(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)
If you see a bike messenger in your office or in your lane today, give ’em a nod or say “thanks.”
(Photos: Mike Cobb)
Five Portlanders just returned from Chicago where they competed in the 20th annual Cycle Messenger World Championships. The event featured the 250 best professional cargo couriers and messengers from around the world who put their skills to the test with a race around Soldier Field, a cargo bike race, sprints, a track stand competition (where riders balance on their bikes in place, without moving), and more.
Former Portland State University track racing star Anita Dilles, now racing for Portland Pedal Power, competed in the track events. She took 1st place in the match sprint, 2nd in the scratch race, and 3rd in the tempo race — an effort that earned her 2nd overall. Dilles also won the women’s track stand (and finished 10th overall among the men). Fellow competitor Mike Cobb sent us updates from Chicago, including the photos below of Dilles in action.[Read more…]
“Whereas, bicycle messengers provide a value-added service that businesses seek out as a means to reduce costs and improve efficiency, crucial to the movement of important information…”
— Mayor Sam Adams, in a proclamation of 10-9 Day
Professional bike messengers around the country will recognize today as 10-9 Day, a.k.a. Messenger Appreciation Day.
October 9th has been a day of thanks for bike messengers since 1997, when Toronto joined San Francisco with a joint proclamation. Since then, 10/9 has been officially recognized in Calgary, Chicago, Edmonton, Montreal, Houston, Vancouver and Washington DC.
Now you can add Portland to that list. [Read more…]
[Note from Publisher: Welcome to the final installment of our three-part series on bike messengers in Portland. This series is written by BikePortland contributing writer Erin Greeson (bio).
In Part One, Greeson laid out the tough working conditions faced by Portland’s messengers. Part Two focused on health care and the negative stereotypes often associated with bicycle delivery professionals. Today, Greeson concludes her story by taking a look at attempts to organize and improve the industry.
Thanks to everyone for the vigorous discussion on this series thus far, and a special thanks to Erin Greeson for her work on this story.]
[Welcome to Part Two of our three-part series on bike messengers in Portland.
This series is written by BikePortland contributing writer Erin Greeson (bio). In Part One, Greeson laid out the tough working conditions faced by Portland’s messengers. In the article below, she shares finding health care coverage for a messenger who’s also a mom and she delves into the impact of the messenger stereotype.]
[Publisher’s note: This is the first in a three-part story on Portland’s bike messengers by new contributor Erin Greeson.
When her friend Zak Kovalcik crashed and broke his collarbone last fall, Greeson came face-to-face with the tough reality faced by Portland’s bike delivery professionals. In this in-depth, three-part series, Greeson shares how the deck is stacked against messengers and how they are trying to survive in a challenging profession.]
“The paradigm of the typical messenger service business model is problematic. It’s a pyramid-shaped scheme where the workers are on the bottom.”
–Ira Ryan, former messenger
As Portland’s reputation as a green business boomtown gains momentum, bike-centric ventures emerge as quickly and viably as organic brewpubs and cafes. While a new era of entrepreneurs seeks to capitalize on this evolving economy, one of the oldest bike-based businesses, bicycle messenger services, faces challenges that impact workers and business owners alike.[Read more…]
[Publisher’s note: Elly Blue is on a trip through the East Coast. She’s got a Brompton folder, a backpack, and one of my old cameras around her neck. She’ll be posting dispatches and photos from the road. I’ve created a special section for all the articles and I’ll share some of them here on the Front Page. You can also follow Elly’s adventures on Twitter.]
(Photo © Elly Blue)
Courtesy of the weather, mechanical delays, a freight derailment in Minnesota, one medical emergency, and the priority of freight over passenger trains, I’m unexpectedly in Chicago for the day.
So here I am sitting in a coffeeshop in Wicker Park, enjoying excellent espresso and fast WiFi. It’s sunny out and “above zero” as my host optimistically put it. Sleet is expected after 5, just when it’s time to head back to the station.[Read more…]