Today was the qualifing heats for the Cycle Messenger World Championships in Jersey City, NJ. The Courier championships were labeled as being in NYC, but they were held across the river in Jersey City due to permit issues and what not with the city of New York. It was a perfect sunny summer day. The temp was in the low 80s with low humidity.
We arrived at the race for the second heat of the day. Seemed like they were running late, but running well. The organizers and volunters were doing a great job. I was impressed by the fact that they were able to shut down so many blocks in such a big city. We got to the race and looked through some of the vendors. We got to see some of our friends, check out some bikes, and the general freak show a world wide courier race ends up as. I loved looking at all of the stuff that Roland and Elle and the rest of the gang of R E Load Bags had for sale. Saw Manhatten Portage, The NYCBMA and some other courier bag and gear companies there. The second heat started with a La Mans style start with a mad dash of couriers trying to get to their bike first.
After checking out the start, we decided to go and check out a few check points. We saw some people get their bikes "stolen" by less than honest volunteers at check points. My favorite check point was the tire change check point. Seemed like that one tool the most still, and made the race fair for the all around courier. Those who can not fix their flats, can not make any money.
Around the corner from the flat fix checkpoint were the skids and sprint races. The skids were more informal and the sprint races were to qualify for the main sprint later in the day. I got to see a lot of my DC friends and another Boston friend at this point. Those who visited this part of the course stayed for a long time, since there was something to watch, and more importantly there was a good amount of shade from the building.
We hung out and walked around the area that the race was in. If you could take your eys off of all the bikes, and the action, there was some neat stuff to see, and some great old buildings. We saw "ground zero" and a war memorial. The war memorial is one of the most intense ones I have ever seen. It is very Euro. Viewing ground zero is stil strange. I have been to NYC a few times, and the way I take in goes right past Jersey city, but it still pretty powerfull to think about. I never saw the girders from the WTC before. That is pretty nuts, to think of how they were twisted like that.
WHhen I go to these events, I try not to make it to obvious that I am checking out all the bikes I see. Sometimes, I just cant help myself, but when I sw three TI Indy Fabs locked together, I have to stop and check it out. It is great to see more and more IFs crop up. There were some amazing bikes there like the TI Eddy Merckx that I was drooling over so much that I didnt even think of taking a picture.
If you want to see pics of this event go to surlyrider.com/BLOG/080205.htm