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Adventures in Tokyo

By John Prolly

It’s no secret that messenger and messenger-inspired events are hugely popular. Ten years ago you’d be hard-pressed to find an alleycat, or unlicensed underground bicycle race, in many cities across the United States. Alleycats and other bike-messenger events were mainly held in major cities with a large bike messenger population, and a decidedly underground phenomenon. With the popularity of track bikes exploding over the past few years, these events have started to sprout up in cities all over. Most of the people attending alleycats and other events aren’t messengers, just bicycle riders enjoying the newfound cycling scene in their city.

The Cycle Messenger World Championships (CMWC) is one event that has held onto its messenger-only roots, and on the world stage. Along with regional championship events like the North American Cycle Courier Championships (NACCC) and the European Cycle Messenger Championships (ECMC) these events have helped to unify the messenger community. Open forums have been held to discuss the state of the industry and community activists have proposed ways to increase pay and fight for healthcare. With some large companies bleeding messengers dry, people felt these events would be a good place to discuss the continuing salvation of the urban bike messenger.