Instructables

AlleyCats: Treasure Hunts On Your Bicycle.

Picture of AlleyCats: Treasure Hunts On Your Bicycle.
AlleyCats are more usually associated with Bike Messengers riding either fixed gear, or single speed bicycles as they race around a city passing through several checkpoints where a task may also have to be accomplished.

Here in Norwich in the United Kingdom, we do things slightly differently, having adopted the casual, open to all, social type treasure hunt.

For the last five months I have been responsible for the organisation and running of the Norwich Alleycat, and have found this casual, social approach is proving very popular with cyclists from all walks of life, and all age groups. I am very proud of the fact that entrants into the Norwich AlleyCats have ranged from 16-67 years of age, even a couple in their mid 20's riding a tandem and towing a toddler behind them in a child carrying trailer, and a young disabled lady undertaking the route and tasks in her electric assist wheelchair.

Entrants have turned up on; Fixies, Single Speeds, MTBs, Shoppers, Dutch, Hybrids, Commuters, Folders, Roadies, Tricross, Tandems, Recumbents, Tadpole Trikes, and even the world famous Bicycle designer; Mike Burrows on one of his small wheeled mono fork racing bikes.

When setting out your Alleycat, you need to consider the people who may be taking part, the kinds of bicycles they are going to turn up on, the route you are going to utilise, and how you are going to control the checkpoints. A Sociable AlleyCat needs to be about 90 minutes long for an average rider and I have found that a mixture of 10 clues to solve, 8 checkpoints to pass through, and 2 simple tasks to complete are more than sufficient to keep them interested and their competitive spirits engaged; especially if you are running the AlleyCats during the dark winter nights.

You need a nice public place to start your AlleyCat from, and a nice welcoming place to finish your AlleyCat at.

The Norwich AlleyCat begins at the Norwich Forum; a large public library in a car free zone. In front of the Forum is Millennium Plain; a paved area of approximately 1 acre, so there is plenty of room for the cyclists and pedestrians using the area. The finishing point is usually a welcoming café/bar with plenty of bicycle parking stands which the AlleyCat entrants can use to secure their bicycles to, whilst enjoying the social, as the results are collated.
 
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