New York, NY: 22 September 2009 @7pm, Barnes & Noble Union Square
* Civic Leader: Janette Sadik-Khan, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation
* Urban Theorist: Mitchell Joachim, Co-Founder of Terrefuge & Terreform ONE; on faculty at Columbia University and Parsons
* Bicycle Advocate: Paul Steely White, Executive Director, Transportation Alternatives
Prolly’s put up some pictures from the 2009 Cycle Messenger World Championships:
Including one of our own Champ in NYC, Austin:
More pictures on flickr.
(got this randomly off twitter)
Article on New Zealander going to worlds:
My life in sport: Ezra Phillips
New Zealand Herald, â€ŽSeptember 17, 2009â€Ž
Twenty seven-year-old Aucklander Ezra Phillips will carry the hopes and dreams of the nation in his satchel when he competes in the 17th world bicycle courier championships in Tokyo, starting tomorrow.
The event simulates real-life courier work, but will be held over a closed circuit around the Tokyo port area.
Phillips, the country’s only competitor, is aiming to qualify for the main race after three unsuccessful bids.
A lack of depth is being blamed for New Zealand’s problems in challenging for the coveted title.
Cycle courier numbers in Auckland have dropped from 50 to less than 20 in recent years as faxes and emails take over.
New Zealand’s competitive bicycle courier scene is also facing problems similar to those of rugby – the only other Kiwi entered for Tokyo lives overseas.
It is not all bad news however. Phillips’ fellow Aucklander Jenna Macgill won the women’s world title in Toronto last year.
But in a major blow for the sport, Macgill has quit the bicycle courier big leagues for university life and will not travel to Tokyo.
Is this a legitimate sport?
It is highly unusual but it is also becoming more common … worldwide it is a legitimate sport. Some organisers don’t allow non-couriers to enter but I reckon the more the merrier. We had the Eye in the Sky race around Auckland a few months ago, which was good fun.
Could it be described as orienteering at a faster clip but without the clipboard?
Yeah, it is pretty much city orienteering on a bike. It’s like your first day at work. You don’t know where you are going unless you knuckle down and study your map. The world championships are held over five days – first day is a practice run and then qualifying.
Qualifying is the hardest part. Some years there are up to 2000 trying to get in and only a total of 50 to 100 males and females qualify.
There are a number of different disciplines apart from the main race such as skills where you do things like backwards circles … there is another that is like drag racing where you hop on a roller and go up against an opponent to see who does the fastest quarter mile. You are on a stage and the audience is below, cheering you on.
Then there is the alley cats section – I’m not sure if Tokyo will have alley cats because it’s a bit of a grey area with the police. It’s an actual courier race through the streets. They give you a map with 15 points to get to.
Wouldn’t there be too much home advantage in alley cats? If a Japanese person didn’t win it in Tokyo that would indicate there is something seriously wrong with their courier riding.
Usually the locals don’t race.
I should think not. Moving forward … what’s your best finish?
Last year I missed out by one minute to qualify. I’d better qualify this year or else it’s going to get a bit depressing.
Absolutely. There is a lot riding on this. The knives will be sharpened. What about Sparc – can you score any money from that lot or are they too obsessed with the Olympics?
You have to be an association to get Sparc money. Maybe one day.
What got you into courier work?
I saw a documentary on Singapore Airlines about bike couriers riding around Auckland. That gave me the bug so I moved up from Tauranga seven years ago.
So you left sunny Tauranga so you could ride around Auckland on a bike all day. It doesn’t get much better than that, but just in case, have you had a worst moment?
A car T-boned me. I’ve been under a few cars.
Some competitive cyclists have told me that Auckland drivers are the worst in the world. Any comment? Are we that bad?
Yeah, I’d agree with that. They don’t indicate for three seconds and they do u-turns left, right and centre. I drive a car after hours and I try to practice what I preach. I’m actually more scared of the other drivers when I’m in my car on the motorway than riding my bike around.
Become the world champ at least once and maybe get into track racing at some stage.
If you weren’t a courier what would you be doing?
Maybe a kayak instructor. Something outdoors.
Proudest competitive achievement?
Coming first equal in the alley cats in 2007 with another Kiwi rider. We were in good form and we worked as a team.
Sounds like that dodgy F1 stuff … what’s the best thing about your job?
The freedom to ride my bike, and meeting lots of different people.
The Red Bull Eye in the Sky in Auckland.
Kayaking and rock climbing.
A tough one …
I suppose we’ve had a dearth of famous courier riders to hero worship over the years?
I know … the closest I can think of to a childhood hero is Luke Skywalker
Speaking of which, who would play you in a movie?
Ohhh … someone short and cheeky.
Do you feel your sport gets enough public attention?
No, not really.
Come on. Let’s be honest. It doesn’t get any public attention, does it?
It does now thanks to you.
How long will you keep pursuing the world title dream?
So long as I can ride. It would be nice to have some fellow competitors. It would be good to go as a team. My girlfriend Melanie Douglas is going to Tokyo to film me although unfortunately cameras are not allowed on the actual course this year. We’re hoping to put out a doco film at some stage.
We’ll all know a lot more about it then, but what do people say about your sport now?
A lot of people tell me to go hard and don’t come back unless I win.
What’s the strangest item you’ve ever had to deliver?
I think it was some body parts from a hospital to a Remuera doctor.
What were the parts and did you ride particularly carefully?
No idea. They were in a chilly bin. I took every precaution.
Those fine culture jamming and Agitpropmasters, the “Yes Men” who brought you the fake NY Times, were at it again, this time making a NY Post highlight some real issues instead of outbursts form Kayne West…
New Yorkers woke up today to see this issue bombard their senses and expose a real threat. According to Gothamist, over 85,000 printed editions were distributed city-wide.
