“When I heard about TOD Summer Alley Cat Race, I was in Texas for a summer internship, and when I found out that I would be back in New York City for the race I was super psyched. I had done a few races here and there, but never a “real” TOD Alley Cat Race. I wanted to finish as first female in the race, from the moment I heard about it, and that was my goal until I handed in the last manifest that day.
I was working 12 hours shifts, throwing back beers on polo nights at Houston Hardcourt and, in between, trying to get my “training” on in 100 degree weather… I was riding much more than before, but I didn’t feel like that was enough. Plus I had a 3 day trip back to NY where a bike wasn’t my vehicle. I got back on Aug 7th, and the race was Aug 17th. 10 days wasn’t much but it was all I had to get back into the swing of riding NYC streets…in the summer. I arrived back in NYC, got straight on my bike and went straight to Union Sq to see if anyone was riding, and who but Shardy was there to greet me back to the city. Me him and a few friends biked around, and from that day in and out I rode through traffic, drafted ugly mens worn away compression shorts in CP and paved my way through a new city of shiti bikes, neon fixies, and tourist mania through heated pavement.
The Friday night before the race me & Cesar had decided not to go out because we both wanted to be in top form for the race on Saturday….well Cesar had a few shots for his dad’s bday and I gave in to ONE, but if you know me, then you know I made a big effort to stop just there. We woke up, made ourselves a hearty breakfast and got ourselves to 23rd and FDR where the race would start. There were already people anxiously waiting. It wasn’t like my first race, where I thought I was gonna puke before I even started…but I still had a little knot in my stomach, I wanted first girl so bad and had spoke to some guys about it who had told me not to “sleep on some of the other girls”. I saw a few girls come up, but as it turned out there would only be a few of us racing and all I could think was, “thank god im not up against 80 or so dudes”.
I drank some water, had some redbull and got my bike and self into position. All of us were stood side by side waiting for Shardy to yell to us where to get our manifest…”3-2-1…Go get your manifest at Washington Square- BOOM, easy peasy lemon squeezy, all of us were neck and neck weaving to get there and of course street fair mania blocked me a little when I got there, did some sidewalk maneuvers and got my manifest. 160th and Riverside BLVD….fucked that one up the last time, so DEF knew where that one was….I went straight to the WSH…but for real, AGAIN I hit ANOTHER mini street fair, this time some more sketchy sidewalk shit, no time for turning around. I got to WSH, some dude I didn’t know was drafting me, sorta, he was just staying beside me blocking my peripherals of where I was or MIGHT want to go. “Either get in front or behind me man!” I yelled, he listened, and got behind. I got to the 1st checkpoint and off the East River Plaza I went, when I got there it was empty apart from the beautiful Erin and Xtina!…figuring I was far behind and not knowing wtf Naumberg bandshell was, I took a minute to look at the best way to get there and realized it was the bandshell in CP (yeah i’m not a native New Yorker)….then whaddaya know all these dudes come rolling in… I almost laughed and got a little cocky yelling at some dude “I beat all you fucking guys here HAH!” anyways Chuck and Oscar saw me and I hopped up 2nd ave with them and another guy who knew exactly where they were going so I drafted them until I broke through a light some of didn’t get through.
10 push ups and bombing down 5th it was, another easy spot, I was drafting some guy and saw Manny a little ahead. I was hyped he was even in sight cuz I knew he was a fast mothafucka. I didn’t know where the Jersey St checkpoint was but the guys in front did and there was a few of us bombing 5th so I followed- as long as I kept up I’d get to the checkpoint as fast as them, after watching someone fly over a taxi and just missing the crash, most of us ended up the random alleyway where there was the crowds of sweaty men with manifests. I yelled at Rick but he was getting pressured “I don’t have another pen!” he yelled, and oh you know, I had 3, so I handed him one with my manifest, and got it signed. At this point I knew if I helped the guys out a little some might help me, give a little take a little right, hopefully one would let me draft? Luckily I knew where Teardrop park was and yelled at some of the guys giving them the general direction…and they were off…a little too fast, I kept up, but I went down an earlier street and they went a little further…….side note: I’m never doing that again guys!!….if they had stayed with me I would’ve taken them straight to the park, but they were eager. I got there and saw one lonesome dude looking like a lost child, “go in and take a left, just trust me!!” he followed and I ran up the slide, checkpoint asshole goes “NO YOU HAVE TO GIVE ME YOUR MANIFEST FIRST” I run back give him it, run up and slide down, ask for it and check he signed it….motha fucka didn’t sign it…you didn’t sign it! “yes I did”…no you fuckin didn’t, then finally he signed it. The next three checkpoints downtown I didn’t know, I’m not gonna front, I’m no messenger, I’m in nursing school so I don’t find myself amongst the sleazy wall street bastards often. The kid I pointed toward teardrop was with me so I followed him…. he almost took me down the tunnel entering the highway…I was down…but he goes AH FUCK…..we had to turn around….i don’t like turning around…. but I had no choice he knew where to go and I didn’t. I followed him to all 3 check points. At the last before going to Brooklyn Bridge Park we saw a hound of the other guys, and all of a sudden they were gone, and so was my partner?? Wait, I didn’t understand?? Why would he follow them….did I miss something?? I stopped, looked at my manifest, rechecked I did all the check points…and rechecked again…there was no way I was going to the finish line fucking up again (I did that last race).
