I want to do events like this ….

This type of racing is taking off in the good old trump of ASS

Would be good to do something like this in UK (race event not the buffoon poiliticians like trump and Boris)


Glasgow Green Alleycat

Glasgow Green Alleycat – a treasure hunt by bicycle

I am missing out as I am off to Cambridge Folk Festival but for those in Scotland ….

July 31st 14:00 – 17:00

Start at Kings Court, outside Mono

King Street

The Glasgow Bike Station presents a fun ride around the city exploring some of the many green places. Visit checkpoints, complete challenges and gather clues to win prizes.

We’ll meet at Kings Court (outside Bar Mono) at 2pm on Sunday 31st July, finishing in the West End. Everyone welcome, just bring a bike! A map and a pen might help too…


An Alleycat race is an informal bicycle race. Alleycats almost always take place in cities, and are often organized by bicycle messengers. The informality of the organization is matched by the emphasis on taking part, rather than simple competition. Many Alleycats present prizes for the last competitor to finish (sometimes known as Dead Friggin’ Last or DFL). The first race to be called “Alleycat” was held in Toronto on October 30, 1989 and continued, in its original form, around Halloween and Valentine’s Day for the following five years. In 1993, when Toronto messengers shared Alleycat stories at the first international messenger race (C.M.W.C Berlin), the name and the concept spread far and wide. Regularly organized Alleycats can be found in cities across North America, Europe and Asia. Many smaller cities with no cycle messenger population are also home to alleycats run by the burgeoning urban cyclist subculture.

Race styles

Alleycats reflect the personality, contemporary environment and level of competition based on the organizer(s). Races may be less competitive and designed to be enjoyed by the local messenger community around set holidays, such as NYC’s July 4 Alleycat, or they may be extremely grueling and designed to eliminate all but the fastest and best overall messenger.

Rules vary, but include:

  • Checkpoints – The first checkpoint is given at the start of the race, and on arrival the next checkpoint is revealed to the racer. These work in much the same way a messenger would be assigned deliveries over the course of a day. The route to a checkpoint is left up to the rider and showcases a messenger’s knowledge of the area.
  • Task Checkpoints – In some races upon arriving at a checkpoint the rider may have to perform a task or trick before being given the next location. This allows organizers to be as creative as they desire. Task checkpoints can involve physical tasks, such as climbing stairs, taking a shot of alcohol or hot sauce, performing a skillful trick, or can test the racer’s mind, such as reciting trivia or messenger related knowledge. Often there is not a task at all of the checkpoints in a race and tasks/checkpoints can sometimes be skipped (potentially at a loss of points) if a rider feels that time to complete a task is not worth the points they would earn.
  • Checkpoints Up Front – A common format is for organizers to give the checkpoints/manifest 5–30 minutes before the start of the race. This allows the rider to choose the best route between stops.
  • Point Collection – Some races use a scavenger hunt style race where each stop is worth a certain number of points. These are often races of the Checkpoints Up Front variety and a rider may decide to not stop at some checkpoints valuing an earlier completion time over the points a particular stop may earn them.

Riders do not wear conventional race numbers; instead, “spoke cards“, originally Tarot cards but now often specially printed for the event, have the rider’s race number added with a marker pen and are then wedged between the spokes of the rear wheel. Spoke cards are often kept on the wheel by riders as a souvenir, leading to an accumulation of them over time.

M74 Bike and Hike

What a nice day.

Weather wise not the greatest with heavy rain showers and gusty winds but for us it was great. Went down as a family – cycling the 5km to Shields Road where the ride was starting from. Ruby (age6) is getting very good at cycling on the roads in traffic … this time escorted by Jolene on the Yuba Mundo in front and me on the Klein mtb behind.

last time we see this on a bike

Met up with some friends who had also made the journey.

Pinned numbers

ruby on her great islabike
Jolene and Bella on the Yuba Mundo

Then we were off.

under construction

Only did the 4km loop with family as they had cycled down and we were cycling a further 5km to the West End for lunch afterwards … I think 30 odd km for a 6 year old might have us reported to Childline.

