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Velocity Round up

Photo by Dave August

So who won tickets to the cycle messenger world championships in Toronto you ask?

For the ladies:

Alissa Eberle

and for the Men:

Andrew Toews.

Congratulation’s.

This was part of Sunday’s Monster Track Weekend, The 3rd annual Velocity Tour hosted by Kevin “Squid” Bolger of Cyclehawk Couriers.

Some more race results:

Velo City NYC 2008 Results
# City Bikers Women Team
382 Lauren Kung Cambridge Bicycle
10 Heidi Goodson Comedy Central
24 Brittlee Bowman N/A

# Messenger Women Team
43 Alissa Eberle N/A

# City Biker Men Team
390 Tadeusz Marszalek Sommerville Sports
46 Luke Stiles DART
40 Alex (Marius Farioletti) Affinity

# Messenger Men Team
23 Andrew Toews N/A
17 Dan Chabanov Six Racing
7 Shusaku Shiroyamu Six Racing

This is a velodrome series that gives hard working couriers a chance to take their track bikes to a place they were meant to go and try for tickets to the CMWC, which happens to be in Toronto this year.

It was also open to city riders, opening up lots of opportunity for people to test out their skills on the track out in Kissena Queens.

Next stop: Los Angeles April 10th and San Francisco May 10th

Yoshi from Fatlace’s Blog


Yoshi from Fatlace wrote this report on hanging with Sino and Hal from Tokyo, in town for Monster Track Weekend.

Thanks for the kind words about my DVD.

Check it: Here

So thats what happened to Sino in the race.

Two cool ads from London on Bike awareness

Loyal bikeblog reader Josh Kalin sent me two links to bicycle awareness PSA’s done by the city of London Transport.


here is one where the bike lanes come to life.

and here is another. (make sure to watch this till the end…and pay attention.

Thanks Josh.

Quick Quiz–Bike Porn

Which is Bike Porn?

1) This Guy

or this:

2)

Well, they both are…depending on how much money you got. One is a Hillbilly version of Gunter…sexy! Our own Ken rocking the mesh shirt for Rumble thru da Bronx.

The other is a screening of a series of short films by Reverend Phil for Portland.

the blog about the tour.

March 22nd.
Chashama
217 East 42nd St.
New York, NY. 10017

On Saturday, March 22nd 2008, The Pornography of the Bicycle will be three screenings
> for one night only. 7, 9 and 11pm. $6.00.

The 90-minute showing will consist of 28 short films from a
> variety of artists across the west coast on the theme of “bike porn.”
> The movies range from the contemplative to the inventive, to the
> [ahem] fully demonstrative.
>
> The curator of the program, Reverend Phil, will also be on-hand to
> discuss the philosophy and nature of bike porn in more intimate
> detail.
>
> “Pornography is difficult thing to define,” says bicycle pornographer,
> Reverend Phil. “Often we use a community standard to decide what is
> obscene as opposed to just erotic. People often say, ‘I know
> pornography when I see it.’ I feel pornography is the visceral
> reaction we get from something that is so graphic that we must turn
> away, or is so graphic that we cannot turn away.”
>
> The various artists, some operating under pseudonyms, take us though a
> range of videos — most of which are not available anywhere else. No
> DVDs of the work are available for sale; barely any works are on the
> Internet. This is your only chance to see The Pornography of the
> Bicycle in New York City.
>
>
> Please be advised of adult content: 18 and over only, please.
>

Article in Time out Sydney

Article in Time Out Sydney showing off the courier community.

Habitat: The streets of Sydney’s CBD
Dress: Shorts, satchel, two way radio
Credo: “Get out of the f***ing way”

Any job that requires you be impervious to insults, near misses with pedestrians, broken bones, dislocated joints and face-scraping grazes is no run of the mill crust-earner.

