Re: [messengers] Faux Go Go Go

Date: 6 Jan 2011 16:00:55 +0100
From: Julio Saravia <saravia.julio@xxxxxxxxx>


i started off about 10 years ago in chicago.  honestly, it was a mixture of
mountain bikes, single speeds, and road bikes.  there were some track bikes
but not as many as there is today.  took me about 2 years to realize that
the track bike was really the way to go.  just more simple and made sense.
i road for a few more years before hanging up my cleats for a dispatch job
but i can tell you right now...my knees really wish i would have stuck with
a single speed or road bike.  mountain bikes are cool but there really isn't
a need for it in chicago.  it might help in the winter but...eh, no big
deal?

all that being said...it shouldn't matter who's riding what.  no one really
owns anything...messengers included.  are people taking over the culture?
nope.  in fact...with the emergence of other groups it has made the
messenger community even stronger.  "he's not one of us"...ha!  when i
started off it took me a while to be considered as "one of us".  i know most
messengers in chicago demanded you put in a full year...especially a
winter.  some, not many, would demand 3+ years...haha!  jerks!  i don't
blame them though...this industry has such high turnover.  why treat you as
one of us now if you wont last past the year?

where am i going with this?  i have no idea.  all i know is that the
messenger culture, if you wish to call it that, wont be going anywhere,
anytime soon.  there will be those who will continue to ride and those who
will hand there cleats up...one thing is a constant *we dont forget*
...peace.

On Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 8:29 AM, Jim Cadenhead <shortyjim@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

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> 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
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>
> > 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/
> > > > ===========================================
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
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-- 
Julio Saravia