Friday, May 30, 2008

special delivery...

every once in a while messengers need assistance with mechanical issues. flats, need a wrench, and so on. what do we do? well, i call around and see if i can get them help from someone else in our never know, some cats might be rolling around with extra tubes to help out or have the right size wrench to take the wheel off and whatnot. sometimes, they are stuck having to walk to the nearest bike shops...not many options in the loop area. there's a bike shop on roosevelt and michigan...not far but definitely a hike, especially on foot. there's another on huron? and wells...again, not far but not in the loop. millennium park has set up a bike parking area within the loop which will help with's just annoying to have someone else fix a flat when you have all the tools except and extra tube or patches...ugh!

anyway, yesterday my fiancee caught a flat at michigan and ohio. no big deal...i made sure to teach her how to switch a flat and gave her all the tools she needs and made sure she always has an extra tube. the problem this time around is that her spare tube popped*t!! she calls me but i still have about 45 minutes till i get off of work. not much i can do. it's past five and i start thinking...maybe one of my crew wouldn't mind swinging by and helping her out. i remembered saying goodnight to 6721 at five o'clock but had a feeling he would stick around the downtown area for a minute. sure enough...i was right...!!

6721...hey, whats up julio?, you still around at the frog?

6721...yup., do me a huge favor? my lady has a flat at ohio and got an extra tube you can dish her? problem.

...thats what im talking about!! i love the fact that my crew will come through for me at a calls notice. he didn't get paid for the delivery but i will make sure to buy a couple rounds for him for taking him away from his brews on friday to help me out.

on another note, 6683 left us...*sniff/sniff*. before he started his weekend he calls me...

6683...eight-three, eight-3 up, what up?

6683...just saying good bye. it's been a pleasure working with you. thanks for everything. i found another job and it's my last day. i'll be checking the blog.

...awww, what a nice guy. he took the time to say good bye to little ol' me? that is just too cute...ha! seriously, the guy was at work everyday...never skipped a beat. he stuck around late when i asked him questions asked, unless his lady was being a pain...ha! i personally think he said goodbye to me so that i would give him a shout on here. will be missed kid, i wish you all the best...peace.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

shot myself in the foot...

the other day it was pretty slow...not much happening. messengers started to get a bit testy...rightfully but still stressful. one-two o'clock rolls by and i begin to talk to the other dispatcher about letting some cats go home early. no big's slow and everyone showed up to play. i begin with the guys that are here everyday and the guys that usually stay late with me. some of them resist and ask if they can stay longer and others realize that there's not much money to be made that day so it's time to throw in the big deal.

well, around 1530 or so i find myself with a small crew and the phones begin to light*t! i had a feeling something like this might happen. the late rush can be a bit annoying...first off, i let go of a few cats which leaves me with more work than i/we can handle plus i let go of people that usually rock-out for me. second, after a slow day of work the last thing my crew wants to do is push hard...sure it's money to be made but to get the engine going on full steam after spending the entire day sitting down is very hard to do.

it didn't end up being so bad cause the guys that left were happy to be going home and the guys that stayed enjoyed the one and a half hour rush. it was a good way to end the day regardless of whether packages were late or not. you just hope that the next day or the whole week isn't like that. it's cool to have a rush like that but it's even better to just have work.

on a side note, 6688 has left...not permanently, i think. he might come back. he is continuing his life as a chef and i wish him all the best. he did say he would be back but honestly, i hope he doesn't. not that i don't want him to, Lord knows the man was one of the best couriers i've had the pleasure of dispatching, but because he should be doing what he really wants to do and not what pays at the moment...peace.

