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ECMC 2005 report
14.10.05 by Buffalo Bill

The 2005 European Cycle Messenger Championships were held in the north corner of Switzerland, in the city of Basel. Basel is on the river Rhine, and the borders with both Germany and France are right on the edge of the town, of which more later.

team muppet

Some of you might remember that Basel unsuccessfully bid against London for the 2003 ECMC, so it was very interesting to get a chance to go and see what we might have missed out on. The event was centred in a giant messenger playground that used to be a big railway marshalling yard. There was tracks, steps, gravel and James Tait with marker pen ink all over his face. It was pretty scary.

The Basel boys did a bang up job: parties, racing and free food. Basel itself is a very prosperous city, and this prosperity is reflected in the cost of goods. A coffee literally costs £5, and beer is almost as expensive as in London clubs. However, if you don’t like the price of beer in Basel, you can always just pop across the border to France or Germany and pick up whatever it is that you want for much cheaper. Swiss beer is shit, by the way. I’m not so sure whether having the event campsite in another country was ideal, but not everything can be perfect, I guess.

The racing was pretty gnarly, and Raphael ‘triple’ Faiss won. Again. Whilst Raf was helping himself to yet more swag, Basel vet Karl Stransky was letting no one forget that he is reigning world champion although he was too busy to race. Does he own anything that doesn’t got rainbow stripes on it? Not that I saw. Lucky bastard. A Swiss female Cecile Suda from Krick became the Female European Cycle Messenger Champion. I remember broken-hearted Luk saying that the Swiss are the new Danes. If that’s true then the Danes are the new New Yorkers. Or something equally pretentious.

Jumbo star!
For most people tho, a Copenhagen rider called Jumbo was the star of the show. Jumbo was top fixie in the final, 4th, and 2nd in the skid, thus easily scooping King of Fixed and a ton of cool swag. It was also his birthday, so he got a birthday serenade from the crowd when he was on the podium. The lack of any real opposition apart from Maria did nothing to undermine Marou’s (Barcelona) worthiness to be Queen of Fixed.

A major disappointment to many was the lack of any evidence to back the Glasgow posse’s claims of 550+ feet skids by their man James T. Although having only just kissed and made up with them after getting bitch-slapped by Glasgow in Warsaw at last year’s ECMC, probably the less said about that by me the better.

Race commentary team were outstanding, featuring Alex Zulle (former swiss pro road racer) impersonations, commentary in 3 languages and insults in at least another 2.

London – do a wheelie!
Team Muppet showed plenty-handed. Josh (Cyclone), Marco (City Sprint), Homer (Cyclone), Wayne (Clockwork), Tofu (Creative), Selim (Creative), Scott (Creative) Pretty Boy (Addison Lee), LBMA Chair, Wingnut (Daily Muppet Series Winner), Caveman (City Sprint) all represented (I think that’s how you use it, innit?), and even though none of us troubled the results team, I like to think that Basel will not forget the Muppets anytime soon.

London Muppet highlights mostly involved Tofu and his sidekick Scott, although pineapple-headed Wayne was also definitely one of the stars. Tofu’s finest moment was either the Saturday nite alleycat during which he and Scott raced naked through an international border and back again, or his spontaneous wrestling tournament which took place during the finals. Within minutes all the spectators had turned away from the actual bike racing and were engrossed in the somewhat bizarre spectacle of Tofu against all comers.
I have to add that the nude antics of Scott and Tofu did not stop at the alleycat. Anytime seemed to be good time for the Dangling Duo to tear off their garments. There can hardly be a single person in Basel who doesn’t know what their knobs look like. Another high or low point was Tofu and Wayne getting thrown in the Rhine by two random passers-by. Oh, and one last thing: we at Moving Target believe that Tofu and Scott have established a new international messenger race bench-mark by double-busting the border in the all-together. We say ‘respect’!

Next year: an international crew will turn a previously prosperous and sophisticated metropolis called Helsinki into a smoking ruin. ECMC 06 = Hell

Many props to: Kierin, Berlinetta, the organisers, Krzys for riding all the way and all the other London riders. You muppets!

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