Past weekend we travelled to Patras for a weekend of riding and goofing around. Visiting with your track bike other towns is by far the dopest way to see a city and we love it. Also a bunch of friends were throwing an alleycat there, good excuse to visit a place we have never raced before.
We packed two cars and after a few hours slow drive on the worst tolled highway of Europe we arrived on Saturday evening just in time for the alleycat. About 30-40 people gathered for it but the vibe was great, eveybody was smiling and joking. Bikes were all types, some fixed gear, a couple of great road bikes, lots of mountain and always a Brompton. Atmospher was great and some passerbys couldnt resist asking what the heck was going on. This was Patras main square dead central.
The race as it turned out was super-fun with nicely chosen and brilliantly placed checkpoints around the city. Starting from east of the city to the TEI area (80,000 students live in Patras), a good climb up to Castro and then obviously you cant miss the Bridge.
After a good start, in the first turn and as traffic blocked the way ahead Sotos decided to take his chances through the pavement and flatted right there in the first minute of the race so one down – while Kostas guided Panos and Paris through the little streets and sortcuts. We really liked the nice ideas of this alleycat like crossing the bridge for the final check, taking the ferry back, chocolate treat at the Psilallonia check or cycling back to the city altogether as one. Alleycats should be fun like this one and we hope the vibe in Patras will keep going.
In case you were wondering it was the local guys that did the best riding and obviously won, like local guys always should at home. Congrats to all.
Waking up the next morning, a glorious sunshine was there to greet us. 24 degrees in November with clear sky is the best weather for exploring with your bike and of course… fredo under the sun! So after a strong dose of double espresso we cycled around the city, checking different places. Patra is really cool, we were really surprised by the beautiful spots that are hiding around, also some super crazy decadent architecture that blends with neoclassical buildings by the beach and old industrial aesthetic. This massive dead modernist building right at the front seaway is incredible and it just sits there abandoned.
So there it is a recap of an alleycat in Patra. Congratulations to all the participants, remember its not about wining its about being there/ taking part/ riding with pride.
Thanks to Mimis, Panos, Kostas for this and most of all to Mr Ntontis for giving us his flat to rest. Photos by Sotos and Agis.