There is a strong history to Alleycat racing. I most definitely wasn’t aware of the roots when I threw my first race three years ago. For me it was just a really cool race structure (or lack of) that I thought St. Louis’ urban cyclists would appreciate.
A lot of alley cat races are popping up around the country. Some are run by large beer and energy drink companies or other corporations who want to sell product using a checkpoint scavenger hunt. These races aren’t run by messengers nor are they put on for the benefit of the messenger community. Is it wrong to call this an alleycat? I guess that depends on who you ask.
I attended the CMWC‘s a few years ago in Chicago. There’s no doubt that I felt like an outsider. I had a great admiration toward these guys and girls. They were crusty, tattered, drunk, but fast as hell and could react in a split second. I was just a fixie foo who was drawn to the whole culture.
I, with the help of a few SpokedSTL dudes, launched Spoked Couriers on January 1st. When I made the decision to give it a go, I reached out to TCB Courier. They are no doubt the largest and hardest working courier service in North America running over 400 dels a day. During my first phone conversations with Trevor from TCB he tole me, “Your never going to make money. If that’s you motivation, give it up now.”
My messenger experience isn’t notable. I do spend more time in the saddle on a daily basis than most, but that doesn’t make anyone a messenger. My goal is to make enough money with my bike to pay my bills. I’m not trying to prove anything to anyone – except myself.
NPR did a published a story today about goldsprints. SpokedSTL has been doing these stationary bike races few years now. Recently they have been taking place at A&M Bicycles about once a month. We’ll be announcing them here and on our FB Page as they pop up.
is almost here. The Mr. Bumpyface Track Series starts the first week of May — that’s only three months away. 2014 is the second year in a large fundraising initiative to rebuild the Penrose Park Velodrome. Over the years, the black-top surface of Mr. Bumpy Face has deteriorated. Recently the ground under the pavement has become unstable causing the track to begin sliding down the hill. The city of St. Louis has awarded the Penrose Park Velodrome Steering Committee a gracious sum of money for improvements to the track and it’s facilities including new bathrooms and a parking lot. Construction is planned for the year 2015. Support Penrose Park.
SpokedSTL will be running another free pre-season clinic. This clinic is ideal for newbies and anyone who wants to see what it’s all about. Nothing is required except a bike and a helmet. You can ride any bike you want — no need to buy that track just to try out the sport. These clinics run every Thursday in April. SpokedSTL Pre-Season Clinic on the Penrose Park Velodrome site and of course the Facebook Events.
Lot’s of cool stuff has happened since I posted last. The SpokedSTL team did pretty well for our first CX season. The track bikes were hung on the wall for a few months in exchange for single speed cross bikes with those knobbies. Mud!
We have a few new additions to the team. We’ve added a few new guys, but I’m personally more excited about the handful of new women on the team. SpokedSTL has always tried to give back to the community while challenging the norm. This year we hope to do our part to encourage new riders to try the sport.
The SpokedSTL team has some new sponsors for the 2014 season. All-City was added as our bike sponsor towards the end of the 2013 season and will continue through 2014. In addition, we have teamed with Velocity Wheels, and Knog lights and stuff. We’re mostly excited to announce our new shop sponsor will be A&M Bicycles (new website coming soon). The owner of A&M, Karl, has an insane wealth of knowledge of racing and all things bikes. His shop is small, personal, and overflowing with knowledge and skill. Our 2013 season will be tough to beat, but we’re up for the challenge.
Here are a few videos that Ernesto Pacheco has made — as usual, some rad stuff. Let’s start with a few CX videos.
Matt and Chris shredding some steel on dirt. This season’s Single Speed category is usually about 20 deep and the competition is pretty burly. If you’re in St. Louis, or anywhere for that matter, come check out the Bubba Cross Series every Sunday.
In celebration of the best time of the year, our buddy Ernesto Pacheco surprised us with a little video. Here’s the link on Vimeo.