Nine racers lined up in a parking lot off of Lower Greenville Saturday ready to begin an Alleycat race, hosted by Transit Bicycle Company and Parade of Flesh, a music talent booking agency. Donning elaborate facial hairstyles, racing gear and two-wheeled vehicles, they were ready to take on the City of Dallas.
Alleycat races are unsanctioned contests that began in the 1980s as a way for bike messengers to test their navigation skills. Transit has hosted about 10 races, and Saturday’s version featured vehicles ranging from fixed gear to mountain bikes. In addition to navigation, the event requires racing and puzzle skills.
Saturday’s event was an “office” theme and began with contestants smashing a printer piñata, an homage to the movie “Office Space.” Next, riders completed tasks such as eating powdered donuts, tying a dress tie and getting parking validated in a downtown garage. Volunteer administrators waited at different locations throughout Dallas, including the White Rock spillway overlook.
“There are so many ways to play with the city as a landscape,” says Fran Badgett, Transit’s owner.
The race allowed participants to complete the tasks via a route of their choosing. Some riders went 12 miles while others traveled closer to 20. They all were required to wear helmets, sign a waiver and acknowledge the danger of riding through the city on a bike.
Badgett hopes to have another Alleycat race in May. Word of mouth and Transit’s Instagram are the best ways to find out details about the next race.
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