iMiNUSD is now open, if you didn't know already. This past Saturday, my favorite bike shop, iMiNINUSD held a grand opening party which included the 4th and final race in the SJ Fixed "It's a W.R.A.P." alleycat series.

Rather than just saying go, they decided to try something new. Red light, green light was a sure first in an alleycat for just about everyone. The comic relief definitely calmed the nerves. Having ordered checkpoints always means you will have a huge group of people following you right from the start. Myself and Bill Tran zig zagged to Westgate Mall to try and lose as many people as possible. We were the first to arrive and were greeted with five saltine crackers. I chewed all I could, then coughed the rest out. A little water, then it was on to The Ranch.

I seemed to find myself in the front of the pack again. Not being completely sure of where to go, we made a wrong turn that cost us a few minutes. On the way up Yerba Buena, we dropped a few more people, and were down to a pack of about five. Trangalang and friends were working The Ranch checkpoint and were happy to offer a spoonful of cinnamon or the option to do 30 push ups. I opted for the cinnamon, had half a banana, some water, checked the map and started down the hill. Having no brakes, I walked part of the down hill. Better safe than sorry for sure.

The next stop was up up Alum Rock, 9 miles away. Now down to Andrew, Evan, Collin, and myself, we pacelined to Bird, Dan, and Tina Balls. I did a little dance and went on my way.

Wah-Wah and a few others were at the final checkpoint located in the Piedmont Hills. If you have yet to ride them, I would advise you to do so. A few miles of rolling hills, all of which are easy enough to stay in the saddle, with a nice sized bike lane makes for a good ride for even a beginner. I didn't expect to have to eat something else, but a Taco Bell fire sauce was easier than expected to take down.

The home stretch was a killer. Collin struggled to keep up, but Darin did manage to catch us. We knew we would not pass those in front of us but we wanted to maintain a decent pace. We were lucky enough to have green lights from Old Oakland/13th to San Fernando. Once we go by campus I gave it all and finished the 50 miles of death in 6th place. In typical SJF fashion, once you think you are done, you realize you have to run around the block. I was frustrated enought to say I quit track bikes, which I may still consider. My knees have been killing me lately, but I'll save that for another post. Tim "The Tornado" Tsuruda took home first place and walked away with a Globe Rolls bike.

The after party was amazing. 31 gallons of beer (2 kegs for those of you that are not too good with volume conversion), 36 bottles of wine, a box of chocolates, 30 pizzas and 8 trays of Tofoo Com Chay. I don't remember much after finishing a bottle of 2 buck succc, but it was a great day. Congrats again to Mark on the great store, and a huge thanks to everyone who made the event possible.

Photo credit: Anna Cabarloc, Bird, and Drew.

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