Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Stolen Bike

This bike was stolen a while back from a house in Booterstown.
Guy who owns it is a racer, so the thing was never out on the street.
As usual, keep the eyes peeled and see what we can turn up.

Alan track bike, deep section Mavic rear wheel, all alu, and had black speedplay pedals on when it was taken.
If you see it or apprehend it, send me a mail or call me or just tell your nearest friendly bike messenger,
Good hunting.

Monday, January 28, 2008

From bad to worse...

Hot on the heels of the previous post about that twat in Spain comes more heartbreakingly unbelievable news from America:

Laughing jailhouse phone call gets woman tough sentence TUCSON, Arizona (AP) --
A judge sentenced a woman to nearly the maximum prison term for negligent homicide after hearing a recorded jail conversation in which she made light of the bicyclist she killed. Melissa Arrington, 27, was convicted two months ago of negligent homicide and two counts of aggravated DUI in connection with the December 2006 death of Paul L'Ecuyer. She could have gotten as few as four years behind bars, but Superior Court Judge Michael Cruikshank sentenced her Tuesday to 10½ years -- one year shy of the maximum.

Cruikshank said he found a telephone conversation between Arrington and an unknown male friend, a week after L'Ecuyer was killed, to be "breathtaking in its inhumanity." During the conversation, the man told Arrington that an acquaintance believed she should get a medal and a parade because she had "taken out" a "tree hugger, a bicyclist, a Frenchman and a gay guy all in one shot." Arrington laughed. When the man said he knew it was a terrible thing to say, she responded, "No, it's not." Assistant Public Defender Michael Rosenbluth told the judge his client has never been "cold, callous or flippant" about L'Ecuyer's death and has always felt remorseful. Arrington said words couldn't express how she feels, and that once she's out of prison, she hopes to share her story with Mothers Against Drunk Driving. L'Ecuyer, 45, was riding his bike the night of December 1, 2006 when Arrington swerved off the road, hit him and then continued for 800 feet before stopping, according to Deputy Pima County Attorney Jonathan Mosher. Arrington's blood-alcohol content was .156 percent, nearly double Arizona's .08 legal limit. She had been driving on a suspended license for a prior drink-drive conviction.

Words can't describe how horrible this is. If you can bear to listen to it here is a link to a video piece which plays the recorded phone call(take a while to load).

At least the judge got it right. How bad are things going to get for cyclists before they start getting better?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

From Reuters: Funny story, tragic story.

2 Stories I found on Reuters today. Firstly the funny:

A good reason to use a messenger:
WARSAW (Reuters) - It's official. Postal delivery is as slow as snails, at least in Poland.

An IT worker, after receiving a letter on January 3 that was sent on December 20 as priority mail, calculated that a snail would have made it even faster to his home than the letter.

Daily Gazeta Wyborcza said Michal Szybalski calculated that it took 294 hours for the letter to arrive at his home. He also said the distance between his home and the sender was 11.1 kilometers.

Given the distance and the time, the speed of the letter was 0.03775 kilometers per hour. Szybalski calculated that a garden snail travels at around 0.048 kilometers per hour

And now the tragic. This story makes me want to go out and smash things, seriously.

MADRID (Reuters) - A Spanish driver who collided with a cyclist is suing the dead youth's family $29,300 for the damage the impact of his body did to his luxury car, a Spanish newspaper reported on Friday.

Businessman Tomas Delgado says 17-year-old Enaitz Iriondo caused $20,500 of damage to his Audi A8 in the fatal 2004 crash in La Rioja region, the El Pais newspaper reported.

Delgado, who has faced no criminal charges for the incident, wants a further 6,000 euros to cover the cost of hiring another vehicle while his car was being repaired, El Pais said.

The youth had been cycling alone at night without reflective clothing or a helmet, according to a police report cited by El Pais.

