cmwc '96 sf - the proposal

October 25, 1995

Lisa Byrne
Creative Courier, Ltd.
75 Berwick Street
London WIR 3PF

Achim Beier
Messenger Transport Logistik GmbH

Howard Williams
Gul Haji Plaza, Room 106

Oriol Salas
C. La Vereda 28
Barcelona E-08018

James Moore
951 Putnam Ave., #3A
Brooklyn, NY 11221

Dear Madam and Sirs:

Enclosed please find the proposal of the San Francisco Messenger community to host the 4th annual Cycle Messenger World Championships in 1996 in San Francisco.

Contained within this proposal is a description of the people organizing the event, our Statement of Purpose, our concept of the 1996 CMWC in San Francisco, an outline of the budget necessary to host the event, and letters exhibiting current interest within our city.

We apologize for our previously displayed enthusiasm as marked by our 9/15/95 invitation to the world community. Upon receipt of Mr. Beier's letter admonishing our haste, we realize the disservice we may have provided. Time, however, remains of the essence, and we invite your immediate response to San Francisco's bid. Ongoing preparations require your decision.

Should New York, or any other city, be granted the venue to host the 1996 CMWC, San Francisco will sponsor a team to compete in it.

Please review our plans and comment at your earliest convenience on either their direction or the means by which to achieve them. We thank you for your anticipated cooperation.

Table of Contents

I. Statement of Purpose

The bicycle messengers of San Francisco have organized to carry out the arrangement of the 1996 Cycle Messenger World Championships (CMWC) in San Francisco during Labor Day weekend 1996. Our drive to bring about this event is grounded in the goals of the International Federation of Cycle Messenger Couriers (IFCMC):

We hold the spirit of the CMWC in high regard and have pledged ourselves to the creation of a professional quality event. Our goal is simple: to celebrate the culture of the cycle courier by bringing together those from all over the world who throw a bag over their shoulder and brave the steel pulse of the city streets for meager means and many thrills in the continued camaraderie that began in Berlin four years ago. We are preparing to offer the 1996 participants a safe, exciting and fun environment to celebrate our worldwide community.

We would like to preserve and enhance the friendship and camaraderie established at previous CMWCs. San Francisco messengers feel a strong sense of gratitude to our brother and sister messengers from all other countries, and we hope to provide them with the same hospitality and happiness which we have enjoyed.

Messengers in San Francisco feel our city offers the possibility for CMWC '96 to be one of the best. Berlin's, London's and Toronto's CMWC's have laid the necessary foundation to allow successive CMWCs to occur and for the continual advancement of the profession of the cycle courier.

We invite constructive ideas and advice from prior organizers.

II. CMWC '96: The Event

San Francisco's CMWC '96 has chosen to host the next CMWC on Labor Day Weekend 1996 (Friday, August 30 through Monday, September 2, allowing for an extra day of celebration). Labor Day in both the USA and Canada is the day nationally set aside to honor those who LABOR for a living. Need we say any more?

Friday, August 30, 1996: Participants are invited to join in San Francisco's own Critical Mass, a "spontaneous" bike ride home from the financial district with hundreds of other bikers on the last working Friday of the month. On this particular Friday, international participants will be biking to their home away from home for a World Welcome Party. San Francisco is looking forward to the participation of international bikers to make the 8/30/96 Mass the biggest and most culturally diverse ever.

Saturday, August 31, 1996: Preliminary heats through the streets of San Francisco; Walker Hand-Truck Race; Trials Competition.

Sunday, September 1, 1996: Sprint Competition; Cargo Race; Client Class Race; Finals; Awards Ceremony; Memorial for Deceased Colleagues.

Monday, September 2, 1996: a non-affiliated but great event: the Giro di San Francisco Criterium, held on a fast 1km course with a messenger class. It is a tradition for us in SF and we hope all you foreigners will stay and race.

Ongoing events: participants will be entertained by San Francisco's finest offerings in music, film and art, guided bicycle tours, messenger memorabilia, messenger commerce, fun, silliness, sharing and spontaneity highlighting the natural, historic, culture and bike heritage of our region. Sharing the ongoing festivities with us will be various civilian (non-messenger) bike organizations to help us promote the love of the bicycle to the whole world.

