10.09.09- Messenger Appreciation Day

Written by Ryan on . Posted in Events, News 1 Comment

bicyclemessengerappday

Today we give props to the women and men that pedal hard all day through the mean streets of whatever city they work in.  An occupation that requires being familiar with the city, as well as strong legs and quick decision making skills, messengering is hard work.

There have been bike messengers for nearly as long as there have been bicycles.  There were couriers employed by the Paris Stock Exchange in the 1870’s.

Messengers have played a key role in keeping the business districts of nearly every Metropolitan area running. Unimpeded by car traffic, bike messengers can offer a more accurate delivery time within the chaos of construction zones, unpredictable traffic accidents, and parking difficulties.

Due to the advancements of modern technology, couriers work is being handled more by computers, which have the ability to transfer larger files at a quicker speed than before.  This is proving to be difficult for messengers currently employed downtown, as well as those interested in the field.  Friends and acquaintances have recently been laid off  because their services are no longer needed, and I know this is the case everywhere.  As law firms and companies more and more allow digital signatures, much messenger work becomes obsolete.

With the work load lightening, and there being fewer messengers on the road;  a history and culture starts to fade.  So many advancements in cycling technology, urban fashion, music, and environmental awareness have taken place, due in part to the presence of working messengers downtown.  Some may feel that messenger culture has been exploited, or appropriated:

quick

Maybe that is true, but it has also helped get bikes seen on the street more- which is always a good thing.

NYC messengers, as well as other major city messengers have had some conflicts and resistance by other road users, but they have hung tough through adversity, mainly because their services are so vital to the operation of everything downtown.

Sure- there are many things that messengers can deliver that fax machines and computers can’t.  I used to make bank deposits for a graphic design firm in Austin, and sandwiches don’t email well.  There will always be work for people working on bikes, the lines may just be blurring between those that deliver sandwiches, and those that deliver legal documents.

Whatever the future holds- I got much love for messengers.  So this goes out to you

Got the image from M. Green over at Bike Blog NYC

Check out his blog, it focuses on NYC, but he’s got stuff from all over.

Continue Reading ...

Messquerade 09. Go Team!

Written by Ryan on . Posted in Alley Cat Racing, Events 2 Comments

messquerade-for-web09

Hope to see you all there, it’s a night of chaos, and it may not make any sense, but it’s a good time, with some amazing costumes, and this year I get to race! Who’s going?
Taken from Messman’s page:

Welcome to this years Messmann’s Messquerade ’09. You are invited to a halloween night to remember (hopefully) at the Messquerade Halloween Bicycle Scavenger Hunt, a night of scary and awesome costumes of bizarre bikery on Saturday October 31st. This year’s costume bicycle scavenger hunt will consist of teams of at least 2 to 6 people or so then register your team on the registration page! If YOU haven’t got a team together, you might assemble one with others in your loneliness or join another one, someone might want you! Just come to the start and mingle.

The Messquerade will be benefitting Bike Polo for KIDS! In conjunction with BikeWorks and Seattle Bike Polo and Seattl Parks Dept, SBP have been working in the community to aquire a permanent bike polo court so Kids interested in polo can come play as well as the big kids. I will have some bikes to raffle for this. 2 rollo bikes and a zombie bike. Raffle tickets are 3 for 5$, 15 for $10. Thanks.

Registration for the Scavenger Hunt STARTS AT 20/20 CYCLES from 6pm til 8pm. I’m excited that Halloween is on a Saturday this year.

Show up for registration early to get one this year’s limited edition Hoodie. I am limited number of Hoodies of all sizes, (except XS). $30 with Hoodie; $20 without. Includes beer/water/soda all night long & gets you into the afterparty all night long. Teams will sign in and enjoy some refreshing ale before the hunt starts. Bring your old waterbottles down for this as I will be suppling some as well. I will be selling hoodies @ the afterparty if there is some left.

Your team will have to scavenger all over the city for clues and hints to find the answers to the correct scavenger questions from the Manifesto of the Dead, so have your wits about you. There will be a points system on the Manifesto this year. Highest points back by 10pm will be the winner and gets first grabs a prizes. Make your manifesto readable.

For the afterparty/finish line, it is going to be at the Belltown undergrown @ 2407 1st ave in belltown Alley entrance Doors are @ 9pm. There is lots of safe bike parking. The Party is open to all with a $3 cover with costume. $5 with out, but its better to be in costume! Ride your bike to this party. you will be drinking!

We’ve got a great line up this year with MUSIC by;
IMPERIAL LEGIONS of ROME,(seattle/freestyle/ghettech/fusion)
the ANUNNAKI(Seattle/experimental),
GEORGETOWN ORBITS(seattle/ska-reggae
DJ’S GRIMUS(seattle)& A2Z(arizona).
Which should keep us busy all night long. U can listen to them on myspace.com!

