Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Historical NYC Messenger Photos Surface

James Moore, an NYC bike messenger during the 1980s-early 90s, recently published an excellent series of photographs depicting messenger life from that era. These photos, published on Urban Cyclist Worldwide Cyclehawk Network, are a window into a past and help piece together the identity and evolution of urban cycling:

(James Moore, himself, in this picture which he titled 'Catching A Wave.' This picture makes bicycles look clean and futuristic while making cars look dirty and clunky. Which mode looks like an outdated form of technology? Excellent photo for that very reason).

(Damn! Peep that lean. One speed: GO! James Moore is so dialed in here).

(James Moore and his crew at the 1st Messenger Championships in Berlin, Germany).

('DC Boys,' according to James Moore. Bringin' that east coast city hustle tip to Berlin at the Messenger Championships in 1993.).

(Oh shit! So sick. Gotta love the black tape on the solid yellow drop bars).

(Known as 'The X Messengers.' Check out that gear!--Knee pads, elbow pads, forearm pads, and the motocross chest protector. Imagine if the law required you to wear that much gear. That would suck. I'm sure bike ridership would drop by at least half of what it is today if that law were introduced nationally next month. There's a good chance that an anti-cyclist advocate or politician in Australia is working on such a law right now. (For those that don't know, AUS has a mandatory helmet law for ALL cyclists, even adults! After the law was introduced, bike ridership plummeted, riding bikes became more deadly, and the likeliness of dying from a head injury on a bicycle actually went UP!)).

(Straight chillin' at Washington Square Park. Definitely one of my favorite summer spots in the world. Classy stuff. Speaking of which, I want that dude's red and blue fanny pack).

James Moore and his crew (sorry, I don't know the names of the other riders) were far ahead of the curve. I wonder if any of the messengers back then predicted that urban and fixed gear cycling would be as big as it is today.

If anyone has any links to anymore messenger photos from this era, please do share.

Thanks to Prolly Is Not Probably for the link to this killer collection. Check out more of James Moore's photos at Urban Cyclist Network.

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