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Talkin’ Bout Courier City

Hidousewhitenoise #22, Spring 1995

If you have been a courier for any time, you know what fun it is riding a bike in traffic congested city streets. People are always walking out into the stream, taxis cut you off and regular traffic does the stupidest things. So, if you were a courier, what would be the perfect city to ride in?

It would probably resemble the mini-city being assembled for the Cycle Messenger World Championships. A small compact city, with no hills, several different types of terrain, and a thriving business community that turns out unlimited packages. The course has been designed as what is best described as Nirvana for messengers.

Any true messenger knows when and how to have fun. Fun is what brings us together and fun is often what makes us stop work when we shouldn't. Most of the routes in our city pass through sections of other people having a good time, weaving in out of shoppers around patios and through coffee shops.   The hardest job during the race will be messengers remembering the race and not wanting to stop and partake of the festivities.

Each heat will consist of a courier's day compacted into one hour heats.   At the beginning of the day (start) each racer has five packages, these are worth next to nothing in points and must simply deliver these packages to get two more packages. Package A is a rush due a half hour later and B is either a DIRECT or SUPER and must be delivered in five or ten minutes. With the delivery of any gold package two packages will be issued. Packages will be distributed at random until fifteen minutes before the end of the race. Any rushes with time left on do not have to be delivered.   The top five moneymakers from each heat will advance to the finals, as will the racers who complete the most deliveries.   This should eliminate luck from the equation.  The premise of the race will be the same for both the preliminary heats and finals except the heats on Saturday will last one hour, while the final race held on Sunday will last for three hours.

As can be seen from the map, traffic routing is a nightmare. To be able to deliver a package to certain parts of the city sometimes you might have to double back twice as far. Well, why not just go the wrong way on a one way, it happens all the time. Well, there will be police and they will be stationed at points were they will catch the
most lawbreakers. Instead of receiving tickets though, the offenders will simply be forced to turn around and take the long way. Any concerns that Toronto couriers will have an unfair advantage has been taken care of. Though the streets that are being raced on are used every day by T.O. couriers, the racecourse runs through areas that couriers never even use or see. We are opening several fences and other inaccessible routes to provide new routes. The addresses on the course will not be the same that couriers from Toronto are used to. Addresses, i.e., checkpoints will be designated with different sponsor Logos. This way English will not be necessary to do well in the races.

The   main   race   will   not   be   the   only competitions happening over the weekend.   As in London there will be competitions other than the championship race. The Sprint race will be held on the long straight section in the middle of the course. The first round will be held on Sunday before the finals take place. With ten competitors in each heat the races will begin from a standing start and consist of 200 to 300 meters of flat out racing. The top two finisher's from each race will advance to the next round. The final two rounds will be run after the finals.

The trials course will be designed by two Toronto messengers and will take place on Saturday with the final rounds taking place in the evening. This area will also be used for other competitions such as high jump and long jump competitions.

The Cargo bike races will be one of the highlights of the competition. A local business, Upper Canada Breweries is on site and runs a beer store that is open Sundays. This is the only place to buy beer in all of downtown Toronto on a Sunday (don't laugh). Since no one will be able to get to the store by car we will take orders and money at one of the road closure points and then go the beer store pick the beer up and deliver it back to the customer. Racers will also carry a full keg of beer at all times just to make life more miserable.

Teams will consist of five members each. Competitors who arrive in Toronto without a team will have the opportunity to form teams with messengers from other cities or can race alone. Individual prizes will be equal for both men's and women's competitions. Any team that is primarily made up of women will be given a handicap system for team points. Since races require more than simple athletic ability the handicapping formulas could be very advantageous for woman teams.

There will also be bars scattered throughout the city where courier bands and other entertainers will be playing for our enjoyment. Cool stores, Cafes and companies will be positioned around the racecourse.

So instead of taking your vacation in some crap hole of a big city, come to the smallest city in the world, perhaps the Vatican is smaller but who would go there. Courier city will be open Friday Aug. 11th so come one come all and race for the glory of the World's fastest courier.


Unfortunately racers from outside the country will not be covered by our Medicare system. This is not to say that if you get injured they will leave you on the side of the street, but you will have to pay for medical treatment. It is imperative that you get travel insurance before coming to Toronto or obtain insurance in Toronto.

While there is no Helmet law in Ontario yet it will BE mandatory to wear Helmets while racing, so please bring a cycling Helmet with you. Sorry but that be the rule. In October Helmets become Mandatory for all Cyclists in Ontario.

Like all small cities, this city has a cultural zone such as museums and gallery spaces.


Send comments or suggestions, to: mima@messmedia.org

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