Anyone got any sleep?
15.06.08 by Buffalo Bill
Yesterday was qualification day for the Cycle Messenger World Championships. The organisers claimed that the race would start at nine o’clock, and those entrants with a number 1 – 100 would be starting between nine and ten. So me and the rest of Team Slug, which is Andy Capp, Erik Zo, Pete Lord and whichever other forty-something fakengers happen to be standing around, got the eight o’clock ferry across to the island. This meant that Andy Capp got rather less sleep than he would have liked. I don’t know why I believed that the race would start before midday, but that was only the first of many rookie moves that I made yesterday.
Of course when we arrived on the island, which is where all the races are being held, my error was immediately apparent. Nothing was ready, the checkpoints were not in place, the barriers marking the course were not in position, and racers, volunteers and organisers were milling around asking each other if they knew anyone who had some sleep they could have.
So we waited, we hung out, we drank beer, and Erik went around confiscating weed. Eventually the race started, probably around 3 or 4 hours late. As I said before, I should have known better than to expect a prompt start. Andy Capp said, ‘this is your fault, I could have been in bed, I could have more sleep.’
The race itself was pretty testing. There 4 more manifests to complete, and each manifest was 6 pickups and 6 drops. Given that the quickest time was around an hour, and a good time was around 90 minutes, this meant that the quickest people were knocking out a job in around 3 or 4 minutes. To do this, you really need to have yourself organised. It is essential to have your lock, key, manifest and parcels handy. You also needed to have worked out the topography of the course pretty quickly, or have a map somewhere you could find it.
These are all key messenger skills, and because I haven’t practised any of them consistently for several years I made several rookie errors per checkpoint. I dropped my parcels, I couldn’t find my lock, I lost my key, I pulled out my map instead of my manifest, and I went to the wrong checkpoint altogether at least twice. Capp had no idea what his time was, but I know that he was quicker than me, my time being a bloated 1h 50-something. Sarah from SF, who the London guys will know better as Ian’s girlfriend, reckons that she did around 1h 20.
So no finals for me. At least I hope not. When we left the island at 930pm last night, the heats results had not yet been posted. As they will be tabulated by hand, I suspect that they were probably collated in the early hours of the morning today, but they may even be working on them right now.
I can tell you that Brooks, a TO local, won a very exciting sprints contest, but I have no idea who won the female race. Basically, I don’t have a clue.
Today I guess it will be the cargo race some time this morning, the finals some time in the afternoon, and the polo finals later on. I hope to bring you something on that tomorrow. I haven’t had a chance to get to all the pictures I took yesterday, but that will follow too.
I have uploaded a picture of both Erik’s new freight bike, and the new Bilenky freight bike, for those of you that were asking.