Tuesday, March 31, 2009

is this new?


it is with great regret that the council of the IFBMA has decided that it must withdraw the IFBMA's endorsement of the BMEF.

After receiving several complaints last year about missing and unanswered claims, we undertook to find out what was going on with the BMEF. In the process, we uncovered more and more accounts of claims that were never answered or simply disappeared. In spite of several attempts to find out from the BMEF how precisely it is administered, we are none the wiser. There is moreover absolutely nothing to be found at the BMEF website that might help. For such a fund to operate, it must be transparently administered, it must communicate effectively, and it must maintain a reputation that inspires trust. As far as we can tell, this is not the case.

It must be stressed however that we will continue to support the principle of messenger emergency funds. We therefore recommend that all contributions intended for injured messengers should in future be made not to the BMEF, but to one of the many local funds that have been established in recent years.

We invite people administering messenger emergency funds in whatever country or city to make contact.

Of course, we will always credit Jean Andre Vallery with inspiring the international messenger community and having started the BMEF.

It would be very helpful if this announcement were translated into as many languages as necessary. We are not all native English users. So please feel free to distribute translate and re-post this message.

Andy Duncan, President IFBMA council.

although i like the idea of someone putting together a bike messenger emergency fund i never quite thought it was real. i always would hear that if something happened to you while you were working you could get a hold of them and they would help you out as best they could...whatever that means. i don't think i know anyone that has received help from the BMEF...in any case, if you're planning or thinking about donating you should look into more local funds as the letter suggests. i know the ccu is working on getting something together so keep your eyes open for that. thanks for the letter and the heads up andy...peace.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


i never realized how difficult it was to get an interview, especially from messengers...ha! i was trying to do one a month but that was when i was optimistic...now, i realize that they will come when they come. this next cat i decided to interview because...one, he's on my crew and would be easy to contact. two, this cat is fast. he's probably the fastest guy on my crew at the moment...imo. not to give him to much of a big head cause he's not the fastest cat i've dispatched and my time at the naccc's beat his...ha! three...he's a rookie. i figure rookies need a voice also? maybe? well...i hope you enjoy...i present, 6706(aka.phil)...

pic by trevor taylor...

1.why did you decide to messenger?

Had to put groceries in the fridge! But I think anyone who regularly rides a bike in the loop long enough gets a romantic vision of messengering and the whole "no boss looking over your shoulder" kind of job.

2.when did you start? has the time been on/off or straight?

I started in January of 2008, so I've been out there a little over a year now.

3.what bike did you start on? what do you ride today?

I started on a Schwinn conversion. As parts would break I would replace them and eventually fully switched over to the Soma Rush track bike I ride today. I also have another fixedgear set up with wide tires and full fenders for the winter.

4.you've seen a few come and go...any stick out in your mind?

The couple I would say have all recently come back! I guess you can't stay away long.

5.if you weren't messengering what would you be doing?


look at how serious he is...ha!

6.since you started...what changes have you noticed for the industry?

Haven't been around long enough to see many. It is nice to see some buildings, like 135 Lasalle and 161/171 Clark easing up their security for us though, even if they are the minority.

7.greatest day messengering...worst?

Best is any day the sun is shining and/or the work is flowing. Worst? Rain and snow suck, security and silly sign-in rules suck, windchill sucks, getting hit/doored sucks, slow days really suck, but again, I'm getting paid to ride a bike, so at least in theory I can't complain too much.

8.what changes would you like to see for the industry?

Some kind of organization, unionization or otherwise, that would stand up for messengers when it comes to buildings' policies, companies' rates, liability, etc.

9.how much longer do you see yourself doing this?

Who knows! I am working pretty hard at college, so hopefully some day I'll get some use out of that degree, but in the meantime the streets are treating me right!

10.advice for rookie-rookies...ha!

