For as long as the bike messenger profession has existed, messengers have blown off steam and earned bragging rights through races. In particular, underground Alleycat races combine scavenger hunts with daring feats of physical ability—not unlike working as a messenger.

Now, however, you don't have to be a bike messenger to take the challenge—the Portland Mercury is throwing an Alleycat race of our own on Saturday, July 28 at 2 pm. Registration begins at 1 pm at the Mercury office (605 NE 21st), and for the low price of $5 you can sign up to compete for a chance to win cash money—$250 for first place.

You can either compete solo or in a team of up to four people, gathering objects or completing tasks in three categories: physical, mental, and spiritual (since the Mercury is dedicated to a holistic approach to life—just kidding, hippies). Second and third place will get $100 gift certificates to River City Bicycles.

The afterparty—open to the public—is at Plan B (formerly Acme) at 1305 SE 8th, featuring the music of Blackstrap. Competitors get a free beer. Woot!