His family won 33,000 euros compensation from Delgado's insurance company after the firm acknowledged he had been driving at excessive speed and this could have contributed to the incident, El Pais reported.

"I'm also a victim in all of this, you can't fix the lad's problems, but you can fix mine," Delgado told the newspaper, ahead of a January 30 legal decision on his suit.

The family said they had previously pitied Delgado for the guilt he must feel at killing their son but were now disgusted that his greatest concern appeared to be money.

"This was the final straw, a kick in the teeth," the youth's mother Rosa Trinidad told El Pais.

What a cunt.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Another music video-UPDATE!

Ha! Someone on the messenger mailing list pointed this out... chuffing hilarious...

Yes indeed, harking back to my days of slightly longer hair, Nada Surf, (remember their great song 'popular'?) have put out a new music video featuring a messenger. Nicely shot, nice tune, expect to actually see this one being played on MTV and its ilk.

Double click for full screen yo!

Apparently the actor riding the bike, slightly famous for being in the show 'the adventures of Pete and Pete', has been riding a fixed-gear for a few years now, so a good find for the video, he looks right on a bike.

Kudos to HKfixed for finding it. Reminds me of when i woked in NYC, I had the same trip every day, over the Williamsburg bridge straight into killer traffic on Delancy. It makes life as a messenger in New York seem slightly rosier than it is in real life, but we all like to look back on these experiences with fondness so where's the harm.

Messenger Times

Thanks to the ever eagle-eyed Joe Hendry of Mess Media for this article.
Sums the job up perfectly in my opinion:

Temple News(Philadelphia), January 22, 2008:

"To be a bike messenger is to be professionally inconvenienced, and yet it continues to be one of the most romanticized and sought-after positions for young people in cities. Any messenger who denies the implicit "cool factor" is either lying or blind. But what is it that makes this job seem so much "cooler" than similar jobs, like delivering food on bicycle?
Short answer: nothing other than a slightly arrogant, albeit completely ingenuous, sense of solidarity.

Unfortunately for most Philly messengers, this sense of solidarity is often more exciting on the street than it is on their paychecks. Before taxes were withdrawn, my best 40-hour paycheck in the past nine months was about $325. Considering what most eight-hour days of messenger entail, this is hardly worth it in the eyes of most levelheaded people.
It must be the work itself that elicits so much enthusiasm.

On an ideal day of messenger work, life is good. Jobs come in at a steady, comfortable pace, the weather is good, no flat tires are sustained and motorists are generally complacent. However, these days - particularly in the wintertime - are few and far between.

"What can I say about y'all? I got a lot more respect for all the bikers after working here a few years," James Thrower, a radio dispatcher at the Rapid bike messenger service, said. "The s--- you guys put up with is amazing. I used to curse out bikers when I'd be driving, but now I sympathize. You guys ain't got it easy out there, and I gotta respect you for sticking with it."
It's impossible to explain to a cabbie why you had to cut him off as you flew through that red light. Why should there be any explanation, anyway? The idea behind bike messenger services is that bikes can go places and do things cars cannot. They are simply more efficient than cars in the city. If every messenger obeyed every traffic law, it would be an obsolete business.
Generally speaking, bike messengers stick with the job because they are good at what they do. Pedestrians and motorists are as fundamental to urban life as the concrete itself, and every good messenger knows this and adapts accordingly.

Unfortunately, many people don't realize this and curse the messenger for taking what may seem to be insane risks in traffic. The irony is that the messenger is, quite literally, only doing his job. Anyway, for all that lawyer in the Benz knows, I could be delivering his next mortgage payment!

Next to traffic, the most contentious element of many messengers' jobs is the brakeless bicycle. Designed originally for use in a track with other brakeless bicycles, these rudimentary fixed-gear bicycles are controlled entirely by leg strength. Legs are as crucial to stopping as they are for starting. This raises eyebrows not because it is impractical, but because it is completely unnecessary.

