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Simply put, and Alleycat Race is an unsanctioned race, usually check point to check point, where the winner is not always the fastest, as knowing the lay of the city in which you are racing is key to victory. Historically these races were conceived and produced by bike messengers, for bike messengers. This remains true of Alleycats today though non-messenger participation is often allowed and many non-messenger individuals and organizations produce similar events.
Alleycats originated with Johnny "JetFuel" Englar of Toronto, Canada in 1986-87. Johnny was a messenger at the time and is still known today for throwing great races and events.
Alleycats by messengers are always open course, live traffic events. Emphasis is placed on the navigational aspects of these rides, often termed rides rather than races because the most challenging opponent faced is the course, not those riding it with you. While there are often celebratory alleycats at major messenger events such as the CMWC, the NACCC, or the ECMC these events are not themselves alleycats. CMWC/NACCC/ECMC events are closed course, insured and IFBMA sanctioned yearly events that draw hundreds of messengers from around the world.
There are no defining qualities of an alleycat that cannot be manipulated by the organizer, except that the course require navigational abilities that define the event, thus preventing any confusion between simple racing and alleycat events.
- http://www.alleycatracing.com/ - Here is a listing for Alley Cat Races all over. If you are promoting one, be sure to register it.
- http://www.messengers.org/ - International Federation of Bike Messenger Associations
- Photo Essay of the Alley Cat race held on September 21, 2008 in St. Louis, Missouri. Riverfront Times, St. Louis, Missouri.