May messengers be reborn

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Madrid messenger w his bike at the Cycle Messenger World Championships

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – And what will the future be…

“It’s a nice bike. I don’t like it that much, but it’s a good bike. I worked for Pedal messengers in Madrid but it is folded [its messenger section] now. We have been having this sale, raising money for our very last championships.”

Notes: Messenger companies are constantly under threat. Kind of like restaurants. That standing joke that, for every one that opens, two fail. It tells you something about the precarious state of their existence. Pedal Madrid were selling off some of the last vestiges of their fundraising, making the money from their colleagues and allies, that would get them through the championships.
And, hopefully, there will be a replacement company next year, a new outing where messengers can find space.
Pedal, the messenger company, continues in Belgium, with the term in Brussels.  This is where I ride.
I have to be optimistic about messenger companies. While internet was a fatal blow for the 1980s presence, times are changing in favour of two wheels. Cities have long been saturated with vehicles and, yet, essential paper version documents still needs to be transported. Slowly, the return is happening. Messengers might be small in size, but likely building on a  very strong core.
As cities are redesigned to bicycles, as cared become increasingly incapable of easy movement, messengers will find more and more avenues.
There is a collection of shorts and profiles about the 2016 Cycle Messenger World Championships in Paris. Use the blog site search engine for CMWC and get the collection. 

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