Messlife
  • Warsaw II: An Iconic Messenger Pack Returns

    warsawII

    We built the first Warsaw—our iconic professional-grade messenger backpack—way back in 2003. The bag was designed to take shoulder-strap bags to the next level by offering messengers the ability to carry bigger loads with improved ergonomics. Messengers were stoked on the Warsaw, relying on it for everything; they earned a living, won races, and traveled across continents with their bag.

    This year we decided it was time to remake the Warsaw. As much as bike messengering looks the same, a lot of things have changed since Billy Souphorse and the Godspeed crew got the first 10 Warsaw bags we made. When we made the Warsaw the focus had been shifting from delivering small items and mail, to larger documents and file boxes. Now the focus is shifting to meal delivery. Because the business of delivery is changing, we want the Warsaw II to be able to adapt.

    We sat down with friends, employees, and messengers to remake the Warsaw. We added to our collective experience with veteran riders like Billy Souphorse and Squid Bolger. The Warsaw II is still based on the original, so it’s large enough to carry a file box. Even though the Warsaw II is deeper, it’s slim enough to split traffic. We removed the yoke—separating the shoulder straps helps to improve load carrying, stability, and comfort. The Warsaw II’s strap retention system keeps excess straps out of the way until you need to expand the bag. We simplified the organization to make it easier to find small stuff. We also added a tool pocket to the bottom of the bag, now tools are quick to find—and accessible separately—without digging through your cargo. The side pocket is there so give you quick access to mail and FedEx envelopes. We moved the ID holder so that the flap prevents rain from soaking it. Finally the stash pocket, it’s still there.

    After multiple prototypes, we had a design which Squid, and crews across the country carried and worked with. After months of testing, the final version of the Warsaw II was approved. So after all the revisions, all the stories, and the decades of shared experience from riders and messengers, we’re ready to introduce the Warsaw II; a bag of epic capabilities for professional messengers.

    Warsaw2_Hero

  • Chrome Aces

    Bicycle messengers brave the streets daily and have the scars to prove it.  Most messengers have little or no on-the-job health coverage or the financial means to make ends meet if they get injured.   Bicycle Messenger Emergency Fund (BMEF) was created to assist these messengers.

    We wanted to help raise funds and awareness for the cause, so we created Chrome Aces. Chrome Aces is a deck of cards that recognizes 52 of the best messengers from 4 cities or suits. Squid in NYC, Billy in SF, Augie in Chicago, and Casy in Portland rallied the messengers and photographers who know them like Chris Diltz and Augie Montes. It was definitely a labor of love, but worth all the efforts.

    Chrome Aces Shoot

    Photo Shoot Aces

    Chrome Aces Cats

    Chrome Aces Deck

  • Coveted Jersey 2012

    This is the 2012 Coveted Jersey from Chrome. It was designed by James Selman and his crew at weights&pulleys in Portland, Oregon. It cannot be purchased. It is not given away freely. It must be earned. The Coveted Jersey was created in 2010 to recognize the dirtbags, fools and legit athletes who race alleycats, sprints and single speed races around the globe. Past winners include Austin Horse, Alonso Tal and Shawn Martin. Guys who know how to ride bikes.

    This year we’ve worked with race organizers from San Francisco to LA to Tokyo to London to find some of the best street races in the world. 2012 Jerseys have already been sent out to Edgar “Willo” Juarez (Long Beach) who won the Fixed Gear LA Marathon Crash, Addison Zawada winner of the Redbull Ride and Style track race and several other winners. Upcoming races include the Melbourne Roubaix, NACCC and Where’s Waldo III. If you want a Coveted Jersey, check the list and win a race.

     

    The 2012 Coveted Jersey was designed by James Selman and his crew at weights&pulleys in Portland, Oregon. James also owns Beloved Cycles and has been instrumental in developing Mellow Johnny's along with a few other things in and around the cycling industry. He goes for his 10th Leadville 100 in August.

     

  • Squid's Story

    Kevin “Squid” Bolger is the hardest working man alive. There is no one who has done more for the bike messenger than Squid. Born in Queens, NY in 1971 Squid started working as a bike messenger in 1992. A year later he was riding fixed and by 1995 he went to his first CMWC in Toronto. That Halloween he organized his first of many alleycats in NYC. In 1996 he hopped freights to CMWC SF in 96 and scored his first urban cycling sponsorship that year. He raced every CMWC from 1995 up until 2007 when his son was born. He’s been sponsored by Chrome since 2004.

    He’s raced on the velodrome and the street, bringing urban bike culture to the main stream around the world. He’s had numerous race victories including overall win in 2003 at Kyotoloco, Monster Track IV and two consecutive Cranksgiving wins.

    Squid has organized some of the biggest, baddest messenger events on the planet. This year Squid is producing the 7th Annual Velo City Tour in association with Grime Bikes: http://velo-city-tour.tumblr.com/. Really pumped to be taking this successful format and going global with it!

    In 2004 Squid founded the New York Bike Messenger Foundation, a 501c3 Nonprofit that benefits Messengers and their families when they are hurt or killed on the job nybmf.org. In 2006, he formed Cyclehawk. From 2007-2011 he was a partner at Cyclehawk Messengers. Squid works part time in the summer with Transportation Alternatives, an advocacy group, and does safety outreach with delivery bikers, high schools, senior centers and nypd.

    Squid has worked as a technical consultant and had a speaking part in the feature film 'Premium Rush' ( http://www.premiumrush.com/) a movie about NYC bike messengers slated for release late. He's working on a book about his 20 years on the street and behind the scenes involvement with the growth of global cycling culture and the explosion of urban cycling culture in the states. Squid is also working on bike messenger action figures and trading cards, a Velo City Tour cycling jersey, a limited edition custom bike with Brooklyn's own Squarebuilt and messenger artist Greg Ugalde.

    And last but not least the biggest media feedback I ever got (so far) was on the Ellen show: http://youtu.be/iXR14MKTH8M

    http://cyclehawk.com

    http://nybmf.org