Article added Thursday, March 29, 2001
"Nerves of Steel"
Bike Messengers in the United States
By Rebecca "Lambchop" Reilly
2000 Spoke and Word Press - Buffalo, New York
A Book Review By Chip Atkins
The book begins with a survey of messengers through the ages covering
the Greek gods, the Pony Express, and the modern bicycle
messenger. Following this is a detailed chapter on the profession and
a chapter on the messenger microcosm. The thick of Spoke & Word's
debut publication is Lambchop's story of her coast-to-coast travels to
record tales of a subculture thriving on society's fringe while
remaining the lifeblood of the conventional modern cityscape. Make no
mistake: Even in the electronic age, the bicycle messenger is an
indispensable part of the business world in keeping documents and
parcels that are too sensitive for e-mail or worldwide delivery
services moving from one side of the city to the other.
Whether you're interested in becoming a bicycle messenger, trying to understand why messengers choose to risk their lives on a daily basis, or understanding why that messenger screamed at you for cutting 'em off in traffic, you should read this book.
To Buy the Book... The Book is available at the official,
Nerves of Steel Web Site or at the Bega Services Online Store
About the Author...
Since then Reilly has made a mission of being the first author in history to chronicle the 100 years of bike messengers and the 2000 years of messengers of other varieties in history. For the past 8 years, she has been a bike messenger to support her cause in the United States's largest cities: Chicago, Houston, Denver, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Boston and New York City.
Over her eight years as a messenger she has also gone on to win various titles and appointments in the International Messenger Community. She has helped organize the Cycle Messenger World Championships twice, once in 1996 in San Francisco and the other in 1998 in Washington, DC. In 1999, she was the second recipient of the esteemed Markus Cooke Award for service to the international messenger community. Aside from competition, Reilly has also played an influential role in the formation of the San Francisco Bicycle Messenger Association, the District of Columbia Bicycle Messenger Association and the New York Bike Messenger Association. Lambchop speaks French, studying since fourth grade, and has taught herself Chinese, (Mandarin and Cantonese), and some German.
Lambchop also enjoys building bikes, smelling the roses, traveling, painting and taking baths with her cat Porkchop.