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The Inaugural John Howard’s Birthday BureauCat Race

By Kramer - 20 July 2006 8

After attending the recent cycling film festival in Canberra and seeing a documentary about clandestine urban bike courier races held in big cities around the world, a local cyclist was inspired to create The Inaugural John Howard’s Birthday BureauCat Race. Below are the details I recieved via email – should be a blast!


The Inaugural John Howard’s Birthday BureauCat Race

Open to anyone…

What is it?

It’s an idea for an urban-style ‘alley cat’ race stolen from bike messengers, but since Canberra has neither bike couriers nor alleys we’re calling it a BureauCat Race. Let’s face it; both bike couriers and bureaucrats move pieces of paper around – it’s just that bike messengers have more fun doing it. They’re on bikes.

Reminiscent of orienteering and/or a scavenger hunt, everyone will start at a common place where you’ll be handed a map and sheet of paper, known as a ‘manifest’. The manifest will contain instructions and a list of checkpoints which have to be visited in a certain order – you decide how you get to them.

The checkpoints will require some kind of verification that you’ve actually been there. First person to reach the finish having met all the requirements on their manifest wins (the race?).

The Inaugural John Howard’s Birthday BureauCat Race will visit some iconic Canberra sites, and some not so iconic.

What: An urban-style ‘alley cat’ race
When: Wednesday 26 July 2006 – John Howard’s Birthday
Start: Meet out the front of Old Parliament House (King George Tce)
Start time: 6.15pm for a 6.30pm Le Mans start (it’s OK, the run will only be about 50 m)
Finish: Debacle, Lonsdale St
Cost: Nothing
What you will need:
* A bike and that other stuff you need when you’re riding it
* It’ll be dark so you might also want lights
* A bike lock, tools etc.
* A pen and a blank sheet of A4 paper (hint: it might pay to look up the word ‘frottage’ in the dictionary)
* Some way of transporting items on your bike other than your hands or teeth (the manifest needs to be readable at the end)
* Some $$ for beer & food at Debacle

What’s Your opinion?


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8 Responses to
The Inaugural John Howard’s Birthday BureauCat Race
neanderthalsis 4:53 pm 11 Jul 07

I too am hoping the frottage definition is the traditional one, not the urban dictionary one favoured by dirty buggers on public transport or perhaps doubling someone on your treadly.

edlang 3:56 pm 11 Jul 07

Bump. It’s almost that time again.

Anyone organising such a race this year?

morto1980 7:42 pm 27 Jul 06

Well it was great fun – even though we probably placed dead last (getting to Debacle at around 9:45) we made all the checkpoints and had fun doing it 🙂

Thanks to whoever organised it – it was a fantastic idea.

Geoffco 12:34 pm 21 Jul 06

I’m guessing (hoping!) that the def of frottage they’re referring to is holding some paper up against an object and taking a pencil rubbing…. The other def is just creepy in the context of dark alleys and bikepants.

Kramer 12:14 pm 21 Jul 06

The original alleycat races are a solo event, being an all-out thrash across the city. So teams and alcohol are not likely to be part of it for most of the riders.

Kerces 11:32 am 21 Jul 06

Sounds like fun. Do you know if you can work in teams?

barking toad 9:29 am 21 Jul 06

Carry a first aid kit. Can be iffy riding bikes at night when you’re pissed.

I can’t imagine anyone doing this sober.

morto1980 8:22 pm 20 Jul 06

You had me until the frottage bit….. :-/

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