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.
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.
I’m so stoked for YNOT. I’ve watched this company grow over the years and I’m so happy to see them open a brick and mortar in Toronto.
“We are really excited to announce the Grand Opening of our official Toronto Flagship Store!
Situated just east of Trinity Bellwoods in the Arts & Design district of Queen West, the YNOT Store showcases our full line of tried and true messenger bags, backpacks, and iconic pedal straps. Be sure to check the YNOT Custom Build Bar, where you can customize staple YNOT bags or accessories. With integrated sewing machines onsite, professional YNOT bag makers will create these one-of-a-kind products right on the spot, just for you. Then, On February 21st we threw a big party to celebrate! We had a full house, and the machines at our custom build bar were going full tilt churning or custom YNOT cozys for everybody’s beers & mason jars!
We are super thankful for the awesome and supportive community we have here in our hometown of Toronto! This city has a wonderful bike scene full of amazing people, and we’re proud to be a part of it. The turnout made us feel super loved! Thanks Toronto!”
Photos by Trevor Hughes
Before the #MessLife hashtag, photographers like Trevor Hughes took to the streets with their 35mm cameras to document the lives of bike messengers. Projects like this inspire me to get out more with my camera and that’s saying something. These are some of the best messenger portraits I’ve seen. Love the Fat City Cycles cap!
See the full photoset at Trevor’s Flickr!
It’s no secret that these days, women get left out of a lot of cycling apparel lines. Maybe that’s a good thing? If that big denim company had made a women’s line, then maybe brands like RYB wouldn’t have taken the initiative themselves to fill the much-needed market. For whatever reason, the ladies at RYB look to be filling that void. Check out their IndieGoGo campaign here!
YNOT adds a new fabric to their line of cycling portage and accessories. Waxed canvas ages nicely and can be maintained to last for years.
Also, see the YNOT video below!
YNOT’s newest addition to their already plump line of cycling portage is one of the most tried and true bike bags: the pannier. Check out more information on the Pan-Yay! at YNOT.
Toronto’s YNOT caught a bit of the purple bug. Hey, it happens to the best of us. Check out their full line of purple portage products here!
How’s this for some good vibes? All the way from Toronto’s Bikes on Wheels!
Dry sacks are the best. The best for a day of drinking in the park, keeping cameras dry, touring, camping, rafting, “fadventuring”, or whatever you can think up. Check out YNOT’s new Six Pack sack the next time you need to keep the wet from the dry and vice versa.