Monday, April 18, 2011

We Rode Bikes, Got Dirty, and Had a Party

Thank you everyone for coming out on Saturday to the Rally Cat and helping to raise money for Spokeland! Together, we raised $300 to help the fledgling bicycle cooperative build out their new space located in North Oakland. Keep posted to their website for information on the shop grand opening.

Huge thanks to the event sponsors - All Hail the Black Market, Box Dog Bikes, Chuey Brand, De La Paz Coffee, and MashSF - for donating prizes to the top finishers. And of course, a very special thank you to all the folks that came through on Saturday to work checkpoints, cook food, and help clean up after the event. We couldn't have made it happen with you! Check out the links below for some photos of the event:

plattyjo's flickr
Bici Girl's flickr

78 people registered for the event this year, 74 finished, and the rest were all accounted for. And in case you were wondering, check out some of the top finishers below:

1. Scott K.
2. Dustin W.
3. Ricardo M.
4. Murphy M.
5. Blake V.K.
6. Kea H.
7. Sasha M.
8. Christon D.
9. Sam B.
10. Fred C. (singlespeed)
11. James J.
12. Jonathan W.
13. Chas C.
14. Kevin L.
15. Tom R.
16. Thomas H.
17. Bryan C.
18. Adam S. (singlespeed)
19. Max H. (singlespeed)
20. Eric T.

1. Romany M.
2. Katie S.
3. Sam B.
4/5/6/7. Jenny O./Leah P./Bridget M./Alia S.
8. Amanda L. (singlespeed)
9. Ulrika
10. Arena and May

King/Queen of the Mountain
Walton B. and Leah P.!

Thanks again everyone! See you next year (if not sooner)!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Get Ready to Get Rad

At last, the Rally Cat is finally only two days away and we couldn't be in better shape. As a reminder to folks, registration will open at 11.30am at the Mosswood Park Amphitheater. $10 signs you up for the ride, gets you a map of the route, food and refreshments at the end of the ride, and includes a donation to Spokeland. The ride will start promptly at 12.30pm. I expect the speediest among you to finish the ride in close to 2.5 hours, with the rest trickling in for the next couple hours. The after party will be held at the starting location in Mosswood Park.

This year's course is roughly 10 miles longer than the previous course and includes a similar amount of climbing. The course will include the usual mix of city riding, semi-rural roads, fire roads and "singletrack". Of course, all trails included on the map are bike legal. The East Bay is very hilly, and this ride is no exception. There will be steep hill climbs, bumpy downhill dirt descents, dirt climbs and whatever else I can throw at you. Choose a bike that you will have fun on and will get you through the course safely. A cross bike would do the trick, but so would a nice hardtail with skinny tires. Hell, even a road bike with fatty tires will suffice, although not my recommendation.

Things to look out for include crazy Berkeley/Oakland motorists and motorcyclists on the roads and hikers, dog walkers and park rangers on the trails. *Be safe and considerate when passing anyone on trails. Anyone caught acting like an asshole will be automatically DQ'd.*

What to bring?
Layers, water, and tools - including a spare tube, patch kit, mini-pump and multi-tool. If you want to bring a bag with a change of clothes, there will be a bag check at registration. Maybe a snack or two.

What are the prize categories?
While we hope people turn out for the ride with the intent to have fun and support Spokeland, there will be small prizes from our generous sponsors for the "top" finishers. Categories will include geared and singlespeed classes for both men and women. And as is tradition, we'll have a klunker class and of course, the lanterne rouge (DFL)*.

I've got a few tricks up my sleeve this year, so expect some changes from previous Rally Cats. I guess that's all you need to know. Ride safe and see you on Saturday!

* Categories subject to last minute additions according to the whims of the organizer and amount of drink consumed.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Location! Location! Location! - Mosswood Park Amphitheater

Thank you everyone for being so patient with me on announcing the start/finish location for this year's Rally Cat. After two years of hosting the event at beautiful Lake Temescal, I've decided to move it down the hill to friendly Mosswood Park, which is located at the corner of Broadway and West MacArthur Boulevard in North Oakland. Look for us down in the amphitheater at the southeast corner of the park next to the tennis courts.

