Re: [messengers] The Slowly Fading Cult of the Messenger

Date: 14 Apr 2010 04:05:26 +0200
From: "yogi at sydbma.org" <yogi@xxxxxxxxxx>


Only SOME " messengers are ok with working,racing on weekends,and not caring what anyone thinks” I was ... I loved doing events on weekends. Some still do. Solo MTB events seem to love bike couriers/messengers... or is that the other way around?

the rest are right happy that it is  LOOK AT ME , LOOK at me... my issue was that I never knew how cool I really was, or even how good I was until I was no longer a working messenger.

I still go by eras... 

pre-fax and net is the 'GOLDEN era" when you really could work as hard as you wanted to earn. Some people even rode track bikes back then. I rode single. The cool thing back then was FAST STREET SURFING... not short ratios and tricks.

The new skewl cool is now... whom is top of the pile... what amazes me is the fact that they (some) think they invented it. Looking like a WHAM film clip and skidding a little with a tiny ratio.  I can surely point the finger at jamie from SKIN GROWS BACK as the first guy to bring the bar spinning and tricks to Sydney. He was really by himself for about 2 years. He just did it. AND WELL.

CMWC and local nats all now lure wanna-be couriers ...

just the way it is... no opion, just 'IS'

There will always be some ex-messenger who can keep the past rolling with a sense of reality and a base level of what the JOB IS.

It is something I enjoyed more than any other job I ever had.. and, I had some doozies (meaning really good), and I still wish that all working messengers succeed in an old world way. Tricks do not come to mind here.



Regards,

Julian 'Yogi' Somosi

exinger 1989 - 2006 (including breaks)

-----Original Message-----
From: messengers-bounces@xxxxxxxxx [mailto:messengers-bounces@xxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of dee shaine
Sent: 14 April 2010 08:18
To: messengers@xxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [messengers] The Slowly Fading Cult of the Messenger

what bull shit, messengers are ok with working,racing on weekends,and not caring what anyone thinks ,and drinking,its more a social thing people.and every year we have out nacccs cmwc and various events that will always keep going. i mean 130 plus people for monstertrack,and reloads april fools race will be packed and guatamala is coming up and atlanta is coming up........we will always be here,and we don't care whats the in thing
and add the ! to that
--- On Tue, 4/13/10, Joe Hendry <messvilleto@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

From: Joe Hendry <messvilleto@xxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [messengers] The Slowly Fading Cult of the Messenger
To: "Messenger list" <messengers@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tuesday, April 13, 2010, 3:15 PM


The Slowly Fading Cult of the Messenger
The immortal class is looking a little more mortal these days.
New York Times (City Room Blog), April 13, 2010

With fewer packages to deliver and an increasing number of urban riders draping themselves with shoulder bags and cutting through traffic on track bikes, some say the cachet of being a bicycle messenger is wearing off for a new generation of street riders. It certainly is not the same as it was in 2001, when Travis Culley could write in his ode to the urban cowboy, The Immortal Class: Bike Messengers and the Cult of Human Power, that:

I am sometimes seen as a social misfit, a freeloader, a junkie, but I am also envied for the color, the vigor, the picture of America I can find while they push their way through the weekday treadmill routine.

Joseph Lanza, a messenger of six years who goes by the street name Joey Krillz, said that he had recently noticed a shift in attitude among some of the younger riders, especially those who prefer brakeless fixed-gear bikes. 

Previously, in the scene, if you were a courier, you were it, Mr. Krillz, 29, said. But now its like, no one cares if youre a messenger anymore. Its all about the tricks.

As fixed-gear bicycles have become de rigueur for young urban cyclists in cities around the world, a new type of riding has grown up in the past two years, riders say. With so many now braving traffic in Midtown, the radical aspect of just being in the street has disappeared and a new style is emerging, one that appears more tethered to skateboarding and BMX bikes than to messengering.

Some call it 700cmx in reference to the rim size favored by those who ride this way. For most, it is known as fixed freestyle.

But Edward Laforte, one of the few sponsored fixed-freestyle riders, who goes by Ed Wonka, has an even more complicated name for it. He said he preferred to connect this style of riding  in which bar spins, twisting bunny hops and riding backward, or fakie, are some of the primary tricks  to off-road, and he calls what he does fixed mountain bike street, he said.

As a sponsored rider, Mr. Wonka, 20, has traveled to various world cities, where he has seen the scene spreading. I see people popping up all over the place doing tricks, Mr. Wonka said. Everyone has a trick bike in Japan.

In what is perhaps an indication of how new it all is, Mr. Wonkas sponsorship extends only to free equipment  he is currently working as a real estate broker to pay the bills.

In fact, there are only a handful of riders in New York who are serious about these tricks, said John Watson, known as Prolly, who writes an influential fixed-gear blog, Prolly Is Not Probably. Those who do ride this way can often be found at the Brooklyn Banks (before they were closed for work on the Brooklyn Bridge) or on Thursday nights under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in Williamsburg, practicing their tricks for hours in so-called peel sessions.

The style, developed in New York and Philadelphia, has been blowing up on the West Coast, Mr. Watson said. It was like that in skateboarding, too, he said. The East Coast starts out with the gritty street riding, but then the West takes it over.

Despite the small number of serious fixed freestyle riders in the city, their influence on bike fashion has been pronounced. It is spread via a number of online sources, from Mr. Watsons blog to others like Locked Cog, zlog and Trick Track.

If messenger style is practical and grimy  an all-weather, long-hours-in-the-saddle kind of bohemian aesthetic  fixed freestyle fashion owes a debt to hip-hop and skateboarding. Flat-brimmed fitted hats are common, as are small designer T-shirts.

And the bikes are changing, too, becoming smaller, heavier and more sluggish to ride but better for flying down stairs or grinding on ledges.

Two or three years ago, people just wanted to ride and have their messenger bag, Mr. Wonka said. Now you see kids coming out with their new trick frame and their new trick setup.

Luckily for messengers like Mr. Krillz, the sturdier, slower trick frames appealed from the start. Im just an old skateboarder, so maybe I looked at riding a track bike in the city a little bit differently, he said. You just start jumping off curb and, you know, it makes the day-to-day of delivering packages a little more interesting. Instead of just A to B, I can throw a third dimension in there. Maybe not get there as fast, but having just as much fun.

And, he added, there is room for profit. Mr. Krillz and Mr. Wonka recently started a T-shirt company that they hope will appeal to both groups of riders. Its a T-shirt, Mr. Krillz said matter-of-factly. A T-shirt cant be specific to one type of bicycle.



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