A Weekend Guide will be sent to each competitor upon receipt of their entry form and fee. The guide will include a detailed list of events, topographical maps, housing details and other particular information to enhance the stay of our visitors.

III. CMWC '96: The Race

The Race Course Committee has considered several options and based on the opinions of contestants in London and Toronto we have decided to locate our course in the financial district, downtown San Francisco. We would like to center a start/finish line in Justin Herman Plaza, just across from the World Trade Center. The race course would run north and west from this site running through scenic and historic Battery Point and up the backside of Telegraph Hill.

We would like the qualification races to be run as a points race within an open course where riders will collect packages within a fixed period of time and return to the finish with all of their packages. Points awarded would be based on distance, size and difficulty--those who climb the hills will be compensated with elevation points.

The format of the final race is yet to be determined as we would like a dramatic first-across-the-finish-line finish. The other competitions (sprint, cargo, trials, walker/handtruck and client class) will fit easily within the larger course.

Thus far we have met with the Police Lieutenant who is in charge of approving permits for street closures and he gave us very positive feedback in regards to our plans for the race course and the overall event. When San Francisco is approved as the site of CMWC '96 we will put in our application for the street closure permit. Obtaining this site would complement our desire to locate a Camp Courier on one of the piers just north of the World Trade Center--which would provide a spectacular view of the San Francisco Bay.

We invite any advice and/or criticism from the IFCMC and potential contestants in regards to how we will run our race, as the format is certainly not yet set in stone. Our goal is to provide a challenging race that tests the messenger's skill as a cyclist, one's ability to handle unwieldy packages while under the clock, and one's ability to make decisions in order to maximize one's efforts relative to points awarded.

IV. CMWC '96: The Organization

Jeni Ladd has become the sole proprietor of Cycle Messenger World Championships 1996 ("CMWC '96"). This step is necessary to opening an account at a bank, which requires a paper certified by the Clerk of the City and County of San Francisco before allowing an account to be opened. Jeni is one of many individuals working together to arrange the CMWC '96 in San Francisco over Labor Day weekend 1996. If San Francisco does not hold the event, CMWC '96 will amend its identification pursuant to the requirements of the event and the advice of our pro bono legal counsel.

Currently, CMWC '96 meets once a week to assign acts to and share findings of its sub-committees which include Permit, Race, Sponsorship, Media, Budget, Benefit, Event, Personnel, Equipment, Gallery, Registration and Housing. Subcommittees meet during the week and report at the weekly meeting.

CMWC '96 has held several events to gain notoriety for the Championships. On October 9 (10-9 in official radio language means "what?"), SF messengers cooperated with Odwalla Juice to alert the financial community to Odwalla's Messenger Appreciation. Odwalla gave free, fresh juice to SF messengers, and the office dwellers who came out to show their support. CMWC '96 used this event to announce its intention to hold the CMWC '96 in SF. Since then, CMWC '96 has held one benefit, earning our first real money, and plans to hold a benefit each month prior to the Championships. A raffle is currently underway and the drawing is at the November benefit.

Negotiations are underway among a potential sponsor and the SF Bike Coalition to rent an office for the duration of CMWC '96's efforts to organize the Championships.

CMWC '96 has joined the Northern California/Nevada Cycling Association (NCNCA), the local district association of the United States Cycling Federation (USCF). USCF is the umbrella organization for all bicycle road racing within the United States. NCNCA provides low-cost resources (insurance, barricades, officials) to its members for races. With this support, we will access a broader base of interest within the larger cycling community.

Any net proceeds garnered by CMWC '96 will be donated to bike-related non-profit charities, and to help retire the debts incurred by previous CMWCs.

The organization known as CMWC '96 is dedicated to successfully holding the 1996 Cycle Messenger World Championships and will do everything within its power to maintain professional decorum in arrangement and production.

V. Budget (Projected)

We expect to spend both more and less.

We have broken our budget into several areas: the race, organization of the race, and funds to be secured that offset expenses.

Some of the items listed have no expense assigned. We are still researching this and, as soon as we know exactly where the race will be held, will make headway accordingly. CMWC '96 is exploring various sources and means by which to obtain these necessities including: donations, sponsorship, petty thievery, prostitution of our friendships and our good looks.




By this projection, CMWC '96 would have money left over to donate to charities and past CMWC debts. The (*) means we must have status regarding site before proceeding any further.

