Monday, December 22, 2008

Dodgy address...

Thanks to Gery for this.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Xmas Alleycat results

This is an insight into the shocking world of courier charity fundraising...

Thanks to everyone who came out to race last night, I know it had been a tough day in work and the weather was awful.

1st: 25 Sean
2nd(after arm-wrestle play-off): Daz
3rd: Kropa
4th: Aidan
5th: Dennis
6th: Jack
7th: Lucasz
8th: Lally
9th: Eoin
10th: Lorcan
11th: Donal
12th: Gary
13th: Fabian
DFL: Rob/Andrea

We had a nice night in Feile afterwards and the raffle was a great success.
We managed to raise €570 for Aware, thanks to everyone for digging deep.

Thanks again to all the sponsors: ThinkBike, Swrve, Cyclelogical, South Ink, V Piercing and RSD.

Have a great Christmas everyone, and remember to ride safe and watch out for taxis :) (I've had too many close calls with the fuckers in the last couple of weeks).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lycra Lunatics!!! Apparently...

Anyone remember this gem? Apparently we were disqualified from Global Gutz because we were breaking red lights and Loxy decided to ride under a jeep... terrible antics indeed...
From quality rag the Sunday Mirror, July 14th 2002:



THIS is an insight into the shocking world of illegal courier racing in Ireland.

The elite group of racers risk their lives for the thrill as they swerve on bicycles between rush hour traffic, only stopping for red lights when they see fit.

The young daredevils often race after dark - when a few drinks have given them some Dutch courage.

Dublin courier Gareth is an "Alleycat Racer". He appeared as part of RTE's new youth series Sampled, but wouldn't reveal his full name because of his involvement in the illegal races.

He said: "Courier racing is definitely to some degree a manifestation of the competitiveness that you see when you are working during the day."

Organiser Neil warned that nobody can tell the racers what to do: "We have no permits, no insurance, no permission, we just do it."

But this form of racing is not just happening in Dublin. Thrill- seekers in several countries around the world co-ordinate the race so thousands of cyclists take off at the same time.

Gareth said: "The race involves thousands of couriers all over the world starting simultaneously - so when we start in Dublin at nine of clock they'd be starting in New York at the corresponding time.

"It has to be the same race all over the planet to make it fair.

"When the race is over they post the results on the web and somebody wins."

Last year the Global Gutz race took place in 43 cities, including Perth, Toyko, Budapest, San Franciso and Katmandu.

The Dublin part of the race involved three checkpoints for 'tagging' cyclists along the course which ran from the quays to Pembroke Road.

But an early halt was called to the race when one speeding racer was knocked from his bike by a jeep.

The accident and the discovery of the antics of the Irish racers ultimately led to their disqualification from the world competition.

Gareth said: "When traffic is coming two ways and you want to get across it you sort of go one way with the traffic and then swing back across the other lane.

"One guy got nudged by a jeep and was knocked from his bicycle, but he was OK."

But this dangerous craze is still only getting started here and Irish racers haven't yet made it onto the world stage.

Organiser Neil agreed that Dublin's racers were only "small fish": "Everyone in Dublin is a small fish in a very big pond.

"We might think we are great but then we sent ten people to the World Championship in Budapest and not one of them made it through."

Monday, December 15, 2008

Final Reminder for Xmas alleycat



Saturday, December 13, 2008

Race of Champions

Want to Watch Chris Hoy race Lewis Hamilton tomorrow?
If you don't live in the land of tv then you may watch the whole shebang streamed here:
thanks dotc

Friday, December 12, 2008

Arty Farty...

short movie... nothing particularly special, but I love the music. I know I've heard it in some movie recently, can anyone enlighten me as to the movie or the name of the music?,40

Thanks to TrackosaurusRex via HKFixed

Tomek, Tomorrow

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Calgary courier Zombie flick

Fun... and a bit bizarre...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Merry Christmas

Nothing to do with messengers or bikes, but curl up with a cup of cocoa and enjoy David Sedaris reading his celebrated 'Santaland Diaries'.

Keirin Ad

Very funny advertisement for Keirin shop in Berlin.

BERLIN KEIRIN AD from Danny Baarz on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Bit of an update.

Race will start at 8pm sharp at Wilton Plc. So be there by 7.30.

Race entry €10. This includes a raffle ticket.
Raffle tickets are €5, or 3 for €10.
Remember all proceeds are going to Aware.
Entry to After Party free with race entry, or €5, which includes a raffle ticket.

We have some savage prizes so far:
€300 voucher for Think Bike, thanks to John.
Honey Leather Brooks B17 saddle, dvd's, thanks to Cliff in Cyclelogical (don't tell Dave...)
Merino base layer, T-shirts, Cycling Hoodies, cycling caps from Swrve. Big thanks to Chris.
There will also be some more prizes from the endless Dublin Messengers schwag bag.
If anyone else would like to sponsor this worthwhile event please get in touch.

After Party tbc. but probably, upstairs in Anseo. Also, Kerr is playing a set in the Blue Note on Capel St. the same night.

Please come out and support this event. A fun night for a good cause.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Techno trance rave electro anthems... by bike.

Some mysterious youtube user has been helmet-camming around Dublin, then going home and creating some music to go with the footage. I think I know who it is... see if you can figure it out.

The rest of their clips can be found here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Xmas Alleycat *update

Dublin Messengers plan on throwing an Alleycat on Dec. 19th this year. The final alleycat of the year followed by a nice little shindig somewhere.

No concrete details as yet, just something to throw in your diaries.
We're going to re-use the Golden Pages race that was dreamt up by 5Jive, who never lived to see his race actually happen. We ran the race for a couple of years in his honour, but that somehow slipped last year so I'd like to bring it back again.

I think it's important to have something like this at one of the darkest points of the year, both literally and emotionally, for many people. 5Jive(Ciaran), seemed full of life and was always great fun to be around, but, as we found out, this was not the case. His tragic death was a stark reminder to us all of how important it is to have friends, talk to people, and be there for others.

Couriers are a bunch of misfits, it's always been the way. Many are not from this country, many have little family, other couriers are in a sense the family unit, however dysfunctional that family may be. So come along to the race, have fun, and remember how important the group of people you are sharing that fun with is.

Sorry if that sounds all a bit serious, the race will be a blast, I just think that at least once a year, we should look inwards a little bit and have a think about what this community means to a lot of us, and how lucky we are to be surrounded by such good people.

I need help organising this so please get in touch if you would like to help out. I think it would be nice to donate the proceeds of this race to a charity like Aware, an Irish support group for depression.

On another note, don't forget to come along to the Dublin Cycling Campaign's Christmas Party. Thursday Dec 18th in the POD. A good chance to mingle with some of Dublin's other cycling groups, and strangely enough, they don't all hate us!