Unsurprisingly, bike couriers don’t brag about their injuries. They take pride in avoiding accidents. “Pedestrians are by far the greatest hazard to urban cyclists. My biggest fear is being knocked off my bike by a jaywalking pedestrian then going under a bus or truck,” says Simon ‘Shifty’ McKenzie.

From time to time, angry drivers take aim, but most messengers are circumspect about road rage. “Taxi drivers pull u-turns in front of you and don’t indicate. People swing their car doors open without looking. We all have to deal with the same dangers every day. We’re brothers in arms,” says Shifty.

“Taxis and buses have issues with us as we do them but it still amazes me how much good a friendly wave or apology can do.”

Sometimes things boil over. One courier had his revenge: “I once stole the keys out of a car that cut me off and threw them down a drain. I can assure you it’s difficult to reach in, turn the key and remove them from an occupied car.”

After work, couriers congregate near the old Post Office on George Street at Martin Place, standing around with Coopers and a rollie in hand, talking about their bikes. “This isn’t a job you choose,” Shifty says. “Usually it’s a job you get into because it looks cool or because you may have trouble getting another job. For a job with no qualifications it beats the hell out of flipping burgers or pouring beers.”

Tribal site www.cycling.org.au

Alleycat in DC on March 15th


This Saturday in Washington D.C.
“THE DARKSIDE ALLEYCAT”

3pm the games begin:

Competitions start at 3PM and will consist of:

~ Trackstands

~ Footdown

~ Alleycat race at 4PM

Location of competitions and start of alleycat TBA

~After event party with live bands to be held at the Red and the Black at 1212 H st NE, Wash. DC, time TBA

Bands:

The Screws

Unabombers

Angry Youth

DJ Evil

CA$H PRIZES, SWAG

PRIZE CATEGORIES:

1ST PLACE FIXIE; CANE CREEK TRACK WHEELSET

1ST PLACE GEARED BIKE: $100

2ND PLACE REGARDLESS OF BIKE: $50

We have a Track V wheelset from Cane Creek, hats from Walz Caps and Spokepunchers as well as hats and t-shirts from Laekhouse in hand already.

ENTRANCE FEE OF $5.00.

Covers all competitions/race. Proceeds to be donated to charities dealing with terminally ill children.

Got quoted in the NY times.

So I called my friend, the reporter form the Times Colin Moynihan, and told him there is still a story to be told about how alleycats have come of age, especially with Monster Track being canceled by its original organizers. He talked with his editors and was able to do the story.

I know people are kind of tired of this but at least we are reporting about postive biking and not speculating about what kind of biker was the mad bomber in Times Square.

Here it the article.

Monster Track Weekend so far-which never happened.

Well its been an unpredictable weekend to say the least. Canceled, not canceled. Rain, misting, not-raining, pouring. Videotape, didn’t record, recorded, camera falls to the ground on the road.

Despite the small dramas, its been good times overall and Monster Track 9 still brought people out from all over the world.

Friday night, Get Sum entertainment put on the pre-party and Goldsprints at Third Ward in Bushwick. This place is a nice size gallery space with lots of activity. Mixed in with drenched bike messengers attending the party, fashion models were in studio being photographed and others I meet were working on a documentary contest where they had to complete a film about “second life,” in four days. Oh and thanks for the pizza BTW.

Meanwhile, as the rain never stopped, Team Spider rocked out playing many of their new hits like Fuck Brakes, to a crowd who would be doing just that the next day at Monster Track. This was the bands 10 year anniversary party, bringing their bike punk rock to the masses.

On a big wall in the center of the gallery where about 140 photos from Ed Glazar showing off the diverse bicycle community with bike polo, alleycats and a lot of familiar faces that were in attendance.

Behind that wall was the goldsprints hosted by Hodari, CK and Mike Dee. Here participants battled it out on stationary bikes for prizes like crumpler bags decorated with original fabric art by Ashira.

Here you can pedal in a highly competitive environment and not have to worry about becoming a hood ornament form a speeding SUV.

