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

Date: 14 Apr 2010 10:28:54 +0200
From: Simon McKenzie <mckfrenzy@xxxxxxxxx>

Ah but Yogi, You were always the coolest, even before I knew you (which makes u all the cooler by association).

Seriously, I've read some crap in my time, but this shit is right up there.

Joe can u put a filter on this shit :)

Ride safe (NO TRICKS PLS)

On 14/04/2010, at 12:07 PM, yogi at wrote:

Prodj on


Julian 'Yogi' Somosi

-----Original Message-----
From: messengers-bounces@xxxxxxxxx [mailto:messengers-bounces@xxxxxxxxx ] On
Behalf Of Kenton Hoppas
Sent: 14 April 2010 08:40
To: dee shaine
Cc: messengers@xxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [messengers] The Slowly Fading Cult of the Messenger

I have no idea what that article was about? I thought it was about the
decline of messengers. Instead it just told us what we already knew. There
are hipsters doing tricks. Cool.

I'll tell you what, I'm still convinced that the bike is the most economical and efficient way to transport packages of just about every size and shape quickly through congested downtowns. So drivers, keep driving so we can
keep riding.

Word, Aloha


On Tue, Apr 13, 2010 at 3:18 PM, dee shaine <dcfixie@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

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
going. i mean 130 plus people for monstertrack,and reloads april fools
will be packed and guatamala is coming up and atlanta is coming
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
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
the younger riders, especially those who prefer brakeless fixed-gear

"Previously, in the scene, if you were a courier, you were it," Mr.
29, said. "But now it's like, no one cares if you're a messenger anymore.
It's 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
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
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

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
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. Wonka's
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
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
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"
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
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. Watson's blog to others like Locked
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
trick frame and their new trick setup."

Luckily for messengers like Mr. Krillz, the sturdier, slower trick frames appealed from the start. "I'm just an old skateboarder, so maybe I looked
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
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. "It's a T-shirt," Mr. Krillz said matter-of-factly. "A T- shirt
be specific to one type of bicycle."

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