*It appears there are 2 Irish guys cycling around the world to raise money for Aware. You can follow their progress here.

You will need a copy of the Golden Pages in your bag in order to complete the race, so start trying to lay your hands on some copies now.

Bike Hero

Anyone who's played guitar hero will appreciate this:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Messenger Bravey in Oz.

From the messenger mailing list:

"We heard about a stabbing on the streets of Adelaide Australia yesterday. The newspaper 'the daily telegraph' mentioned that a cycle messenger used his uniform to stem the flow of blood from a stabbed victim... I sent a concerned email back home asking what happened...

here is the story tellers version...

'Yep yep, It was Bowie as most of you would know him as. Heaps of dudes stayed at his house during the nationals. Basically he saw a kid fall out of the newsagent, ran over and dragged him out to the main street and called an ambulance. Bowie then went back to his bag and retrieved his bike lock, you know, because that's what couriers tend to do...
He then proceeded to enter the newsagent and found a second victim in an aisle. The kid told Bow he had been stabbed in the chest, Bow told him to remove his shirt, apparently it was gushing blood, he had been stabbed just above the heart, not in the leg as some twit from the Advertiser had reported... Not really certain how one could be in a life threatening condition with a leg wound... Would have to be a hell of a wound, moving on.
So Bow rips off his trusty Toll shirt and covers the stab wound on this kids chest. He puts him on the ground and tries to stop the bleeding. In the process he talks to the kid, learns his name is Dave, he likes basketball, he's 14. Meanwhile the attacker has been in the store the whole time, and when he see's the kid is on the ground he thinks its his chance to finish the job. He runs over, grabs the kids legs and tried to drag him across the floor, then kicks him in the face a couple of times. Bowie manages to grab the stabber from behind and pull him off the victim. He struggles with the stabber and manages to push him to the back of the store. He then gets the injured kid out to where the police and ambulance crew were now starting to arrive. He and fellow courier Mark managed to cop a face full of pepper spray as the police were attempting to apprehend the stabber.
Bow refused to be identified, was hounded by various news crew and was apparently misquoted in the paper. The first kid that Bowie dragged out onto the street died, the stabber was intent on finishing off the second one as well. If Bow hadnt intervened I have no doubt he would have. I keep referring to these guys as kids because they were 14 years old. The stabber was 16. They were Sudanese refugees who have fled a war torn country in which many youths are trained militia. Bowie lost his mobile phone, his bike lock and his trusty Toll uniform, but thankfully managed to get out of it unhurt. I still cant work out if it is the fucking stupidest thing I have ever seen him do (and I live with him, I've seen him do some pretty clever things), but the fact that he didn't notice the colour of their skin, the fact he was facing a knife wielding freak twice the size of him, the fact that it had absolutely nothing to do with him, ran in and saved a 14 year old kids like is fucking awesome, and certainly worthy of a few free beers. Definitely a credit to the courier creed. "

Link to the story here.

Kyotoloco stuff...

Might give a little insight in to how much fun next years CMWC and pre-event are going to be...

KYOTO LOCO '08 from Eli Tokyo Jitensha-Jin on Vimeo.

Results here.

Pics here and here.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Global Gutz Video

A couple of Rocko's mates were doing a college project and used Global Gutz Dublin as their inspiration. Been trying to get my hands on a copy of this for ages, but it's finally been posted on YouTube, so check it out:

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween Results

Thanks to everyone who showed up to race, hang out, do a checkpoint, whatever. It was a cold evening and standing around was not particularly fun.
Halloween 2008 by you.
28 raced on Friday. Results as follows:

1st: Gyula
2nd: Steve
3rd: Kropa
4th: John Wharfield
5th: Brian
6th: Kerr
7th: Chris + Eoghan McNulty
8th: Cisto
9th: Geri
10th: Dennis
11th: Frank
12th: Squeak
13th: Aidan
14th: Michelle and Dave
DNF: Lorcan, Doricea, Barry, Ali, Daz, Cariosa, Renee, Fabian, Tim, Johnny, Lucas,
DFL: Josh

I think I made a boo-boo with 1st girl, so Squeak shall be receiving a prize next time I see her.
Apologies also to Daz who got a misprinted 1st manifest with only 2 pick-ups and drops on it, but had the good grace to lose his 2nd manifest and save me a headache...
Halloween 2008 by you.

Savage party afterwards in Perrines, thanks for the hospitality.

Saturday night was Courier Carnage, but, due to the carnage from the night before, only 7 brave souls turned up to race. We just did a 7-up sprint and Daz came out on top to take the cash prize, which he nicely spent on getting us a round afterwards. Everyone seemed to enjoy the course, so there's talk of making it a more regular, winner takes all event.
Halloween 2008 by you.

Thanks again to everyone for coming out, I'm looking forward to the next race.
Rest of my photos can be found here.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Stolen Bike

A dear friend of Dublin Messengers has had her bike nicked from Camden Street this evening.

Kate, maker of the lovely 'Alleyhats' that a lot of us wear, is now bereft of her Capri Free Spirit.

It's a dirty white ladies frame, old-school, rear carrier, 5-speed converted to single-speed. Sprung Brooks saddle.

Keep the peepers peeled, get it back, and get in touch.
Kate has offered a brand new 'Alleyhat' as a reward for the safe return of her rothar.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

We all love reading about Victoria Pendleton, so click here to read her latest interview in the Guardian.

A choice excerpt:
"...what other sport has to deal with the attitude we get as cyclists on the road? I certainly haven't noticed any sudden courtesy to cyclists in the wake of us being the most successful British team in the Olympics. I cycle to the velodrome most days and I have one narrow escape for every hour on the road. I just think, 'Holy shit, I could die on my bike out here.'

"To a cyclist, these bloody motorists might as well be running around with a loaded gun. When you have that sort of attitude towards cyclists how are we going to move our sport into the mainstream?"

BBC video interview here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Very late notice but...

If anyone is going to be around town tonight you should pop into the Russell Court hotel on Harcourt St. There is a fund raising night for a Brazilian girl who was knocked off her bike by a truck and paralysed a while back. Her family can't afford to get here and she's here for a while in rehab... shitty situation.
Full story here.
Event starts at 7.30pm.

Just when you thought the videos couldn't get any worse...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

ECMC 2009

No confirmed date as yet... last weekend in May is what we here from our man on the inside, Gar.
Only a title page on their site, but you can sign up for a newsletter here.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Expensive clobber... crap... blah...

anyone wanna buy a bomber jacket for €325?

Didn't think so.

The Courier

I never heard about this being made, I guess it was a student project.
There is something about the way this stuff gets filmed, Dublin never seems to change. There is a similar feel to it all...

