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“An alley cat race is a grassroots, organized bike race through the city,” said Matthew Land, one of the race’s organizers, over the phone about today's Alley Cat Messenger Style Bike Race.

“A lot of being a bike messenger is hurry up and wait” but there is no waiting in a messenger-style alley cat race, just “point-to-point delivery with a long sprint at the end.”

The race route will be littered with numbered checkpoints and riders will use the streets of Downtown San Diego to hit up these points and get their manifest (an ordered checkpoint list) signed off.

“The idea for the race came through Acamonchi’s involvement in the bike community,” Land explains.

Acamonchi and Land are both artists who are putting together an art show on race day in Barrio Logan, where the race ends, and wanted to involve as many aspects of their community as possible, not just the art world.

“We have the best weather in the US and we gotta take advantage of it and keep promoting bike culture in general,” Acamonchi wrote via email.

Prizes for the first, second, and third place riders include t-shirts, goodies from North Park Bikes, a haircut from Katie Carney at The Lab and food vouchers from vegetarian-friendly Pokez and Veg-N-Out.

“You know, things that [the participants] won’t generally go out and buy for themselves,” offers Land.

The top rider will also receive a painting by Acamonchi and Land.

At first inception a rider would’ve had to lay down 5 bones to join but in the spirit of community, and drunken camaraderie perhaps, the race is now free.

As Land wrote in a Facebook post about changing the entry fee to zero dollars “…fuck it! Save your money for beer at the [art] show.”

In true alley cat race style, Land just wants “people to have fun; it’s not about winning.”

To participate in the Alley Cat Race meet at the fountain at 401 B. Street at 3:33 p.m. today.

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