Thursday, August 13, 2009

interview...

he hasn't been out there long but already the man is making a name for himself. i've had the pleasure of meeting the man a couple of times. can't say i shared many words with him beyond hello but im glad i was able to get him to submit an interview. only a year into the industry but the man has a level head and great insight to share. fresh off his win at this years naccc's in boston...nico!



1.why did you decide to messenger?

i've been a musician for as long as i've been alive. i had been playing in a band called the rebel angels (r.i.p.) since i was 17 years old. it was everything i lived for. in july of 2008 we played our last show after 7 years. it was a strange time for me. everything that was going on in my life was always secondary to that band. i had been working as a carpenters apprentice for about a year and a half, and before that i was an auto mechanic. my work was always just something i was doing until the angels took off. well that didn't happen, per usual, and suddenly i was just this laborer. i had been playing with the same cats for so long, its like losing a lover. you don't just go right out and find a new lover. so i just decided it was time to pursue my other passion: cycling. i've been obsessing over bikes since i lost my license back in '03. and i guess like most people, i started messengering because i thought it would be amazing to just get paid to ride all day. i was right. it is amazing. its the best thing i've ever done.

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

i started aug 19 2008 at apex courier. its been straight through. called in sick only once, heh heh. more recently i started helping out with runs for up top. if you ain't heard of them, you should check them out. its food delivery run like a messenger company; multiple restaurants as clients with bikers dispatched accordingly.

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

i had just finished building a bareknuckle track bike about two months before i started. it was purple. everyone was wondering who that silly fool was riding around on a purple bike, with a purple bag. it was sweet though. it was retired in february when i got stopped cold by a van busting an illegal u-turn on my way home from work. it got totaled out... only thing salvageable was the headset, barely. the settlement ended up paying quick and well though. now i ride a '06 fuji track pro, a '83 ochsner road bike, and a '97 specialized m2 road bike.

4.you haven't been out there too long but any stick out in your mind?

big joe. our bands used to play together way back in the day... like 5 or 6 years ago. we actually did gigs out at his place in dekalb. it was a trip running into him downtown working for the same company. the cats from the cuttin' crew have really helped me get excited about racing; particularly molly, al, and ben feitz. swampy taught me how to build wheels. its tough to single out any one person just because i feel like i've been accepted into this large family... they are all my brothers and sisters.



5.since you started...what changes have you noticed for the industry? what changes would you like to see?

i came into this job while things in chicago were already pretty bad, i guess. security downtown is ridiculous. i get stories from some of the veterans like swampy or bobcat about how great it was being able to walk into the front door of a building and using the passenger elevator and actually having to route yourself inside a building you had multiple clients in. i can't even imagine. even since i've started security has gotten worse. 541 n fairbanks anyone?? buildings keep making it more and more difficult for us to do our jobs; clients who want you to perform a miracle don't always understand this. you'll wait 15 minutes just to get inside 135 s lasalle, and from what i hear it used to be even worse! it'd be nice to see the city of chicago enforce the uniform building entry section of the 2015 plan. its the part of it that makes the most sense to me.

6.greatest day messengering...worst?

the worst by far was halloween of last year. it was a friday. beautiful outside. i was killing it all morning; it was busy and i was well caffeinated. i was headed to 333 w wacker to clean up, and i was coming from the apparel center. i crossed wacker at franklin/orleans going the wrong way and the light changed as i was headed south and east/west traffic got the green. i didn't get hit by the cab, so much as i hit the cab. it was a gnarly crash. no injuries, but i broke the guy's side view and some glass and bent the fork on my bareknuckle. when the cops showed up and ran our info, a handful of outstanding warrants popped up from dupage and champaign counties. i ended up having to spend the weekend locked up at 1st district down on 18th and state. these warrants were from an era of my life i had tried really hard to forget. however, because of the whole ordeal i was able to face all that negativity i had been hiding from and was finally able to close that chapter. warrants extinguished! no more worries. the best day? the first day after coming home from boston... worrrrd.

7.you recently got back from winning at this years naccc's in boston...how was that experience? don't be afraid to brag...ha!

boston was downright amazing. the city is beautiful. the streets are chaos. the people are incredible. i did the nacccs last year here in chicago and that was great. i was so new to this though. i didn't really know anyone, and didn't have enough experience to really appreciate what was going on around me. this time around, i'd been working for a year. i had a better grip on what it is we do everyday. i felt more comfortable in my skin, as a rider. as long as i've been working, i've kind of felt perfect for this job... like i'm wired just right for it. and that feeling is what makes me love my job. that right there is good enough to keep me getting on my bike everyday. but to be able to go to another city, ride like i always ride, and come out taking 1st place men's and 2nd place overall (much respect to christina!) is an indescribable feeling. to be acknowledged as a professional in that matter is incredible. to not just feel like, but to know that i am damn good at what i love to do is the greatest thing in the world. the race was close... at least between chas (sf) and i. i could've very well taken 2nd on a different day. regardless, i came out with it. the cuttin' crew cleaning up at velo city the weekend before made me all the more ready to keep chicago's streak going. we've got some fast people here. the rest of the world is finding that out.

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

honestly? as long as there is an industry to pay me, i'll be out there on my bike. for the first time in my life, i feel really proud of what i do. i've never been able to consider myself a professional at anything. but i feel like i can say that now. this has become so much more to me than just a job, its who i am. i can't escape it. i was made for this. in ten years i'll be here. as fast as i am today.


pic by chriiistina...

9.favorite beverage?

coffee. i drink ten thousand cups a day. there is no greater joy than riding with a cup of coffee in hand and a belly full of boston cremes. thats how i knock out my first five everyday.

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

its always important to stay humble. there's always going to be somebody with some tall talk, and most of the time talk is all it is. and besides, when you are putting your body in danger day in and day out, you have to stay humble or you can get yourself into serious trouble.

there you have it folks...a rookie who finds himself hooked. happens to the best of us. "in ten years i'll be here. as fast as i am today"...i have a feeling you'll be getting faster kid. congratulations on winning the naccc's this year. as some of you know...it has become somewhat customary to give winners tickets to the worlds for the following year...this year was a bit different. that being said...some cats have set up a fundraiser to send nico along with christina to the worlds in guatemala...don't hesitate to donate what you can. messengers don't make much and the industry is hurting big...any help would be greatly appreciated. congrats again nico...see you around...peace.

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