Compare to this from about 8 years ago.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Polo Tourney

The guys in the Phoenix Park are having a tourney this Sunday and we have been asked to supply a few teams.

We'll be using their bikes and mallets.

For more info contact Cliffy or myself.

The day should look a little bit like this:
Check out rules etc. here

Monday, October 13, 2008

2 Legends in Ireland

This is from a couple of years back, and has nothing to do with messengers or Dublin, but it's 2 of my favourite bike riders of all time coming to Ireland, getting locked, and pissing it down mountains on bikes... how bad?

Monday, October 6, 2008

10-9 Day... or 9-10 day really...

It's that time of the year again. Time to pat ourselves on the back for a job well done.
Yes, it's Messenger Appreciation Day on Thursday.

For info and history go here.

Conratulations! You're great!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Ghost Bikes in the Guardian

They started in San Francisco, spread throughout the States and are now appearing in cities worldwide ghostly white bikes adorned with fresh flowers that mark the spot where a cyclist has been killed. As they begin to appear across Britain, Geraldine Bedell talks to the creators of these poetic shrines and the victims families.

The bike was hanging off the railings, a metre or so above the ground, gleaming spectrally in the dusk. It was painted white and its luminosity emphasised the simple sweep of the frame, the elegance of its engineering. Only up close could you see that it looked so stark and sculptural because all the extraneous bits - chain, brake cables, the rubber on the handlebars and pedals - had been stripped away. It was only the skeleton of a bike and there was a plaque hanging off the crossbar: 'In memory of Smudge, 1971-2008.'

When I first noticed it, I had no idea this bike was part of a viral campaign of memorialising that had started five years earlier and has since surfaced in more than 50 cities, from Vienna to São Paulo, Whangerei to Toronto. But in subsequent weeks, I spotted two more skeletal white bikes within a few miles of the first, commemorating the deaths of cyclists on the streets of London.

In the past year, ghost bikes have appeared in Wales, Oxford, Brighton and York, as well as in the capital. Many are the work of cycling groups that want not only to remember the dead, but to draw attention to the vulnerability of cyclists; bikes as both a shrine and a political statement. Not all cyclists are in favour, however; some argue that they give the impression cycling is more dangerous than it is.

Within half an hour's bike ride from my house, I can see three, which seems a scary amount of death on two wheels. Yet that impression is not borne out by the facts, even taking into account two highly publicised fatalities in London in the past fortnight. (Both involved lorries, which are implicated in the overwhelming majority of cycling deaths in the capital.) Since 2000, cycling in London has doubled, but there are 19 per cent fewer deaths than in the mid-1990s, an average of 20 a year. Nationally, 136 people were killed cycling in 2007 and 146 the year before.

Some ghost bikes are temporary - the Oxford and York bikes have gone and one in Greenwich Park, south east London, was 'reluctantly removed after a month' following discussions with the Royal Parks. Some local authorities are more tolerant - the Brighton bike has been in place for nearly a year, while Transport for London, which controls the major routes in the capital, says: 'We wouldn't expect to be asked permission for a ghost bike and we wouldn't seek to remove it.'

The ghost bike for Smudge was locked to the railings on the corner where he died by friends, who tend it with fresh flowers. A laminated order of service is attached to the frame and a photograph to the front wheel, from which you learn that Smudge's real name was Antony Smith, that he came from Clitheroe, Lancashire, and had a nice smile. They played Joy Division's 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' at his funeral. On the front of the order of service, it said: 'You hold your child's hand for a while, but you hold his heart for ever.'

Other ghost bikes are left by family, like the one in north Wales that Peter Cawley set up recently to commemorate his brother Barry, 37, killed by a speeding car in July 2000. Some are installed under cover of darkness, as if they had washed up through the traffic of their own accord; others with a small ceremony, as when Greenwich Cyclists, which is campaigning to ban cars in Greenwich Park, kept a minute's silence for Lennard Woods, killed there in June 2007, which was attended by his wife and daughters.

The dispersed, viral and largely spontaneous British ghost bike phenomenon has its origins in St Louis, Missouri, where, in 2003, a young man called Patrick Van der Tuin saw an SUV hit a woman in a cycle lane. Later, under cover of darkness, he placed a white bike at the scene with a notice saying: 'Cyclist struck here.' Passing it each day, Van der Tuin was impressed by the effect his installation seemed to have on drivers: they were slowing down, taking notice. So, one Sunday night, he and a few other enthusiasts set out after dusk with 15 twisted cycles on their bike racks. Stopping at intersections where they knew cyclists had been hit, they locked them to street lamps and signposts and moved on.

The idea of the white bike as a haunting symbol was already in the air: in April 2002, San Francisco-based artist Jo Slota had begun painting abandoned bikes he found on the streets, documenting the results on his Ghost Bike website. Between 2002 and 2005, Slota painted 23 broken bikes - sometimes a complete frame, sometimes a lone wheel left pathetically propped in a rack. 'I see them as "dead bikes",' he said, 'and paint their remains to emphasise their ghost-like quality.' Initially, he resented cycling activists appropriating his guerrilla art tactics and ghost bikes name, although he now feels flattered that his idea has proved so potent and adaptable.

The bikes arrived in Britain when Steve Allen, a website designer and keen cyclist, heard that 23 activists in Seattle had spent three months collecting online submissions of cycling accidents, not necessarily fatalities, and had mapped them on a website. In August 2005, the Seattle group placed 40 ghost bikes at the worst locations, each with a notice saying: 'A cyclist was struck here.' They refused to reveal their identities, claiming they wanted to keep the focus off individuals and on road safety.

Allen developed a UK version of the site, with the initial aim of mapping dangerous intersections and marking them with white bikes, rather than commemorating the dead ('We don't put out the bikes; other people do that'). But the focus of the website has since shifted, mainly in response to the impact of ghost bikes in New York.

There, a group called Visual Resistance, which specialises in politically engaged street art, started creating ghost bikes to mark the 20 deaths on average a year in the city. Their campaign was aided by tolerant city authorities and 45 ghost bikes are still in place in New York's five boroughs. They have now become the responsibility of the Street Memorial Project, a coalition that also campaigns for pedestrians.

'The instinct has been to treat these crashes as akin to weather, as something we can never change,' says spokesman Wiley Norvell. 'Ghost bikes defy that convention. They make people aware of the individual who has died. And they work as visual, artistic traffic calming.'

The New York bikes have become a powerful symbol. In residential areas, they are visited every day, supplied with fresh flowers and regularly repainted. They have also become a poignant focus for campaigning. On the first Sunday in January, cyclists organise a memorial ride taking in all of them and installing new ones to mark deaths in the preceding 12 months.