Be good to security guards, messenger centers, receptionists, etc., and they'll (usually) be good to you. Plus if you storm out, luck will probably awkwardly bring you back there in 10 minutes. Keep a mental list of where the good unlocked bathrooms and water fountains are. Never turn down a run, and of course, respect your dispatcher!

check out the man's talent and blog. thanks for the interview 0-6. thanks for sharing. thanks for the "respect your dispatcher". see you at work...well, at least talk to you. hope everyone enjoyed...peace.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

my street cred...

well...it seems my street cred is on a slow decline. i went from a full time messenger to a part time messenger to a dispatcher and now i am becoming a suburbanite...holy sh*t!! when did i turn 30-something? age really catches up with you when you least expect it. thats right people...while everyone and their mama will be enjoying the madness in mke i will be busy moving into a new place in the northern suburbs...i rather not say which one for fear of groupies...ha!

if i haven't recruited you to assist me in moving you should be heading north of chicago...

can't wait to hear the stories and see pics of the madness. mmi is always a good time...for more info go here...peace.

another forum?

just when you thought the internet had enough forums one pops up to try and gather messengers from all over the world...cyclecourier.org/vanilla. a young lady by the name of cassandra from new york is leading the charge. thank you to any and all that have a hand in this. although most messengers, especially in chicago, rarely check the internet this is still a good idea. i know i'll enjoy it...all i do is sit all day on these slow days surfing the web for blog content...ha! good luck to this new forum...peace.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

shameless non-self promo...

a couple of cats on my crew are in a band thats worth checking out...

get up with the get downs...i have yet to see them but am hoping to catch this next performance. i hear it's a 10 piece band with a five horn section...wtf?! who doesn't love james brown? 6721 and 6718 are the two in my crew that are a part of the get-downs. don't miss it...april 11th at fizz(3220 north lincoln)...see you cats there...peace.

messenger appreciation pics...

i knew it would be a minute for the pics to pop up but...

thank you to chrome and everyone in chicago that made this happen. thank you to christopher dilts for the great pics...for more check out the chrome bag flickr. it was a good night...im sorta happy it happened on a thursday...i could have stayed and drank myself silly if it happened on a friday. saw some new faces and alot of old friendly faces. the usual happened...we all talked sh*t...ha! it was nice to hang out with my crew...why did i buy them a round of brews? i remember when cats used to buy me brew...oh wells. still a good night...peace.

Monday, March 23, 2009

this is a good crew...pt.2...

i got a call around 730 or so...the morning bike dispatcher called in sick. they wanted me to come in earlier than usual to cover the shift...no problem. i hate not showering but i hate not making money even more so i got my bag and ran out the door. got to work just after 8am and logged in. the work was slowly piling up...the day started off a bit chilly and rainy. i thought for sure we were in trouble. it was 850am and all i had was five messengers on the board...wtf?!

how the hell am i supposed to cover the work with less than half a crew? i had a few cats call in sick...a few with mechanical problems...and a couple who have the day off regularly. there was nothing i could do. the cats that did show up got hooked up early...i had no choice in the matter. i should state...i had five messengers checked in but 2 of the five are walkers...holy sh*t! don't get me wrong...our two walkers are fast and reliable but they can't cover as much work as our riders.

then...950 rolled around and i got two more bikers. are you doing the math? when we have a full crew we have close to 20 messengers on the bike board...today, i had 7 by 10am and two of them were walkers. i don't know how they did it but they got it done. some of the work was late but not as much as i originally thought. these cats were hustling. i think what happened was that they were all happy that we were actually busy so they hustled for as long as it lasted. who knows when the next time will come around.

by lunch time we had 14 total messengers on the board...including my two walkers. the rest of the day went by easier. i kept the crew moving with short stand-by's here and there. see...i told you we had a good crew. i was angry at first...i should say i was frustrated...but, by the end of the day, my crew got the work done and the ones that showed up were able to pick up the load...peace.

this is a good crew...pt.1...

work has been slow...that's no secret. even though it has been slow we've had the same crew now for quite some time. no new blood and no one leaving us...whether that's good or bad? well...i think it's good. we get used to each other and even though we might get on each others nerves every once in a while...we still say good night to each other and live to fight another day. the other day my manager walked over...

manager...you know, this is a good crew.


manager...this is a good crew. they did pretty good this winter.

j.dot...im amazed they stuck around. cold and slow can make anyone quit but you're right...this is a good crew.

...i tell my crew good night every day and tell them thank you for the hard work for the day. i understand it's been slow but even so...these cats are sticking it out with me/us. that same day the car board got hit late in the day and it was a scramble of sorts to get the work done...once again, the bike board came through...