If you have been a participant in the past, I hope to see you again and make sure you tell your friends and bring ‘em.

At the Finish Line, your team will get your pictures taken and then it will be projected on the wall with special effects. Thats the plan. Aswell as bobbing for apples & airplane bottles. Each team will compete for the pumpkin toss! So do your one arm pushups!

Don’t forget the Costume Prizes! Go to the Zombie Info for catergories that Messqueraders will be judged by. A panel of zombies I have dug up from the deep from within the clay hill sides of Seattle. We have a lot of sponsors this year so we will be looking for those who went all out!

Thanks and enjoy yourselfs. its all about you!

See you there!

Continue Reading ...

Traffic Justice Summit: 10.14.09

Written by Ryan on . Posted in Advocacy, Events No Comments

Chris from Cascade Bicycle Club sent this over to me. They, as well as many other groups are working hard to put laws in effect that will protect the life and rights of pedestrians and cyclists alike. Show your support by attending meetings, get your voice heard, and dog-gone-it, get out and vote!

Traffic Justice Summit

Wednesday, Oct. 14, 5:30 – 7:30
Seattle City Hall, Bertha Knight Landes Room

Help protect bicyclists and pedestrians!

Each year in Washington state, nearly 500 pedestrians and bicyclists are killed or critically injured by motor vehicles. Shockingly, almost none of these drivers is ever held accountable.

In the vast majority of cases, these collisions were found to be the direct consequence of moving violations like speeding, driving while texting, talking on the phone, failing to yield the right of way or just not paying attention.

A traffic ticket is the worst the driver can expect if they run you over. Do you think there’s something wrong with this picture? We do.

If you agree, help us make history by changing the law. The Traffic Justice Summit welcomes Senate Judiciary Chair Adam Kline, Seattle city Attorney Tom Carr, Council Public Safety Chair Tim Burgess along with reserchers, experts, advocates, families, friends and victims to learn the facts and talk about what we can do as a community — and as a state — to protect pedestrians and cyclists.

Help get justice for: Kevin Black, Jill Spanjer, Susanne Scaringi, Tatsuo Nakata, Autumn Samsom, Paul Douglas Ratliff, Jose Hernando, Gordon Patterson, Ilsa Govan, Stuart Thayer, Paul Jaholkowsky, Veronica Gonzalez, Michael Ann Boucher, Bryce Lewis, Marvin Gene Miller, Michael McClurkan

Come find out how you can be a part of this movement. Please help us pass Washington’s Vulnerable User Law in January 2010.

Sponsoring organizations: Feet First, Bicycle Alliance of Washington, Seattle City Council Member Tim Burgess, Seattle City Attorney Tom Carr, Washington State Bicycle Association (WSBA), Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (WAPA), Washington Chiefs of Police and Sheriffs (WACOPS), Association of Washington Cities, The Washington Bus, and publicola.

Does your organization wish to support this movement? Contact Cascade Bicycle Club to get involved.

Continue Reading ...

Interbike Urban Legend Fashion Show

Written by Ryan on . Posted in Clothing, Events, Film/video, Travel No Comments

One of the highlights of Interbike was the Urban Legend Fashion Show. It was put together by Momentum magazine, with the help of Giant Bicycles. The goal is to show clothing and accessories that transition from the bike to the street, performing well on the bike, but not requiring a change of clothes to look good off the bike. I love to see what designers have brought to the table.

I’m not a big fan of the guy in all black that looks like he could be on the SWAT team, but I’m sure some people are into it.

Videography by David Niddrie and Gwendal Castellan

Continue Reading ...

Bengaluru, India: BSA Hercules Cyclothon 10.11.09

Written by Ryan on . Posted in Events, Travel No Comments

The BSA Hercules Cyclothon:
An all out Cycling event in Bengaluru, India. Crazy. Promoting everything cycling.
Taking place October 11th, 2009.
It will be “India’s first and biggest ever Cyclothon!”
Their teasers are so much fun!




Taken from the BSA Hercules Cyclothon site:

The main objective is to create a mass mobilizing cycling event in the country – Cyclothon
This would be a public event involving the general public, corporate sector and the city at large. Projection of cycling as an ‘in sport’ – which connotes the values of speed, passion, excitement, thrill, fun and most important of all as an environment friendly sport for all, with fitness benefits especially targeting the younger generation of Indians.
Cyclothon would imbibe the elements of a distance running event namely mass involvement and participation of World class cyclists, to support and encourage the Indian cyclists and promote the concept of cycling along commercial, social and environmental planks.
The aim would be to highlight all the valuable aspects of cycling in the form of

* Viable mode of Transport
* Environment Friendly Activity
* Cycling for Health & Fitness
* Cycling – The Sport

Continue Reading ...