You can read the whole thing at: http://nypost-se.com (it appears to be getting overloaded-or the Real Post is trying to shut it down)
The Yes Men will be doing a demo tomorrow to help you survive the changing climate: (from Gothamist) “in Stuy Cove Park, just north of East 20th Street on the East River, to demonstrate their post-apocalyptic SurvivaBall, “a self-contained living systemâ€”truly, a gated community for one. If you have a SurvivaBall, even if everyone else is dying, at least you can weather all storms.”
There is also a new documentary coming about the dangers of a warmer planet, which asks the important question, “How Stupid are we…” The AGE OF STUPID
Which is having its global premiere in 550 cities over the next two days. Today is the one in New York. To find out where its showing go here.
This film is in preperation for the successor to the Kyoto Treaty, the next UN climate summit in Copenhagen in December 2009.
Got a nice photo in the Daily News.
(thanks for pointing it out Jefferson Siegel)
This was for park(ing) day 9/18/09 and our live web cast.
Green vs. Machine: Environmental advocates occupy parking spaces around Manhattan
BY MIRELA IVERAC AND CORKY SIEMASZKO
DAILY NEWS WRITERS
Saturday, September 19th 2009, 4:00 AM
(photo by Jefferson Siegel/daily news)
“A group fighting to take back the streets from cars won a skirmish Friday in the struggle of man vs. machine.
Armed with city permits and lots of quarters, activists enlisted by Transportation Alternatives occupied 51 parking places around the city – and held on to them all day.
They turned those islands of asphalt into art galleries, performance spaces, and gathering spots for supporters who want to make the city “cleaner and greener.”
“In some cases, people were running their offices out of those spots while they fed the meter,” said Paul Steely White, the group’s head honcho.
Parking day was a huge success. Lots of great guests throughout the day. I hope to make the individual performances and interviews available on line. Soon as I get back from a family gathering at the Jersey Shore.
As you must know by now I will be hosting a live web show from our parking space for Parking day.
Here is a schedule of the guests who are coming by:
11:00am-Heather Berger-Bicycle Film Festival
11:30am-KT from Velo Brooklyn
12:00pm-Ken Stanek, Bikeshorts and Los Marcos
1:00pm-Judy Ross-Bike Lane Clowns
1:30pm-Shin Pei-Transportation Alternatives
2:30pm-Wombat in Combat, Acoustic Set from the Bikecore Experience
3:00pm-Ingrid Koop, Shootingpeople.org
Tomorrow morning there will be a web link on this blog telling you how to pickup our broadcast.
September 17th, 2009 | Category: General | Comments are closed
Well it’s that time again, when bike couriers from around the world, duke it out to see who’s the fastest and can remain upright after downing the most beers. This year, its Saki shots as the world’s bike messengers descend upon TOKYO Japan.
The CMWC (Cycle Courier World Championships) is September 19th-23rd.
Two DJ’s from the eclectic radio station WFMU are about to make radio history.
Here’s the scope:
Monday, September 28th, 2009.
Be a part of the world’s first-ever completely mobile bike-powered radio broadcast: RIDIN’ DIRTY with DJs Marty McSorley and Trent.
We will be doing a radio show live from behind a bike, strapped to an 8-foot trailer, provided by the excellent Band of Bicycles – complete with an on-bike sound system and power generator. The show will be broadcast live on WFMU 91.1fm, and worldwide at WFMU.org.
We have a lot of fun lined up already – mobile liquid love from Delicious Beverages, DJ sets from some of the the thousands of artsy types who live along the route, and bike-blended smoothies at McCarren park.
But we need your help to fill in the blanks!! DO you have an amazing bike-powered invention you’d like to chat about / demonstrate on the air? Do you have a bike-themed DJ set you’d like to contribute via your iPod? Just want to caravan around and cause some trouble? Let us know how you’d like to contribute along the route.
Here is out approximate plan, subject to change, of course.
6 – 8pm – Picnic in Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park, under Manhattan Bridge, Dumbo
8 – Broadcast starts, caravan heads to Commodore Barry Park (Flushing Ave at Navy Street)
8:30 – 9 – Hang at Commodore Barry Park, with guest DJ sets, live performance
9 – Head up Flushing Ave / Kent Ave towards…..
9:30 (Arrive at) waterfront park at Grand Street and River Street
9:30 – 10 Waterfront park hang / DJ / performance
10:00 head up Kent / N. 11th Street towards…
10:30 (arrive at) McCarren Park soccer field / track
10:30 – 11 McCarren hang / smoothies / wrap up show
Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP if you’re interested in performing / sharing / caravaning. Please also spread the word to other bike-minded heads who might have something to share, let’s make it happen for REAL!
Any questions, lemme know.
Love + 2 wheels,
Trent, Marty McSorley, Band of Bicycles, + Delicious Beverages
So I will be hosting a live web stream from our parking space as part of Parking Day
Park(ing) Day is an international event that reclaims parking spots and transforms them into engaging, people-friendly public spaces for one day a year. Throughout the city, people will be taking over these spaces and turning them into mini parks, another experiment in having a more livable city.
Bikeblognyc.com, your source for urban bike culture in NYC and beyond is hosting a live web stream from our parking space at 156 Rivington St. (between Clinton and Suffolk St in the Lower East Side of Manhattan)
The idea is that I will be having guests stop by throughout the day, from 9am-5pm and sitting down for 15-20 minute interviews. Think of it as a live talk show, with prominent members of the bicycle community here in NYC. Part of my quest to have more journalistic endeavors and to become the NPR of the bike blog world.
This will be in coordination with Time’s Up, an amazing environmental action and education non-profit that has been providing bike repair workshops and free events for over 20 years.