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Wend Magazine chases a Portland alleycat

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on June 5th, 2007 at 10:32 am

From Wend Magazine, Spring '07.

The Spring '07 issue of Portland-based Wend Magazine, has a feature article on a recent Portland alleycat race.

Alleycats -- which are usually put on by messengers, but everyone is welcome to participate -- have become a regular fixture on the Portland bike scene.

Wend contributor Johnathon Allen captures the spirit of this fun, yet hardcore discipline with great images and an engaging, first-person narrative (he competed in the event he writes about). Here's an excerpt from the beginning of his piece:

"It wasn’t until I found myself running through a stranger’s backyard in northeast Portland throwing my bike over an 8-foot cyclone fence in a torrential downpour that I bothered asking the question, “What the hell am I doing?”

There is, of course, a logical chain of events involved that makes a twisted sort of sense. It started when I entered a local bike-messenger alleycat race called Too Much Scotty. Apparently, there is more than one messenger named Scotty in the city and it’s important that we all learn to be more Scotty-like in order to absorb the universal wonk. Scheduled as a daylight event without bar stops, it also seemed perfect for photo ops, actual competition and, hopefully, my overall survival."

To experience the rest of the story, grab a copy of Wend at the retailer of your choice.

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  • Elliot June 5, 2007 at 11:05 am

    What a great photo. I bet a lot of people who ride southeast regularly can relate to hoofing it across that wooden bridge rather than detour to Powell or Holgate to cross the freight yard above 17th Avenue.

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  • Bearhat June 5, 2007 at 11:21 am

    That\'s an amazing photo!!

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  • Austin Ramsland June 5, 2007 at 11:21 am

    One fond memory of my first allycat was following Dabby as he crossed through four lanes of busy traffic. There was some honking, some hurt feelings, and a personal sense of wonder where I thought to myself: Am I going to survive the next 30 seconds?

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  • Dabby June 5, 2007 at 11:48 am

    Actually Elliot, the fastest way through the area is under the bridge, where a hole in the fence allows you to roll down the tracks to 17th and Powell, where you can jump over the Jersey Barrier back onto the road....

    And Austin, I remember that alleycat, I think we had the Glory Team of you, Natalie, Ira Ryan, and I......

    It was the Magpie team race, which we basically tied for first....

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  • Austin Ramsland June 5, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    Dabby,
    That would have been a dream team indeed only improved if Michael Jordan were with us riding a Sweetpea fixie; but alas, Natalie was actually on a different squad.

    Incidentally, she talks about seeing one of her teammates on his back in the middle of the intersection of 13th and Hoyt using his feet to try to straighten out his fork after a little mishap. I don\'t think he made it to the finish. . .

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  • AllenInk ~ June 5, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    I\'ve been a fan of BikePortland for some time and read it routinely while making my usual rounds of the blog-o-sphere. I was stoked to see your props/plug for my Wend feature on the Too Much Scotty alley cat race. Best of all, you spelled my name right ... which almost never happens.

    Thanks Jonathan ... and viva la PUMA!

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