With the threat of thunderstorms looming in the forecast, we anxiously completed final preparations for the 2016 Girls of Summer All Women’s Alley Cat Race. Rain or Shine, this race was happening.

Despite the ominous clouds, 2016 turned out to be another year for the record books, as 103 racers and over 30 volunteers turned out for a glorious day of miles, smiles, and just a little bit of rain!

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When Monday night starts with a swim in Lake Union before you’ve even met up with most of the ladies you’re going to be riding bikes with for the evening, you know you’re in for a good night. And a good night it was!

May 2016 Menstrual Monday


The second Menstrual Monday ride of 2016 found nine of us pedaling northwest, in search of a perfect spot to catch the sunset. Departing from Seattle Center we quickly found the lovely waterfront trail and followed it through Myrtle Edwards Park. With spectacular views of the Olympic Mountains and the sun shining over the water, it’s a shame this trail doesn’t go on forever.

The group made a quick stop to help a fellow bike rider with a flat tire and rolled on through towards the locks. Heather led us through the “low route” to the Ballard Locks, a new way for many in the group which was pretty exciting to learn a new way to avoid a hill.

Ballard Locks Walk Through


After a detour to 7-11 for firewood, beverages, and s’mores supplies, we were back on our way to Golden Gardens and arrived just in time for sunset. Our arrival was heralded at the beaver pond however by none other than a posse of beavers! Nature was truly on display for May’s Menstrual Monday ride as 4 beavers, a turtle, and a bunch of ducks strutted their stuff for us as we made our way to North Beach for a fire and good conversation.

Rox helps carry wood and beverages for the fire.


Conversation flowed readily and easily around the warm fire that thankfully wasn’t especially needed. For the first time in recent memory for any of us, nobody was cold on the beach and we stayed in short sleeves until it was time to pedal home.

Beach vibes.


As the fire died down, we packed away the snacks, turned on bike lights, and made plans for next month. Thank you to all who came out- we look forward to seeing you next ride!

Excitement is high not only for next month’s Monday ride (Monday June 6th, meet at 6:30, ride at 7), but also, the Girls of Summer Alley Cat Race the following weekend, June 11th. Details will be coming out very soon!



Now that I have this bike, how do I get it tourable? Not just tourable but Little Monster TOURABLE! Outfitting a small bike has its own, sometimes unforeseen, challenges so I’ll cover some of those and what I did to get around them.

Clean, clean, clean and basic maintenance.

If you are getting a used bike on the cheap, chances are you will have to do some maintenance to it, but thats ok. It will make it feel like YOURS. A lot of the time a good cleaning and regreasing will do wonders. Little touring Monsters drive train was covered in grease that had sat there for years.
Cleaning is pretty basic but a couple of tips I have:

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I am, what I would call, an avid cyclist. I am also, what I would call, hella short. These two things often do not mix, especially with touring bikes. I don’t mean a road or CX bike with racks hobo-ed on, but A REAL touring bike fit for me that can take me on the gravel less traveled.

I wanted to feel like these ladies on my touring bike:

And not like this:

I was also not Demi Moore, Indecent Proposal, rolling around in bills so it needed to stay under $1000 total, which means used. Luckily, while I am not rich in dolla bills, I am rich in the ability to search Craigslist and Ebay multiple times in a day. The hunt was on.

But first, what was I looking for? What makes a good touring bike?
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We held our 5th Annual All-Girl Alley Cat, Girls of Summer, on June 13, 2015. Margaret says this is the most exhausted she’s been after this event (either racing or organizing). Monica experienced a zombie-like state and Heather has yet to resurface. But it was all worth it to see all these faces!

Once again, we had record high participation–90 racers! There were lots of new faces, and some we’ve seen every year or just about. Everyone gathered at Gas Works Park and then raced through the streets of Seattle on a ca. 23-mile long course (choose your own adventure, YMMV) and enjoy each other’s company.