However, we do not expect to cover our costs without sponsorship and donation. Therefore, we have begun the process already by soliciting our closest allies - the messenger companies, who have promised financial backing. We are also working closely with Timbuk 2 Bags and Odwalla Juice, both of whom have donated time, goods and money to our cause. Upon receiving word that San Francisco will host CMWC '96 our solicitation efforts will surge forward.

Our list of potential sponsors include:

VI. Food, Lodging, Language

Food: San Francisco has a diverse ethnic population and more restaurants per capita than any other US city, so eat you will. To aid this eating, the Weekend Guidebook (sent upon registration) will provide you with recommendations and coupons from some of our favorite eateries. We are planning to serve race day breakfasts as provided in Berlin and London.

Lodging: Lodging is being arranged by our housing committee. They are currently entertaining several ideas, and will base their conclusion on the capabilities of our potential sponsors, and on participant input. Choices include:

Aside from our own organization of lodging, SF has many alternatives: hostels, hotels (seedy and swank), bed & breakfasts, campsites within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA).

Language: English. Though most of us speak the way rad California - American version, San Francisco is an international community wherein most languages are spoken. The arrangement of translation of published materials will be made available upon request.

VII. Transportation

The City: When we say the City and County of San Francisco is small, we mean it. SF is on a peninsula that measures seven miles square (eleven km), bounded by the Pacific Ocean, the Golden Gate strait, and the San Francisco Bay. Within the seven square miles, it is said that there are 49 hills. Your legs will attest to that by the time you leave. Within SF there are mountains to hike and ride, valleys to camp in, ocean waves to surf.

You can get almost anywhere in less than 40 minutes by bicycle: from downtown to the beach, to Candlestick Park, to the Presidio, to Nob Hill, Noe Valley, the Richmond, or the Zoo--a few pedal revolutions and you are there.

The Peninsula: CalTrans is a train system leaving from the Train Terminal at 4th and Townsend (a short ride from downtown, traveling south of the peninsula to and through San Mateo County, San Jose and on its termination at Gilroy. People wishing to travel to Santa Cruz, to visit or surf, can take this train to San Jose and either ride or catch a connecting bus to Santa Cruz. Bicycles are allowed on the train. Its destinations include Palo Alto (home to Stanford University), Bay Meadows Race Track (horse racing), various cities serving as points of departure for the unusual single tracks through mountains south of San Francisco.

East Bay: Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is the Bay Area's tube system primarily allowing access to many cities laying east of San Francisco across the SF Bay. Many sites there lure the bicyclist, and bikes are allowed on BART with the exception of commuting hours.

The Golden Gate Bridge and the Ferries: North of SF lies Marin County, home of Mt. Tamalpais and the commonly accepted birthplace of mountain biking. The bridge provides easy access to Marin's headlands, Sausalito, Mill Valley, bike trails, home-brew beer pubs, and the ferry stops which provide service back to the city. The bridge is open to bicycle access 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (23:00). Camping sites are available by reservation through the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Transportation from SF and Oakland International Airports: Door-to-door shuttles are available at SFO and cost $9 to $13. If you are traffic-savvy, biking from SFO is possible. From OIA, keep your bike in the box, take the BART shuttle to BART, and then take BART to the city. It's very simple. (Precise details will accompany our Weekend Guidebook to be mailed to registrants.)

VIII. San Francisco

Composition: San Francisco is a small city: cosmopolitan, chic, filled with tall buildings, museums, monuments, bars, clubs, consulates, lots of bikes, swank restaurants, concrete, parks, parks and more parks, city grit and harshness. It is the westernmost city of the continental 48 states, and it is rumored that the same forces that hang around Stonehenge and the Bermuda Triangle also converge in Golden Gate Park.

SF is an eclectic city bursting with energy and diversity. While you ride around the neighborhoods, keep your eyes open. There is a lot to see and the scenery changes rapidly.

