The Road to the 2014 NACCC
Words and Photos by John Daniel Reiss
The Road to NACCCs was not paved in gold. It was mostly laid out with cheap beer and great friends. For the 2014 North American Cycle Courier Championship organizers in Minneapolis and Chicago concocted an elaborate plan that spanned several hundred miles and two weekends. Starting with the Cuttin’ Crew Classic, an annual race that celebrates the local hustle of the Chicago messenger, many out-of-towners showed up for a piece of the action. Still hanging on to summer, we were blessed by the cool water of Lake Michigan and soaked by afternoon showers. My compatriots at TCB Courier and myself found ourselves taking it all in, from the beautiful stone buildings to cutty alleys, the city was a great motivator the challenges ahead.
After a weekend full of 4AM bars, hot dogs and hazy mornings, it was time for the fun part. The fun part in this case was a 400-mile ride that would take us from Milwaukee to Minneapolis for the NACCC, in four days. Some expert organizing from Nico landed us a sag van and fully loaded campsites that made each night relaxing, and next easy to start. Besides the general beauty of the Midwest, it is also very flat! This was a welcome change from our Bay Area lifestyle, where vertical elevation is all we know.
Arriving in Minneapolis on a Thursday, we had ridden the last hundred miles at casual but focused pace and came in shortly after track day at the NSC Velodrome.
I’ll let the pictures do the talking from here, but rest assured, MPLS killed it this year. The national and international messenger community is difficult to define in the service industry. As demands for delivery change, we adapt. The NACCCs is a great representation of the diverse field of men and women who not only celebrate a life on the bicycle but also are focused on maintaining this niche lifestyle that is as innovative as it is unique. When all the dust settled after the main race Austin Horse stood on the podium as first male and first overall, with last years champion Christina Peck finishing first female and fourth overall. You may see the full results at the 2014 NACCC site.