Where We At

Sep 01 2016

September 1st Edition

If you’ve been following along for the last year you know there’s a narrative hidden amongst the images.

I’ve been setting the stage for 1999 for a few months now.

90-98 is the explosion time for North American messengers. It was innocent and uncorrupted. We’ve talked about it a lot over the years.

“Respect fixed gear.” the Rasta Men still said to you as you sat in your trackstand at the midtown light.

By 1999 the new swell of messengers had begun in earnest. The track bike went from curiosity to standard. Many OG messengers quit and moved on (or tried to). In NY some G’s were already moving to food delivery. A new generation was swelling. Races had grown-outsiders began to join the Alleycats. Corporate sponsors began to poke their noses into the underground. Messenger Bag companies popped up in each major city. Migration was happening. Messengers had moved from the MidWest to NYC. SF messengers were on the east coast too. Travelers traveled. The internet developed at the same time. As communication increased the individual identity of each cities’ messengers changed, globalized and standardized. A global culture was developing. The seeds that people like Squid, Nope and Esher had planted grew.

At the same time the black to white ratio began to switch…You can’t leave race and unity out of this story.

The purity of the track bike on the street was over. Outside influence was not interested in or aware of what the OGs had done. They true immigrant pioneers were quickly forgotten. The new track messenger had no clue about why he/she was riding a track bike.

Q: Why do you ride that kind of bike?
A: It’s simple! nothing to fix! no parts to break!
Q: But why?
A: Huh?

The lugged, Italian Steel is Real, Campy Only, work horse aesthetic was fading already, replaced by cheap mass production and out of place components and ornaments. The collectors market grew quickly. Old track bikes that had once been useless were now sought after collector’s items. The prices rose quickly as well. All the bike style lessons we had been taught were neglected and forgotten from here out.

This is where we’ll pick up…when the street style becomes a fashion trend/fad and overtakes the messenger…

and where things went from there…

á la Urban Cycling™

and then where they are at now and where they should go in the future.

(and if the knowledge was lost in 99, can you imagine 2005?)

(…And we’ll totally air out the horrid 2005-10 era some time. It should be dissected-like an alien autopsy type of thing.

and then the weird glossy, fashion mag, boutique style 2010-12 steel road bike revival that followed it.)