Lots of updates!

 

Hey mess family!

It has been ages since we posted anything on here and thats about to change! Going forward I am going to endeavour to post wayyyyy more often on here, everything from upcoming events to issues that affect us as a community.

In order to make this more exciting I would like to reach out to the community as a whole and ask for submissions. If you have a race coming up please shoot me an email with the info you’d like shared along with any artwork and Ill post it straight away! If you attended a race, or event and want to write a few lines about how rad it was please do so and send it along and I’ll make sure to share it. The same goes for any topic that you think needs to be shared or talked about…send it in!

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So much has happened in and to our global mess fam in the past year…. we have sadly lost an unprecedented number of our friends recently and if there is one thing to take away from these terrible losses is the strength of the bond we all share. I have seen a huge outpouring of love and support for those close to the ones we have lost. This is one of the things that makes our family so damn special. Lets continue to be there for each other, in good times and in tough times.
Ride In Peace

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WBMA Logo

There have been some really amazing developments this year too… like the founding of the WBMA, ~Womens Bike Messenger Association!! The idea was born in Melbourne during  CMWC this year and the WBMA had its first official meeting at Denver NACCC! There was a huge turn out of amazing, strong and empowered women and I am proud to stand beside them!  The WBMA gives us an incredible opportunity to combine our voices and really be heard and to make a difference in our community.

If you’d like to join the WBMA please email:
wbma-international@googlegroups.com

or get in touch through the Facebook Group

In case you were questioning if a group like this is really necessary you just need to check out the tasteless and sexist post made by Chrome Industries yesterday on their Instagram account, and the incredibly well thought out and articulated response from the WBMA.   THIS is one of the many reasons that the WBMA is so welcomed and needed.

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CMWC melbourne Logo

CMWC MELBOURNE

* I am hoping that someone more eloquent than me will step up and do a more in-depth report on CMWC but I can briefly say that it was an amazing time!

The Pre-Event in Sydney was so much fun! We saw all the sites during some super fun alleycats and rides. Team Footdown and Team scavenger hunts saw us divided into “gangs” Yabos, Westies and Bogans, complete with gang shirts,quickly turned into cut off flannels!

The group ride was, for lack of a better word, EPIC!.  We were prepared for “gentle rolling hills along the coast” What we got was intense, pedal grinding climbs and sometimes terrifying descents along the headlands of the east coast of Australia.  The (dead) wildlife was plentiful as were the amazing views. We biked through 5 or 6 national parks and camped in a couple.  The food and beer was free and plentiful for the whole group ride ensuring that many “bonnets were popped” around the campfire each night.

We finally pulled into Melbourne on a chilly morning about 5am and were met by a crew of locals and those out of towners who had already arrived directly to Melbourne.   We all dropped our bags at our respective housing spots and headed to the Brunswick Velodrome for some exciting track racing and my introduction to Track Cross(?).

As I sit here and reminisce about the whole trip I am slightly amazed at how much it is all one big happy blur! Might have been all the Coopers!!   The Main Race took place in a beautiful part of the city right along the harbour and from all accounts was a great and well run race. There was a large vendor area where bike business shared their products and services. The BMEF/LCEF had a booth and thanks to the support of our large community we raised a couple thousand dollars for the Funds. <3

Another exciting development that came out of discussions at the Open Forum was the desire to create a Pacific Rim Championships in addition to the NACCC, ECMC, and CMWC. This new CMC would include Australia, and NewZealand as well as Singapore, Malaysia, China, Indonesia, Taiwan, Japan, Philippines South Korea, etc…  There are so many countries that are home to many bike messengers that are just not aware of our global mess family and we are trying to change that.

ecmc milan

ECMC Milan

*please send in any pics/words about ECMC!

The ECMC in Milan was preceded by an absolutely mind-blowing pre-event and group ride from Basel, Switzerland. We were treated to 3 days and nights of good food and fun times on our bikes.  The Swiss really know how to organize and if you’ve ever had the pleasure of attending a Swiss organized messenger event you may have a slight idea of how incredible the pre-event and group ride was!  The ride was fully supported and myself and Mischka along with anyone and everyone we asked to help, ensured that there was enough food each meal to feed 120+ starving messengers.  Highlights of the trip included a fun night in Zurich, being hosted by an amazing family at a farm in the country, camping in the freezing rain in Andermatt, the ride over the Gottard Pass that saw temperatures below freezing before a 60km decent into Locarno where the temperatures were above 30c (90f)  and of course the pilgrimage to see Madona Del Ghisallo the patron Saint of Italian cycling

Ghisallo_monumento_del_ciclista ghissalo

After paying our respects we headed downhill into Milano! And what a welcome it was! The Italians showed us lots of love and reuniting with our messfam was, as always, bellissimo!

