Alleycat: Urban Street Bike Race Marks 10 Years

The All City Championships is among the biggest annual alleycat races in the U.S. The Minneapolis event celebrated a 10th anniversary this past weekend, and we were there to race and be a part of the show.

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Racers line up at Gold Medal Park in Minneapolis, ready to run downhill to their bikes below

In 2006, Jeff Frane created a bicycle street race to be the summer version of Minneapolis’ famed Stupor Bowl.

With tricky race tasks meant to emulate a working bicycle courier’s daily duties, summertime heat and humidity, and a course longer than most, the 10th All City Championship pushed even veteran racers to their limits.

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Open course: Racers make final adjustments to routes at the start

A “pick-and-drop” section required riders to plan the most efficient way to shuttle multiple trips between four points. During the long “crosstown hustle,” racers’ manifests were sealed to prevent them from picking up additional stamps, which are acquired at checkpoints across the city.

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One racer’s map of Minneapolis with stops marked

GearJunkie HQ served as a checkpoint in the race, one of about a dozen “stops” on the course, along with bike shops, parks, beaches, bars, and a famous water tower on a hill overlooking the town.

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Racer Ben Lagerquist approaches the secret start location at Gold Medal Park

Here’s a look at the race in 15+ photos to get a peek at the places and personalities that make All City unique. (More photos here.)

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Max Dingemans rolls up to the Palmer’s Bar pick-and-drop checkpoint
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All City Championship organizer Jeff Frane and racer Anne Skoglund look over a manifest
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Former champion Martin Rudnick tweaks his route
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Second-place finisher Beth Franklin plans her route with a riding partner
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One On One Bicycle Studio owner Gene Oberpriller (center) on the dock, surveys the crowd building in the alley
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GearJunkie editor Stephen Regenold at a checkpoint on Minneapolis’ West Bank
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A racer hustles to take off from a checkpoint
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A tricky set of stone stairs, followed by a few hundred feet of trail, more stairs, and a sandy beach await racers at the White Sands checkpoint
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A few bikes await their riders atop the stairs above the Mississippi River
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A mechanical issue temporarily sidelines a racer
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Checkpoint volunteer stamps a racer’s manifest
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Checkpoint along Mississippi River
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Racer Corey Soderquist decided to hang out at the beach for a while
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Cruising up the trail from White Sands Beach, Alex Anderson made the smart choice to bring his bike to the bottom
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One rider’s less-than-ideal route to White Sands Beach left him a little worn out

Results (Top 3 - Women) - All City Championships 2015

  • Jana Velo
  • Beth Franklin
  • Chelsea Strate

Results (Top 3 - Men) - All City Championships 2015

  • Ben Hovland
  • Jon Ziemer
  • Max Severson

 

Results (Top 10 - Overall) - All City Championships 2015

  • Ben Hovland
  • Jon Ziemer
  • Max S.
  • Martin R.
  • Rueben Lange
  • David Smith
  • Jana Velo
  • Ben Lagerquist
  • Stephen Regenold
  • Jeff O’Neill

 

–Bjorn Christianson writes “The Low Five,” a column examining the world of biking through the lens of the Minneapolis cycling scene. All photos (c) Bjorn Christianson. See more on flickr.

tagged: #thelowfive

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In addition to occasional photojournalism, Bjorn is gearjunkie.com’s Director of Design & Development. He rides bikes, enjoys cold beverages, and lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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