Category Archives: bicycles

Trashed wheel.


“Exenger” update…on course for the OED?

Mercury Messenger Calgary cargo bike

One way to stop an exenger

The most popular post on this blog is Coining a Phrase? “Exenger”. Since I haven’t checked since writing that  post a couple of years ago, I decided to perform a search using a well known search engine to further chart the spread of the etymological phenomenon of the word “exenger”.

I discovered that thanks to the venerable Moving Target blog and its forum, the unstoppable march of the word exenger has moved onward, beyond the confines of MT and the London Fixed Gear and Single Speed Forum!!

Exhibit A – Flickr photos tagged with “exenger”. Admittedly, they are all photos of Bill, the Moving Target honcho.

Exhibit B – Andy at has seen fit to use it as a noun on his fine site.

Exhibit C – The entertaining thatmessengerchick blog recently had a piece called “Exenger fantasies”

Exhibit D – Now that Messenger of Doom has hung up his pager, he often refers to himself and other ex-messengers as exengers.

Exhibit E – The Offical Dutch Cycle Messenger Championships 2010, allowed you to register as a “Messenger, Exenger, Realenger, Hipster or a Tricker”.

The next stop in exenger’s inexorable rise is surely the vault of rejected words at the Oxford English Dictionary…seeing as I live around the corner from OUP, I might just pop in and suggest it to them!

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Stéphane is no longer a complete cycling noob

He’s got new clipless pedals and shoes, plus we finally removed the pie plate from his back wheel.

Next step, lycra shorts and/or a metric century.

A decent bicycle lock AKA Bike thieves, I hate those guys!


This morning, I discovered that someone had targeted one of my bicycles in the racks behind my block of flats. The photo is of the remnants of the cable that I had through the front wheel, attached to an Abus Manhattan U-lock (D-lock).  Another of my bikes was locked to the U-locked bike with an Abus Steel-O-Flex 900 and there is no sign of the lock…presumably cut.  The bike, which is a fixed wheel bike wasn’t taken, although they could have, therefore, I think they were targetting my other bike and might not have realised that the U-lock was there as well as the cable lock.

The U-lock was through the back wheel and the seat stays, near the brake…so it was “filled” and quite hard to attack.  I think however that the thief wasn’t equipped with a tool capable of cutting the shackle on a decent U-lock…hence my bike was saved. 

Here is a video of a braided cable lock, similar to the one I had, being cut like a knife through butter…

Bike thieves…I hate those guys!

Here is an article on locks and how to deter thieves…slightly depressing that almost any lock is no defence against a determined ne’er do well but good that you can protect it in some way. Suffice to say, my bikes are living inside from now on.

The courier always bites twice

I came across this recently via the Sydney Bicycle Messenger Association’s site.

The image above is a link to video on that was posted by someone from the Calgary BMA. It’s good to see that something is going on in Calgary in the courier “community”.

There are also some pix on that site which were taken by Rachelle, the first courier that I ever spoke to in Calgary.  She was taking a break outside the convenience store on the corner of 9th Avenue and 9th St SW, at the base of the building that I was living in. I needed to earn some cash, so I quizzed her about the courier companies in town.  A week later, I was no longer Ed, I was #34, Elite Fleet’s latest rookie AKA “hump”.

Later on, it turned out that she was friends with my new found friend, Jonny “The Reverend” Love. He’s in one of Rachelle’s photos and so are also several other familiar faces from the time I was there.

As for the video…it’s certainly…um, creative.  A courier zombie movie, has that ever been done before?

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Memento messenger

Hat tip to Messenger of Doom for alerting me to this short film about an absent minded Sydney bike courier…”Short confessions of an absent minded messenger”

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Muppet of the month

Cab and bike written off

Cab and messenger bike written off in Sydney

If Bill accepts entries that are not from London, I think I’ve spotted a candidate for Moving Target Zine’s semi-regular Muppet of the Month.  M’lud, may I present the evidence for the prosecution via this Youtube video…

Flash, a courier in Sydney was thankfully not harmed when a taxi pulled a u-turn, got wiped out by a bus and totalled Flash’s bike which was locked to a pole.

Hat tip to the Sydney Bicycle Messenger Association site.


“I bent my Wookiee”

I bent my Wookiee

Well, Ralph Wiggum did as you can hear here:

Alternative version

In my case, I broke my Campagnolo C-Record (AKA Record Pista AKA Sherrif’s Star) track hub, on the drive side. I waited for a break in traffic (trackstanding naturellement) and was pulling out of my work onto the main road and I heard a ping which I though was a spoke. So I pulled up on the side of the road…my tyre rubbing on my frame and discovered that Sheldon Brown wasn’t making it up!

Edit – Some equally cromulent points are made by “11.4” about 3/4 of the way through this thread on Bike Forums.

I’ve had them since the end of 2003, so I’ve had good use out of them and the failure wasn’t so catastrophic that it resulted in physical injury and I now will have the pleasure of rectifying the situation (building a new wheel, perhaps) but it still is a bit of a bummer. I also got them for a extremely good price. The bearings also are still as smooth as the first day I got them.

I was on my way to meet some friends and colleagues at the pub, so I called for a lift and commiserated with an Amstel, as you can see below.

Commiserating with an Amstel

Here’s a picture of the pristine and untarnished works of art in happier times…

Campagnolo Record Pista Rear hub
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How to become a better cyclist


Cycling sunset

I may be propagating an apocryphal story here but apparently Eddy Merckx (edit – or perhaps Fausto Coppi) was once asked for his top 3 cycling training tips. His reply:

“Ride your bike, ride your bike, ride your bike”

It’s true. You can read as many cycling magazines as you want, participate in internet fora, read a book on 1,000 tips on becoming a better cyclist,buy expensive clothing or equipment, watch the Tour de France DVD box set until your eyes bleed, and play Pro Cycling Manager on your PC until your mouse finger seizes but in the end it’s a bit like a magazine about internet social networking. None of it is a substitute for MoR/KoR (Miles on Road/Kilometres on Road).

So “suck it up rookie” as my dispatcher used to say. Stop reading this blog and and get out there!

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