Thursday, May 2, 2013

Mashing is FUNdamental: A Literary Alleycat this Saturday!

Saturday, May 4th is DC’s Mashing is FUNdamental: A Literary Alleycat. An alleycat is a checkpoint race—you can take any route you like, but have to hit every checkpoint. Think urban scavenger hunt on bikes. This alleycat is unlike any other: it’s literary-themed. Half the checkpoints are libraries, where you have to check out a given book. The other half are challenges related to DC authors, such as yelling "Oh Captain, My Captain" from the top of the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery's steps (where Walt Whitman was once worked). The event’s manifest (alleycat-speak for “checkpoint list”) reads something like this:

• Anacostia—1800 Good Hope Rd, SW
    o Any book on social science (call number starts with 3)
• Woodridge—1801 Hamlin St, NE
    o Any book on religion (call number starts with 2)
• West End—1101 24th St, NW
    o Any CD (call number starts with PHONO)
• Etc. (there’s 11 stops, totaling just over 20 mi when traveled most efficiently)

At the finish line/after party at Satellite Room, riders turn in their books and manifests to verify completion. We’ll award prizes to the fastest bikers, and raffle off additional prizes (we have over $1,000 in merchandise to give away). There’s a second, mellower manifest; comprised of stops relevant to DCPL (the Mellon Fountain, etc.) and DC literature (where Zora Neale Hurston lived, Katherine Graham, Langston Hughes, etc.). This is targeted towards riders who just want to cruise and see their city through an interesting new lens. Overall, the event is designed to civically engage riders more than the average bike race. Riders will learn something, and can mash it (alley-cat speak for “go really fast”) the entire way in hopes of glory at race’s-end.
And for all that the written word gives us, we wanna give back: all event proceeds go to 826DC (, a nonprofit organization dedicated to working with students ages 6–18 in developing their creative and expository writing skills, and to working with teachers to inspire their students to write.

What: Mashing is Fundamental: A Literary Alleycat
When: Saturday, 5/4/13
Where: 7th St steps of the Portrait Gallery (604 7th St, NW; DC)
Registration: 1pm
Race start: 2pm
Afterparty: Satellite Room
Donation: $5, benefiting 826DC

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