Urban Assault Ride: Introduction.
I don't do a lot of organized (or even club) rides anymore, but this one sounded interesting to Hitomi and me.
The ride consists of traveling to checkpoints (see the traveling salesman problem) and completing various obstacles or puzzles in the least amount of time.
Yes, it is technically a race, but most people aren't vying for the top spot. It was more reminiscent of field day in elementary school, where there are colored ribbons handed out, but mostly it's done for fun.
And then there's beer and assorted silliness at the end. Lots of sponsor gifts to hand out. (This dragged on for a bit too long. It seemed like the MC/announcer did all the prep work himself! Where where his assistants?)
How did we do? I didn't pick out the fastest route (boring), but a route that appealed to me. Hitomi doesn't really have a competitive gene in her, so that was fine. Simultaneously, though, I wanted to finish in a reasonable time, and felt a bit of urge to race.
We got 36th place out of about 60-80 co-ed teams.
I did get a bit scraped up at one of the physical challenges. You're put onto a skateboard, on an incline, and asked to steer into bowling pins. One of the organizers walked in front of me and I got a bit scared of crashing. Not cool. And in the bouncy castle in the end, I was whacked pretty hard.
The best challenges involved me picking up Hitomi. The paperboy one was brutally hard. On a racing bicycle, you just can't deliver newspapers…
It'd be fun to do as a family ride, but I'm not so sure about next year.