I’ve only ever worked as a messenger informally for bike shops where I was the person who spent all day biking around town, picking up and dropping off parts, and ghost riding bikes from the warehouse to the shop, so I don’t know what it’s like to work for a legit courier service. Of course, I think I, like a lot of cyclists, often over romanticize what it would be like to work all day, every day riding. A lot of days that sounds pretty awesome, but as I posted on a recent Friday Link Love, the working conditions and pay for messengers makes being a courier a dangerous and low-paying gig. Anyways – I ran across this article, The Best Job in the World – Bike Messenger, and it pretty much made me romanticize wanting to be a bike messenger all over again.
There are a lot of things I appreciate about this article ‘Hey Dude.’ Generally speaking, I think that these types of stories are more powerful coming from the mouths of those who experience being the minority of the group – in this case women at bike races. Normally I’d prefer to hear women talk about what that experience is like instead of men kind of patting themselves on the back for noticing it. But there is something about this article that feels a bit more sincere.
It might feel a bit like when you went to your first alleycat, only it’s like that every time. It’s awkward, most of us would probably stop showing up. I know when I helped organise the first women’s-only alleycat here in Mexico City about eighty women turned out. At a normal alleycat there might be ten out of one hundred. That tells a story. Women want to race, they like bikes just the same, but they’re just not comfortable with the current atmosphere at races. It’s intimidating and if they do turn up to race, after all the stupid comments and creepy looks before the race, to end it all off they’re probably going to get gipped at the award ceremony.
Preach. Remember that time I won $2000 less in prizes than the male winner of Fixed Gear Revolution in Beijing? Really encourages women to participate. Lolz.
Watch this to the end. Message – don’t be a creep.