The British ghost bike phenomenon remains much more diffuse and less well understood. A memorial to James Foster in Essex Road, on the Hackney-Islington border in London, has recently been vandalised; it is now missing its front wheel, pedals and handlebars and hangs off its post looking battered and lost. James's friend Sarn Baggett, who built it out of spare parts at Mosquito Bikes, where he and James both worked, says all the components were unusable. Perhaps the vandals didn't understand the bike's significance, although it is also possible that people in London are simply less civilised and sympathetic than those in New York.

James, who was 37, was pushing his bike across the road when he was hit by a car driven by 24 year-old Sabrina Harman. She was over the drink-drive limit and speeding and had a previous conviction for drink-driving. She had been banned for a year and still had not regained her full licence.

Foster was well-known and much loved among London cyclists. A tall Tasmanian, with long red dreadlocks, he shared a house with nine other Australians and New Zealanders. Baggett remembers him as 'a classic gentle giant with a massive smile', while his friend Therese Kilpatrick recalls 'a quiet, exceptional person who was incredibly generous with his time, who respected everyone'. He loved cycling and skateboarding and anything to do with adventure; he was also deeply concerned about the environment.

Steve Allen cites his death as one of the reasons why he wanted to set up the Ghost Cycle website. The idea of a ghost bike, though, was Sarn Baggett's. 'A group of us gets together for a drink every year to remember him and it seemed like a good way of marking the fifth anniversary of his death. At that stage, I'd only seen ghost bikes on websites. I built it, then painted it in a couple of afternoons.' The bike appeared on the street in July this year. When I last spoke to Baggett, he was still very annoyed at the vandalism, but thinking of rebuilding it.

Even with the long-term decline in cycling deaths, it seems likely that the numbers of ghost bikes will continue to grow, probably becoming as familiar as the floral shrines to the dead that now decorate the pavements. While campaigners are right to argue that one cycling death is too many, it would be unfortunate if the proliferation of ghost bikes frightened off nervous waverers, because there is quite a lot of evidence that the more cyclists there are, the safer cycling becomes. But if, as activists insist, white bikes grab the attention of motorists, give them pause and remind them to take care, they will mark the past and help safeguard the future.

The other reservation sometimes expressed about ghost bikes has to do with the families of the dead. It's all very well for cyclists to erect memorials to their friends, who may have been cycling enthusiasts, but some families want to be left to get on with their grieving. They don't want to become advocates for cycling safety.

Alison Swann heard about the ghost bike commemorating her brother, 'in rather an unfortunate way, through the local paper'. James Danson-Hatcher had been killed eight months earlier, at the age of 23. A keen photographer and cyclist, he had spent a spring day cycling on the Downs above Brighton and had been on his way home when he was hit by a car doing close to the 60mph speed limit. The driver was not prosecuted.

Despite this less than ideal beginning, Alison has become an enthusiastic supporter of her brother's ghost bike, both as memorial and warning. 'James was a bit of an activist. He was into green issues and he was a very proficient cyclist. My mum and sister and I all agree that he would have thought it was a brilliant idea. Car drivers fundamentally believe they own the roads. They don't have the 360-degree awareness they need. If ghost bikes can help make people more conscious of sharing the roads, they must be good. I think it's rather beautiful, actually.'

James Foster, 36
Died July 15 2003

James Foster, an Australian who had lived in London for several years, died after he was hit by a speeding car while wheeling his bike across Essex Road in north-east London. The driver had a previous drink-drive conviction and was over the limit. James, who worked at Mosquito Bikes on Essex Road, was a distinctive and popular figure, and the inspiration for the original Ghost Cycle website in the UK. His friend and colleague at Mosquito, Sarn Baggett, built and painted the ghost bike, which was installed on the fifth anniversary of his death. It has since been vandalised.

James Danson-Hatcher, 23
Died May 4 2007

James Danson-Hatcher was on his way home from an afternoon's cycling on the South Downs when he died in a collision with a car at the junction of Devil's Dyke and Saddlescombe Road. The ghost bike was placed at the scene by members of Bricycle, the Brighton and Hove Cycle Campaign Group, who had been calling for a lower speed limit on the road.

James's family welcome the bike, both as memorial and protest.

Lucinda Ferrier, 33
Died June 23 2008

Lucinda Ferrier died on the corner of Stoke Newington High Street and Manor Road in north-east London on June 23 2008. A notice on her ghost bike describes her as 'Beloved daughter of Nicholas and Mimi, sister of Olivia, Paul, Charles and Andrew, companion of Stuart, and second mother to Molly and Daisy.'

Antony Smith, 37
Died April 21 2008

Antony Smith, aka 'Smudge', was killed in a collision with a truck at the corner of Middleton Road and Kingsland Road in Hackney, east London on Monday April 21 this year. He was a graphic designer, cycling his usual route to work.

Barry Cawley, 37
Died July 20 2000

Barry Cawley died on the road between Llanwrst and Betws-y-Coed in Conwy, north Wales, on Sunday 30 July, 2000. A plasterer and a roadie for Catatonia, who dedicated their last album to him, Cawley was mountain biking with two friends when all three bikes were in collision with a speeding car. The cyclists were travelling single-file, Barry in the middle. His friends survived, but the driver of the car was killed. Barry's brother Peter put the ghost bike at the site of the crash after reading about the idea on the internet.

Photos here

Friday, October 3, 2008

Halloween Race

Halloween main race will take place Fri. October 31st.

Registration: Wilton Place from 7pm. (wilton park house if weather is shit)

Race starts: 8pm

€5 Entry.

Prizes for best costume.

Afterparty venue to be confirmed... (not my place...)


Maybe a bit short notice for this one, but I will keep my eyes peeled for tickets for the next 3 events, could be a nice weekend jaunt for the messers. Check out the site here.

Revolution Track Racing in Manchester Velodrome,
15th November 2008

Travel Details: Leave Dun Laoghaire via Stena Line on 15th at 11.30am (we are meeting outside the main door of Stena Line in Dun Laoghaire at 10.15 sharp. Return Holyhead via Stena Line on 16th at 1.45pm (arrive in Dun Laoghaire ~5.00pm). Watch racing in Revolution on Saturday night. Bed & Breakfast in Cheadle House Hotel Ph: 0044 845 136 0123.

Total costs for ALL expenses(ferry, accommodation, Sunday breakfast, event entry, bus etc):
(Cost per adult is €125)
Deposit of €70 payable to 'Track Cycling Ireland',
Please give or post to Will Byrne at 13 Haydens Park Dale, Lucan, Co Dublin.

