By Jeff (Photos stolen from the brilliant artists on the Chicago NACCC flickr group, thanks iwinyoulose, JohnHartsfield, verly138. I highly recommend looking through everyone's. There's waaayyy too many photos to go through)
Stan is the Nation's number one Avid Cyclist! All drama aside, this man deserves a ton of credit. Whether he looks the role or not, he will proudly always tell you he has never been a messenger. Having spent plenty of time joking along with us yet having no actual experience with this game, he grinded his way to 9th place (top ten!) at the 11th North American Cycle Courier Championships and earned top spot with the title of non-messenger. Andrew got 5th overall and was top Chicago boy, followed closely by Nico's 6th. That's 3 Chicagoans in the top ten. New York got 3 in the top ten but also 2 where it counted most: Austin was the first finisher, Kym was the 4th finisher and first woman. Fergus from SF was apparently only 6 seconds behind Austin to place 2nd and one of two Friscans in the top 10. Boston's Craig Roth was 3rd and MKE's Chad Rice was 10th. Full results are in pdf form here.
My performance? Well, between firecrackers going into boxes, having a person dressed as a chicken steal your bike and having a pack of bitter current and ex-messengers put you through degrading hoops in order to get your package, I think my performance at the 4 Star/Breakaway checkpoint was a success. The best is, that was only for the qualifiers...
"Hey Rooster, about yesterday's checkpoint. Rad. Could you tone it down a little bit today?"
No worries Augie, all ready planned on taming CP #5. We set up the barriers behind the bus so no one knew where to go their first trip, even those that scouted the course couldn't see the "Loading Dock". The goal was to make everyone improve as you went along. It was amusing to put all of these seasoned vets back into their rookie pants. Harassment ensued but it was consistent.
40/Copper/Gipson/Mike G./...dad, call him what you will, he was top dog for a day. After sitting around and taking back some brews the Cuttin' Crew OG decided to hop in the mix and was showing everyone how this business works. He was as slick as could be and got the top qualifying time on Saturday. Come Sunday, however, the hangover and getting a poorly timed flat proved too much and he DNF'd. Aw well, we need seasonal help for our 'cross season and his reds smokin', Bud sippin' style will probably foot the bill.
No Chicken this time, just a grown man in a banana suit, 7 cubes of PBR, more loud music, big cowbell and all day to fuck with people.
Mike Morell and OG Jason Marshall were the braintrusts behind a rather grueling course. It felt great to hear people numbed with pain and exhaustion. Good ol' pancake flat Chicago proved daunting to many people and we have the creativity (and dementedness) of Mike and Jay to thank.
Prom was a sensation. It could actually be considered too big. Putting Bottom Lounge past capacity is a hell of a feat. Big ups to Josh and Russell for pulling that together.
Augie and Vern were machines. Something about getting up at 630 to carry a bunch of shit all over Garfield Park was a tough sell. Having to do it two days in a row was borderline torture. Those cats were around for every minute. Those two have been dealing with a tough city, park district, police dept., and expensive bill for a long time and yet they pulled it off. Thanks guys.
Mareesha and Dilts were awesome go-to's for publicity and making us all look good. Bringing a big draw for sponsors and swag as well as event planning and execution is not something done easily with an event like this. Thank you so much you two.
A lot of volunteers came through and helped out in ways you could never imagine.
Cuttin' Crew qualified everyone for the final. Brynn had a nasty spill that tore some elbow ligaments, send her your best. She's a tough chick so she'll be fine, but it doesn't hurt to give the lady some kind words. Then, of course, there's this...
Note the hand still holding the bike. That's skill...
It was good to see everyone and meet many more. These things are so beautiful when it comes to that. Lil' Jen and Juice. Cyclejerks. DC crew. Jimmy and his LA peeps. Fhar. The ever impressive Philly contingent. Your DFL and GFG Josh Whitesnake. It's like one big hug going all around...aaahhh.
See you bitches in Boston.