Tom raring to go

When we finished Tom and I quickly did the 14km route … quickly may be more apt when heading east with the wind behind us – but turning around we faced that devil but still made steady progress on our return. One roadie zoomed past us – I am guessing the roadies did their race much earlier.

the Brommie Squad

A big shout out (apart from that to family and friends) goes out to the Brompton posse – regulars readers will know I have one and I am a big fan – but this is a Glasgow group of cycling advocates and seemingly great people that I hardly had the chance to natter to as I went to take their pic ….


On a day when the light was as…


On a day when the light was as you thought only existed in landscapes by Gainsborough, five hundred dapper gallants on bicycles, dressed up to the nines in tweeds and other fancy gear, set out from St Paul’s Cathedral at midday to flaunt their finery in the face of the metropolis’ populace. And to see this vast current of stylish cyclists go forth from the great cathedral – launching themselves with a cheer down Ludgate Hill on flawless Spring day – it was a joyous spectacle, guaranteed to melt the heart of any foolish misanthrope in a flash.

I never saw so much tweed gathered together in one place, as I saw that morning beneath the gleaming dome towering overhead. There were so many plus-fours and suits and jackets and trews and caps and waistcoats and ties, that I thought my vision was going awry for all the herring-bone pattern crossing my retina. Yet everyone looked different from another, everyone wore tweed differently and everyone had dressed to look their very best, expressive of their relish at being among the first five hundred who managed to snaffle up one of the coveted tickets. The gentlemen had waxed their moustaches and the ladies had primped their perms. Groomed and shining, all were raring to leap astride their mounts and take the city by storm, riding vintage bicycles, penny-farthings and tandems and boneshakers. There was even a piano-bicycle with a pianist who kept on pedalling even as he played the keys.

Just in its third year, no wonder the magnificent Tweed Run is already a global sensation. Beginning with one hundred and sixty cyclists arrayed in tweed for a turn around London in January 2009, it has now inspired copycat events in sixteen other cities across the world including New York, Paris, Sydney and Tokyo. Elegant in its simplicity, the notion of enthusiasts for traditional cycling attire banding together for a beano, enjoying a high old time, lifting the spirits of a city and raising money for bikes for Africa, the Tweed Run is one of the things we can be proud of giving to the world.

The traffic ground to a halt – horns honked and five hundred cycle bells tinkled – and drivers leaned from their windows to gawp in awestruck delight as, like salmon coursing through a great river, the playful cyclists of the Tweed Run teemed through the city streets spreading innocent amazement, causing pedestrians to stop in wonder and break into laughter at the bizarre poetry of this unique event.

Across Westminster Bridge they pedalled, over to the Palace then down the Mall, around Trafalgar Square and up Regent St – where Saturday shoppers broke into cheers and applause – before veering East to arrive at Lincoln’s Inn Fields at two for tea. Remarkably for such an unseasonably warm day and the ubiquity of tweed, there were few who displayed visible perspiration or reddening of the face, although the queue for a cuppa stretched halfway to the Old Cheshire Cheese and the lawn was littered with those grateful to recline upon the soft green grass in the shade of the heavy blossom and freshly unfurled leaves overhead. Music from the bandstand drifted gently among the trees as photographers took advantage of this colourful fête champêtre, while the tweedy cyclists, having become a tribe now, turned enthusiastically gregarious, and since they no longer required any introduction to one to another, a spontaneous sense of communal goodwill and excitement arose which overflowed the park.

From here, as the afternoon shadows lengthened, it was a straight home run Eastward down the Clerkenwell Rd to arrive at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Social Club, completing the day’s modest ten mile jaunt. There was singing and tap dancing, and a lively trade in pints at the bar as parched cyclists quenched their thirsts, and the party soon spilled out onto the green where new friends were swapping contacts as the time for farewells drew near. Lingering late and reluctantly leaving, it was a day of beautiful hullaballoo, already containing the anticipation of fond memories to come.

Later, I realised how rare it was to see so many people relaxed and happy in public, and inhabiting the city streets as if they owned them – which we all do. The day was a celebration of our great city which offers an unsurpassed backdrop to life, and the day was celebration of British idiosyncrasy and our culture that delights in imaginative individuality of all kinds, and the day was celebration of dressing up and having fun, and the day was a celebration of moustaches, and the day was celebration of cycling, and, naturally, the day was a celebration of tweed – because, in case you did not know it, tweed is sexy again.