We were treated to a party at the famous, historical Velodromo Vigorelli! It was built in 1935 and although it no longer hosts track events it is still open and hosts other sporting events. What a beautiful piece of history!

The food was phenomenal as was the espresso.  Everyone suddenly “spoke” italian….basically we all just faked a fun Italian accent and spoke in the only Italian words we knew…. “Espresso! Fussili! Linguini!”  You get the picture!

The Open Forum saw Copenhagen, Prague and Vienna put in exuberant bids to host ECMC 2016 and in the end Copenhagen won!   I will be sure to post more info as it comes in but keep your summer travel calendar wide open as there are plans to have 4-5 weeks of Pre-event->ECMC Copenhagen->Post-event->Pre-event Cologne->CMWC Paris!

 

Denver NACCC logo

DENVER NACCC

*if someone wants to write something up about NACCC this year, that would be fantastic.

The Mile High City certainly showed us a great time! The weather was perfect, the beer and weed were plentiful as was the amazing riding.  There was only a small crew of organizers in Denver but that didn’t stop them from throwing an incredible and well planned out NACCC.  The qualifiers were held in an industrial area that had very little traffic and everything went off without a hitch.  There was some issue with the number of ladies put through to the finals which was rectified when brought to the attention of the organizers.  After the results of who would go through to the finals were announced it was also announced that the Finals would be held in open traffic around the city of Denver.  This created quite a bit of controversy and this topic is one that I think will be discussed more in the near future. (If someone could write something up on this… great!)   After much discussion and a small protest/moment of silence the race got underway. It was a gruelling 4 hours in sweltering heat at a 5,280 ft or 1,610 m elevation.   In the end Kelly Pennington from Montreal and Austin Horse from NYC were crowned the 2015 NACCC Champions! Congrats to you both!

This years Open Forum had Baltimore, LA and Milwaukee all putting in bids to host NACCC 2017. We used the ballot system of voting again this CMC and it went smoothly again. Many people expressed their appreciation for the newer system as it allowed them to vote with their heart and not due to peer pressure.   The system is a simple one and only has 2 requirements of voters..

1) you must be a working or ex messenger to vote 

2) you must have attended a NACCC either this year or last year

The voting is open from the end of the first Open Forum and concludes at the beginning of the Awards Ceremony on Sunday night. You must submit your ballot containing your name, race number and the city you’d like to vote for. If you are attending the event but did not register you must come and see me and Ill simply add your name to the list of voters. You DO NOT need to be registered in order to cast a vote.  I do my best over the weekend to find each and every person and ensure that they have cast a vote but the onus lies with you to find me -not a hard task!- and submit your ballot.  The system is very transparent and accountable. Each vote is cross checked with a master list and in the event of any concern to do with the voting, each vote can be verified.  As always we are open to suggestions and are eager to discuss any improvements.

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Lastly a quick update on the BMEF..

Each year we receive more and more requests for assistance from the BMEF and this year is no exception. We have paid out over $10,000 this year to messengers who were injured on the job.  Annual fundraisers like MAYDAY, and The MarioKart Krit are crucial to the ongoing ability for the BMEF to help when needed.  Please consider throwing a BMEF fundraiser in your city. Every dollar helps!  It can be a race, a poker night, a movie night, a band show, etc! Get creative!
The BMEF is also selling merchandise to help raise both funds and awareness. We currently have available:
Tshirts -$20

Hoodies-$40

Caps-$15

Jerseys-$80

Koozies-$5

Patches (white or black)-$5

AssSaver Fender $5

If you would like to order any BMEF merchandise please send me an email here or hit me up on Facebook here and Ill get you all set up!  You can also “like” us on Facebook here and check out our website here

 

Thats all for now but please get in touch with me and let me know what you’d like to see more of on here!  Share pics, words, fliers etc.

See you soon!

