Re: [messengers] Faux Go Go Go

Date: 6 Jan 2011 15:29:33 +0100
From: Jim Cadenhead <shortyjim@xxxxxxxxxxx>


















4 ½ years
ago, I opened a full-service bike shop in LA that catered to messengers and
track bike riders.  (I actually
hate the word “fixie” - sounds like a gay unicorn fucked a marshmallow, and now
their offspring is stuck in the back of your throat.)  During that time, I actually became ashamed to be associated
with the majority of young, single-speed riders.  Even rookie messengers, that had ridden track bikes for a
whopping 3 months because that's what a real courier rides, and sure they can
'control' a track bike without brakes, scared me. (Not saying that any of the
Houston crew interviewed fits that description...)  Honestly, anyone that braves traffic aboard a track bike knows
that there is a certain amount of intuition (read: educated luck) gained by
experience on the bike every day as a messenger.   Riding a bicycle is by definition controlled
falling.  I’m now more than happy
to facilitate many dandy, young fops’ desire to perilously play amongst traffic
whilst precariously maintaining their balance along that precipice of control; however,
I generally do not sell brakeless bikes to rookie riders rediscovering the
bicycle.  Over time, I’ve come to
realize that most people without the skills required to properly handle a track
bike rapidly earn a healthy fear of the machines, and just because I sell
someone a “fixie” doesn’t mean that I’ve given them any kind of secret access
to courier coolness.  

 

What
scares me now is the idea that messengers will lose their richly independent,
cultural identity because social customs (read: "all those people on
fixed-gear bikes, wearing grungy messenger-looking clothes") have made
them apathetic and driven them away from the very events that initially helped
to give rise to our sense of identity and collective consciousness.  (Note: our “collective consciousness”
accepts each of us as a misfit member of a club of proud people paid to ride
bikes and hate on everybody else.)  My experiences within this community, both locally and internationally,
have led me to the belief that my courier career was one of the most personally
rewarding periods of my life.  I
will always work hard to promote any efforts within our community to enrich
couriers, both collectively and individually, and I would like to take this
time to applaud Nadir, AZ, and everyone else involved with this year’s
CMWC.  Hosting a championship in
Guatemala took some real cajones, and I am positive that the event made
indelible memories for everyone that was involved.  Hosting and competing in alleycats and championships helped
to reinforce my opinion of myself and other messengers as organizers, advocates, athletes, and
professionals, and I only hope that we can continue to support each other and
our bold decisions to host amazing events that continue to bolster our community.  This forum used to be full of posts about upcoming messenger events in different cities, and I wonder if it will ever be that way again...  The hipsters can have the races on trackosaurus rex.  Whadda ya say NY – is it time for the
next generation to host another Warriors race?

 

You
can find me with my family and my new shop in Santa Barbara, California –
Cranky’s.  Drop by if you’re in the
area; we’ve got some of the most incredible riding in the US here, and I would
love to show it to you.

 

-Jim
C

 

 

 




> Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2011 11:50:24 +0000
> From: eoinmcnultygoodwin@xxxxxxxxx
> To: osmerp@xxxxxxxxx
> CC: messengers-bounces@xxxxxxxxx; messengers@xxxxxxxxx
> Subject: Re: [messengers] Faux Go Go Go
> 
>  "Most of the
> old-school couriers came out of the mountain biking scene. While many have
> moved on to road bikes, hipsters nearly universally favor a more recent
> phenomenon,
> one that some messengers have also adopted in the last ten years. Namely,
> fixed-gear bikes, or "fixies": one-speeds with tiny, straight
> handlebars, no brakes, and the ability to be pedaled backwards and
> forwards."
> 
> seriously mister John Nova Lomax?.......so mountain bikes and road bikes
> were around before fixed-gear bikes eh?
> you might want to consider writing a book about the bike cause apparently
> the whole world, aside from you, has that ass-backwards
> 
> 
> On Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 5:07 AM, Austin Horse <osmerp@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> 
> > holy shit people ride bikes in houston?
> >
> > just kidding i love you all, see you tomorrow!
> >
> > On Wed, Jan 5, 2011 at 8:59 PM, <mikeydodds@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> >
> > > Where's the commuter story with their angle on elitengers?
> > >
> > >
> > > And what's wrong with coffee?
> > > Sent from my BlackBerry® from Optus
> > >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Joe Hendry <messvilleto@xxxxxxxxx>
> > > Sender: messengers-bounces@xxxxxxxxx
> > > Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2011 14:36:48
> > > To: Messenger list<messengers@xxxxxxxxx>
> > > Subject: [messengers] Faux Go Go Go
> > >
> > >
> > > Faux Go Go Go
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Not all those bike messengers you see are the real thing.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > By John Nova Lomax
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Huston Press, January 5, 2011
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Some casual observers on the streets of Houston may mistakenly believe
> > that
> > > there are
> > > now more bike messengers than ever out and about. There aren't. Well, who
> > > then
> > > are all those people on fixed-gear bikes, wearing grungy
> > messenger-looking
> > > clothes, with bike bags slung over their shoulders?
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > In a word, hipsters. And the old-school bike messengers hate
> > > them. "Fuck them all," says former messenger Butch Klotz. "And
> > > their moustaches."
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Klotz backs up on that assessment a tad, but only a tad.
> > > "I'm happy that there are so many bikers here now that are tearing shit
> > > up," he says, but he remembers all too clearly his first encounter with
> > > one of these messenger replicants. He recalls the very corner he was on
> > > when it
> > > happened: Dunlavy at Westheimer. He saw a guy who looked to him like a
> > > messenger in from out of town, and as his is a close-knit international
> > > fraternity, he rode right up to introduce himself.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > "So I'm like, 'Hey, what's goin' on?' and I get the
> > > fuckin' stink-eye," Klotz remembers. "The guy looked me up and down,
> > > like, 'You couldn't possibly know shit.' And I was like, 'What the fuck
> > > just
> > > happened here? You fucking turd. I'll bet you're in your car the first
> > sign
> > > of
> > > rain.'"
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Old Man Tim Bleakie shares Klotz's view. He, too, is glad
> > > more people are on bikes, but...
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > "They're a dime a dozen," he says. "You see
> > > them out there with their messenger bags that you can tell have never
> > seen
> > > a
> > > rainstorm, or probably never even a package. And they usually use the
> > > sling-bags, and I've never used one of those because to me that's not
> > > really an
> > > appropriate way to be carrying things. The loads swing around, you get
> > back
> > > problems...We call 'em coffee-shop couriers, or coffee couriers. The
> > > signature
> > > is the messenger bag." (Bleakie uses a backpack on his rounds.)
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > And then there's their choice of bike. Most of the
> > > old-school couriers came out of the mountain biking scene. While many
> > have
> > > moved on to road bikes, hipsters nearly universally favor a more recent
> > > phenomenon,
> > > one that some messengers have also adopted in the last ten years. Namely,
> > > fixed-gear bikes, or "fixies": one-speeds with tiny, straight
> > > handlebars, no brakes, and the ability to be pedaled backwards and
> > > forwards.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > "It's a fad, a style," declares Bleakie, who
> > > favors a road bike. "If they're on a bike, fine. If they want to ride
> > > around on the street with no brakes, be my damn guest, but don't expect
> > to
> > > get
> > > paid if you get hit."
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Bleakie also mocks the little handlebars. "They've all
> > > got those teeny straight-bars, and I'm sorry, but that's got to be the
> > most
> > > uncomfortable and unstable way to ride you could possibly get. But if
> > they
> > > think they're cool and they're riding their bike, man, my hat's off to
> > 'em.
> > > I
> > > think I'm cool and I ride my bike, too."
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > "With that in mind," he continues, "people
> > > who ride without brakes or experience, who do it just because it's a
> > > fashion
> > > accessory, are fucking crazy."
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > "Some of these kids don't know how to ride them,"
> > > Klotz says. [These hipsters] don't have toe-clips or clipped-in shoes.
> > > There's
> > > no recourse for hauling ass and being able to stop fast. I don't
> > understand
> > > that."
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Like many messengers, Klotz loves riding his
> > > fixed-gear.  "The thought goes from
> > > your brain to your legs to your tires and to the street," he enthuses.
> > > "You get used to the rhythm of your bike. You know when you are coming up
> > > on a stop sign or an intersection that it's time to decide whether you
> > will
> > > not
> > > make this one or you go through it. You have to adjust. Instead of
> > bailing,
> > > you
> > > have to be real kung fu and find your way through the problem, instead of
> > > avoiding it."
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > The thing is, he and the other messengers on fixed-gears
> > > know what they are doing. "Now I am so absolutely tuned into it, my feet
> > > don't touch the ground except for when I get off the bike."
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > But the recent hipster embrace of fixed-gears has ruined
> > > some of his enjoyment.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > "I can balance at a light, but I don't even do those
> > > tricks at lights anymore," he says. "Now that the words 'hipster' and
> > > 'fixed-gear' are in every fucking thing you read, I put my foot on the
> > > ground
> > > at lights so that I will look like a rookie. I'm gonna save that shiny
> > > stuff
> > > for my friends, but I don't want to give other folks a chance to lump me
> > in
> > > with those turds."
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > > Mess media - http://www.messmedia.org/ Bryant Watch -
> > > http://bryantwatch.wordpress.com/
> > > ===========================================
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Messengers mailing list
> > > Messengers@xxxxxxxxx
> > > http://ifbma.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/messengers
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Messengers mailing list
> > > Messengers@xxxxxxxxx
> > > http://ifbma.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/messengers
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Messengers mailing list
> > Messengers@xxxxxxxxx
> > http://ifbma.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/messengers
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Messengers mailing list
> Messengers@xxxxxxxxx
> http://ifbma.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/messengers