Save the Date: The 5th Annual Frigid Bitch is set for Feb 17

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Frigid Bitch: The ride that leaves you feeling powerful

Hosted by Pittsburgh Babes on Bikes, the 5th Annual Frigid Bitch bike race is a ladies’-only alley-cat style bike race. Check out what our Membership and Outreach Director, Jane Runyan, had to say about the event,

“Don’t know what an alley-cat is? That’s OK! Because I didn’t either when I first walked into a room full of women a few Februarys ago–all that mattered when I arrived was the amazing amount of energy beaming from everyone. This is one of the most fun, supportive, personal challenges I have ever participated in and I encourage you to take the leap to do so, too!

– Jane Runyan, BikePGH Membership and Outreach Director”

Race Info:
When: Sat. Feb. 17th
Time: 11am
Where: Lawrenceville – Spirit 242 51st St
Entry: $5
Visit event page


Created by Pittsburgh Babes on Bikes event director Anna-Lena Kempen, the Frigid Bitch is celebrating its 5th year.

Along with the expanding women’s crit series held by the Allegheny Cycling Association, this alley-cat is one of the only ladies-only cycling events that exists in Pittsburgh. It’s still the biggest draw for women’s fields, and pulls ladies from Baltimore, Philly, NYC, and Ohio. Last year the field count was 82. As far as we know, this is topped only by the 1997 US Pro Women’s Championship held in the Burgh, with 100 women competing for $25,000.

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So, What’s an alley-cat?

The race is alley-cat style, which means there are manned checkpoints and a time limit but no set course; alley-cats are modeled after the day of a bike messenger – ie – racing around town trying to deliver packages in any order to specific locations, as quickly as possible.

This means that while being fast and competitive are definite pros, women can also pull ahead based on how well they know the city (shortcuts!) and bike trails, how confident they are riding in traffic and around certain obstacles, and how clever they are at planning a route and time management.

You can race solo or in groups – what many people experience is: alley-cats are excellent at fostering unexpected team ups based on who decided to ride the same route and which racers are evenly matched with each other. Riders can trade off knowledge of the city, offering to lead someone through parts they know well in exchange grabbing a wheel in unknown areas.

The race is explicitly not dumbed down or “pinkified,” ie – it’s not made easier or shorter just because its for girls. In fact, it’s probably the hardest alley-cat that’s thrown all year in this town. The ‘course’ is open for 2 hours with an hour to get back to base, and with rare exception the weather is horrendous, the checkpoints are far apart, taking people to strange hidden places, up steep cobbles or down staircases (cyclocross rules apply – you are allowed to carry your bike!).

If you’re not following @pghbabesonbikes on Instagram you’re missing a lot of #frigidbitch swag updates. (Dog not included.)


Pittsburgh Babes on Bikes event director Anna-Lena Kempen puts a LOT of hard work into this event. She’s very passionate about this race, so spends a lot of time hunting down sponsors who feel the same about women’s cycling and are willing to help stack that prize table so ladies of all levels can take home something.

Winning this race is tough as nails; however this race is for ladies of all levels. There are typically 5-10 checkpoints (roughly 35 miles if planned well), but in order to qualify for completion racers only have to make it to 1 checkpoint and back – though they won’t end up high in the ranks, so far every year every single person who races has walked away with swag off the prize table.

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Race details:

As far as logistical details of the race: It’s Feb 17th, starting at Spirit in Lawrenceville. 2 hours of racing, 1 hour to get back, 1 hour downtime (ladies chillin at the venue, eating pizza, drinking beers, trading race stories), podiums and prizes, party, after party. RSVP on Facebook.

If the Frigid Bitch race registration reaches 100 riders, they will donate 100% of the registration fees to the Greater Pittsburgh Women’s Shelter. BONUS: An anonymous benefactor has ALSO decided to pledge an additional $1 for every racer up to $125. If 125 women race, $750 will be donated to the Shelter!

It might be very cold…you may read up on our winter biking what-to-wear here.

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