Friday, May 23, 2008


i tried not to fall victim to this but simon has left me no choice...i have purchased if you link to me please make the changes...look at me acting like people actually read this sillyness. anywhoo, maybe the next step is buttons? damn it!! i can't stand simon...peace.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


say it ain't so perkins...say it ain't so. my favorite part is the fake grease/dirt rubbed on...oh yeah, the fake city in the background is a close second.

perkins...centerfold for chicago's time out. this is too much. if you wan't a better look of perkins call up 4star for deliveries or come watch him represent the Chicago Cuttin' Crew(CCC) at races throughout...ha!

btw...besides being chicago's most wanted messenger he's also very good at what he does...



i didn't know him but don't have to, to understand what people are going prayers go out to kirk janes family and friends.

ride hard, ride safe...peace.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

97%... heard right. on monday i was all alone...the other dispatcher called in some much needed rest and i was left to take on the daily battle alone. no big deal...nothing im not used to or can handle. i took the day on with ease...little by little they all called in after i sent the goodmorning page to notify everyone that the other dispatcher would not show up. you guessed it...the day was easy as hell, no problems, things flowed just fine and the next day...

co-worker...97%?! what? good job julio!

car dispatcher...look at that, and you were all alone. way to go, you're almost as good as me. man, that wasn't me...we had a total of about 50 orders all day yesterday. heard me, i said 50 runs. sure im exaggerating but it was a freaking slow day. the numbers look nice but i didn't do anything. sh*t, im still wondering how we didn't hit 100%...we were so slow that even if you include freight elevators or messenger centers taking their time there's no way we shouldn't have hit 100%. also, even if we did 100% it wouldn't be because of me...sure i can take some of the credit but 97% of it should go to the messengers. they're the ones keeping the wheels turning and making sure the packages get delivered on time. i know it would be a bit harder to get things done right if the dispatcher doesn't route correctly but even if the dispatcher routes correctly the messenger still has to pedal fast enough and get in and out of buildings in a timely's definitely 97% messenger and 3% dispatcher.

another thing the office crew doesn't see/hear is all the messengers complaining in my ear that it's freaking slow. they get tired of me saying i have to spread the love...they see packages sitting at some of the pick-ups that i would normally load one messenger with but not this time...i have to spread the love. this means it's another one package at a time day. i called up 6614 to pick up at 21 south clark but accidentally paged it to 6414..., one-four.

6414...what's up julio? im about a block from the pick up. man, im very sorry kid but i didn't mean to page you with that one. it's one of those days and i keyed in the wrong number...i gotta spread the love. serious? i was about a block, i've been doing specials all day today.

...specials are our second lowest paying packages. i know what you're thinking...damn, why are you not hooking him up? well, it was a slow day so you take what you can and as i explained to him i hooked him up with a few car runs and a couple solos. sure that doesn't mean it was a successful day money wise but he made enough to survive and i had to make sure other cats are making their loot. i apologized to him... kid. im sorry. like i said, it's just one of those days and if you need to let it out go right ahead.

6414...alright, im headed home. one of my co-workers said, man 97% is still 97%.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

for rene...

a couple very good messengers that were accidentally left out...from rene...

Oh shit. I forgot to mention two more memorable messengers. I know it's too late but Jack Mclaughlin great friend and messenger and Jen Greenberg on my list of good friend, cyclist, cute and had a crush on. Well if you can squeeze it in cool if not I better apologize to them.


...don't worry rene, im sure they will forgive you. it's hard to remember all the faces that have come and gone. believe me. the other day i ran into patrick gipson...he said hello julio and i said hello. he asks if i remember him and i say no. i felt like a jerk but he has been a minute since i last saw him. he was a good messenger and a great person i can't believe i could not place the happens in this industry. we live in the now and not in the then...peace.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


i've decided to interview people from the industry and ask them random questions. i kept trying to figure out who would be my first victim. after much consideration i came up with first and favorite dispatcher. the man knew how to make a day flow like water. he doesn't get mentioned much but he's been around for a long time...has seen many come and go(especially the ladies)...

1.when did you start this biz? have the years been on and off or straight?

Let's see...It's been so long I'm not even positive of when I started. I think it was back in 1995. I'm actually sure it was 95. It has mostly been on. In my entire career in the biz I have taken 3 months off here and a couple there. I went to go live in Toronto for a few months and I traveled a for a couple of months.