Registration will open at 11:30 am Saturday morning. Ride will start at 12:30 pm sharp. Keep posted for another blog update this week with more event details. See y'all this weekend!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I think I slept for 12 hours

Thank you everyone that came out yesterday for the Plan B(eastly) ride to put in several hours on the bike in the cold, driving rain. It was great to see old friends and make some new ones while braving the elements. I hope everyone got home safely, warmed up, and are now recovering from a challenging day riding around the East Bay. Extra special thanks to Murphy for handling registration and coordinating the after party. There was something extra sweet about being handed a shot of Jameson to warm up with when we got back to the warehouse from the ride. Thanks Murph! Also, a big thanks to Sheila Moon for hosting the after party and to Clif Bar for coming through with energy food to sustain us throughout the ride.

Yesterday's ride made me even more excited about the Rally Cat next month. Hope to see everyone out there on the 16th!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Plan B(eastly)

To make up for postponing the Rally Cat a few days before the event and to give us something to do this weekend, we thought we could throw together another "fun" ride for this Saturday. After consulting with my esteemed advisor, Murphy Mack, we bring you "Plan B(eastly)" - featuring some of the best East Bay road riding. Check the details below.

What: Rainy road ride. Expect 40 or so miles and a fair amount of climbing. Nothing too crazy. Bring $5 for a map and jersey pocketful of Clif products. $10 for beer and BBQ for the afterparty.

Where: Start and finish at Sheila Moon World Headquarters in beautiful Emeryville, CA - 5900 Hollis Street (located at the back of the building near Doyle Street and 61st Street).

When: 10 am!

What to bring: A road bike, or a CX bike with slicks. Rain gear. Water. Tubes, patch kit and a pump or CO2. Maybe a dry change of clothes for the finish.

What to expect: Good times. Excellent road riding. Beer and food at the finish.

We hope to see you out there on Saturday. If not, we'll most definitely see you at the April 16 Rally Cat!

Rally Cat Postponed to April 16

I hate to do it, but this storm blowing through the Bay Area has really put a damper on planning for the Rally Cat this year. So we've decided to push the date back on the event to Saturday, April 16 @ 12pm to let the trails dry out, figure out some other logistics, and maybe pick up some more sponsors. Sincere apologies to the folks that have requested time off from work or arranged day care for kids in order to attend the Rally Cat. To make up for it, we've got something else a bit more pavement oriented (did I just say that?!) brewing for folks to do this Saturday - ride details forthcoming. Otherwise, keep posted here for more info on the April event!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Another Update on Sponsors and Some Event Details

Recovering from that other mixed-terrain "fun" ride across the bay has allowed me to spend some time pulling in other sponsors for the Rally Cat. Good news! From the looks of things, Box Dog Bikes will be back for a third year as a sponsor of the Rally Cat. These folks have been solid supporters since the beginning and consistently turn out for the event. Thanks BDB! And just to make things extra special, All Hail the Black Market and MASH SF will be coming through with a few prizes for riders. Big thanks to the kind folks behind these fine establishments for supporting the Rally Cat.

In other news, the route is coming together quite nicely. In addition to covering some familiar territory, we'll be exploring some new roads in the East Bay. Expect a slightly longer route than previous years, some tough climbs and fun dirt sections. And for those that keep asking, please take note of what the Rally Cat will not be...

I'm still working out the exact start location, but I will tell you that it'll be easily accessible by BART and have plenty of street parking. Check back here next week for updates!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Giving Back

For the first time, proceeds from the Rally Cat will go to support a local organization doing cool work in our community. This year, a portion of your $10 event donation will go to benefit Spokeland, a recently formed bike cooperative in Oakland.

"Spokeland is a non-profit, community-driven bicycle cooperative that aims to reach out locally and foster Oakland unity. We support the use of bicycles as an alternate means of transportation as well as a healthy recreational activity.

We are focused on providing a safe and fun workspace for people of all ages, ethnicities, and cultures, genders, sexual orientations, and skill levels.

We offer bicycle safety and maintenance education in a sustainable environment that helps to build knowledge, empowerment, and self- reliance for members of our community."

Keep up the good work, folks!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Things Are Starting to Come Together...

De La Paz Coffee and Chuey Brand are both back as event sponsors for a third year in a row. These folks are always down to support the Bay Area bike scene. Be sure to check them out. And check back here for updates on start location!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Yep, looks like we're on again

March 19 April 16. New route. Old friends. Same deal. Keep posted for more details.