The balance of is payable prior to departure.
For further details contact : Will 086 8047839 or Hugh 086 3488708

Limited to 34 people - 8 places left
We have received deposits from most of these, and some have already paid in full. Some places have been confirmed by e-mail and are being held pending deposits being sent, but bottom line is - deposit is required to secure place!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Discovery Channel Documentary

Tribes of the 21st Century:
Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cycle Pathetic

With all this focus on the shortcomings in Ireland, why not have a look at some of Europe's other cycling-lane misdemeanours here.

Found through
cycle lane with bollards in the middle

Monday, September 22, 2008

Car Free Day... yeah, right...

So... from someone who was actually at this rubbish... One side of Merrion Square closed off, nothing happening in the park. One tent for Dublin Bus, giving out timetables, Dublin Shitty Council... had a tent that housed a form where you could win a piece of shit bike... that's all... the Dublin Transport Office were supposed to have a stall, but apparently all they were giving out were balloons and when they ran out they left... A few stalls selling the obligatory overpriced food, and that's World Car Free Day! What a model of progressive thinking Dublin is really showing itself to be. I hope the rest of the world was watching that shining display and takes heed. At this rate we'll have global warming licked by next Thursday.
Once again... COWARDS...

So I tell a lie, the West side of Merrion Square is being closed to today... woo-hoo!!! Bet it's closed to bikes as well... and there's a family fun day in the park! That has a lot to do with Car Free Day doesn't it? Report here.

Once again Ireland shows its true colours by completely blanking World Car Free Day.
Apart form a bike parade and picninc happening in cork, there is nothing going on in this entire island.

This certainly puts into perspective that wonderful ride through car free streets at 9.30 am on a sunday that the government threw last week. They couldn't have waited and maybe had it today? CarFree Day? Seems to make sense doesn't it?

Check here for details of cities and countries that actually give a shit and don't just pay lip service to issues of sustainability.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dublin City Cycle

I'm all for getting more people on their bikes in Dublin City... kinda...

I think the council and the government have got it all arseways to be honest. Suddenly throwing a few thousand more people out on to the streets on bikes without improving road conditions or providing proper training is a fucking joke if you pardon my French.

The one thing more dangerous than motor vehicle users in the city is other cyclists. I'm more scared of middle aged women on hybrids than I am of HGV's. You never know what the fuck they're going to do!

The whole attitude to cycling in the city has to be changed, and that is going to take a lot of time, maybe a generation. It has to start in schools by providing children with weekly cycling classes, getting them comfortable on bikes from an early age. There should be government subsidised adult lessons available as well, cycling with small groups around the city, with experienced city cyclists, like messengers, teaching adults how to assert themselves in traffic and stop feeling like targets. If cyclists can't look over their shoulder to check traffic and still ride in a straight line they shouldn't be riding in traffic, in my opinion.

The whole network of cycle lanes needs to be adressed as well. While there are some decent ones in the suburbs, along the canals for instance, their overall design seems to be from the standpoint of people who do not ride bikes in the city.

Drivers need to be made more aware of how the cycling infrastructure works. Bicycle traffic lights, eg. Bull Alley/Golden lane do not exist in drivers eyes. I've been nearly slammed twice recently at this intersection while following the 'cycle' green light. Bike boxes at junctions, that are there to allow cyclists to get ahead of the traffic for making turns etc. are always just sat in by cars, forcing cyclists to go beyond this and in many cases through the pedestrian area in order to make their turn. I appreciate that most of this is not due to driver negligence, but due to lack of education.

These arguments and more have been argued a hundred times on many websites, the reason I bring it up again here is because of the Dublin City Cycle that took place at the weekend.
Not only am I infuriated that the same ignorant asses that told us 'not in a million years' when we proposed our route for CMWC organise this 8km traffic free ride through the city, using part of the course we proposed (I always suspected it was because we're couriers, and I feel that has been confirmed), I'm also aggrieved that they feel that this might somehow contribute positively to cycling in the city. Why not spend the money on making the roads a bit safer or on some education, showing people what the streets are like without traffic only highlights how dangerous it is when there is traffic on the roads.

Finally, the partners for this event included the Dublin Transport Office, The Department of the Environment andEuropean Mobility Week. Can I ask why we didn't have this cycle on, say, a Saturday afternoon? Might have had more of an impact on the public consciousness. What traffic is there in dublin at 9.30 am on a Sunday morning? Cowards.

Apologies for the disjointed nature of this 'rant', but when I get emotional I can't order my thoughts very well.

Halloween 2008

I saw a Pumpkin hat in the pound shop yesterday, so that can mean only one thing... Halloween is over 6 weeks away!

Aside from Paddy's Day Massacre, Halloween has always been one of our most successful events and hopefully this year will be no exception. There was a great turn out for last Fridays Tartancat and I think we can keep that going.

This year Halloween falls on a Friday, so that gives us a whole weekend to play with.
Friday night we'll have the traditional Halloween alleycat, prizes for best costume as always.
Here are some previous years efforts:

Details of Fridays race are still sketchy... as there is nothing organised yet. I've an idea for a race, but if anyone else wants to chip in please get in touch.

For Saturday I thought we'd take a trip back in time, to a more innocent age of messing... Anyone remember Courier Carnage from 2001??? It's basically a knockout sprint competition around a course using some of our most popular streets in the working day... it also bears a slight resemblance to the course we attempted to have for CMWC... I only just noticed that...
Anyway, this is a fun format, 3/4 rider heats running down to a 4 up final.

Hoping to book somewhere for parties on both nights, again anyone with any suggestions get in touch, about venues, dj'ing, whatever.
ALSO!!! Anyone with a logo design for posters, t-shirts, get in touch asap. As you can see from my MSPaint masterpiece above I'm a donkey when it comes to design. If you'd like to be immortalised let me know.


Upcoming Track Events

A couple of updates from the Track Association:

IVCA Track Championships and Apple Pie Event!
The inaugural Irish Veteran Cyclist Association Track Championships will take place on Saturday
20th September at Eamonn Ceannt Park on Sundrive Rd, Dublin 12.
Sign on is 10.00 - 10.30.
Entry open to all IVCA and Cycling Ireland Veteran Cyclists who have track accreditation
Event 1: 500m Individual Time Trial standing start.
Age Categories 40-49, 50-59 and 60+

Event 2: Sprint including Flying 200m qualifying TT and knockout Match Sprints
over 2 laps. Age Categories 40-49, 50-59 and 60+

Event 3: 3 KM (7 laps) Individual Pursuit. Age Categories 40-49
2 KM (5 laps) Individual Pursuit. Age Categories 50-59 and 60+

Event 4: 20 Lap Scratch race. Age Categories to be decided on numbers of entries.