2.what bike did you start on? what bike are you rocking nowadays?

I started out on a Diamondback Mongoose. Now I have a Pake for everday use and a Felt F65(first major bike purchase) for nice days and the NACCC.

3.what made you begin to dispatch? was it an easy transition?

I started to dispatch when the higher ups said they needed someone in the office as they we're getting busier. I was reluctant because I really just wanted to ride. I talked them into letting me do it part time but then started doing it full time. I kind of felt I could do more good for the bikers. But I would always volunteer to ride when they were short handed on the streets. has the city changed throughout your career?
harder or easier?

What do you mean by the city changing? If you mean the buildings getting all secure then it's harder now. Before messengers were able to just go up into buildings and take regular elevators which, of course, take seconds to go up rather then checking in, dropping bags and taking the freight. I remember it was cool to go up into some office with an amazing view of the city. Now we end up in some back office mail room. I used to stop and watch the traders at the Board of Trade or hang out for an extra minute or two in the sky lobby at 311 S. Wacker. But those days are gone.'ve seen many come and go...any specific messengers stick out in your mind?

Wow, there have been so many. I feel that I've learned a lot from all of them. Most have been artist, musicians, writers, you name it. They also helped break me out of my shyness. I was an extremely shy guy before I messengered. This may take awhile. Mostly the old school Standard crew. Everyone from you, Mike Morell, Bryan Rybeck (a skate boarder from Ohio), Brent Olds (amazing bass player), Theo (quite the character), Trey former roommate, Genia (cute girl, good cyclist had a crush on), Gretchen (great all around person. Funny had a crush on her too). Outside of standard Jack Blackfelt (moved to NYC and has made a name for himself out there as a messenger), John Greenfield (he really put together a lot of messenger events, for charity, that no one has ever been able to match), Will at Dynamex (he's still out there. Used to DJ parties and Greenfield events), a girl named Kristen that worked at Apex (great person to talk to during stand by and also cute and I had a crush on her). A strange one. I remember a guy named David Maust. I talked to him. He seemed normal enough. He was even nice. I would make fun of him (not in a mean way just in a joking way) I would refer to him as "The Thing" because he had a very square and jagged face. He left Standard and years go by. He's not even a thought until I'm watching the news and they mention his name. He's been arrested for murder and cops found bodies in his basement. Yes I was freaked out.

I know I'm going to look like an ass leaving some people out because there's a lot more so I apologize.

But saving the best for last. A girl named Susanna Bady. She was a great friend. It was a day before the 4th of July so it was slow as shit. We talked and hung out all day. After that we hung out outside of work. Had a slight crush on her but we had a great relationship as friends. She went to Australia and New Zealand, ended up in San Francisco and I lost touch with her after that. I tried to track her down but no luck so far. I still think of her every so often. did you keep your messengers happy? where you able to or not?

Well that's one reason what kept me dispatching. I felt that no one could dispatch unless they were actually out on the streets. Other people not knowing and sending people all over the place or routes that don't make sense really bothered me. I wanted to make sure that routes made sense, you know, the sooner they can get it done the more money they can make. I also really kept a really good look on how much guys were making during the day and tried to make sure they were getting what they were putting into it. I also made sure that they knew that I was one of them. That I've been out there and I know what they mean when things would go wrong or right. many cats at one time did you dispatch? whats more difficult...too many guys or not enough guys?

I'd say I've dispatched as much as 12-15 guys. I would have to say too many guys is more difficult. Again you're trying to make them money and keep people moving but hearing complaints and nothing you can do about it just bugged me. Some even wanted to quit on the spot. And trying to keep guys around was hard to do. You know they're hurting for money but you like these guys and want them to stick around. There were guys that you didn't care too much for and would rather they quit but everyone's got to look out for themselves. Although i have to say just having the right amount of guys was great. You picture where guys are, planning routes, and making it work. It becomes like a symphony when everything works and flows together and the job is getting done. It does get stressful at times but
worth it.

