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Cyclists race in the Rad Massaker alleycat

on July 12, 2010

“What you’ll need for a day of suffering” read the top of the invitation for this year’s Rad Massaker alleycat bicycle race, which instructed bikers to bring water, spare tubes, energy gel and helmets. Sunday afternoon, hordes of cyclists showed up at Mosswood Park prepared to brave the pain. After the “ready, set, go,” 120 cyclists jumped on their bikes and fanned out across the East Bay—from East Oakland’s Embarcadero to the Mormon temple on top of the Oakland Hills out to the summit of Richmond Hill overlooking the Chevron refinery.

“Alleycats” are wild, free-for-all, underground, unsanctioned bike races without a set course—bikers are given a list of checkpoints spread across a region and they have to figure out the best route to get to each destination and the finish point. Knowledge of city streets is equally important to physical endurance. In attempts to beat each other to checkpoints and ultimately the finish the race first, cyclists are known for dangerously weaving through traffic, running red lights and jumping curbs to cut corners.

Sunday was the second annual Rad Massaker alleycat race, which covered 45 miles of the East Bay, including Oakland, Piedmont, Berkeley, Albany and Richmond. All proceeds from the $10 entry fee went to the non-profit Cycles of Change, which works to bring cycling to low-income areas of the Bay Area. Of the 120 bikers to enter the race, only 90 were able to finish this year’s grueling ride. Chas Christiansen came in first for men and Michelle Krivanek got first for women. There were so many prizes that even those who came in nearly dead last, were still able to get at least some sort of memento from the race.

Full disclosure: I participated in the race and the majority of the photos are of my riding partners—one of whom got third place for women, Katie Styer. Read this story in the East Bay Express about last year’s race.

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  1. Andy K on July 12, 2010 at 4:13 pm


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