Oakland Andrew’s Column

Jun 12 2012

More tales from the dark, underworld of late 90’s track messengering in SF.

One time I got in a road rage thing with a car by Polk and Broadway, I was riding through the tunnel headed towards China Town it’s a downward slope so on a bike you can haul ass through there, it’s sketchy though because it’s a two lane tube with no shoulder. The car was following me through the tunnel, we were talking a gang of mess at each other, I forget what started the whole thing. Anyways, right when we got out of the tunnel I barely caught a light turning from yellow to red, The driver of the car that I was beefing with blew the light to continue after me and he sideswiped another car. I was about a block away laughing my ass off and screaming at him. He got out of his car and left the scene of the accident to chase after me. I hope he got busted for hit and run. Fucking asshole.

I used to carry those bomb bags, these things, http://www.amazon.com/You-Get-1-Bomb-Bag/dp/B000LZBP7Q, rubber banded to my bag strap by my radio holster and whenever a car rolled down their window to yell at me I would pull the little foil bag off my strap and all you have to do is squeeze it a little to activate the explosion. I would tell them to eat a dick and throw it in the driver’s lap. Then it would blow up.

Some other time I was unlocking my bike on Montgomery St and it was rush hour when the sidewalks are so full you can barely walk. I had my bike locked to a trash can and as I was fumbling with the key some suit sucker punched me in the back of the head. I was so pissed but he just took off in the crowd. To this day I don’t know if he was just some psycho or if he recognized me from some dirty thing I had done. Karma Schmarma.

About once a month I smoked so much weed at Hubba Hideout that I would be riding my bike and realize that I completely forgot where I was going and have to pull over and look at my manifest.

A guy in a DHL truck, the big ass box truck, rode up on the sidewalk to try to run me over at Sansome and Sacramento. I couldn’t believe it.

On this little alley by Union Square called Maiden Lane because it used to be the red light district back in the day,I came out of a building to go get my bike and unlock it and there was an old homeless lady hunched over my bike, she was mumbling and pulling her hair out of her scalp and leaving handfulls of it on my seat and all over my bike. I couldn’t tell what she was saying but I think she was preforming some kind of ritual. I didn’t know what to do so I just chilled back until she was done. Spoke to some other messengers about her and they had witnessed the same behavior. Was she cursing us or blessing us?

There was an electrical fire underground at Sansome and Bush and the manhole cover that is like a 3 foot round disk of steel was wobbling around for several minutes and then the fucking thing shot up in the air about two stories high and every one freaked out and ran.

I think it was 1996 when we had the “El Nino” weather and it rained for about three months straight, drinking a half pint of E&J through out the day was tolerated and encouraged. Once at the end of the day of was so cold and rainy that I just pissed in my pants so I could at least feel some warmth. I was on my way home but we didn’t have hot water.

At one of the messenger spots called One Post, cus that’s the name of the building that owns the plaza area where all the messengers would wild out. In the summer that spot went on raging party status. Messengering is busy when the weather is shitty and slow when it’s nice, so the nicer it is the more time messengers have to get fucked up. My boy stole a pony keg from a fancy pizza restaurant, that’s how big our bags were. One Post is by the “Art” academy so there were always Breezies coming through.

Word got around that there was a free keg at One Post and it was gone in less than an hour. I made a pigeon trap with a cardboard box and a string tied to a stick, like in cartoons. It worked. We closed up the box and wrote, “Free kittens” on it and just waited for some mark to open it up.

(period correct street scene)

Plus Andrew Spotted this Pinarello on Ebay, (repaint)

Andrew’s Stories Got Me Thinking More About It:Early 00’s NYC INhouse Memories
My shit would be to smoke a ton of weed and drink all this espresso in my apartment before I did jobs. I worked Inhouse, and I had some more free time then your average messenger.

I lived downtown the whole time I worked and the city was divided below 34th street and BK, and 34th to 116th.

I really only did downtown except when this guy broke his arm I had to work uptown for 8 months.

So anyway, we worked holidays. And when you’re riding around an empty Manhattan on Thanksgiving morning or something you always run into some nob that wanted to race.

I kind of refused to lose, you know.

I took great pleasure in breaking toy track dudes ankles going up the bridges. They always looked so falsely confident until they hit the uphill grade and then its like their legs would turn to lead. You only got to see their face then if you look back,and it was definitely against the rules to even look at some new dude on a track bike.

I want to get into that even more. I know this is not cool, and not accepting, but this shit was serious to me and a lot of others. I would vibe the fuck out of you. I would never acknowledge you were riding next to me if I felt you were false. You could tell in half a second who was bullshit.

Around 2005 I remember telling some kids to get some new legs to match their new track bikes on the Williamsburg Bridge.

Those new track dudes in new york seriously couldn’t ride up a speed bump. It was an epidemic, so disrespectful to the NY OG’s who created all this.

Anyway so one time I’m riding up 1st avenue and around 11th street I notice some guy is coming up on my right side, i kept accelerating enough to make him work but not enough to lose him. At 22nd I went into a flat sprint.

Past 23rd on the east side a lot of the streets are just driveways to hospitals and stuff, usually not in use, especially on a holiday.

So I’m going faster, I go past 24th and then bust the light at 25th.

I look to the right, I’m in the middle lane with no traffic, and I see a truck coming up the driveway with the light, fast.

I had space but the other guy must have been in the right lane and I heard that truck hit him, awfully.


I didn’t look back, and just kept going to the job.

I liked wearing one earphone in my ear-listening to whatever would make it not suck and make you go faster.

So one ear was hearing some aggro shit and the other hear was hearing horror.

I don’t know what happened to the rider.

So then a track bike boutique opened up on 1st and 1st. They had a colnago in the window for a second, and all these old timers were plotting on straight robbing them for it. I heard many plans from B and E, to strong arming it but no one ever did it. That was like one of the last nails in the coffin for me. They closed, and then 50 other even worse stores opened. I think that store opened with at least the pretense of being related to bike messengers some how.

So we hired this kook for work, you know friend of a new rider. He was crazy, he’d wear some fuzzy Outkast style pants and was riding some insane 10 speed banana seat bmx conversion thing , all the clients were bitching about him, but the worse they complained the doper this dude would think he was, and somehow it was blowing back on me. I’m sure he was real cool in real life, but this was not real life this was our life.

I was coming home late from WIlliamsburg back into Manhattan, and I passed this new guy about 1/4 of the way up. He had on headphones and was singing some song all loud swerving back and forth between lanes. I did not look at him when I passed him.

He must have caught feelings- because by the time I was 1/4 of the way down the manhattan side this guy came flying past me-I think he said something dumb to me and pedaled on. I tried to go slow going down the bridges mostly, macho track bike rolling. Every time somebody went fast past you on a track bike you could tell they were a new jack, or late. (Whats wrong you can’t slow down your 42 x 16 gear ratio? awwww. haha)

So this guy came flying past me downhill, out of control style. At the bottom of the bridge its foggy sometimes. I watched him dissapear into the fog and when I got to the bottom 1 minute later I saw a crowd of people gathered around him splayed out on the sidewalk.

I kept it moving and went home.

The next day his friend told me he got up before an ambulance got there and ran off up Clinton. Another ambulance eventually picked him up on Houston wear he was ranting like a loon with a bloody head.

He never came back to work, but I think was okay.

(Obviously for Philly representation Esher should be next up to bat…
And if we keep in Philly Little Man has some harrowing tales for sure.)