6721...whats up?

j.dot...it's been slow. i got some work headed north. you going home after work tonight?

6721...yup. what do you have in mind.

j.dot...got a run out west going north loop on a car rate. on your way to drop it stop pick up a 2300 n lakeview and a 3400 north hoyne...right by your crib, right?

6721...cool. thats perfect.


6717...whats up?

j.dot...you live out west right? how about when you drop the one on the hill you scoop one up going on west haddon.

6717...that's a nice way to end the day.

j.dot...cool. call me with that last p.o.d....yo, 0-6.

6706...what up, what up?

j.dot...yo, i got a 200 south wacker. you know, the usual...going on north sheridan on your way home.

6706...cool, that works.

j.dot...say, umm...you want to strut some muscle?

...the car board had a wagon load going from 20 north michigan to 515 north state. the distance isn't so bad but it was four boxes over 100 lbs combined...dont' remember the exact amount. i presented 6706 with the option...ofcourse, he would have to take couple trips to rock the boxes out. he did not hesitate...

6706...i'll go check it out and get back to you.

...see, i told you this was a good crew. granted, the work i was able to hook them up with went towards their home but they still rocked it. too nice...peace.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

appreciation coming early...

saw this over at ccu...

click on image to enlarge(thats what she said?)...

as some of you know...messenger appreciation day happens later in the year. some folks have decided to spread the love a bit earlier. thanks to chromebags for making it happen and thank you to any and all who made this event happen. i get off at six and expect to not get my hands on any of the free beer by the time i get there but...well, hope to see you cats there. maybe i can win a prize? wait...would it be bad if i won and im just a dispatcher? see you cats at the blue frog(676 north lasalle)...peace.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

the first 40 seconds...

in the first 40 seconds of 30 rock liz lemon is seen walking and talking about starting a new life. right at about 40 seconds she gets hit by a cyclist...maybe a messenger? in any case...i thought it was funny and am just posting it to post...ha!

it's a new beginning like a phoenix rising...or, this is gonna be the worse day ever

remember people...keep your eyes peeled for cyclist/messengers out there. maybe it was the cyclist believing that the day was a new beginning until ol'liz lemon decided not to pay attention and make it the worse day ever for him...ha! this post is silly...please...nothing to see here.

on a similar note, my good friend aaron is down and out for alot longer than was originally thought. sucks kid...hope the surgery goes well. he'll be off the bike for over 12 weeks...wtf?! told him not to get to comfortable sitting down...next thing you know he'll be one of me...dispatching...peace.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

update on velocity...

here's the updated flyer for velocity seen over at cyclehawk...

click on flyer for larger view...

the old flyer had the wrong sponsor and the dates weren't set in stone quite yet...in any case, thank you to the cuttin'crew and augie over at four-star for making this happen. this is a great event that everyone and their mama should attend. see you cats on the weekend of june 13th...peace.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

i like the idea...

snooping around the moving target forum i came across projectmessenger.com...pretty cool.

Projectmessenger is a long term thematic and lifestyle exploration of the bike messenger community that will be printed as a book in 2010. This exhibit scratches the surface of a much larger body of work that Jerome has shot over the course of the past 11 years.

Known for his striking portraits, razor sharp style and ability to capture softness in that which is often not soft, Jerome’s connection to the people he shoots is intimate, personal and tribal. On and off the road as a Montreal bike messenger from 1997 to 2004 while building up his freelance business, Jerome’s artistic development and sense of self has been very much affected by biking thousands of hours in the urban core - rain, snow or shine.

More often than not, being a messenger is not just a job, it’s a fast paced 24/7 lifestyle. Jerome’s photographs extract the individuals from the daily drind, capturing isolated moments in time that have stories of their own.

Shooting for the 2010 book continues throughout the next year with serious travel plans scheduled for various cities in the Americas and Europe, culminating with the CMWC in Tokyo September 2009.

i know, i know...it's canadian and this blog is chicago based...well, i came across this pic...

