The canopy was blue and clear and the few gentle clouds that came to see the pre-race soon left the scene. It was forecasted to be a 73° clear day in the 408. The Plaza at Cesar Chavez Park gives a clear view to watch as riders arrive from all compass directions. We showed up to pop up registration at 10:15 and riders were already on site ready to give morning greetings … and to size up the field. A few early riders were getting some laps either to warm up or get out the pre-race jitters. I decided not to ask so I’ll never know.
It had been about 4 years since there was an alleycat in San Jose. Riders still talk about the early days, or the iMINUSD era or even the last time we dropped a shirt 6 years ago. No one knew how this day was going to play out, who was going to show up and besides a couple of clues no one knew what to expect from the manifest. Nonetheless, 41 riders, about 15 volunteers, plenty of friends and family, and a few sponsors showed up to find out!
After a brief volunteer meeting, registration began. Arriving to the table were plenty of veteran alleycat riders, bike messengers and a slew of first-timers. We even sent a minor home to bring his father to sign the liability release. I didn’t know if he would come back, but he returned with parent and his dad supported him through the entire race, even up Comm Hill.
Riders circled up to hear details about the manifest and told to pay attention to hear any of the curveballs that might be thrown by the race at high noon. I would tell them the checkpoints would be like a donut where the inner hole would close at 1:00 p.m. while the rest of the donut would remain open until 2:45 p.m. Riders routed on the smartphones, while others planned to follow the pack until they couldn’t anymore.
Riders were informed this race would begin with a rolling start, a couple of neutral laps around the park that would soon turn into an all out scramble for the nearest checkpoints. The laps had a wonderful calm to them. I think riders, especially the locals, were satisfied to enjoy this moment of solidarity with the track bike scene in San Jose, something familiar in these strange times.
I’ll let the riders and their Strava tell the race stories. At the finish line at about 1:45 elapsed time, 3 racers would arrive, 2 in tandem and 1 from a different direction. Javier, Eli and Patrick. Out of breath and ecstatic that race was over, their faces would turn to confusion and disgust when I announced a ninth checkpoint for the top 3. They were told to bring a skeleton from the nearby Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum that they could find laying at the center of the labyrinth. They rode off and after about 5 minutes Javier would return to claim the top spot. He would make it even before anyone else finished the race. Patrick shortly behind and Eli following him. The podium was set.
The rest of the racers would trickle in including Ray “PapiFixed”, a youngbuck from SJ and Rossi, president of SFBMA. Brandon, Joel, Isaac, Martin and Nam. More drinks, food, and race tales were shared as riders would arrive over the next hour or so.
The podium payout was $200 for 1st, $120 for 2nd and $80 for 3rd including being able to pick an item from the prize table. Prizes were distributed based on placing. There were so many prizes, even volunteers and DNF riders were able to take something home.
|1||Javier T (1:45 + 6 min)||@javesec|
Thank you again for coming out to support SJFixed events.
A big thank you goes out to our volunteers: Jeanette, Sherm, Wagner, Adrian, Eli, Louis, Chris, Mike, Dinklepuss, Kosal, Tatis, Memo and Nadhee.
A huge thank you goes out to our sponsors Castelli Cycling, San Jose Bicycles, Park Station Hashery, DELUXE Cycles, Tight Tacos, JTown Pizza, Jack’s Bar, Bicycle Express, Jimmy Paints, Downtown Screen Printers, Yabba Dabba Extracts, Dezi Bikes, Wagner and Dai. A big shout out to Jimmy for pushing us to get a shirt together. You helped create the hype in a big way and everyone who pre-registered walked away with something.
The photos are being hosted at the following links.
If you use a photo you MUST give photo credit and tag to our photographers.
It was a wonderful day for a race but an even better day to build a bike community in San Jose. Thanks for supporting SJFixed events.
Stay tuned for the video edit.