Nine to Freakin Five

Last Saturday I had the ultimate pleasure of participating in the 2012 Nine to Five. It’s a cycling scavenger hunt (solo or team) starting at sunset and ending at sunrise. It was so awesome.

As we waited in line to collect our spoke card and first manifest there was a double rainbow. I was looking at the other end of it. Quite the beginning to an epic evening.

And this was at the pre-ride photo…the taker of this photo (used with permission) only got some of the group in the shot.

1:30am and we’re at Pike Place Market. There’s a group of strung out and crazed cyclists massed in the middle of the road, many are under the influence, all are super loud. “In the butt! In the butt!” was chanted and sung by a curious team of especially drunk men. Don’t judge, it’s all part of the event. You gotta be in it to win it, right? When there are things on the lists like: 2 empty 40 oz containers, 3 bar receipts, and coasters…the list went on. What’s a team to do? Anyway, when the time was right everyone holds the spoke card into the air while taking pics…just like the one you see above.

These aren’t particularly good pictures…just sharing the joy of the night. This guy was giving me his business card.

The first break of the night was at 12:30am at the Colonnade, a mountain bike park under I-5. The organizers brought coffee and snacks for us to refuel on, as well as handed out the next manifest. That’s what they were called…manifests. The next list was much more difficult than the first. You’ll see above the “photo-op: photo taken from roof of any building/structure. And just below “team-member pumping non-participants gas”, although the owner of this fine vehicle was not interested in being in the picture.

Our final regroup of the night was at 2:30am at a doughnut shop in the U District. They bought us coffee and doughnuts. A wonderful gesture that was not under appreciated by anyone.

This crappy picture doesn’t do it justice. This parking lot was littered with riders and bikes…many were inebriated…all were loud.

Eventually 5:10am comes out of nowhere and we’re back at Gas Works Park for breakfast burritos and the awards ceremony. Above are my teammates for this year’s event. I’d like to say they were happier than they look, but I’m not sure they were. We lost…and it wasn’t close, but it was so much fun that I cannot wait to do it again next year. I’m assembling a dream team.

All hail the victors! I don’t remember the numbers, but the team that won did so with brute strength. And they did it so well. They won decisively. I couldn’t fathom how these teams got all over the place until someone posted a video on Facebook of a team riding up the I-5 express lanes at 2am…not the shoulder, but up the lanes. I never thought of that…wow. Crazy and crazy awesome!

As the dawn drew a close to a night of beautiful weather and exciting chase I was happy. A little tired, but no worse for the wear. It was so much fun…I’m pretty sure the best time for city riding is the middle of the night when everyone else is asleep. At least for me.

Loaded the steed back on the roof and headed on home to wake everyone up earlier than they wanted to be woken up…again. I was there at 4am to grab some stuff and brought the whole house to a not so dull roar…it was intense. I tried to be more careful the second time. A swing and a miss. I was a little wired with some steam to release, and E was patient as she handled my hazed craze with grace and ease.

Oh how I adore her grace and ease.


One response to “Nine to Freakin Five

  1. Wow! Totally awesome idea for a ride. So glad you got to do it. And E’s grace and ease is a wonder to behold! What a lucky man.

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