Yes, I ride without brakes. No, I do not condone it.

Riding without brakes is certainly manageable, and with a little experience, it's easy to do for many months without any significant problems. It's desirable because it looks sleek to have a bicycle with no brakes. The purity of complete self-reliance also makes it appealing.
However, with brakes, you can go faster, since you can stop faster. And your knees, which play a key role in slowing down while riding brakeless, will thank you. On one grueling, brakeless morning, I covered the distance between downtown Philly and Second and Somerset streets six times. That is almost the equivalent to riding from Temple's Main Campus to Doylestown, and the trip made my knees feel set to explode.

Riding brakeless simply adds to the solidarity aesthetic of messengers. Like any group of similar people, they endure similar hardships and similar gains. There is an immediate connection felt between two messengers who share a glance outside in the pouring rain: "I am tired, cold, and soaking wet, and I will continue to be in another six hours. Knowing you will be, too, makes it that much better."

After navigating through ice, wind, rain, snow and triple-digit temperatures, there is little the bike messenger cannot quickly adapt to. It is rare that a messenger will complain about the weather. The messenger often has to struggle to keep his or her mouth shut in the company of businessmen and women riding elevators, who complain about the conditions outside while sipping lattes in their warm, dry suits.

Frankly, any hullabaloo about bike messengers is insubstantial. It's a job like any other outdoor job. It rains; they get wet. It's nice out; they laugh at the suits stuck in office buildings. The pay generally sucks, regardless. Add some flashy gear (sleek track bikes and fancy messenger bags), and suddenly people think there is some special, esoteric knowledge the messengers possess, which they certainly do not."

Shifty from Australia had this comment to make about the article on the messenger mailing list, priceless:
'Makes our job sound like smoking
Those that have never done it think they should try it
Those that have tried it and left feel the urge to return
And those that have done it so long they can't remember wonder if the health and financial benefits of stopping are worth quitting the one thing they know they're really good at.'

Monday, January 21, 2008


... to anyone that may read this blog, for the lack of posts in the last while. I've been both tired and lazy, and to be honest, there has been nothing really to write about.

When all you do all week is work, eat and sleep, it's kinda hard to get motivated about things. Shouldn't complain I suppose, it's generally shit on the road in Dublin in January, but we've been ok this far. Weather-wise it's been a bit of a bitch, the wind has been incessant, and it's quite frustrating to have to constantly dry your clothes for work the next day, and I'm one of the lucky ones with a tumble dryer(sorry environment, but I only have one Cyclone uniform and they take away my bonus if I don't wear it).

So I guess I'm looking for inspiration. Anyone out there have something to say? Anyone want me to say something about anything? If not, then we should have some alleycat news coming up soon, and things should start rolling for the Paddy's day Massacre as well.

In the meantime why not check out some of my favourite blogs for your cross-genre cycling fix:
BikesnobNYC: For a hilariously acerbic look at bike culture,
Hong Kong Fixed: For the latest in Fixed gear bling,
and Dave Moulton's Bike Blog: The world of cycling as seen through the eyes of a master framebuilder.

Here are a few pics from my phone from the last week or so...

O2 Car Park

Ninja Murph

1Cliffy and Patki

Sunday, January 13, 2008

BBC Road Rage Documentary

Thanks to Messenger of Doom for digging up this link.
Please watch this, it's well worth it:

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


What a day... gale force winds and freezing rain, fun!
But aside from the weather one or two other things irked me today:

A common occurence on Stephen's Green, and in Dublin in general. As you can see from the sign this is a designated cycle lane and there is no parking allowed between 7am and 10am, 12pm and 7pm. I took this photo at 1.30pm, therefore this van is illegally parked.
So what? you may say, but think about it. Just behind where I took the picture there were about 10 free parking spaces, and about 50 on the other side of the street. Although there is plenty of space to ride around him, it's the principle that pisses me off. The fact that he ignored the bike lane and treated it as a parking space is indicative of attitudes in Dublin towards bike lanes, and as an extension of that, towards cyclists in general. Grrr... unfortunately I had forgotten to put the clampers on speed dial on my new phone...

