ValleyCat Version Five

area’s coolest bike race comes prowling back to town

David Smuhl

Perpetual pedal power.
 
Perpetual pedal power.

May 14 marks the five year anniversary of the bike race/scavenger hunt known as the ValleyCat. The event started in 2007 as an experimental alleycat race with just 12 riders. The race has grown larger in size and scope every year since, gathering regional and national attention. This year promises to be no exception. The event is much more than a race, and aims to gather cyclists of all levels in the area and participate in friendly competition. “What sets the ValleyCat apart from other races is that you can come in dead last and still wind up with a couple of prizes and gorge yourself on food and beer, it’s a lot more oriented towards having fun and bringing people into the Eau Claire cycling scene than just racing,” organizers wrote. ValleyCat also varies from traditional races in that it is more of a scavenger hunt than a point-to-point race. Participants are given a manifest with a list of locations around Eau Claire where they must go until the manifest is completed. There is no set course, and mileage varies depending on the route they choose. This year there will also be a group ride category for teams of up to four riders who prefer a more leisurely pace. But whatever route you choose, when riders are done they are encouraged to stick around for beer from New Belgium, pizza from Sbarro, and entertainment by Kadinger Event Productions. 

ValleyCat 5 • May 14 • starts and ends at Rod & Gun Park, Eau Claire • 11am registration, 1pm start • $20 (includes shirt, food, beer) • all ages • ValleyCat.org

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