...is that chris? looks alot like him...can anyone verify that this is in fact mr.king? nice pic either way. the man is holding a raffle for 10 beans(canadian) a ticket to help pay for his flight to japan...normally i would be like, "why should i help some other cat get out there when i can't" but the prizes are pretty cool...1st place gets you a 30"x40" print...10 canadian bucks for one of the pics seems like a good deal to me. like i said...i really do like the pictures...

wait...how much is 10 canadian in u.s. currency? 20? 30? 5? haha! maybe i won't send money...im a jerk...peace.

heal up soon...

got word that one of chicago's finest went down the other day. not sure on the details...haven't talked to him yet but apparently aaron/542 was riding between a bus and a car and a pedestrian ran across to try and catch the bus. this forced him to make the usual "oh-sh*t" maneuver which caused him to smash into a car. from what i hear all is well...he's walking around but with a broken collar bone in two spots...ouch! that sucks...i've had the ol'collar bone broken before and it's one of the most painful annoying injuries. heal up quick kid...hit me up if you need anything...peace.

Friday, March 13, 2009

whatcha talking 'bout willis?

have you heard the latest news? this doesn't really have to do with messengers but i figure i would post it anyway. the famous sears tower will be renamed...wtf?! why? remember when chicagoans went nuts when they renamed marshall fields to macy's? the good news is that the sears tower will be renamed into the "willis tower"...how cool is that? let the jokes begin...i wonder exactly how long it'll be before it is officially renamed? i know for a fact my crew along with many others will begin the "different strokes" jokes anytime soon...from 6721...

thank you kristen and 6721 for the heads up...peace.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

now what?

well...i guess now we sit and wait. we wait for the much debated stimulus plan to run it's course. i wonder how long we have to wait? what am i getting at? well...it's f*cking slow!! companies all over the city are cutting corners anywhere they can and guess what one of the main things to get cut is? we're getting work but alot of it is on our slow rolling services...it's nice to still get work but it's not paying much. this means less money in the pocket of the crew...not good.


j.dot...what up? what up?

6629...hey, i hope you don't mind but i'm pretty late on these last two runs. i got them done but my bike broke down so i had to take the bus for most of the time.

j.dot...wait. you got them delivered?

...the man got them delivered which is good but he ran them more than 30 minutes late. again...this is definitely not good. i really wish he would have told me...i could have sent other riders to scoop them up and rock them out in time or i could have called the company the deliveries were for to notify them of the lateness and why. unfortunately, i did neither cause by the time i knew what happened the work had been done.

j.dot...let me get those pod's. next time hit me up. i probably would let you still rock them but i need to let the clients know whats going on.

6629...no problem.

...see, it's been so slow that two-nine didn't want me taking work from him. he needs the money just like all of us and just wanted to get the work done to get the full ticket. can't blame the man for that. i just hope next time i have a fighting chance to deal with the clients. here's to hoping things get better sooner than later...peace.

wanna be famous?

please forgive me for the copying and pasting but this was too good to not keep sharing. from urban velo...

We received the following request via email. They’re casting a TV series about bicycle messengers for a popular youth oriented cable network. They apparently can’t disclose who at this time, but they promise you’ll know the network.

We are searching for the fastest, smartest, coolest, and funniest bicycle messengers in NYC (but other cities are welcome as well) who are 25 years old or younger. We’re looking for ALL types of messengers, but especially those who are deep into messenger culture. This is a paid gig if you’re chosen. Hell, it’s paid even if you’re not chosen — we’re giving $25 in cash if you come down and do a 15 minute interview on either Friday, March 13th or Saturday, March 14th in Tompkins Sq. Park.

If you are from outside NYC we will arrange transportation for you.

So, if you are a bike messenger (who is 25 years old or younger and can prove it) and are interested in being involved in this project please send us a picture of yourself and a phone number and we’ll schedule a time for you to do a quick and fun interview. Compensation: $25 for a 15 minute interview. More to come if you are selected for the project.

