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Marcus Cook Award 2007 - call for nominations
9.09.07 by Buffalo Bill

The trophy.  Thanks to Horse! pic: E Blanchet

The opening of nominations for the Marcus Cook Award for Service to the International Messenger Community has been announced by its guardians, a committee of former alumni. Originally presented at the Cycle Messenger World Championships, the MCA is now presented on Messenger Appreciation Day (aka 10-9 Day), which is October 9th. Nominations will be accepted until the 15th September. Nominations are sought by the committee for the person or persons who have done most to benefit the community by their actions over the previous year, or a longer period.

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.

This award is for people that inspire and empower the wider messenger community, that put all of us before themselves.

Past winners are:

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

If you click the links, you can read more about the various winners, and the reasons that they were chosen.

I should note that 2004 was the first year that I had nothing to do with the decision making process, and I was embarrassed (as well as humbled, honoured and proud) to find myself presented with an award that I had created.

To nominate an individual or group for the MCA, you should email Joe Hendry, who amongst other many other works, is the coordinator for the MCA. You can also use the venerable messengers mailing list, which can be found here.

messenguerilla in action at ECMC 2006

This year I am nominating Messenguerilla.

I love Messenguerilla and what they have done over the last couple of years because:

A. They are silly. They poke fun at us and themselves.
B. They do things (races inside races, raising money for the Bicycle Messenger Emergency Fund, feeding and watering messengers).
C. They remind us that the international messenger community exists for the benefit of messengers and their friends. Not for promoting a particular brand or style of bikes, clothing or beer.

Long live messenguerilla! Viva la revolucion das mesanjer@s!

  1. fantastic information…

    I am not a messenger
    I am curious about bicycle culture
    and the messenger culture is a curious culture

    I just learned of the Marcus Cook Award at a party last night…
    minutes after saying goodbye to AZ I got a history lesson from a DC Veteran of the Street, a messenger named Larry

    I do not know if Larry has a nickname

    gwadzilla    7 October 2007, 19:37    #
  2. Larry Parks! Veteran is right. He was at the first messenger champs in Berlin 1993

    — Bill    8 October 2007, 14:35    #
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