One minute you are riding leisurely through Golden Gate Park looking at a herd of Buffalo, then, before you know it, there is the Pacific Ocean shooting salt water in your face. And, in a few minutes, you'll find the SF Zoo. Or maybe you are downtown, amazed that people in California actually wear suits and move at a fast pace. But a few uphill pedals take you into North Beach to drink some espresso, chomp a biscotti, maybe even view a nude show or two. Or, walk left and hit the bustle of Chinatown's herb and produce markets (check out the 2 foot pork rinds in the windows). Head south, across Market Street, and wander the side sunny avenues of SOMA warehouses, small alley streets with odd names, restaurants, home-brew pubs, clubs, and more coffeehouses where everyone looks like a graphic designer. There is so much more too: the mansions of Pacific Heights, the woods of the Presidio, the Latino and urban hipster Mission, the gardens on Potrero Hill, the fog in the Richmond and Sunset districts, the Haight--where IT started and IT still goes on (tho' no one knows exactly what IT is). There is the giant phallus of Coit Tower, concocted by Lillian Coit, wealthy firetruck chaser of sometime past, the never-asleep Castro, sleepy Now Valley, and more, more, and more. And you can see it all because the city is small: You can ride a bike anywhere.

Climate: The climate is made up of what weather specialists call "micro-climates." Basically, that means never go anywhere without layers. You will be putting them on and taking them off all day. Just remember: Summer is winter; winter is spring, fall and spring are summer. Labor Day weekend is usually when the best weather heads to town. It is warm (70's F, 20's C) and sunny, and the wind is relatively lackadaisical. It is the most pleasant SF weather of the year. Bring clothes that layer easily!

History: The messenger community in San Francisco is strong, multi-faceted and old. There are messengers riding SF streets today who have pushed their basket bikes since their rookie companions were mere infants, and since before other cities caught on to the messenger industry. San Francisco began its relationship with messengers early in its history as the far end of the Pony Express. In the 150 years since, messengers in SF have enjoyed the nurturance of a city founded by rebels, runaways, outlaws and freedom-seekers. SF has respect for people who get things done, and in the age of faxing bicycle messengers deliver whereas the fax can only promise. SF messengers know they have something to share.

IX. Letters of Endorsement

(not included here for reasons of bandwidth)

X. Conclusion

It is with a heartfelt realization of the benefits offered by messengering on a professional basis that San Francisco commits to further the CMWC here in 1996. There are few jobs available to the average worker today that offer an opportunity to feel heart and soul the challenges and rewards available within work. Messengering is one that does offer that opportunity. Anyone who has done the work knows the commitment it exacts and the blessings it bestows.

Perhaps the camaraderie among messengers is offered everywhere the job is performed. San Francisco offers wind and hills that fine-tune the experience. The unity within the community of messengers here is long-standing. Yearly events include the JAX Christmas toy-drive at South Park, the 49-mile scenic ride (open to one-speeds and road bikes alike), the Russian River Ride every Memorial Day Weekend (Guerneville looks forward to us and offers us free camping accommodations on the river), the San Francisco Illegal Soapbox Society series on Bernal Hill (unfortunately exploited by MTV and Levi's for monetary profit), the Annual Bike Messenger Fashion Show (for the Aids Bike-a-Thon), Zap Courier's race Team - Team Zap, as well as holding benefits for messengers in need.

The larger cycling community in the Bay Area is strong. Messengers are involved in this community through S.F. Bike Coalition, Bicycle Advisory Committee, racing, maintaining high visibility on the streets every day and writing to the editor often making bicycle awareness a daily issue. The leaders of the S.F.B.C. and the B.A.C. have shown very strong interest in our event and have promised to help us in any way they can.

SF is a nurturing city, tolerant and healthy. During the early 90's, after small messenger companies were bought-up by the dreaded international corporations in a mass feeding frenzy, some messengers started their own companies. This can-do attitude is fostered by SF's tolerance.

San Francisco has international connections in its being host to the development of the United Nations during 1945. It shelters 70 consulates. There's a goddamn HERMES in Union Square - that's proof of SF's dedication to the messenger - for God's sake, anyway.

In this day of pomp and meaningless show, it is nice to know there are some things that will never change. One of those things is the need for people to communicate. Messengering communicates. By bringing CMWC '96 to SF we feel we will be doing a small but very real effort towards global understanding. The love of bicycles and sharing such a tough and thankless vocation is a language beyond words. It is with this spirit that we wish to host the Cycle Messenger World Championships; messengers giving to messengers a really good time.

San Francisco will continue to cherish its bicycling and its bicyclists. We only want to share.