Email messengertv@gmail.com for more info.

i wonder what network and what exactly is going on. notice that they will pay for transportation if you're from out of town...wtf?! does that mean if i e-mail them they'll send me roundtrip tickets? i might be down for that...ha! it's been a while since i've been in new york and wouldn't mind visiting some old friends. btw, as some of you know or may not know...there already was an attempt at something...

check out part 2 of 3 and 3 of 3 if you could get passed the first minute...peace.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

silly messengers...v.2...

sometimes i have the honor of dispatching the car board. as some of you know...it's not a big deal but i cannot stand it. why? easy...i have to deal with the drivers. drivers are a special breed...they are definitely not at all like bike messengers. good or bad? i don't know...it just is what it is. i just feel like it's a bit more frustrating to deal with drivers cause i get a bit less respect...after all, im a bike dispatcher and what do i know, right? eh...they all come around throughout the day and most of them are actually pretty cool but some...well, maybe it's cause im younger and they don't like taking "orders" from younger cats? maybe, again, it's cause im a bike dispatcher so what do i know about the city? in any case...i hope you cats enjoy these stories...

i sent 6198 to pick up from 325 west ohio? i can't quite remember but i believe it was ohio. in any case...the building is under construction. i was also the person who took the order and knew what the special instructions were when i sent 6198 to the building...go through the front door and head to the right, look for the blue mailbox and the package will be inside. sounds simple enough but that was not the case. i get a call...

6198...yeah, 9-8, julio?

j.dot...yup. whats up?

6198...what kind of order is this man? the building is under construction. what are you doing to me?

j.dot...the lady said you should be able to walk in through the front door. then break right and look for a blue mailbox.

6198...no man. you messed up. i don't know whats going on over here. this building is under construction. why would you send me here? this is your fault...im about to just leave.

j.dot...what? how did i mess up? why wouldn't i send you there? isn't this the job?

6198...well, there's no blue mailbox. this building is under construction and now im stuck on the 2nd floor. how am i supposed to get down from here?!

...did you guys catch that last part. he seriously asked me how he is supposed to get down from the second floor. anyone know whats wrong with that pic? in case you fall into the 6198 category let me help you...HOW THE HELL DID HE EVEN GET UP TO THE 2ND FLOOR?!

j.dot...wait. you're gonna tell me you got up to the 2nd floor and now you don't know how to get back down? how did you get up there?

6198...i don't know. why did you send me here?

...we called the pick up and got it figured out. took about 21 minutes but he finally was able to get the package. i was so angry but my anger slowly had me breaking out into laughter...well, along with a few cuss words here and there...ha! later that day i had to deal with the beauty that is 6751...

6751...i can't find any parking. i don't think im gonna be able to deliver these boxes.

j.dot...umm, you're at the tower. why don't you go through the dock?

6751...they have a dock? alright, i'll go check it out.

...6751 had no idea that the tallest building in the nation had a dock. he was under the impression that the builders spent all the money on making it go up that they didn't have enough to build a dock for it. he finally gets to the dock...


j.dot...whats up?

6751...ok. your're not gonna believe me but...i still can't deliver the boxes. see, what i did was take the boxes inside through the lobby. i left them with security while i ran back to the car to look for parking. now im at the dock but i don't have the packages.

...wtf?! seriously?! all i could do was laugh...what else am i supposed to do. he left the boxes upstairs so now he had to leave the dock again and head back upstairs and get the boxes. the good news...he was able to find parking and just walk in like everyone else to deliver the boxes.

see...we have a special crew. i don't know how they get the work done but they do. im actually more amazed that they have made it this far...bless their heart. while i did enjoy my time with the car board it was nice to be back with my bike crew...peace.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

just cause...

seen over at greentweet...


Monday, March 2, 2009

i like pictures...v.2...

as some of you know...christopher dilts had/has a few pics set up from the chicago naccc's at the goldstar here in chicago. well, he's decided to put together a 100 page book of pics...

check out some of the sample pages...

...for purchase info click here. also...the man has a release party he's going to be putting together in the coming month. keep your ear to the ground for that...as soon as i get that info i'll let everyone and their mama know...peace.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

chicago bike messengers...

if you have worked or are working at standard courier you have most likely seen this video...the rest of you, you're welcome?(ha!) it's about 25 mins total...it's not a thrilling video but i thought you cats might enjoy it. some familiar faces...btw...can someone tell me how many of the cats seen in this video are still working bicycle messengers? oh wells...enjoy...

...on a side note, we're going from 30 to 50 degrees this week...peace.