8.any records that you may hold that are worth telling?

apparently he doesn't have any or he's to modest...anywhoo, whether he likes it or not im showing you cats this... you prefer messengering or dispatching?

Of course I'll have to say messengering. Good days or bad days, you're outside, no walls, working with friends, hanging with friends, no boss over your shoulder, should I go on?

10.what are you up to presently?

Well 4 Star of course. Working on hobbies, such as, I started taking stunt classes as in stuntman, I play on a pool league, martial arts, working out, working on music. I'm hoping to document the next few month, on video, messengering and leading up to the NACCC. It all keeps me busy.

if you see him make sure to pay your respects...he's a good man, a good messenger, a great dispatcher, and a great friend...peace.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

silly clients...

sometimes we get some silly orders or, in some cases, silly clients come through. as some of you might remember...the whole "go fast" story. anyway, the other day the work was rolling smooth. nothing too crazy happening. had to cover some car jobs because the car board was beginning to get slammed. at the time it wasn't that big of a deal because, as i stated, things were running smooth and we had bikers available to assist the car board.

anyway, i was having 6665 pick up at 1050 north state and there was a pick up on north clark not too far from her. i call her up to notify her that im going to need her to roll a few more blocks out of the bike zone to help out with the work. no problem...

6665...hey julio. up? what up?

6665...i can't find this address are you sure it's right? sure. sure you're at the right location?

...i know, i know, it sounds stupid for me to ask if she's at the right location but you would be surprised how many times messengers walk into a building swearing they are the right address only to figure out that they walked into the wrong building. it happens to rookies as well as vets.

well...she can't find the address. i call the client up to find out if they can give me more details. they didn't provide a phone number for the delivery, which is very annoying because instead of bothering them i could be calling the pick up for more details on how to get to them. the man picks up the phone... how are you? messenger is having difficulty finding the address location. are you sure the address is correct? i've had her walk in and out of a couple different locations to ask if that address existed but no one seems to know.

client...umm. sure it's right. are you sure your messenger is at the right location? do you have a phone number i can call to get more details? i don't see why this is a problem. has she tried looking around? what about asking other buildings? she has. also, at this point i might have to tell her to leave until you get more details for us and we'll place a service charge on this one and you will have to place another order.

client...what? why? it seems to me your messenger hasn't exhausted all her options... what are you...well, we can't seem to find it. you don't have a phone number and she's got other deliveries to make. i can have her go up and down the entire block but for every stop and there is no pick up there will be a service charge.

client...thats not very fair. you know what the location looks like? maybe if you shared some extra info we can speed this up.

client...i've never been there or heard of it but still...

...the client was really beginning to tick me off. "exhausted all her options"? i felt like screaming F*CK YOU!! he kept going on about how the messenger should use her intuition. i really felt like meeting the man to yell in his damn ear. anyway, the conversation went on and wouldn't you know it...a phone number for the delivery appears. now, was that so hard to begin with. he should have given me the number a long time ago so that we would have never gone through this exchange. i call the drop and find out the super secret entrance. everyone is happy except for me. i hate when people knock my messengers. sure i like to talk sh*t on them but i don't take kind to clients that want to talk bad about my crew...peace.

stolen bike.v2... of my messengers bike got stolen...keep an eye out...

6646's bike...

black taped up(bianchi green) pista...silver velos...chopped drops...time pedal.

keep an eye out...

unfortunately he didn't give me details about where and i don't have a pic of the bike but i do know that it was late last night. also, i know that the man needs his bike to work so if anyone knows anything remotely close the description above drop me an e-mail...peace.

funny story v.2...

i should state that the story im about to tell happened to a messenger...just not a bike messenger. i don't know the messenger's number but since he's a driver for us we'll just refer to him as, well, "driver".

well...the driver was making a delivery to the same location that the r.kelly trial is proceeding. no big deal but security is on high alert. everyone is looked over two maybe three times. they have metal detectors and the x-ray machines. also, they are stacked with security guards...why? well...because...