~Leah

 

 

Viking Quest~ECMC Stockholm~ As told by Simon Busk

Below is a firsthand account of ECMC in Stockholm, the pre-event in Copenhagen and the Viking Quest in between. A big thanks to Simon Busk for writing this for us as well as for the pics.
As always if anyone has a story they’d like to share about an event please send me an email to leah@bicyclemessenger.org and Ill be sure to get it up on here!

 

Viking Quest

My name is Simon, they call me Snus or Busken on the streets. I’ve been a messenger in Copenhagen for the last 6-7 years. I’ve been going to championships since 09 and i frequently hashtag my Instagram pictures with #messlife and I believe in keeping my selfiegame strong. Enough about me, let’s talk about the 2014 ECMC’s in Stockholm Sweden. But first let me tell you a little bit about Viking Quest and the Copenhagen messenger scene!

The last couple of years the messenger scene in Copenhagen has been dwindling, a lot of people left the scene as the business was shrinking and working conditions for messengers where being ass-raped by people towing the company line. Most people racing alley cats where media students on carbon bikes and pr consultants on Japanese steel frames. When i got asked to put up a pre-event i thought it would be impossible because of the lack of enthusiasm in the scene. Weed, booze and the amazing spirit of the CWMC’s in Lausanne made everything seem possible so me and Toto teamed up and decided to make shit happen! And boy did shit happen, in the end we got help form everyone in the milieu, old and new, exenger and messenger all pulled together in order for an epic week of drinking and biking with vikings! The infusion of foreign messengers to our little city was GREAT! A much needed vitamin injection for our little scene, the young guys got to see what it’s all about and the old legends could once more bask in the glory of days passed. Again a HUGE thank you going out to everyone who attended the pre-event!

Getting from Copenhagen to Stockholm is roughly a 700km ordeal, and how to make this possible for 60 people was a bit of a hassle, but in the end it all panned out pretty ok. The guy who planned the trip (me) got hospitalized a few days before with blood poisoning and a kidney infection, so some aspects of the trip got fucked up. but in the end most people survived and odin was pleased.

Getting to Sweden was a rough ride for some, rain, hail, thunder, crazy swedish roads and i guess a lot of people where not really ready for surviving on the roads (not bringing water bottles and burners! #messlife!) but for me it was quite easy, i packed my bike up, wrapped it in plastic bags, taped the shit out of it, got up early, smoked a blunt and got on a train. A few hours later i was riding my bike though the insanely beautiful streets of Stockholm. Celebrating the return to my native country, and trying to feed the enthusiasm of being at the ECMC’s, i make my way to the dark heart of Sweden. The systembolaget, one of the reasons i as a young adult decided to flee my country and seek refuge as a messenger on the streets of Copenhagen. As i stand there, in the midst of government oppression i finally find two overpriced and lukewarm cans of beer and i make my way to pay for it. Trying to pay for the alcohol turned out to be a problem as i could not produce any valid picture id. This was going to be a theme for the entire ECMC-weekend, the lack of and price of alcohol! A bit discouraged, i made my way to the HQ to find nothing but smiles, kisses, Swedish mouth tobacco and friends. Things where probably going to be TOTALY EPIC AND KICKASS anyhow! The rest of the thursday was quite slow, we went on a small group ride through the parks and on the bike paths of Stockholm, the ride ended up in a place called Långholmen, one of MANY islands making up the city of Stockholm. The party was quite slow, a 33cl beer was 20kr (roughly 2 euros) and people where mostly sitting around a bonfire.

Hillsprints/Alleycat/Viking Bar friday During the friday the last of the CPH/SF crew arrived, and it seemed like ALOT of people from rest of the world/europe also dropped in. I started the day out working the registration, giving a hand in setting up the out of towner-alley cat and trying to be as helpful as a semi-drunk swede recovering from severe blood poising can be! I can’t tell you much about the hillsprints or the alley cat, the hill sprints was FUCKED UP! We wen’t up the Hammarby backen, which is a ski slope during the winter and a bloody mess of gravel and stones during the summer. Jospehine from swizneyland and Beaver from back home won the whole shebang in the end! I briefly saw Beaver whizz pass me on his way up the mountain. Me, i was on my way down, down in to the hole! A hole filled with VODKA that is! At the end of viking quest we briefly thought we had some money over, during the excitement in not loosing any of our private money on a messenger event. Valtho came up with the idea that we should use the money to buy cheap booze in Copenhagen and bring to Stockholm! Being from

scandinavia, we know what to bring to Stockholm. Without double-checking the balance on the account we proceeded to buy about 37 liters of vodka to give away for free for all the attendants of viking quest. We figured that everyone would be to broke to buy their own booze in Stockholm, and rather then using the leftover money on something for us, we would like to share it with everyone who came to the event. Said and done, as everyone else was racing from Hammarbybacken to Medborgarplatsen dodging cars and running red lights in the out of towner alley cat. I was hauling 16l of vodka and about 20l of disgusting lime soda from one end of town to the other. Riding up and down the hills with all that weight on my back HURT my newly inflamed kidneys AS FUCK, but hoping people would be grateful for the free alcohol was making me push through it.

