Bicycle Messengers, Punks, and High School Dropouts

After going to a wedding Friday night that lasted much longer than I have ever expected, I got to sleep in for a bit on Saturday. With the later start, we decided to hit up Mercury Tattoo and see the pushing up pumpkins art exhibit.

 

Every year, he does this halloween teamed art show.

He gets work from clients, friends, and other tattoo artists and has a blast of an art opening

.

The only problem is that besides the first one, I have been away for the opening every year.  I am either at DCCX, or this past year I was in Austin for the livestrong ride. The work is very diverse, and will be hanging at the shop through the holidays. While you are there, you should make an appointment to see one of these guys for some ink. I think you need it!

 

There was supposed to be an apple festival in our future, but with the time we talked to Scotty, we decided that heading home to get work done and rest up a bit was a better idea than the apple fest for the day.

I went home and worked on grades and tried to meet up with a cousin who was in town for a bit.

After doing all of that, I hustled way across town to go to an alley cat. I was really moving, and decided on a great route to get me there right on time. As time sensitive as delivery work is, messengers never start or end anything on time, so I am not sure why I was in such a rush. I am glad I was riding so hard, because when I got to the location of where I thought it was starting, I found no one there. Usually there are bikes and a certain stench that goes for a few blocks when couriers meet up.

The lack of the telltale smell, and bikes made me think I had missed the start, or maybe it was canceled. I was in the right place according to the flier. I looked at the flier I stored on my phone and the date was for next Saturday! AHHHH. I felt like such an idiot.

I started a slow roll towards home hoping that I was totally wrong. It was kind of nice out and I was expecting a ride, so I went over to Rittenhouse square and tooled around a bit while talking with a friend.

I rode across town kind of bummed that I did not get to ride as much as expected and stopped to check twitter to see what other folks were up to, only to find out that the race was this weekend, just in a different location than I had. (my flier was from 2008!)

 I got in touch with a friend over there and hustled back across the whole city using every trick I have learned from years on the road to get there in record time.

The place was packed with tons of people, but I knew almost no one. Not only am I removed from that “scene”, but there were tons of folks from out of town who came for this race which is great for the promoter.

I found my “race” crew, which consisted of a bunch of ex couriers and some bike industry folks.
‘Nando, Hagen, Jackson, Pat G. and Loud Steve

I knew we were in for a good time when the race started, and we all stayed up stairs shooting the bull about how we were going to win this thing.

Our ride started out nice and slow, but then picked up the pace trying to get to some of the check points. As far removed we all are from our old jobs, there is no way to stop us from riding fast even if we say it will be a slow ride.

Our main job for the night was to have as much fun as we can and heckle those who were actually racing…many of which have never even been to our fair city before and were totally lost.

I think my night is better described by riding with old ex messengers, engineers, high school teachers, bike reps and other folks that play professional 5 days a week, but love to pretend that we are still 19 and riding our bikes for a living on the weekends. Really the only thing that has changed is that we have nicer bikes, and a bit more money to spend on fun.

   

After some embarrassing time being lost and checking like 5 smart phones, we ended up at a check point of a fellow ex courier. We spent nearly 45 minutes hanging out and just shooting the bull until we got cold enough to head back out on our bikes.

 

 

 

The next stop was an art gallery, but between there and where we were was a beer store. A courier passing a beer store without going in is grounds to lose your cool guy card

    

We stopped for a case and headed off to the next stop where people were actually racing.

 

 

We added another 30 to 40 minutes on to our time at this stop, which was helping us get the over all win for the night. A ride across town to South Philly netted our third stop, and the last. This was a real house party that smelled like tons of bike couriers. I decided to spend most of my time outside. 

Our tally for the night was three of the seven stops completed and we definitely won! Nights like this is what it is all about. Riding around with old friends. Shooting for light sprints, and just cruising along on your bike pretending to fly.

 

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