Wednesday, May 6, 2009


My cool guy bike got stolen. Ahhhh, feck! Yeah, so my false sense of security from living in a place where I could get away with never even locking the front door to my house caught up with me. Even for one minute, man, this city will bite, snap and attack so fast you'll wonder if you even got off the bike before it disappeared around the corner. And it did, my friends. The day before was my last day at Cyclehawk messengers in the city. Already a big deal and I was stressing about it and getting all emo days before that! I know the turnover in the messenger industry is high but parting ways was tough. I was over the Williamsburg Bridge at my normal hour of 8 a.m. and met Fox man on the corner of Delancey and Christie ave. The sun was out and Spring seemed there to stay. I had the last day of school feeling in my stomach. Kinda bummed, kinda stoked... I hadn't really talked to Fox yet since I gave my notice to Squid so I was a little self conscious of the fact that I was jumping ship on the crew with the utmost respect, of course. I called in on the radio, enjoying the last of the routine, and said good morning. "Good mornin'," Kid answered with a slightly annoyed but acknowledging tone. I told him I was with Fox. We spent another 20 minutes or so enjoying the novel weather that seemed so overdue after suffering through an intense NYC Winter on the streets. His radio chirpted and vibrated with a pickup downtown, staying downtown. The last week had been super slow because of the warm weather so instead of waiting for work, I jumped on Fox's wheel and followed him around on his downtown runs. This is always a little sketchy, kinda like an alleycat race exploding into traffic, every rider for himself. Following people is a completely different style of riding through non-stop traffic than riding by yourself. The flow is just a little different and can be catastrophic if you don't pay attention. Eventually it feels as normal and flowy as riding alone, you just learn how to carry on a conversation whilst weaving in and out the constant flow of people and cars, halting and restarting a conversation when you meet back up a block down the street. I did a handful of runs that last day at Cyclehawk. Spent some good time in the office talking to Kid and getting a some dispatch system breakdown from Bobby. "Everybody has a number", he says. There's a count down for time-till-pick-up and one for time till delivery. Half hour for pickup and an hour and a half for delivery from pick-up. The color codes illustrate the state of urgency based on the time left until a package is officially late. That's when we (the riders) start getting calls. "So, how's that pick-up going?!", they'll say. Once a signature hits the system the run disappears from the screen and Bobby knows it's been delivered. It gets intense for those guys when it's busy with constant refreshing of the screen, jobs disappearing and new one arriving in need of a home in a riders manifest que. I'm riding light these days having traded in the oversize bag for a hip-holster and medium sized chrome bag. Snap has me busy rushing food around Williamsburg and Greenpoint and a few long-range messenger runs a week. I like the messenger runs as they're a good mission that usually sends me deep into Brooklyn/Queens and over a bridge into the city. My hours are all evening 'till midnight save for a two days a week. This is a shift from early work in the city lasting all day leaving me destroyed in the evening to late work in Brooklyn leaving me with a kick at Midnight and 1 a.m. Both routines leave me struggling with the prospect of staying awake for an entire movie at any hour. The city has become green since I left a couple weeks ago. The trees have all turned into giant pieces of Broccoli that shade the streets and create a canopy of green in some the cross streets. It feels like a different city to the one that blew cold ice, rain and wind in my face over the last five months. I haven't loitered a Starbuck's seeking refuge from the elements for almost a month now! When go there now I recognize most of the messengers in the city still cranking stuff around not missing a beat from one season to the next just now they're riding one handed with cold cokes. There're a handful of fair-weather messer's out there, too. One big difference in the city feel is that it's missing my friend Fly who has mysteriously vanished from the face of the messenger scene without a trace. If you're out there or reading this, call me. Get in touch. Let the crew at Cyclehawk know you're ok, homie.

The draw of knobby tires, mud and chainring marks on my calfs is beginning to churn again. Karl (my brother) and I are making some 24 hour of Big Bear plans...