The final battle of the night came down to our own Pablo from 6 racing team against this kid from Portland who had never been in NYC before.

The first final match was a dead tie so, it was shirts of and time for a vicious tie-breaker to the delight of the biker crowd.

By a close second Caze for Portland (not sure about the name) beat Pablo.

Saturday:

The mood of rain would shift from a light sprinkle to a monsoon downpour on the day of the Monster Track alleycat. This year was the ninth annual race and it was a real coming of age for the underground sport.

A 29 year old died in Chicago in an alleycat series which quickly brought attention to a type of event that has been going on for years without such a tragic incident. Suddenly everyone is questioning the legitimacy and legality of this underground sport normally reserved for bike messengers challenging one another on a weekend.

What can I say, people like to ride fixed gears, they like to ride in traffic and an alleycat race is such a unique exhilaration, always a different course and unlike any type of cycling there is. The fashionableness and the wide spread skill sharing scene on youtube have reached the masses and made cycling cool, so naturally there are lots of people who aren’t messengers who want this same sense of belongingness. Monster Track has become a peremiere event and made NYC a popular destination from rookie alleycat participants. Its also a way to gain bragging rights for your city and for yourself to escape from just being able to merely communte on a fixie to downright racing through a congested traffic environment.

So the original organizers washed their hands of it and left it up to last years organizer alleycat veteran and messenger, Victor. One tactic to reduce the “rookie racers” was hiding the registration and making it word of mouth. The Bangledeshian rains were doing a good job of thinking the pack of potential participants but still they came, drenched with surgical gloves, and plastic bags in their SIDI’s to sign up for the now elusive monster track. In a one room apartment in Williamsburg Brooklyn, the came in, paid ten bucks, got a spoke card and were told where to meet to start the race.
Photos from the start by Fritz:

At around 4:50, the rains stopped and the 50 or so fixie riders, who were given the secret handshake to race, took off from under the Williamsburg brige in Manhattan and Monster Track 9 was on.


The first stop was Trackstar where racers got their manifest and drink a beer.

Then they broke off into the city with most people going uptown and few headed down.

I headed to the middle of the Williamsburg Bridge which was the last checkpoint before the end which was designed to keep people off the car path.

Winner (photos by Fritz)
for the dudes:
Austin

For the ladies:
Heather

Congratulations to the winner:
1st Mens: Austin
1st Womens: Heather
2nd place Men: Crihs
3rd place Men: Yatika
4th place Men: Willis

The end was at the park at the base of the Williamsburg Bridge, Brooklyn side. We hung out for a while and I talked with a woman who was shooting a documentary about messengers…never heard that concept before. There was also a freelance writer there named Bill who’s business card said he was from Portland. He said he was doing a story on MT for Bicycling magazine. It will be hard to report on this race…because of course it never happened.

Looks like rain this weekend

Slight change in plans for Saturday:

Saturday March 8, 1PM Hosted by King Kog
Meet at Rockstar Bar- South 5th St. at Kent Ave. Brooklyn
Group ride to Meeker/Union under the BQE (Covered area- RAIN!)
SPRINTS, Skids, Freestyle, Stands, Footdown! Fun!
Awards and Afterparty at Rockstar Bar!!

Take Bike Commuter Survey.

Matthew Ides is taking a survey.

Hub and Spokes: Imageability of the Daily Bicycle
Commuter in New York City

“In a city that is dominated by the automobile I want
to find out how its residents who use other modes of
transportation actually view the built environment.
While all forms of transit modes could be studied, I
find that this small minority (0.5% of residents who
commute by bike) would make for an interesting study.
The sole purpose is to record the subjective
perspective (mental image/imageability) New York City
bicycle commuters have of the build environment, good
or bad, through a survey. The survey is 23 questions
and will take less than 10 minutes to complete. No
compensation will be provided for participation in
this study.”

Take the SURVEY here:
questionpor.com

more info at Hubs and spokes