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Marcus Cook Award nominations
5.09.08 by Buffalo Bill

Nominations have opened for the Marcus Cook Award for services to the international bicycle messenger community.

What is the Markus Cook Award?
The MCA for Service to the International Messenger Community is not a prize for winning a race, or a contest to find the funniest or most outrageous member of the international messenger community. At the time the Award was conceived, the Cycle Messenger World Championships, which is the heart of the international messenger community, was beginning to be more about the racing than the happening. I wanted to re-establish the spirit of the championships, to restate the reason that we all come to this event every year. I wanted the MCA to be a reflection of the axiom that everyone who comes to a CMWC is a winner, whether they race or not.

Now that the MCA is a stand-alone event, independent of the CMWC, I hope that its award, and the recipient, shows that the international messenger community is about more than just drinking beer, pulling 200 metre skids and getting your arse on alleycat videos.

Markus himself was very much in love with the international messenger community, and in many ways he was the unlikeliest bike racer imaginable, despite being a veteran messenger. He was several other things, of course. Editor of Mercury Rising messenger zine, unofficial spokesperson of the SFBMA, leader of L Sid, and a friend to all. The enthusiasm of Markus brought CMWC and the international messenger community to San Francisco, and it saddens many people to this day that he did not live to see it. You can read my personal recollection of Markus and how he came to inspire me to create the award here.

Past recipients of the Marcus Cook Award

1998 – Joe Hendry, Toronto, ON, CN

1999 – Rebecca ‘Lambchop’ Riley, DC/NYC/SF/etc, US

2000 – John Kenda & the Philadelphia BMA, Boston/Philadelphia, US

2001 – Joel ‘Magpie’ Metz, SF, CA, US

2002 – Derek Chadbourne, Toronto, ON, CN

2003 – Wayne Scott, Toronto, ON, CN

2004 – ‘Buffalo’ Bill Chidley, London, England

2005 – Jean Andre Vallery, Sarasota, FL, US

2006 – Amy and Kevin ‘Squid’ Bolger, NYC, NY, US

2007 – Andy Zalan, Washington D.C.

Here are some of the nominations so far:

We would like to nominate the following people:

First of all (already nominated) NADIR OLIVET but here’s the why;
As long as I have known Nadir he’s been helping people in any way possible,
for example with housing: in 1998 he let, what seemed at the time, about 40 people stay at his little appartement for as long as they wanted without having us do the dishes…he even made breakfast. But I guess Maka already pointed out his hospitality. When the HPR was held in some dusty old warehouse in Toronto, Nadir showed up with pure oxigen to help us breath better. Of course everybody remembers the two kids from Guatamala, who were fully sponsored and made it all the way out to race in Europe and the CMWC afterwards. Nadir made that happen, showing all of us there’s more to life than getting drunk or winning races. There are many more examples of his big heart for the messengercommunity, or people in general. I am truly proud to call him my friend.

He´s so handsome, he´s the only reason all the chicks show up at events for us dirty, ugly messengers to look at. He should already get a prize for that alone ( maybe some other one, we’ll think of something ).But seriously, he is one of the main guys behind the world wide race ‘Global Gutz’. Which took ‘the community’ to a whole new level, . He was also part of the organization of the worlds in Zurich, which set the standard for years to come. He organizes races to honour other people. Helps out where he can. And at every event he shows up, you know the party is where he’s at.

If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you can hire…. Kai Hawaii. He is the messenger A(id)-team personified. (Hannibal when he is sober, Murdock when he is drunk). You don´t even have to ask for his help, he is there before you can say blueberry pie. Not just one event but virtually every event that I can remember. And he’s a stud too.

Neither of these three ask anything in return nor brag about their accomplishments.

Dirk & Mahrou

And more on Nadir from Mike Makatron:

When i arrived in Toronto Nadir said stay on a mattress in his lounge room… i can pay rent if i stay more than 3 months… since it was the summer of S.A,R,S there was no work.. but he went in personally to his old company to ask them to change their minds about me…. then he gave me the job of painting his new store…..we had a lot of safety meetings also…. and made me feel welcome like no one else could. asking nothing in return.

and I believe he has done this to a number of people also…….

Not only one of the nicest people around.. but he carries himself with a certain pride which can be hard to find

El Campeón, La Leyenda, El Mejor…..Commandante Zero!

(and banana is also a champion!)

And these:

I have two nominations for the MCA. I hope that other people will nominate others so that the current recipients have something to think about.

I nominate :

Vincent van Eyck from Arnhem in The Netherlands. Vincent has been active in the messenger community both internationally and nationally for many years. He has a wonderful capacity for bringing people together as well as an advanced sense of fun and irony. His multilingual MC work at championships is hilarious as well as informative. This year Vincent did something which is typical of his way. In the aftermath of the death in Chicago at the beginning of the year, when the messenger communinty was circling the wagons and beginning to get involved in all sorts of fractious debates about fakengers posengers hipsters and whatever, Vincent organised an alleycat in Arnhem which specifically encouraged fakengers and so forth to take part. Here in NL there was not really the same animosity that seems to exist in other countries, nor were there actually very many fakengers. So what happened was that any animosty between fakengers and messengers was nipped in the bud – the relationship between the two was from the start based on personal contact, and all ensuing discussions about the issues always tinged with the wit of Haute Courier. A stroke of genius.

and :

Martin (Banana) Larssen from Copenhagen, recently residing in Toronto. Martin has also been around for a many years. He is known for tireless hardwork, organising messenger races and pulling people together. This year though he did something quite remarkable. As soon as it became clear that rumours coming out of Toronto had some basis in truth, Martin simply got on a plane and went there to see what he could do. I have no desire to get into the long history of theToronto messenger community, but I do know that were it not for Banana’s presence there from the beginning of the year, there would likely have been no world championships.

Both these gentlemen represent the true spirit of the messenger community and both are in my opinion worthy of the MCA.

love and peace,

Andy Duncan, IFBMA President.

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