Re: [messengers] Faux Go Go Go

Date: 22 Jan 2011 21:34:09 +0100
From: Nick <likeanowl@xxxxxxxxx>


Butch is the man. Surprised you didn't meet him at the NACCC in Houston, C-Rock! Maybe you don't remember! I crashed at his place. It was an old theater/warehouse space by that bar that the alleycat started from!

Nick



On Jan 22, 2011, at 12:01 PM, Corey Hilliard <coreythecourier@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Small world.
> 
> I just met Butch over the Christmas/New Year's Holiday at a bar in Texas.
> Recognized him as a real messenger because he had a patch from the 2005 CMWC
> among others on his bag. Those are the only things gave away his identity.
> 
> Corey the Courier
> Never a worrier
> 
> On Wed, Jan 5, 2011 at 5:36 PM, Joe Hendry <messvilleto@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> 
>> 
>> 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."
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
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>> ===========================================
>> 
>> 
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>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
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