Media Fantasies and Lies
Boston's Weekly Dig reported Boston's own Adam Ford as the 2005 North
American Cycle Courier Champion (NACCC). It's a nice fantasy but it's a
complete lie. The "top prize" winner and NACCC champion was actaully
Mike Rabdau of San Francisco. Someone owes him an apology.
This is not the first time that Boston media has crowned Adam a
champion. At the 2004 Cycle Messenger World Championships (CMWC), the Boston Globe gave Adam the title of the
fastest messenger in North America after he finished third in the
sprint side event. Apparently he was the first North American rider to
cross the finish in that race.
However the fastest messenger in North America was not crowned at CMWC
in Edmonton, that titled was decided in Montreal at the 2004 NACCC.
An interview with the
bartender extraordinaire and winner of the 2005 North American Cycle
Boston's Weekly Dig, June 8, 2005
By Joe Keohane
On May 29, Adam Ford, a 35-year-old Newton-born and South End-dwelling
bike messenger supreme and Pho Republique/Silvertone barkeep, took the
top prize at the 2005 North American Cycle Courier Championships
(NACCC) in Portland, OR, making him the fastest messenger in North
America. Beyond tending bar, this summer, Adam's cutting back his
couriering hours for the first time in 13 years to free up time to
train for racing season. He spoke to the Dig from his bike, though he
did conscientiously pull out of traffic first to do it.
Any parallels between couriering and working the bar?
Yeah, there are kind of a lot of parallels really, insofar as neither
one of them carries a salary, so how good you are and how hard you work
determines how much money you make. It's usually a lot longer hours
than most people would be willing to work, but there some convenient
upsides to both jobs. They're both a lot of fun. The downside is that
sometimes you have to put up with some of the most soul-destroyingly
stupid ignorant or rude people you'll ever come upon.
Both on the road and at the bar?
Absolutely. Being a courier and a bartender, you're going to meet some
of the best people in the world, but you're going to meet a lot of
dummies along the way.
Clear something up for us: Can bikes and cars can ever peaceably
Oh sure. Absolutely. It has nothing to do with bikes and cars, or
pedestrians. It has to do with the fact that most people in most
situations do the wrong thing. And basically people kind of look for
conflict, because most people out there are pretty unhappy. They'll
generally not avoid the chance to inflict their will on another person.
People just aren't very nice to one another. I almost feel sorry for
On the other hand, though, there's something about riding a bike. You
look at any movie coming out of Hollywood, independent cinema,
something like that-any time you see a bike in a motion picture it's
always a symbol of personal freedom. There's just something about it.
It's just good for soul.
What do you think about pedestrians downtown who seem to spend their
days in mortal terror of bike couriers?
That's kind of funny to me because more people get killed by cars than
bicyclists anyway. There are definitely a lot of people who believe
that, but I don't know what to tell you. A lot of people voted for
George W. Bush. People have difficulty fucking living in this reality,
You walloped some ass at the NACCC this year. How'd you get into the
Strangely enough, the world of bike messengers has many, many
championships. And once you start going to them they pretty much set
your schedule for the year. There's the North American championships
every year, the world championships, European championships, Australian
championships. You're going to meet the best people you're ever going
to meet at those things, believe it or not. I mean, 95 percent of bike
messengers are just as stupid as average people, but there's that 5
percent that are going to be some of the best people you'll ever meet
in your entire life, and it takes events like these to bring them
As far as the competition goes, again, it's like a 95-5 thing, where
most of the kids are no competition, and there's that 5 percent that's
just blazing fast. When it gets down to the finals, you're lining up
against people you've been lining up with for years, and it's hard.
It's really hard.