The out of towner alley cat was fast! Martin from Poland won, together with sauce from florida and another polish guy i cant remember, just behind him Paul from SF, Toto, Valtho and another bunch of beats came in. The alley cat ended in HQ and the party of the night was supposed to be held there. As more and more people where arriving, i was chilling out, trying to recover from hauling all that booze on my back. Again the mood was a little bit reluctant, people where starting to click up. German speaking people grouping with other people speaking angry, the french being the french as usual. You know the deal, you’ve all been to these kind of things before. Sitting quiet on the asphalt i recognized this and thought it would be a great idea to bring out the free booze! We had roughly 16l of 50% vodka 50% disgusting lime soda mixed up in 2l bottles, this should be enough to get the party started… and i guess it was! We held a little speech that no one listened to, and declared the bar open. Drinks was free for everyone attending viking quest and 10kr for everyone who didn’t attend. This being a messenger event of course people where assholes and they where not paying the lousy 10kr for a drink! That’s #messlife for you! As people where starting to black out and drunken fights raged on the dance floor i realized that my mission for the night was fulfilled and i started to make my way home in order to get a few hours of sleep before the qualifications.

Waking up on saturday morning was easy for me who poured drinks instead of drinking them, the race course was situated a few km outside of town on a university campus. I was sweating a lot in the high summer sun as i was making my way out there. The qualifications was scheduled to start at 11, i was in heat 3 and as i rolled up around 11.30 i was getting a bit antsy, thinking i was a bit late for the start. Once i made it up the small hill to race course i realized that Sweden is NOT Switzerland. The course was barely set up, and a lot of my messbros from Stockholm was walking around with stern looks on their faces and sweat coming out of theirs foreheads. I guess we where not starting heat 3 at 12.00, i rolled a jointed and laid down to relax under a tree. Slowly my friends from around the world started showing up, i rode around the course a couple of times and as time drew closer i started getting the jitters. Even though i knew my body felt like a bunch of wet paper bags i still got the tingling butterflies in my stomach, i had to pee three times and my legs where restless. It quickly dawned upon me that it would be a quite quick qualification, every heat would get a different manifest so it would be impossible the judge how you did according on your time, only placing in the heat mattered. I on the other hand had NO plans on qualifying, just being there and not being in a hospital was enough for me. The course was a fun one, most of the checkpoints knew what was up and i really enjoyed riding around the racetrack in a leisurely pace, making smalltalk and having a few beers. The stannous checkpoint was not as bad as they usually are, i guess they where hung over, the basque checkpoint most certainly brought the party! After completing my run, things stayed the same for a few hours. Joints was rolled, people made their run for qualifying and we hung out in the shade. Johannes from Swedish Drinking Team fame was doing a wonderful job MC’ing the event, as his voice got blurrier and blurrier the event slowly decayed down in the ECMC’s of years passed. Things where moving slow and no one really knew what was up. Would there be another alley cat tonight? There was supposed to be side events? And what about the party? Where was that going to be held? Questions was buzzing, and i decided that i was time to get some booze again. I grabbed Beast aka Sonny Boy and he in turned grabbed some guys bike and we set course for the remaining bottles of vodka. Learning from my mistake the previous night, i realized i needed help carrying all this booze, as beast and me where bombing through the empty streets of Stockholm it dawned upon me how much i love the messenger community! They might be a bunch of pretentious cunts with bad tattoos and a highly skewed image of their occupation, but i love doing shit like this! Who else get’s to host a party for a couple of hundred friends you never met before in a foreign country? Well, not cab drivers! Thats for sure! Anyhow me and beast are bombing through Södermalm with our bags filled with booze, the sun is still high in the sky and it should be dark now. The water is blue, the city is stunning and 10k’s away all of our friends are waiting! As we get to the race course, the track stands are about to start, and it’s past 9 in the evening. People are getting a bit antsy, the Copenhagen max ud crew gathers and we start mixing the drinks. As we are pouring the booze, Toto tells me that he talked to Jumbo and that Jumbo mentioned that arm wrestling competitions used to be a staple on messenger events. I think it sounds like a brilliant idea, so we make it happen! People gather around a small pick nick table in the middle of the plaza and shit is about the get down! What happened next was a stormflood of testosterone, friendly competition, national rivalry, enormous feats of strength and all out awesomeness! Men and woman fought epic battles of arm strength and will against each other. Legends was born and stories of brand new heroes was sung in valhalla! In the end Maggie from Stockholm took the womens title and Martin from the ever so epic Team Latvia became the winner of the mens final.

