Checkpoint Charlies

A year ago, former bike messenger Jen Nordhem put on the first Femalley Cat, a bike race ridden in conjunction with the Bicycle Film Festival, as a competitive outlet for women bicyclists, who don’t have as many opportunities to be badass on the road. The guys, who know all about alley-cat racing (which involves carrying a manifest, messenger-style, to a number of checkpoints where difficult tasks must be performed), were left out, though they did have a chance to compete later in sprints.

But in 2010, things have changed: The Femalley Cat will now race in tandem with the Broseph Invitational, tailored for the dudes with its own set of challenges.

“The tasks at the checkpoints are funny and sometimes cruel,” Nordhem explains, “but the Femalley Cat is more PG: The racers might have to do ten push-ups or drink a cup of coffee, things like that. The guys will have some, shall we say, extra challenges along their way.” She’s not telling what those might be, however.

Registration is at 3 p.m. in the Denver Performing Arts Complex Sculpture Park, under the Borofsky dancers; both races start at 3:30 and wind their way through a mystery map of downtown businesses and hot spots before ending at a secret location around 4:30 p.m., where side events, including a ladies’ Lipstick Shuttle Sprint and the Bro Wet T-Shirt Trackstand Contest, will take place. Finally, prizes will be given out later at Starz FilmCenter before the evening’s BFF screenings.

Registration for the races is $5 each, and Nordhem says the best way to experience them — if you’re not competing — is to volunteer to work the checkpoints, or show up at the after-event. Follow the Femalley Cat’s Twitter feed,, for check-point information and updates on the final location. Or go to for details.
Sat., Sept. 11, 3 p.m., 2010

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd