The summer is as always an exciting time, work slows down, people find themselves with some free time, and everyone can make some excuses to skip town for a bit. This year two of my favorite events – Minneapolis’s “All City Championships” and The North American Cycle Courier Championships coincided within the same two weeks in the blissful late august Midwest. We arrived to mpls on a thursday built our bikes up and started what would turn out to be a pretty wild trip. ACC consists of 3 days of events – SK After dark (alleycat) Bike Jerks Bandit Cx and the Main Shindig on Saturday. Being the pre-event for NACCC many people were brought to mpls for their first time, and once seeing how those fools got down they will likely make it a yearly stop just like myself. After the weekend of events, the few if any hours of sleep, and stupid inside jokes already making the rounds through the group – about 20 of us geared up and started the Pre- ride to Milwaukee, WI which would be a 4 day 3 night 380mi~ adventure through the middle of Wisconsin. A few of us had done the reverse of this ride a few years back when the NACCC was in MPLS, and woah what a trip it was retracing our steps 3 years later. The scenery of WI is Beautiful- rolling hills for days, cows, bluffs, tunnels, and my favorite the rails to trail. Jeff Oneil did a fantastic job routing us and keeping the group together oh and of course telling us how many mile to go every 5 min. We finally rolled into Milwuakee and were greeted by everyone at Cafe with free beers and friends. Turns out that same weekended was the Harley Davidson 115th anniversary so the streets of Mke were swarmed with two wheel Vehicles of all sorts, it was rad. After a long ride no way better to sooth the tired muscles with an out of towner alleycat and Karaoke party which is exactly what we did. The NACCC organizers somehow scored an entire elementary school campus to use as the course for the main race which we spent many an hour at over the next few days. Siting atop a small hill in the Hay-market district, they provided a challenging course with elevation sharp turns gravel and alley ways. By far my favorite course to date.
Just wanna say thanksthanksthanks to all of the Organizers for giving us one hell of a Mess vacation and congrats to Allan Shaw for taking home the NACCC overall win, against all odds we could say. I wish i had the words to describe how fuckin’ insane and fun the whole trip was but I just can’t, guess you’ll just have to see for yourself…
Westside invite is the west coast’s flavor of messenger summer camp. Originating in Portland over 10 years ago this years event made its way down the coast to San Diego where Courier Collective hosted messengers from Vancouver to Mexico and everything in between for 4 days of events, hot and sunny beaches, and hills…way more hills than I think any of us expected. As always It was nice to have an excuse to lay on the beach all day and sleep in way too late, but Joven and the dudes over at CC really killed it. Both the main Alleycat, coffee cat, and Out of towner race were ripping! There was a day committed solely to a group ride which ended at the beach complete with all the track bike shenanigans loved by all. I took first in the skid comp. NBD. The main race was a work simulation – which tested everyone’s wits and speed In the San Diego’s hot downtown streets, not to mention, during a Pirates game. Chas took home 1st place with the one and only fully completed manifest with just 2 min before the cut-off . Oakland won the bid for Westside Invite 2017 – so you already know where you’ll be next summer. Thanks again San Diego for the good times and sunburn. – Sean
The dust has finally settled. Sleep somewhat caught up on and work life resuming its normal flow. Realization sinks in of how truly rad and well organized the New York City NACCC really was. The week had everything you could have wished for in a championship. I’m talking everything – bandit cx, track day, warehouse partys, bagels, bands, sprints, footdown, killer qualifier, weather, 4am bars, cheap coffee and an incredibly challenging main race. New York, being a reasonable place to venture to, attracted couriers from all over the North Americas and many contingencies from over seas. NACCC brings together people from all the stems of messenger work. Its truly something special to have all your favorite people from all over the world in one spot…all on vacation (mostly). Though there were Alley Cats and side events daily, the main race took place on 10/9 (Messenger Appreciation Day) and 60 or so qualifiers tricked themselves into delivering fake packages for 3 hours in less than ideal conditions for no money at all in hopes of being deemed the fastest, quickest witted, most professional courier in North America. Work simulation races are like no other, It takes more than just bike handling and speed, it takes concentration and focus..well legs don’t hurt either. This year Christina Peck (SF), who has displayed these traits countless times in multiple cycling disciplines, took home all the gravy- spanking the competition placing First Woman and First overall. Nico (chi) presented next level “Perpetual Professionalism™” raced in a collard shirt completely buttoned, took home the Men’s championship title. Standing in line at checkpoints with these two- you would have never known how badly they were beating you. The industry is only growing and the individuals in the industry are only getting faster. Events like these are extremely important and well just a damn good time. See y’all in MKE! – Sean
The start of the main race – it had just stopped raining. it was go time.
A rider from NYC’s own Samurai Messenger – Being professional probably- at the pbma/redbull checkpoint
Fuego, a messenger from Paris, properly using a v rare halfskie mail bin.
The manifest was double sided, and the jobs had no value printed. Racers had to use a rate sheet to determine if the job was worth their precious time.
“this is a funny looking cheesesteak” – me
Racer getting after it in the Cargo Race
Chas took home another top 10 and king of track this time around!
Unloading all the packages for the main race. Volunteers and participants alike helped restock packages from checkpoint to checkpoint to keep the jobs flowing.
It timed out that while Kyle was in town, a section Highway 1 was closed for erosion. This is a dream descent on a road bike, and the guys knew that if they had access to both lanes, they could rip down this section. Martin and I headed out, and shot a few passes as the sun went down, and this edit shows the highlights. There is a ton of dirt on the road from the construction vehicles, but the tires are smoking on their own.
All City Championships in its 11th year is the bread and butter of the Minneapolis alleycats. This year the championships were scored as an omnium. There was four days of events – Sk Afterdark, Bandit Cx, Match Sprints, and the Main alleycat. Minneapolis gets down in all the right ways during the summer and Jeff Frane does a fantastic job putting together this event. I Took home first out of town which freakin’ rules because last time I came to this event i ended up in the hospital. Thanks for all the love, brunch, and hospitality. Stay Spicy my friends. – Sean
While traveling last month, I shot a roll of 36 TMAX400, and just picked up the prints. Enclosed are some details from London, Berlin, Tokyo, and Seoul. Duke London Alleycat House of Vans London Flea market Kid crash at a pump track Evan Brick Lane Keirin Berlin Michelle and Mika Treptow Small Skatepark Tokyo Dylan in the rain Wakako and Toshi at Lug Group Ride Bike Pile Marco Art Show Chas Walton Brakeless Blue Lug In Seoul with Hacheon and Erica Eddy Vans
With the San Francisco premiere behind us, it has been nice to look back at Matt Reyes photograhs of the weekends events. This guy arguably has some of the best bike handling skills on the planet, and knows how to share a story. Check his full gallery HERE!
May 1 2015: A few weeks before our shop anniversary, we made plans for some events to stoke our friends—a group ride and a street race that finished with a BBQ. That is what we like. While talking with our friend Blick, he says, “Hey LeMond wants do the group ride.” With that said, I did not give it much thought beyond making sure we invited our friends, and in the spirit of our usual shop rides, invite all formats of bikes to ride road and dirt. We met at Oakley where 150 cyclists eagerly showed up to ride around the Bay Area with the American cyclist who inspired a nation with his multiple wins at the Tour de France, as well as two World Championships. What started out as a simple group ride, clearly became something much more. Gabe and I tagged along to share that experience. Enclosed are some photos of that afternoon and the smiles that lit up the route over the bridge and out to the bunker.Thank You for coming out!
Photos: Gabe Morford + Mike Martin
Thanks to Greg and Blick for making fun bike stuff happen always.