Let’s face it. We bike messengers are trying to keep a dying industry afloat. Please don’t ask us how long its gonna last, because we don’t want to think about it. Some cities have tried (successfully or not) to unionize to help make conditions for messengers on the road better. But this is a long and grueling process that often leads to a lot of fired bikers.
It’s Boda Boda time!
Back in the early 2000’s, here in Austin, a guy named Whitney Moyer headed to a mecca of hopeful framebuilders in the US, UBI. Upon returning with all the experience needed to build frames, he was looking to commission a local project. This was that frame. Moyer’s first…
Whitney reached out to Nick, a bike messenger in town at the time, to build a straight forward, classic track frame from True Temper OX platinum. Nick had a group for the frame. Made of mismatched components that he fell in love with over the years.
Nitto NJS steel cockpit, Suntour seatpost, Turbo saddle, Dura Ace cranks, Chris King Sotto Voce headset, Dura Ace hubs to Mavic Open Pro Ceramic and of course, Campy Super Record pedals with double straps.
This bike, although made in 2004, looks straight out of the 80’s. In the ten years Nick has owned his Moyer, it’s been raced on the track as well as the street, worked on for years and still to this day, Nick finds the time to pull it down from the wall and take it for a spin. It’s war torn, tattered but is still straight as an arrow.
If there were a track bike to represent Austin, this would be it.
Ride Along: Leah Hollinsworth
Words and photos by Chris Lee
I first met Leah Hollinsworth a few years ago in Chicago, a couple days before the Stupor Bowl. I decided to meet her and a handful of other couriers in Chicago to ride the AmTrak to Minneapolis. What was supposed to be a 6-8 hour train ride turned into something like 14 hours because of winter blizzards and other mayhem that comes with obnoxious snow accumulation in the Midwest. Needless to say, I got to know Leah well during that train ride.
Fast forward to the first weekend of May, 2014: I just crossed over the border into Canada on my way to the 5th annual Mayday alleycat. Mayday is the biggest race that the Toronto courier community throws. It brings racers (courier or not) from all over Canada and even the United States. In addition and even more importantly, this race is a fundraiser for the Bike Messenger Emergency Fund, or BMEF for short. After the race and the parties were all said and done, I met up with Leah to talk a little about her involvement with the BMEF and the Mayday alleycat.
The Messenger’s Guide To New York City: The West Village and Midtown
Standby with Hiromi/Ghost stories and local comfort with Stoned Tone
Words and photos by Chris Lee
In the second installment of The Messenger’s Guide To New York City, I got a chance to have the man behind Boda Boda, Hiromi Bruni show me around. Hiromi was born and raised in the West Village and knows the neighborhood like the back of his hand. We payed respects to the remains of Gray’s Papaya, a hot dog joint that was a fixture in the neighborhood and got some desert at Rocco’s. We went by Dave’s Work Wear, the local’s only one stop shop for work wear. And finally chilled at his favorite midtown standby spots.
Photo by John Daniel Reiss
If you love something, thrash it. That’s exactly what Kenny has done with this bike. When he picked up this frame off local Craigslist, he was looking for a classic steel workhorse. It just so happened that he snagged a De Rosa… for a song. If you’re going to spend all day on a bike, it might as well be a great ride, right?
Using mostly spare parts and some swap-found components, he built it up with SRAM force, Profile hubs to H+Son Archetypes, trigger shifters on riser bars and kept the vintage 3T stem. A Wald Basket helps out in light and easy carries while Kenny still wears a backpack throughout the day for the bigger hauls.
This bike has character. The chain lock and u-lock bite marks on the Columbus decal alone do it for me!
What I’ve realized over time is that I end up with a lot of bike portraits of riders in my film rolls. This sparked an idea: a “ride along” interview series. We’ll start this off with Chris Lee, in NYC, where he interviews Brean Shea, a bike messenger and track cyclist.
I don’t know about you, but to me, that looks like a lot of fun. Luckily, most of the snow will have been melted in August.
Check out more information at the Minneapolis NACCC site!
Monster Track. The world’s most infamous, dangerous and in my opinion, most significant alleycat. In the 15 years it’s been thrown in New York City, it never ceases to surprise its contenders. There are only a few rules, the most important being two words: NO BRAKES.
Typically, there’s a weeding down process, at the hands of multiple manifests. Everyone starts with one, but only a select few make it to true completion by filling up to three. This year, mother nature smiled on the event, delivering somewhat favorable conditions (when compared to previous years being riddled with rain and snow). At the end of the event, the winners of Monster Track XV were Cooper Ray and Hannah Todd.
On the scene at the event and working the Williamsburg Bridge checkpoint was Chris Lee, who provided a few photos from the event. Check them out in the Gallery!