With the threat of thunderstorms looming in the forecast, we anxiously completed final preparations for the 2016 Girls of Summer All Women’s Alley Cat Race. Rain or Shine, this race was happening.
Despite the ominous clouds, 2016 turned out to be another year for the record books, as 103 racers and over 30 volunteers turned out for a glorious day of miles, smiles, and just a little bit of rain!
Starting around 1:30pm, our volunteers began gathering at Gas Works Park to pick up their supplies for their check points. We do our best to keep all the stops as secret as possible from the women, so when eager racers arrived early, we had to shoo them away until we were had the volunteers prepped and on their way across the city to their respective check points.
At 2:00, we opened registration and quickly had a line. Women from Oregon, Olympia, Vancouver BC, and Seattle snacked on Luna Bars from our generous sponsor, made fast friends with each other and shared race day strategies. Anticipation ran high as racers pondered questions such as the route direction, if there would be a secret stop, and if we would bring back the dreaded tire change stop.
Just after 3pm, after a quick group photo and race debriefing from Monica, the race was on! In Girls of Summer tradition, we keep all the details of the race secret until we say GO! At that moment the racers SPRINT to their bike to find the manifest with all the stop locations in their bike wheels and are then left to their own devices to come up with a route plan.
This year, we came up with an Old Timey theme with the following stops:
- Soundview Terrace Park: At this hidden gem on the west side of Queen Anne facing Interbay, racers had to decorate their bike. We supplied fake flowers, ribbons, and crepe paper, with a special prize for best decorated bike
- I-5 Colonnade: This park is well known as an urban mountain biker paradise, but we turned it into a throwback for childhood games. At this stop, racers had to play Jacks and Hopskotch, before getting their nail painted as proof of completion.
- Magnolia Park: Hearkening back to races of the 70’s and 80’s, we took a page from their bad habits. This was our “booze and cigarettes” stop, where women had to consume a candy cigarette and blow a bubble, and either a shot of long island iced tea, or non-alcoholic iced tea. Special thanks to the volunteers at this stop for not only hauling heavy shit across town, but also providing their own lemons!
- Ross Park: As some women predicted, we did bring back the tire change stop this year. For this challenge, racers had to prove that they could change a tire- if they did it on their own bike, they got a 5 minute time bonus. As one racer put it “I changed a flat in the challenge with a quickness even though I’d never done it before!”
- 28th Ave Street End: Sailors and pirates greeted racers at this street end park, where our volunteers created quite the festive atmosphere, with Professor Dave even playing festive tunes on a flute. Racers had to apply a temporary tattoo and come up with their best sea shanty at this nautical detour. The top three sea shanty’s were then read by the authors at the after party.
- Lawton Park: Memories of the race were captured at our old timey photo booth stop where a backdrop and flouncy hats were waiting for them.
As always, racers could do the stops in any order they chose, but unlike traditional alley-cats instead of having their manifest signed, we continued with our own tradition of painting a nail to prove they made it to each checkpoint. Some of the racers now know which of the volunteers are experts at the nail paining and who to avoid.
The race finished at The Boxcar Alehouse, where we celebrated all the racers and awarded prizes from our generous sponsors.
speaking of SPONSORS!
Holy buckets did they come through this year! Huge thank you’s to all of the following for their generous support:
- Portland Design Works
Beautiful simple gear for everyday cycling.
- Public Bikes
Bicycles designed to meet the needs of today’s urban environment
- Surly Bikes
Surly designs and produces durable, versatile bikes, frames, & parts for people who ride a lot. No B.S. Unless you deserve it.
- Chrome Industries
For over 15 years, Chrome has been making gear that lasts. They never forget that people count on it.
- Hold Fast
Adjustable foot straps with durability, and style.
Sex toys for a passionate world.
- Recycled Cycles
Used bikes, new bikes, plus a full array of both new and used bicycle components, accessories, and parts.
Hip and functional lights, cycle computers, locks, bags, and more.
- Raleigh The best road bikes money can buy.
- Back Alley Bike Repair
Personalized bicycle repair, sales and service in Pioneer Square and Downtown Seattle.
- Liquid Courage Flasks
Handmade flasks to match every personality!
- Stumptown Coffee Roasters
Highest quality fresh roasted coffee.
The strongest + best rims ever!
- Seattle Powder Coat
Make that bike pretty with the best powder coater in the city.
- All-City Cycles
We are a company of riders making products for other riders.
- Sun Liquor
Independent gin & vodka distillery with a small lounge serving classic cocktails & casual eats.
- Toast Tea Threads
Wool Up-cycled caps and apparel made in the pacific northwest!
- Nantucket Baskets
Unique, hand-crafted baskets for your bicycle.
- The Bikery
Fix it, ride it, teach others.
- Damask Tattoo
Women owned friendly tattoo studio.
- Cyclefab LLC
A custom fabrication & repair shop located in Seattle, Washington.
Alternate routes for your ride.
Wheels when you want them.
Kitchen-crafted bars to help keep you nourished throughout your busy day.
- Peddler Brewing Company
Bike centric microbrewery and tasting room in the Ballard neighborhood
- All Hail The Black Market
A collection of stimulating flotsam, hand picked and curated in the singular hope to put the ‘cult’ back in bicycle culture.
AND FINALLY RESULTS!!!
After all, it is a race… (you’ll see, the 5 minute time bonus came into play in quite a few of these results). Please excuse any name typos as we were typing in a flurry.
Top 3 Finishers
1. Sammi-Jo Lee – 1 hour, 57 minutes
2. Diane Zaida – 2 hours, 3 minutes
3. Clarissa Allen – 2 hours, 4 minutes
First Single Speed/Fixed
Heidi Jo Thompson- 2 hours, 17 minutes
First Masters (45+)
Claire Petersky – hours, 34 minutes
Sea Shanty Notables
Pretty Pretty Princess (Best Decorated Bike)
|Place||Name||Finish Time||Time Bonus||Final Time||Fixed/Single Speed?||Masters?|
|6||Heidi Jo Thompson||5:22||5||5:17||yes|
|73||Andrea J Bernard||6:35||6:35|
|5 Stops or fewer|
|88||Emily Kotz||5:11||5:11 – 5 stops|
|89||Kelli Refer||6:17:15||6:17:15 5 stops|
|90||Lindsay Parker||6:17:30||6:17:30 5 stops|
|91||Robyn Ellis||6:17:45||6:17:45 5 stops|
|92||Talia Tittlefitz||6:18||6:18 5 stops|
|93||Lori Woudbury||6:18||6:18 5 stops||yes|
|94||Gabriela Carvallo||6:18||6:18:30 5 stops|
|96||Edie Rouleau||6:53||6:53 5 stops||yes|
|97||Clair Kieffeer-Peterson||6:54||6:54 5 stops|
|95||Melinda Thrasher||6:20||6:20 3 stops|
|DNF||Maya Li||DNF – no manifest|
All of our photos can be seen in our Flickr group Menstrual Monday. Thank you to everybody who came out, to our sponsors, our volunteers and we can’t wait to see you next year!
Keep an eye on our Facebook page and join us for our monthly rides.