...the messenger is stopped by security and is going to be frisked. they make him put his hands behind his head and spread his legs as they begin to frisk him. no big deal...right? turns out the driver is very ticklish. as the guard begins to pat the driver on the side of his ribs he jumps up a bit. the guard immediately goes on the defensive...

guard...why are you moving? hiding anything? it's just im tick...

guard...get down on your knees.

driver...what? why? not going to ask you again. get down on your knees.

...the guard then kicks the drivers legs in and he falls straight down on his knees. thats gotta hurt. i can only imagine that pain. anyway, he's cleared to finally get through and make his delivery. he gets to base and tells the story...sure it's not so funny but the way he told it was amazing. he even had a sense of humor about it. it should have never went down the way it did but it's still funny in my mind as well as his. the good thing is that even though he was going through that madness he managed to keep his cool. if not, he might be locked up right guards have a complex about not being real cops...(just jazzin')ha!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

happy mother's day...

i know for a fact there's quite a few fathers out there so im going to assume there's a few messenger mama's out there...happy mother's day ladies.

image taken from corbis...

happy mother's day to every messenger's mother...peace.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

6723 is gone. 1168 is still around...

yesterday the day was alright...things were flowing and not much happening. 6723 usually sticks around with me till six when my shift is over and we no longer provide the bicycle courier service. he stated that he might need to leave early which was no big deal to me...the man is getting married and as some of you know, i understand the work involved. anyway, its around five-15 or so and he's still around...or so, i thought. he was rocking out a delivery for me when all of a sudden i can't get him on the*t. i don't panic cause i have other cats sticking around and i should be ok.

the next day i expect to hear two-three on the radio at his usual start time...ten. not today...i don't hear nothing. i knew right there and then that he was no longer with us. i've known 6723 for quite a while...he's been with several companies and has been around the industry for many years. he keeps saying he'll leave but somehow the messenger field keeps calling his name. it's one of the easiest industries to pick up a job but it's also one of the easiest to leave.

6723...(over the regular phone)hey julio...umm, yeah, i guess you know, i quit., yeah, yeah...whatever kid.

6723...i got some news about another gig thats gonna pay good money so you know what i got to do. kid. no worries. do your thing.

6723...i just really hate my bike right now and...well, you know how it is. ain't gotta tell me kid. why do you think i dispatch now? good luck with all that jazz...

...btw, im invited to some after wedding party which is good. like i've said, i've known this cat for quite some time and i completely understand where he's coming from. after a while the bicycle can become an enemy of sorts. sure it's fun but when it's your main form of income it can become a very hateful relationship...especially if it's not coming through with loot. this industry can really weigh heavy on a messengers shoulders...there's alot to deal with out there...i completely understand the reasons for high turn-over. i know, i know...they're all just numbers but i am gonna miss the cat.

on the other side of the coin...1168. this cat has been around for a long, long, long time. sure he's annoying as hell but the man knows the city like no other. he knows every building procedure, knows how to get to every silly address, and, although he is getting older, can rock out packages just as fast as some of the younger cats when he wants to. as he puts it..."i understand spreading the love but you can't forget those that have been around longer". we try not to forget about them but we still continue to spread the love equally. 1168 has been helping the car board out alot more lately...why? cause we're slow and the man needs to be hooked up. do i get there? 1168. he knows that noise...he'll help you get in there.

...the man knows his sh*t and i have no problems going to him to help me out...he's my eyes on the street, a second dispatcher, a good man, and a veteran. they're all just numbers but some of those numbers carry weight...peace.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


all day on wednesday i was freaking out. the rain wouldn't stop and the phones would not stop!! we were short staffed in the office so i was forced to help out with recheck and customer service...ugh! why is this bad? it would not have been that bad if it wasn't for the damn rain. the weather caused heavy traffic and slow riding...packages were just going to be late. unfortunately, customers/clients don't take the weather in to consideration... may i help you?

customer...where's my package? i should have been here 30 minutes ago!! sir. just talked to the car dispatcher and he states that the messenger is about 10 minutes from you. unfortunately, it's been rainin...

customer...i don't want to hear it. get my package here now!!

