Step 1: Planning the Alleycat.
Many AlleyCat entrants have asked me why I do not sit back and let others organise an AlleyCat. There are two main reasons for this:
1) If I don't do it, no one else will.
2) I get a great deal of pleasure exploring the city on my bicycle looking for the unusual, and thinking how I am going to incorporate a particular place or feature into either the treasure hunt questions, or the card punch control points
With an AlleyCat each month (and I am proud of the fact that since I took over, Norwich is now the only city in Europe that has a regular monthly Alleycat) careful planning is key. I have found that I need to be out on my Bicycle for two sessions. One session taking me 4 or 5 hours covering a distance of about 20 miles. The second session taking me about 90 minutes to 2 hours as I cycle my planned route and modify it accordingly. I also need to go out and cycle the route to the control points just prior to the AlleyCat to place the control card punches, and then again after the Alleycat to collect up the punches. This usually means that I am out on my bicycle for about 8 hours of pleasurable riding each month doing what is necessary for an AlleyCat, and not just the 90 minutes that an average rider will take to cover the course.
There are several things that are essential to organising a successful treasure hunt style Alleycat: A well maintained bicycle, a road map of the local area, a digital camera, a pair of pocket binoculars, a note book and pen, and I like to take a compass with me; I have a wrist mounted Suunto divers compass that I tend to wear when out on my Bicycle. Being a devious person with a sense of humor is also essential to ensure that the entrants have a good time.