The Frigid Bitch is Back!
This women and non-binary only alley cat race happens mid-February every year in extremely cold and challenging conditions. On February 16, you can ride around Pittsburgh in the bitter weather (unless it’s randomly 60 degrees again) with others who share your love for biking. Created by Pittsburgh Babes on Bikes event director Anna-Lena Kempen, the Frigid Bitch is celebrating its 6th year.
Click here to register for this amazing event. 100% of race registration benefits the Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, and optional food registration means you’ll have mac & cheese, pizza, and other awesome eats waiting for you after the race. Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options will be available; but please pre-register so they know how much to provide. Non-racers are also encouraged to register for food at the venue!
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!).
Things to Bring
- Bike helmet
- Bike with appropriate tires for the weather – snowy conditions merit switching out your smooth tires for some knobby ones
- Water bottle
- Layers!! Gloves, a scarf / balaclava, wool socks, leg warmers, etc. – dress like it’s the coldest day of the year, because it might be
- A pannier or backpack for carrying supplies (handwarmers, extra layers, snacks)
- $5 to participate, + extra cash in case you’re hungry for pizza after the race
Race registration for the 6th Annual Frigid Bitch alley-cat is $5 and open until 8pm on Wednesday, February 13th, while food registration is $10 and open to racers and non-racers now through the 16th. The day will proceed as follows:
Date: February 16th
RACE START/END VENUE: Threadbare Cider & Mead 1291 Spring Garden Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
REGISTRATION OPENS: 11am
RACE STARTS: 12pm
CHECKPOINTS OPEN: 12pm – 2pm
RACE ENDS: 3pm
FOOD: 3pm – 6pm
PARTY: 4pm – 6pm