Team Event : Team Sprint. 1 1/2 laps distance (710 metres) 3 riders start, first
rider peels off after 1/2 a lap (230 metres), 2nd rider at 1 lap, last
rider finishes the last half lap on his own The ages of the 3 riders
in the team must add up to 135 years or more.

There will be medals, prizes and Apple Pie

As the programme is dependent on the number of entries in each
category it may vary from this. If you are interested in entering
please let Terry Cromer know on 087 2056740.

The day promises some very exciting racing and we hope that all IVCA
members will come along and either compete or support their fellow
members. Here is an opportunity to find out exactly how fast you can
go against the clock over the short sprint distances or how well you
can judge your pace over 2 or 3 kilometers. It is open to all members
who have accreditation to ride the track at Sundrive Rd.
If you are interested or need more information please call Terry
Cromer on 087 2056740.
It has also been decided to resurrect the Apple Pie Event so there
will be refreshments including Apple Pie and cream and a cup of tea or
coffee. For those who haven't enjoyed the experience of Track racing,
this is a wonderful introduction to exciting racing and the social
camaraderie amongst track riders and their families.
Please come and support this event either as participant or spectator!

TGP Duane Delaney Memorial

Track Meet – Sundrive Road
Sunday 28th September 2008

Event timetable

10.30am – 11.00am Sign on

11.15am – 11.30m Open track

Racing starts 11.30am –

TGP Duane Delaney Memorial Track Meet will be run by the Track Commission of Ireland with support of Ravens RCT accordance with Cycling Ireland.

This program is subject to change and will be run as a 5 event Track Meet which we hope to split into two categories as outlined below.

For further info please contact
Will Byrne on 086 0847839 or
Hugh Byrne on 086 3488708.

The Track Commission would like to thank the Delaney Family and Ravens RCT for the opportunity to host the TGP Duane Delaney Memorial.

Proposed Itenerary
Riders subject to numbers split as follows:
A : A/B/ Elite V/ and any other rider who would nomally ride in that section of our league

B: V/L/J/U16

Event 1

A: 200 m TT (Placed 1 to 8)

Winner 9/8/7/6/5/4/3/2

B: 200 m TT (Placed 1 to 8)

Winner 9/8/7/6/5/4/3/2

Event 2 Sprint (3 rounds)

A : Each rider gets 3 x 3 up sprints (Points 3/2/1)

Match offs for winners getting progessively harder as winners face each other,

while 2nd & 3rds are also matched to give them a shot at some points

Max points 9 (if you win alll 3)

B : Each rider gets 3 x 3 up sprints (Points 3/2/1)

Match offs for winners getting progessively harder as winners face each other,

while 2nd & 3rds are also matched to give them a shot at some points

Max points 9 (if you win alll 3)

Event 3

A: 15 lap scratch (points 9/8/7/6/5/4/3/2 and 1 for participation)

B: 15 lap scratch (points 9/8/7/6/5/4/3/2 and 1 for participation)

Event 4

A: 25 lap points race

B: 16 laps reverse win & out

Lap 4 Sprint for 7th & 8th places (3 points & 2 points)

Lap 8 Sprint for 5th & 6th places (5 points & 4 points)

Lap 12 Sprint for 3rd & 4th places (7 points & 6 points)

Lap 16 Sprint for 1st & 2nd places (9 points & 8 points)

Event 5

A: 500m TT (points 9/8/7/6/5/4/3/2 and 1 for participation)

B: 500m TT (points 9/8/7/6/5/4/3/2 and 1 for participation)

Prizes in both sections
Overall Winner can come from either A or B section

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I guess work must be slow in London too...

Fear not! It's obviously not just Dublin that's going through slack times... although this seems to have been the longest Summer slump(without even having the sun) in many's a year, our friends across the sea seem to be suffering from a similar sort of madness brought about by hours on end sitting around doing nothing.

While peeping at the Moving Target forum I came across this peach...

Also, in news, our favourite new Scottish imports Kerr and Dave, will be throwing their 'Tartancat' this Friday. Expect funny accents, unidentifiable meats, crazy vimto and a whole host of other stereotypes...
Grand Canal, 7/8ish as is the Irish way...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Velocity Couriers: Blatant self promotion...

Apologies for this, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.
There's a new courier company in Dublin: Velocity Couriers.
Pedal power only.
Experienced couriers.
If you, or anyone you know, would like to give us a try, check our website out:
Support local independent business!
( I promise I will never use this blog again for personal advertising)

The Bicycle Messengers

Nice Short film...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cycling raingear...

...doesn't work when you're a messenger.

The rain in Dublin has been fucking atrocious this year (and last come to think of it), and without fail my supposedly waterproof gear has given up the ghost pretty early on in the day.

I just bought a new Endura jacket (to replace my Cyclone issue 'rain-sieve') and it got its first real test today. The thing looks beautiful, really comfortable... but waterproof??? Not a fucking chance. Check that link out and look at the reviews from the leading cycling magazines. High praise indeed. What kind of testing do these muppets do? What exactly do they call rain??? It rained solidly for about two and a half hours this afternoon and the arms had begun to soak through after one. By the time I got home I was sopping.

Are manufacturers ever going to make products that can withstand a courier? They use claims like 'durable' and 'waterproof' when in fact this is only apparently the case if you commute for 20 minutes a day, or go out riding at the weekends. How long has your last pair of gloves lasted? Fuck me, I've spent more money on gloves than I dare think about... always the same, the top of them fine, but that shitty synthetic crap they use on the palms lasts about 3 months if you're lucky. If you use long-fingered gloves and have brakes the sides of the fingers wear through in a matter of weeks. Pants.

I'm so sick of throwing good money after bad. Instead of making yet another messenger bag, can one of these talented individuals invest some of their creative energies into designing jackets and gloves that can withstand 9 hours a day, 5 days a week of working on a bike.


Sunday, August 10, 2008


Thanks to Veloturista for this:

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


A new video from our ludicrously talented comrade Donnacha.
He's a bit good, innit?

donnacha carroll / ireland from donnacha carroll on Vimeo.

Makes all that fixie stuff look a bit...weak...

Monday, August 4, 2008

ECMC 2008

The dust has settled and my liver has stopped screaming. What a weekend. Europe knows how to party and damn do those Dutch know how to throw an event! Easily the best organised messenger event I've ever been to and that includes NYC 2005 with their oodles of dirty money!

It was a last minute decision for me to go, and I'm so glad I did. The largest travelling Irish contingent since New York made it feel like a home away from home, but seeing all those faces from around Europe descend on one place had me beaming all weekend.

The main race and the majority of side events were held on the Technical University campus. Our campsite was within crawling distance of the course and we had toilets, 'prison-style' showers and running water all within reach. Hot, free breakfst in the mornings, good coffee, 1 euro beer... it brings a tear to my eye remembering it all.

