rider’s manifests with a unique identifier.
Once riders navigated to all of the checkpoints it was a race back to St. Paul’s Cathedral to verify their manifest and enjoy some beverages in the evening chill.
Most riders managed to complete the entire circuit in just under 1 hour and 30 minutes, which including stops is a pretty pacey time!
Congratulations to Alana for 1st, Alice for 2nd and Ilma for 3rd! With Alana coming in at just over an hour, an incredibly impressive performance.
Pat was our faster non-Londoner coming in at 6th, Anthony came in as first any-bike and Jo as our Lanterne Rouge. They bagged some tasty prizes and went home with a big smile and a burger.
Thanks again to all our amazing volunteers! We couldn’t have done it without you and can’t wait for the next adventure… THUNDERCROSS!! London’s premier fixed and single speed off-road race. This year the event will be held at the unparalleled Herne Hill Velodrome, see you there.