21 February 2008

Enough With The Bike Messenger Look



I'm simply tired of it. The day "Puck" appeared on The Real World and stuck his grody fingers in Pedro's peanut butter was the day it went too far. Bike messengers are a cult, I get it, but its played out. Time to move on. Time for you all to stop dressing alike. Enough is enough, or as the French say assez est assez. I've realised some dudes just dress like bike messengers. It's become a fucking look!



We've got the fixed-gear bikes, no cables, no brakes with the sprocket screwed directly on to the hub, one leg rolled up with a dirty gray wool or brown business sock. Bearded, oft bespectaled with the gignatic single strap Manhattan Portage monstrosity wrapped across their chest with all sorts of spelunking gear dangling from every loop, a cell phone, maybe a 2-way radio, some sort of granola or protein bar, a few mountain climbing carabiners... They look like "Solid Snake" from Metal Gear!
























Are you delivering documents around midtown or are you on a mission into the hostile nation of Outer Heaven?

Fixed-gear bikes have a place among the shitty hipster icons of mesh hats and PBR. Their urban cool has attracted the attention of mainstream marketers: Puma created an online guides to "fixies", and Ford featured them in a Lincoln Navigator advert.
















I'm not sure why I'm so adverse to it, truly. Its punk, its cool, whatever. But I think maybe its a little bit too St. Mark's trust-fund-crustpunk-cum-Kent McLard for my liking and the fact that a lot of these dudes aren't even messengers! Why the FUCK would you dress like that otherwise?!


I used to bounce at this bar where one night a week all these ham and eggers would come with their gray wool socks and pants rolled up. I used to think to myself "Is this the modern day biker gang? Is this what it has come down to!?"

Instead of a bunch of maniacs roaring up on Harley Sportster's in leather jackets and bandanas, we've got these 100-lb. "freegans" scooting up on 10-speeds with backpacks and cell phones.

Times have changed, for the worse.

YES:


NO:

14 comments:

Santos said...

it began/ended with kevin bacon in qucksilver

messenger said...

I agree, the whole fakenger/missenger thing is really lame. But if you're gonna write an article about fake bike messengers then you should at least use pictures of actual fake bike messengers instead of actual bike messengers.

Anonymous said...

I got a messenger bike to commute to and from work. Single speed, tho not a fixie, track bike. I love it. I save gas, get exercise and it's a good way to rev up before and unwind after work. I love the clean look and simplicity of a single speed. I have respect for messenger bikers. But every subculture or cult has a bunch of pussy wannabes. Punks, preps, emo, nerds, hackers are all cool to me. It's the wanna be crowd. The guy who claims to be a hacker. The guy who thinks he's cool cause of his single speed bike. If a group of people have honed a pure aesthetic give them kudos. Everyone else is just a wannabe.

Anonymous said...

I hear you, but since I don't drive the largish bag and all that goes with it is necessary for my day to day.

For me maybe the real problem is all the $h1+ that I think I need to keep on me.

But that is a whole 'nother rant about digital culture with all it's must have gadgets and doodads.

Shelly Mossey said...

I've been with Chick Chack Couriers for 25 years! None of our Bicycle Messengers look like that!

Shelly Mossey
Chick Chack Couriers -NYC
Urban Mobility Project-NYC

Anonymous said...

Them wannabes never tasted asphalt riding fixed-gear. I'd luv to see one fakenger riding and see that chain jump its sprocket and flip the rider face first hard unto the asphalt (which is worse on the skin than cement)....

Anonymous said...

You know, it wasn't too long ago that I got my fixed gear bicycle, but with me I actually got a flip flop hub which means I can switch between fixed and free. To be honest as a messenger fixed gets annoying after a while. As a messenger in SF most of us do not have fixed gears. And our bike aren't mostly road bikes, they're durable mountain bike frames with road wheels built for the rugged streets and hills of SF. This is for those with fixies, try being a messenger.

You don't want to taste asphalt, a lot of us get beat up pretty bad.

Anonymous said...

Fake messenger or not... who really cares???, if somebody likes the look, then thats their god given right to dress that way. you want to know what I'm tired of seeing? i'm tired of seeing dumb ass blogs with people having nothing better to do than mock fixed gear bikes, bike messengers, hipsters, messenger bags Etc. People! everyone needs to grow the fuck up.
people more and more are riding bikes instead of cars, isn't that an accomplishment in its self? who cares if it takes someone dressed like a bike messenger to do so, its not effecting you in anyway. GROW UP!!

Anonymous said...

this blog upsets me. im a female bike messenger in NYC and i wear everything you just described, because its NEEDED in our line of work. if you honestly think about it, it isnt very comfortable to ride in slacks and a peecoat while on a bike 17 hours of everyday. also, while you were sitting on your ass, probably in some office building at your desk writing this, we're all outside in 23 degree weather keeping the city we live in moving. and enjoying our life as much as we can, trying to avoid negative people like you, while doing something we have an undying love for, riding our bike. i never thought ide ever hear someone complain about people on bikes with CELLPHONES AND BACKPACKS going to a bar after a long day of work for a nice cold beer that is well deserved. common,dont sweat the small stuff, man!

Anonymous said...

alot of folks have courier bags, but not many people dress exactly like messengers, I'm a messeger and I think people know who we are when they see us and we do look as you described, carabiners, heavy socks, dirty clothes, etc. but theres not many "posers" its pretty clear who is a messenger and who is'nt, maybe this is a NY thing. I did here of some art school kids dressing like messengers, but just with fixie bikes and bags not much more.

Anonymous said...

i want you to try to ride a fixie..and see what you think. not just writing about it. I want to see you get on a fixed gear and eat shit. Im sure of it actually. it takes a strong rider and alot of work to ride a fixie. i cycle all year round. i dont drive. i dont own a car.

Dustgoreezy Bay Bay said...

Why the fuck would anyone care so much, there are all sorts of people in the world that mimic a look after something different than what it originally was started or intended as. While I agree that these kids look fucking stupid I just dont give a fuck enough about them to let it get my crawl. I ride a singlespeed, not a fixie and guess what? Its a "29er" or as another trendy type of bike folk want to make sure everyone knows is its actually just a 700... but I rock that bitch out! LOL, by the way why WHY are all these fools now days using LOL bullcrap and all those goofy emoticons? Well thats my 2 cents!
;)

Anonymous said...

I agree with the people disagreeing with this blog. Not to sound like a hipster or anything. But really, you sound like you're hating on all the actual bike messengers, not the ones that only dress the part but are nowhere inside the industry. I think if most bike messengers look a similar way it's probably not even intentional. If it is, so what? All the gears and crap, they need it for the job. They're requirements. Personally, I like the messenger look. I'm considering a job as a bike messenger, but I'm still doing research about it.

Bianchipistacomp said...

Very well said. Lots of truth. However. I find a lot of hipsters to be very judgmental. Im not from the best part of town. I try to find a better grade of folks to surround myself with. Well... It's not the hipsters. I was a messenger for 10 yrs. & lived in Brooklyn all my life. I'm not just a fan, & its really anoying to see someone who can hardly comprehend suffering, snobbishly roll their eyes at you. Then ride off into the sunset in imitation of you.