Day one saw some polo action, Euro-style... which meant a much slower pace and better attitude than whatever that was in Toronto. This was a nice slow build up to the main event and provided people with plenty of time to catch up with old friends and begin the serious drinking. Basel won the polo I believe with London coming 2nd thanks to a DQ. Team Dublin 12 proudly grabbed 4th after DQ'ings.

The welcome party was also held on the campus and the messengers really showed that they know how to drink. In fact the rest of this evening is a blur to me so I shall comment no further. All I know is that I was dancing on stage at one point, and then I woke up in my tent, if anyone can fill in the blank please email me.

Of course this didn't help when I dragged myself out of bed to find that the qualifiers were actually starting on time, and that if I keep picking 102 as my race number I will keep being in the first groups to qualify... A quick breakfast of scrambled eggs, ham and cheese, and a Bailey's iced coffee, and I was ready(ish) to race.

The course was a lot of fun, I really wish I had more time on it. It was pretty complicated, and you were punished for making mistakes, which I agree with, no turning around and going back the way you came like in Toronto. It really paid to stay calm and think ahead. The loop was pretty long, and to make up for holland's renowned flatness there were a few stair sections thrown in where you had to get off and run, again I think this added to the course. Everyone I saw racing looked like they were having a good time. I had a few calamities during my heat so I didn't qualify for the final, chief among these was my saddle coming loose right in front of Vincent who was MC'ing the event. It's quite distracting having someone with a microphone giving a running commentary on you trying to fix shit. Added to this were some sweaty birthday man-hugs from Flip at the stamp checkpoint and some guerilla water bombings by Pax, oh, not to forget my own ineptitude. I really didn't care though as I rode the whole thing with a huge grin on my face.

It was so nice after this to chill out in the amazing weather, have a few beers and watch the days events unfold. Semi-naked Scandinavian girls, aggresively drunk Glaswegians, skinsuit wearing Swiss... all part of a days entertainment.

That evening the party and the roller racing moved to Area 51, a skatepark close to the campus. There were some games of footdown in the car park, and the the rain came. It didn't spoil anyone's fun though as we all piled inside for some live music and the Roller race finals. Chapeau to the Rollapoluza Crew for throwing a pro event. You can tell these guys know what they're doing and the whole evening ran without a hitch. A few more beers in the campsite later on and most of us settled in for the night to prepare for another days shenanigans.

Sunday morning and the sun was back out again with a vengance making racing conditions incredibly tough. 3 hours of racing for everyone. no cut-offs or limited manifests. Jobs were worth money and the fattest wallet after 3 hours claimed victory. The strength of the organising shone through once again at this event. There was a laptop where everyone was hanging out that had live updates of the race... yes you read that right. As people made money it came up on the screen and you could watch the race unfold. I found out afterwards that this was actually on the internet, and a few guys in Dublin were follwing the race from there! Some achievement.

Just watching the racers was hard work, it was painfully hot, and 3 hours is a very long time when you can watch a clock ticking. Thankfully there was plenty of water to be had on the course, and a couple of hoses provided welcome relief at 2 points on the course. It was great watching racers srinting throught the start/finish area trying to grab plastic cups of water from volunteers... sometimes succeeding, sometimes howling in frustration as they knew it would be a few more minutes before they could get some much-needed refreshment.

Chapeau to Austin from NYC for showing true spirit and doing the whole race with a plastic bag from the local supermarket to carry his packages!

When it all boiled down Michael ‘michi’ Brinkmann and Astid ‘azkic’ Narud emerged as male and female champions respectively. Full results can be found here.

Side event finals took place after this, sprints, skids, trackstand, circles, the usual palaver. Great to watch. Sometimes when I see all the fixie stuff I am reminded of this Shakepeare quote:

"Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing. "

That's just me... it's probably 'cos I can barely trackstand... But in all seriousness it is quite a spectacle to watch Jumbo winning everything. The guy has so much control over his bike it's ridiculous. It was also nice to see some new talent coming along. Our own Daz had a really good showing, being narrowly beaten by Jumbo in both the skids and the backward circles(I think). He's going to be a force to be reckoned with in a couple of years... oh and he is also fast as fuck.

The final party was held on the campus, with the dulcet tones of Rik Van Den Bosch chilling everyone out after the awards ceremnoy. Not for long though as people proceeded to get wasted again. At some point the beer went from €1 to free... this prompted Pax from Copenhagen to start a beer fight, I gladly missed this and managed to stay relatively dry. A group of us struggled on into the wee hours, and when my head finally hit the sack the sun was coming up again.

There is always a terrible comedown from these events, irrespective of how much narcotics you've consumed during it. Taking the tent down and watching the campsite dwindle was quite disheartening. Having to say goodbye to so many good people and maybe not see them again for another year can be a bit of a downer. But I guess that's one of the reasons these events will keep happening and hopefully keep getting stronger as this years event proved.

I said in my post about Toronto to remember that messengers aren't event organisers... I have most eloquently been forced to eat my words. the Dutch messengers have shown the rest of Europe, and indeed the rest of the world, that it is possible for a bunch of functioning alcoholics to throw a world class sporting event. My hat goes off to them for this and I'm already counting down the days to ECMC Berlin. The bar has been spectacularly and irrevocably raised.

More photos can be viewed here and here.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

CMWC video!

A sweet video by Lucas Brunelle, brings back a lot of good memories.
Look out for 25Sean!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

London's Calling 2008

The pre-event to CMWC last year was such a success the Londoners have decided to do it all again.
By all accounts this was a great weekend and I'm sure the experience gained form organising last year will stand them in good stead to make a good event even better.

I'll post the link to their website in the 'Upcoming' box to the right of the page as soon as it goes online.

Friday, July 4, 2008

24 hours of pain

The annual 24 hour race in Holland is coming up in Spetember, and it seems the Irish have made an impression... here be a forwarded mail from the organisers:

Just writing to inform you that the 24 hours race is on again.

Since we love you Irish warriors' participation we all hope thatyou'll be back this year.

Date is september 6th.

This years route gonna be a circle, Start and finish in Amsterdam.

Hope to see you again!



I'll post some more info about registration etc as soon as I can track it down.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Bike lanes

Bike lanes are...

broken glass magnets
extra car parking spaces
loading/unloading spaces for van couriers
motorbike highways
extra undertaking space for cars, who also need not signal when using
a safe place for you/your pram/your grandmother to stand while attempting to cross the road
exactly the same size as an open car door, especially when they are placed right by a taxi rank
pedestrianised zones if placed on a pavement
incomprehensible to road users if they happen to be contra-flow

I fucking hate bike lanes

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

CMWC 2008

I've finally recovered enough to be able to gather my thoughts and try to recount the epic week that was CMWC Toronto.

