Ultimate Alleycat

Westside Joe’s Bikes sponsored an event this month, the Ultimate Alleycat and Scavenger Hunt. Rules:

Pick up two spoke cards, two raffle tickets, and one manifest of locations in the East Bay Area.  Teams will have until 5pm Sunday January 21st (9 hours) to reach as many locations as they possibly can and get to the finish at Line 51 Brewing before 5pm.

All locations will be within the East Bay, no further north than Richmond, no further south than San Leandro, no further west than Alameda, and will not go further east than the top of the Berkeley and Oakland Hills.

Well, that seemed like something that needed to be done on uni. It was for teams of two, so I reached out to Nathan, who I hadn’t ridden with since before the pandemic, and he was into it.

Here we go!

The weather forecast was for rain, but we lucked out on the timing; it rained in the early morning, and while we were at the brewery, but not at all while we were on the road. Turned out to be a beautiful day for 78km of varied terrain, including some muddy trails that were fun to slide on the big wheels. No biffs! We mustn’t have been trying hard enough.

Top of Tunnel Road
Lovely view at the top of Tunnel Road
Gravel in Sibley Regional Volcanic Preserve
End of Skyline
Nathan at the end of Skyline
Entering Alameda

We were running out of time after picking up our 10th site (the U.S.S. Hornet), so we had to go for the most unpleasant ride in the entire Bay Area, the Posey Tube, to beat the deadline. Made it with 15 minutes to spare.

Hard to convey how horrible this is. But it’s better on unicycle than bike.

Final total: We got 12 sites out of a possible 17, which tied us for second with three bike teams. But we got three bonus points for doing it on fixies, so we came in second overall! The winners got all 17, which must have been an epic day (the northernmost location was the Rosie the Riveter Museum, the southernmost Raccoon Point at Lake Chabot; we skipped both of those). 78km, 990m of climbing (dang, we shoulda found 10 more meters somewhere).

It was great riding with Nathan again. Using Schlumpfs is too much like work for me to want to do a ride like this often, but it was fun as a bit of nostalgia.

A group of people in a bar decorated by a classic AC Transit Bus raises their hands and glasses in triumph
At Line 51. Photo from Westside Joe’s.