...all day it was like that. from the moment i sat down. the bike board wasn't too bad. sure we were playing a bit of catch up but once we did and the rain slowed down we were stable. the car board, on the other hand, got their ass*s handed to them...they just couldn't keep up with the demand. playing catch up from the very beginning was hard for them...oh wells.

as i said, the bike board was playing catch up from the morning on. this means that i had to stack messengers with late orders and knew that i would have to dish them orders i knew would be late. as i tell all my crew...just pick up the orders and rock them out in the order that makes sense for them. you know, don't kill your legs cause thats your need your engine. sure i run the risk of getting more packages late but at this point it's sort of too late for that and i need to just clean the board...whether packages will be late or not. also, if you rock them in a straight line you run a better risk of having only the last two be late all while rocking out five before those. it's perfect.

6688 is a messenger who understands this philosophy. even if he does zig-zag himself he's always ending his drops right were i imagined he would...leads me to assume we think somewhat alike. anyway, the man is fast...very fast. not sure how he does it but he's in and out of buildings like no one else. i won't ask how he does it i just know he does. the sad part of this story is that...

6688...eighty-eight. up kid?

6688...i think i can't ride anymore. you might have to give that last pick up to someone else. whats up?

6688...this cab side swiped me and i came down on my u-lock. i went inside the hancock to drop the package and thought i was going to be alright but my side is swelling up. im ok though... kid.'s the rig?

6688...the bike is alright but my side is starting to hurt.

...fortunately for 88 it was a cab who hit him. this means he/she probably has insurance and he'll get paid for what just happened to him. unfortunately for 88...the cab took! so now what? i ask if he feels like going to the doctor but he declines. "it's just swelling" as he put it. i can't force the man to go to the hospital so i take the last order off of him and tell him to head home and get rest... ride and have a good night kid. call me and let me know how you're doing...

6688...yeah, i'll wake up early and feel it out. i might ride my road bike tomorrow. im sure i'll be fine.

...didn't hear from him today but it doesn't bother me. the man needs rest. we need soldiers like him and i hope he heals quick...peace.


i took something without permission...the picture i use for the header of this blog was created by a friend of mine and it's about time i give him credit. i met hekter when i started working as a messenger at standard courier. he was a few months in so already he was more experienced than me. it took a while for the man to say hello to me but i don't blame i have said before, "they are all just numbers".

even as i left for school he continued to work jumping from company to company...shady on the details as to what companies. i remember him doing the whole upgrade thing that happens to messengers. started on a mountain bike. got a road bike. switched to a track bike. he was the first cat, that i remember, to rock a pursuit frame and was half the inspiration for me to purchase one as well. granted, my back is paying for it now, but, i gotta say, i looked cool...ha! he was out there for 3 to 5 years and saw many come and to experienced the beauty of a 7 degree weather day and a 100 degree weather day. he was/is a true soldier...

anyway, going through his pics i came across this beauty...big rose in the back and bone in the forefront. all true soldiers that have come and gone. rose still rocks, from my understanding...think he's helping out mossner as an in-house messenger of sorts. btw, i'll talk about in-house cats soon enough. bone...well, that cat has pursued his career in acting. if anyone has seen the first season of prison break then you might recognize him.

check out hekter's flickr for some great photos...peace.

Monday, May 5, 2008

no internet...

sorry to all my readers...i moved to a new spot and don't have access to the internet quite yet. as soon as i do, which should be later this week, i'll be back to report on chicago's messengers. in the's work in other cities right now...we are dead, dead, dead. it's getting freakin' depressing...there's no way all these companies are out celebrating cinco de mayo...or are they?

btw...happy cinco de mayo to all my mexican messengers...peace.