That’s it. I’d done all the check points and was right by the BK bridge…UGH the fuckin BK bridge, the WORST BRIDGE FOR ANY CYCLIST IN NYC…nah i’m not as bad ass as some of you guys out there taking the road, but I have a loud ass mouth and can get people to move out the way if I really want. So I yelled all the way to BK. I know DUMBO real well, so I went straight to pier 6, an was handed ANOTHER manifest of 3 checkpoints, I was tight. but Andrea was there and obviously couldn’t hold it in yelling “YOUR IN SECOND”….WTF I thought to myself…and was off, there was no time to think…the guys could be right behind, I knew EXACTLY where all 3 checkpoints were. I got to the first and saw Kyle… ‘he must be first’ I thought. No one was at Jay St. to sign the manifest. I knew I was there, I knew the place, fuck it me and Kyle said and took pictures to prove we were there…and there Cesar came along….I thought Cesar had gotten the 2nd manifest so told him where to go. He drafted Kyle most of the way….Barclay Center…again NO ONE, mad annoying…”taking another pic” Kyle said, “not trying to lose my spot, so fuck it we all said, took our pics and bounced. The last spot was 9th St cycles. Kyle was in the lead most of the way, so I figured he would be first, ces second, and me third… I was happy with that. But then there were people to sign the last checkpoint, and ces didn’t have the manifest…..I felt his pain, I had fucked up the last race going to the wrong spot so I knew that feeling all too well. I told him to “fucking push it and don’t give up your going to the finishing checkpoint anyways, push it till the end” so he did, I told him where to go, and started realizing kyle didn’t have much left in him to sprint until the finish…and I still had some in me…PUSH IT CES, Kyles getting tired lets GO!! We lost him and bombed down Atlantic ….coming into the corner, I asked ces like a courteous person would do…lmao, cuz I know NO ONE other than me would’ve asked if they could roll in first, but I fucking did, and ces agreed I deserved it. Well, I rolled in before ces but others were came around another corner so then I wasn’t really sure at that very moment if we really were in first, so I threw the manifest at Oscar who was holding a bunch and (gracefully) fell over and stopped.
It took a second…there were others there, others that had finished…did everyone get the second manifest??? “Hannah, You came in FIRST!!!” “What???” I was in dis fucking belief “ YOU CAME IN FIRST!!” Shardy said….and that was it, it all came to me, I hadn’t just achieved my goal of first female, but I came in FIRST PLACE in the TOD Summer Alley Cat 2013. I had worked SO hard for this, I pushed it…there is nothing like the adrenaline I get when I race, sometimes I get scared as fuck….and there’s nothing I want, than to finish the race as fast as possible….and that’s what I did that day. Finished that race as fast as I possibly could. I gave it my all. I’m not sure if I’ll ever win a race like that again, amongst that many racers, and all those guys who I would give anything to be as fast as. I guess I’m learning as I go along, that any alley cat can have surprises, and no matter how fast you are, sometimes you may just not know where to go….I may not be the fastest, but shit I’m definitely not the slowest, and no dick or not, I fuckin won that race fair and square. So this ones for the girls….and guys, don’t sleep on us, you never know who you might be up against.”
2013 T.O.D Summer Alley Cat Winner