[messengers] A quick fixie

Date: 27 Oct 2011 20:39:04 +0200
From: Joe Hendry <messvilleto@xxxxxxxxx>


A quick fixie 
Here, October 27th, 2011
 
By Victoria Handysides
 
MONCTON - They're not Star Trek fast, but they're close: matter transport is their business.
 
"There's a lot of matter moving throughout the day," bike courier Mathieu Arsenault said. "We're aiding in the movement of that matter."
 
Arsenault, 26 and Richard Donovan, 35, are fast becoming the Hub City's most trusted go-to messengers. Rolling around the Metro area on fixed-cog bikes, if you can name it and it fits on two wheels, they can deliver it: cigarettes, food, mysterious packages and well-wishes.
 
They call themselves Fixed Cog Hero Deliveries, a small business idea Donovan says was born out of a love for fixies and an interest in entering monkhood (and yes, he's serious).
 
"I felt that this is sort of a way to be an urban monk, in that it's a simple, but not simple job. It's very mind-clearing," he said.
 
Fixed-cogs differ slightly from typical bicycles. They don't have brakes or gears, so riders have to be in perfect tune with their bikes. Handling a fixie is a little like sitting meditation, Donovan says.
 
"You can't coast, so you become the bike. If you want to stop, if you want to go fast, it's all you. It's a beautiful way of riding. It's like water - you just have to flow...you have to be very clear-minded and look further down the road."
 
The heroes offer a range of services. They'll deliver telegrams recorded on an iPhone, discreet envelopes filled with condoms, bottles of wine, flowers, documents, food - basically anything that can fit on a bike. They've escorted women home from bars in dodgy areas, purified rooms with sage and say they not only entertain, but relish odd requests. Recently, they were appointed official delivery riders for Green Dragon Sushi, and have a list of corporate clients including Café Aberdeen, Studiograph and Marky's Laundromat.
 
Regular deliveries (which they call "acts of heroism") range between $5 - $8, depending on the delivery type and distance. For $12, they'll drop everything and defy laws of physics to arrive as quickly as possible. They aim to operate year-round, Donovan says.
 
They've got unofficial offices all around the city, and slap "Fixed Cog Hero Bicycle Messenger HANG OUT" stickers on places they're known to frequent. They also have their own shelf at Folio Books, filled with books on interesting topics.
 
Currently, the two are the only bike couriers in Moncton, and they pride themselves on speed. Tackling traffic jams isn't just doable for the pair, it's a forté.
 
"It's beautiful when you see chaos and you can flow through it," Donovan said.
  


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