For those that don't know, well, tough... it's the Cycle Messenger World Championships, figure it out.

I started writing a blow-by-blow account of the weekend, but quickly realised this would be very tedious to read if you weren't there, so i'm just going to recount some of the highlights.

Meeting old friends is always a huge part of messenger events, and this was no different. It was great to see Navid again, picking us up in the airport, then seeing Luk, Porno Steve, Kai Hawaii, Pascal, and a bunch of other Euro heads. All really good people. Martin Banana, Andy Duncan, the DC crew, April, Kim, AZ. The Trackstar crew, good friends... the list is endless, but there were a lot of hellos and a lot of sad goodbyes at the end. New people hang out with, The Finnish, Paulus, Paavo and Olli. Good drinking companions. Brian from Ottowa, polo guru. too many faces to remember them all, but all good people who contributed to a great time.

The racing is, of course, the most important part to a lot of people. Personally I don't take it too seriously and have been DQ'd from every event I've entered before this one. Yes, I was DQ'd in NYC 2005 for missing a turn by about 5 feet and running back to make the corner... sound familiar? Anyhoo... the course was a lot of fun in Toronto, 2 way racing made for some spectacular viewing, and one or two spectacular collisions, but not nearly as many as I thought there would be... turns out messengers know how to ride bikes after all! I took the race slow and steady completing qualification in 1hour 25. The fastest time was 1hour 2minutes, Shino methinks. I only found out I'd qualified for the final on Sunday afternoon, on the way to the Islands with a bag full of liquor. The race was nearly ready to start when we got over so I decided qualifiactaion was enough for me and got wasted instead. Fair fecks to 25 Sean for stripping down to his lycra and getting his race face on, he came 16th in the end. Chapeau!

when it all boiled down it was the usual suspects at the head of the pack: Jumbo, Austin, Porno(well done that man), and the world's fastest messenger(TM) Shino. I was so delighted to see him win, the Japanese messengers are always so nice, and turn up to every event, great ambassadors for the messenger community, and Shino is fast as fuck. You could really see his delight when he saw he'd won. Sets things up rather nicely for Tokyo next year. Will anybody be able to beat Shino on his home turf???

Speaking of future CMWC's, the open forum was an interesting one this year. Berlin put a bid in, but a non-present Mo somehow managed to stick his oar in and remind us about the huge divides in the community in Berlin. While his point may have been valid I think if he wanted to make it at an open forum he should have shelled out the cash and turned up in person to voice it, not put Martin in the unenviable position of being mouthpiece for him. I don't think that is right or proper.

Hamburg also had a bid, in the trusty figure of Kai Hawaii. This got my vote as I know he would throw a great event. However, he was beaten to the punch by a curious entry from Nadir of La Carrera cycles, with the backing of Andy Zalan. Guatemala... that's right, Guatemala. Nadir has organised the Gran Premio de Guatemala in the past, so I think we can trust he knows how to organise an event. I'm still on the fence about this one. Part of me thinks it's a great adventure and that it's about time we as a community looked further afield, but another part of me thinks that CMWC's should be held in cities with working messenger communities, like Hamburg, and organised by the local messengers. I also don't think this vote would have gone Guatemala's way if it had been taken in any other city than Toronto. But, the die has been cast, and I will support Nadir all the way. It's going to be an interesting journey, and it will only succeed if everyone pulls together to make it happen.

There was also a reshuffling of the IFBMA council, with 3 new members, Navid, Doddy from Australia, and I'm proud to say that I will be on the council for the forthcoming year as well. Andy duncan remains president and Porno Steve, Martin Banana, Jacob from Boston and Justin from Calgary all remain on the council. If anyone has any questions for the council feel free to mail

Side events are always a popular turn at CMWC's, this year the weather(again) didn't really co-operate so a few events got shelved. From what I can remember Jumbo won the trackstand, narrowly beating AZ. Pascal Brodard won the skids, although i'm not sure if that has been confirmed by the organisers. Ali from DC won the circles with 149 or something ridiculous like that, he can go forever. Jumbo came 2nd with a really impressive 113 I believe. I didn't see who won the sprints, but I can confirm that they were wearing full lycra, this is one event for me that looks less and less like a messenger event every year.

Polo was a huge draw this year, hat's off to Brian from Ottowa for organising a tremendously successful event. Over 60 teams registered and when the dust settled one of the teams from NYC with Zak, Doug and someone else walked away victors. I was delighted to see this event be so popular, but I just don't know if it should be part of CMWC. There were a hell of a lot of people there just for the polo, on polo bikes, not messengers. I felt it detracted from the main event somewhat. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the sport and love playing it. I just think if it is that popular maybe it should have its own event.

Messengers know how to party, rain or shine, and this was put to the test as there were a lot of thunderstorms over the weekend. We're a hardy bunch though, so the resourceful found shelter and the drunk just took their clothes off. Navid's goldsprint qualifiers were a case in point. Just as everything was set up and ready to go an electrical thunderstorm knocked out the equipment and the heavens opened. This didn't deter anybody though. The tunes kept coming, the beer kept flowing and people kept smiling.

Apparently the offical welcome party got shut down by the cops for underage drinking. Hardly the organisers fault, but I'm glad I stayed under the stage in Navid's that night. The closing ceremony was supposed to have beenheld on the islands, but the storm ruled that out and a hasty venue change led us to Sneaky Dee's, a popular messenger hangout. We got to hear some local music before the awards could take place, one kid with a ginger afro was particularly good. There were some really sweet prizes on offer, frames for the main race winners. For some reason, alcohol induced no doubt, I thought it would be a good idea to take the stage after the prizegiving and thank the organisers... I don't think many people heard me though, so I think I got away with it.

There seems to be abit of a backlash brewing on the messenger mailing list at the minute, I guess it's inevitable that some people are disappointed, we certainly had our fair share last year. I guess people assumed that Toronto would be far better organised than it was. A lot of infighting among the organisers led to rifts in the community and as such some of the event suffered. I really don't want to get involved in this argument 2 years running, but I think the organisers did a good job. I had a great time, is that not enough? Not for some people. I guess cultural differences have something to do with this as well. The Japanese are thankful for everything, the Swiss are not happy if everything doesn't run on time, The Celts and the Finns don't give a shit as long as there's enough alcohol. Broad generalisations I know, but the underlying point is there... when you travel to another country don't expect everything to be like it is in yours, and don't mistake messengers for event organisers.

Ok, enough, I just hate to see this wonderful community fighting with each other when all I saw for that weekend were people from all over the world with big shit-eating grins on their faces.

Thanks Toronto! See you in Tokyo!