Whilst many took to their heels to escape the city during the Easter break, the Cemetery Cycling Club (CCC) took to their wheels to cut through the traffic of London’s streets.
Video credit: Roman Sawbones
And indeed why not, if for swiftly coming from A to B you get £200 as well as a frame and forks (plus headset and seat post). For being a first fixie you snatch a helmet & goggles too. Look out for the helmet in this photoreport to find out who bombed it first over the line.
My role in the whole palaver was merely to document the race, I still felt wired before meeting the road ninjas: covered in balaclavas, on beater bikes, with prominent tattoos politely advising cabs not to mess.
The date was set for Saturday afternoon in deep East London, hence making my way from Far Far West felt warming enough to be an ice-breaker both: physically and mentally. Felt excited on seeing familiar faces from the Alleycat feature film and the founders of the CCC were very cordial and greeted me with milkey&sweet coffee!
As riders were arriving munchies in form of hot drinks and bagels were made available. The hour before the start everyone used to gulp down bananas, check directions&maps and talk bikes. The turning point was to find out who was in attendance. A couple of long-standing messengers knew the shortcuts and the less familiarised with the route were plotting pursuit chase.
The distance to cover is not for a weakhearted. The weekend before the alleycat I ventured out to test my map reading abilities. Leaving at 2 in the afternoon and being delivered home (in a car) at 1 o’clock at night I was still missing the last leg. Not sure how much of that time was real cycling, as my voyage included a plenty of detours, checking-out-that-cycling-shop and a lovely lunch at The Angel Inn in Highgate.
Alleycats are known for being raced on fixed gear bikes, merely because they are organised and ridden by couriers. Though the no rules is a no rules indeed, and if you want to keep your breaks that’s fine and the geared bikes are not frown upon at the CCC races either. As long as you come along and enjoy the flight.
Due to my ever-prudential character I carried a good stock of bananas, water and nutbars. Soon enough I was distributing the supplies to the gang, took some possessions into my bag and worried myself sick.
After filming the start line (stay tuned, there is a vid coming out) I legged it straight to the last checkpoint. Everyone caught up in a matter of minutes. Like some established press group we set up our tripods and gadgets to make sure we capture the high intensity shit properly. The riders did not make themselves wait. As I was sipping on my cappucino I spotted Matt’s yellow jersey and realised they were going to pop out in front of us within 3 seconds.
And the winners are: 1st Will , 2nd Matt, 3rd Roman. Average speed 35 m/h bombed in 1.35 minutes or so.
The racers were excited and knackered.
Making it first at the CCC alleycat Will has secured himself a CCC frame.
Good spirits were shared amongst everyone.
Did not go so smooth for everyone though. Frank came off his bike, loosing the precious minutes.
Finally after a brief respite everyone headed to the cemetery for rewarding goulash and pickles. Unfortunately the lack of riding, penetrating cold and urge for refuel has ushered me out as I could not wait for the fire to to be assembled.
Special thank you to James & Clarence from CCC & Subtle couriers.
For the next point to point race look no further than here:
Video credit: Tunnel Vision