The day started out with all our stop volunteers meeting at the park before the ladies showed up to get their top-secret assignments and equipment. We had over 30 volunteers this year, which was great for handling the waves of racers coming into the checkpoints. These guys were up for anything, and some of them got pretty creative with the props and instructions we gave them. They all toted their supplies to their assigned stops and were ready to go by 3pm.

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Tough.      credit: Ben Wong

Tough. credit: Ben Wong

On June 14th 2014 we held our 4th All-Girl Alleycat, Girls of Summer. Its crazy to think we have done four of these things, but we know for sure this one was the biggest and best. 65 Seattle bicycle women climbed Beacon Hill just to get to the start at Dr. Jose Rizal Park to then race through the Seattle city streets to checkpoints where the volunteers would make sure they fill the requirements, kill at the very best route for 22 tough miles (our longest yet), and of course enjoy each other’s company. The day started out with all our stop volunteers meeting at the park before the ladies showed up to get their top secret assignments and equipment.

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The ladies kick ass times:

Name                    Time

  1. Marcy                    2:10
  2. Megan                    2:11
  3. Jessie K.               2:11:30
  4. Jessica Wa.          2:13
  5. Alice L.                 2:16 (First Single Speed)
  6. Genevieve           2:17
  7. Kristen F.             2:19
  8. Margaret B.         2:19:30
  9. Jenna H.               2:23
  10. Theresa B.           2:34
  11. Rebecca Reebs  2:34
  12. Maile  M.             2:24
  13. Loretta                 2:41
  14. Sandra W.           2:41
  15. Sarah F.                2:41
  16. Hailey                    2:50
  17. Elizabeth C.         3:03
  18. Christa F.             3:03
  19. Cayla                     3:03 (First Fixed)
  20. Leslie                     3:03
  21. Madi                      3:07 (First Masters)
  22. Linette                  3:08
  23. Jessica Wi.           3:10
  24. Olivia R.                3:11
  25. Emily L.                 3:12
  26. Rebecca S.          3:12
  27. Kelly H.                 3:12
  28. Lisa E.                    3:14
  29. Ayla A.                  3:14
  30. Alexa                     3:14
  31. Elisa Z.                   3:15
  32. Lisa D.                   3:15
  33. Sarah G.               3:17
  34. Angie                    3:17
  35. Faye                      3:21
  36. Keri                        3:21
  37. Jennifer L.           (so sorry missed your time)


Ok! Ok! If you insist.  We will have some celebrating to do! After you race/volunteer head  down (or maybe up, don’t want to give anything away) to theTwilight Exit (2514 E Cherry St). They have food and and an amazing back porch. We are super stoked to announce that this year Verity Credit Union is sponsoring our after party. What does this mean to you? Racers for a lowly $5 you get two drink tickets.   And our amazing volunteers you will also be rewarded with two drink tickets. What I mean is everyone involved in the race really deserves it. They will be good for well drinks, a tap beer, or soda. Verity is one of only two credit unions that offer bike loans and are obviously super supportive of the Seattle bike community.  Want that custom build?  Tired of that beater?  Talk to them. Hang out with this towns amazing cyclists, swap war stories with the other racers, and thank the dudes who manned the stops for hours.  We will do the prizes/awards at 6pm.

Info and amazing sponsors to be announced soon!

Despite the torrential downpour on the morning of Saturday June 23rd, fifty (omg, that’s a TON) of ladies showed up to the I-5 Colonnade for the Second Annual Menstrual Monday Girls of Summer Alleycat!

So many girls!

The riders were greeted warmly with energy drinks from Go Girl, and Ben and Julian from Back Alley Repair, who were on hand to provide tuneups to our rider’s bikes. Thanks guys!

Once our awesome boy volunteers had manned their stops around Seattle, and after the girls were registered, the race was on! Some girls meticulously chose the best routes. Others headed to the closest stops.

Ladies planning their route.


At each of the five stops on the manifest, the riders had to perform a feat of mental and physical ability. Only after this was completed would their nails be painted, proving their awesomeness.

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