Please click on the photo to see an enlarged view of the mud and cement strewn mess that is the rear of my bike. Was I doing some cross-country riding during my lunch break? NO! I was riding in the city, in this mucky, filthy f***ing city. Are building sites not supposed to wash the streets regularly during the day? Landsdowne road, Burlington road, numerous spots aroung John Rog... ugh. Will these bastards clean my bike when I get home? I'm really not in the mood.

To end on a more positive note, take a look at this:

Recognise it? Well those of who were in New York in 2005 for CMWC will probably remember our adopted Rob(current long-skid world champion) looking super-stylish to claim 3rd place in the skids. Swobo have rightly commemorated this with a t-shirt immortalising him. So now we have 2 ex-Dublin messengers with t-shirts... Rob bathed in glory and Ryan bathed in shame :)

See you on the road tomorrow. Windy but dry... supposedly...

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Winter mornings

So it was a bit bleak before christmas, and the New Year has proven to be no different so far. It's hard to motivate yourself in the mornings when it's dark and cold, and you can hear the wind howling outside. Even more so when you add some snow or freezing rain to the equation.

But that's the profession we're in, and them's the breaks. I guess you just have to try and find the little positives every day to realise why you're doing the beautiful thing that you're doing.

I took a few pictures from my bedroom window the other morning. It was bitterly cold, but the sun was just sneaking from behind the clouds, it was beautiful. Later on in the day it clouded over, got windy and snowed, but at the instant of looking out the window before breakfast I realised that no matter what, there was no place I'd rather be that morning than out on those streets, under those skies.

Christmas Cruiser pics

So it was a godawful turnout on Christmas Day, you lazy sods, I know you didn't have anything better to do...
Not to be undone, myself, Chris and Natalie polished off a bottle of cava and had a lovely quiet spin around town. Here are a couple of pics:

Beautiful day for it, wish you were there...

Belated Merry New Year

Apologies for the lack of posting, what can I say, i'm lazy...

So, the New Year is here, and a few updates to boot.

First off, some bad news. Goofy's girlfriend Aga had her bike stolen from the house the other day. Red Veloce track bike, drop bars with no tape, front brake(I think), keep your eyes open and smash some heads.

Next on the agenda is St. Patricks Day Massacre, March 14th to 17th? Paddy's Day lands on a Monday this year so we have a good long weekend to get messy. Anyone wants to help with race design, parties, logo design etc. etc. please get in touch, many hands make light work and all that jazz.

Soon after that we will have Global Gutz; April 19-20th. You know the score, 21k's, 5 checkpoints, top male and female times in the world receive return tickets to CMWCXVI in Toronto this summer.
Anyone fancies redesigning the race course, feel free, let me know. There may be a rule change that forces each city to have one checkpoint at City Hall, I'll keep you updated on that, I think it sucks, but there you go. More info here.

Speaking of Toronto, if you're definitely going, it would be worthwhile registering soon. Prices right now are $75can(€51), but will be rising to $100can(€68) after March 15th. If you want to register, send a message to: for details. And of course check out for all the details. Flights are going for about €500 roght now, which is probably as good as their going to get so book early!

Finally for now, a message from Cliffy re: bike polo:
it's been a while since polo's happened in dublin... for me, since i
built new wheels after the worlds i ain't risking them playing. having
said that i'd love to go watch some other folks playing and probably
get dragged into it again... i've got what remains of our mallet
stock- about 6, with another two or three needing work. a whole new
set is needed but there's enough there to get a game going. if anyone
wants to take them off my hands, get in touch. i'm living on church
avenue off church st- central to anyone who wants to swing by.

So that's it for now,
go n'eiri an bothar libh go leir.