In some way this felt like the climax of the event, people had all raced during the day and now they got a well needed output for the frustrations and triumphs of the day! After the event my voice was properly fucked from screaming so much. I tried to nurse my sore throat with beer, people where slowly moving either back to town for sleeping or out to a techno tent by a lake in the forrest. I chose to get back with Kalle to sleep, but i heard tales of epicness through out the night.

Once again the Stockholm crew was running a bit behind schedule, but during the sunday it wasn’t to bad. I spent the day working the Omnium Cargo checkpoint where i was security, making people put their bikes in the bike parking area and forming straight lines while waiting. When working a checkpoint you loose the oversight of the race, but you do get a chance to get right in to the action. Not long after the Cargo race was on, it stood clear that a few riders was going MUCH faster and working their manifest smarter then the others. Jumbo from Copenhagen was absolutely flying, and behind him Hans from Copenhagen was also riding fast. After them it seemed like Robin from London, Arvid and Andreas from Stockholm was also killing it. Jänis from Latvia was as always a gracious sight on the track! In the end Jumbo took the W after spending about an hour racing for full blast. The main race lasted for three hours and the riders had a multitude of manifests to complete, they all got to choose jobs on the manifest, so trying to figure out who was in the lead was absolutely impossible. The three hours went by in a blur of sweaty bodies, angry screams, crumpled up manifests and running away with peoples bikes. After pushing it REAL hard for three hours in the sun, the race came to an end and it started dawning upon me that this would all come to end tonight. The familiar post-championship lump in my stomach started setting in. Being a couple of hours late, this meant that people actually was getting on the way to the final party quite quick. The final party was situated in a night club down by the water in Södermalm, on the other side of town. The swedish alcohol and drug culture got a brush with the messenger culture, the bouncers of the club was a bit dumbfounded about what to do about all the weed smoking and drinking outside of their establishment. Eventually we got to get in, but all bags had to be searched and no alcohol was allowed on the premises. The mood did not get much better when people found out that despite the Stockholm crew subsidizing the beer with 10000kr, a beer cost 35kr (roughly 3.5 euro). The prize ceremony eventually got underway and Marleke from the Netherlands got a bad ass carbon frame for the ladies race, beaver took the first spot in the mens final and Jojo from the PROUD By-Expressen crew got second place and also fastest working messenger! Quite a day for Copenhagen! Right after Leah announced to votes for the next ECMC (Milan got it!!) we all got kicked out of the venue, the party moved on to a nearby park and i made my way to the car in order to drive all throughout the night back to Copenhagen. Once again a championship was over, this one was an Epic one! The story is the same, so many new and old friends. Friendly and familiar faces, rookies falling asleep with their shoes on. Maxing out and chistoleing under a sky that never gets dark. Swimming, biking and hanging out in one of the most beautiful cities in the world was NOT a bad thing!
-Simon BuskECMC story1 ECMCstory ECMCstory2 ECMCstory3

ECMC 2011 MADRID SPAIN

Si puedes echar una mano durante los días del campeonato, por favor ponte en contacto con nosotras en voluntariosecmc2011@gmail.com

Dinos tu nombre, teléfono, email y días en los que puedes venir. ¡Gracias!

If you are coming from abroad, please register yourself using the registration form on this site!

Pre ECMC Bike Ride

For those of you crazy enough to ride across the desert in spain in late june, we’ve got you covered! we’re putting together a ride from barcelona to madrid (650km, leaving 26 june, hopefully arriving 30 june). we don’t have much more than a support van and a vague idea of the route, but stay tuned for more info!