Track bikes (Commonly referred to as “fixies”) while originally made for racing on a Velodrome racetrack, have had a surge of popularity over the last few decades as great courier bikes for riding the city. No gears, no coasting, feet strapped in and often no breaks so stopping requires locking your legs to slow the momentum. Their popularity is due to their mechanical simplicity, affordability, and light-weightiness and are often customized extensively by their rider. This is my “All-City Thunderdome” Aluminum Track bike I built. I get teary eyed just looking at it.
Mechanic and Messenger. He delivers flowers for “Urban Stems”.
Mike (aka “Masi Mike” after his vintage Masi frame) manages, rides, and dispatches for “City Expediter” who deliver pretty much anything you can think of anywhere in Manhattan.
Messenger for Urban Stems and part time racer for track and cycle-cross. While traditionally being a male driven industry, there has been significant advances for WTF peoples in working and riding on bikes. There is still much to be improved upon but it is no longer uncommon to see women slinging packages while racing between taxis.
Co-owned by Anna and Shawn Wolf, (Anna is a Morrisey fan, hence the shop name) the shop serves as a hangout spot before or after catching the nearby Williamsburg Bridge into Manhattan. You never know who you’ll run into there while grabbing a coffee and a spare tube.
Rain, Sleet, Wind, Snow. Deliveries go year round in all conditions.
The bike shop runs different workshops and events throughout the year including a number of events to get more femme identifying riders on the road such as this WTF gear swap. Riders raid their closets for extra bike parts and apparel gaining dust and bring it in to trade for usable gear. What isn’t traded or claimed is donated to a local youth cyclist organization.
Alterations and patches done on site.
One of the most famous “Alley Cat” (street) races in the country if not the world going on it’s 20th year. Cyclists and predominantly bike messengers new and old flock from all over to put there street smarts and riding abilities to the test. Racers all start at Tompkins Square Park in the East Village of Manhattan. Helmets required and break-less track bikes only to participate.
The racing Manifest for most Alley Cat Races is a list of checkpoints that can be done in any order the racer chooses. This is a representation of a messenger’s delivery manifest. It behooves a messenger (often working on commission) to know the best routes between drop off points.
Bikes are all lane down together in the park. From a distance the racers are bull-horned the location of the first manifest. A running start to their bikes immediately after starts the race.
A racer approaches a manifest checkpoint who calls out.