Welcome to Santa Cruz County’s Bicycle Courier Blog

I thought it would be great to have a place where Bike Couriers and Bike Riders could meet and talk, share stories, trade advice, and build an online community. I look forward to reading and writing our Courier stories, news, and comments.

Rick Graves

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Nate King-Clutch Courier, Model and Photographer!

These pics supplied by Nate King-former Clutch Courier who moved back to Salt Lake to pursue a career in professional photography-Best of luck to you Nate we wish you well!-RG

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Model Clutch Courier

Check out the new model Clutch Courier

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Secrets to Longevity #2-Pacing

When I first moved to New York I had no idea what a bike messenger was. The first time I saw one, I guess I was in his way as he flipped his chain around his waist and took off down the avenue in a puff of disgust. I thought "what an asshole, whats he in such a hurry for?"
As a couple of years went by and I saw more professional messengers I realized that these guys were working and trying to hustle on to the next pickup so I gave em wide berth and sort of was jealous from a distance as I hated my retail job and their gig seemed so much more adventurous and fun.
When I got into my first messenger job at Breakaway, orientation was a trip. The only guy out of about ten in the room that wasn't hired nodded out half way through. It was mostly hum drum stuff about if you lose a package yer fired, if you piss off a customer, yer fired-but one thing stuck out and seemed odd at the time. The owner Ron got real quite and deliberate when he talked about going the "pace of traffic". As he put it if you are on 9th Avenue and the traffic is going 50 miles an hour you need to be doing the same. If traffic is stopped you need to be passing them at 5-10 miles an hour or less-to go faster is to invite death! It seemed ridiculous and I know he was exaggerating to make a point but when you think about it, he's right. To survive you need to go the pace of life at the moment. Every stopped car you pass at 40 miles an hour is a potential immovable object in your path and the faster you go the harder it will hurt when they hit you.
Every situation has an appropriate pace-the secret is finding that sweet spot for the moment you happen to be in. There is a certain pace to hit every green light on Soquel and 9th Avenues-there's also a pace to hit every red. There's a pace for 25 and a pace for 40. It's no mistake that in road bike races and in alleycats the less experienced riders with more to prove are used as fodder at the beginning to egg on the competition and provide cover for the veterans whose endurance takes over towards the end.
One of the beautiful things about this job is that it forces you to be present in your body and determine that perfect mix of urgency and relaxation you need to get the job done right. If you are too self-indulgent and up in your head the mistakes and accidents snowball.
So pace yourself my friends. Life is only a race when it needs to be, and it's better to be late in this world than early to the next.

Much Love-Rick

Friday, October 16, 2009

Happy National Boss Day!

Again, no card!-RG

Boss's Day (also known as Bosses Day or National Boss Day) is a secular holiday celebrated on October 16 in the United States. It has traditionally been a day for employees to thank their boss for being kind and fair throughout the year. The holiday has been the source of some controversy and criticism in the United States, where it is often mocked as a Hallmark Holiday.
[edit] History
Boss at play

Patricia Bays Haroski registered "National Boss's Day" with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 1958. She was working as a secretary for State Farm Insurance Company in Deerfield, Illinois at the time and chose October 16 because she forgot that the birthday of her boss, who was her father, was actually on the 16th. Four years later in 1962, Illinois Governor Otto Kerner backed Haroski's registration and officially proclaimed the day.

National Boss's Day has become an international celebration in recent years and now is observed in countries such as Australia, India and South Africa and very recently Ireland.

Hallmark did not offer a Boss's Day card for sale until 1979. It increased the size of its National Boss Day line by 90 percent in 2007.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

More hating on the fixie fad

Great perspective on the fixie fad @


Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy 10-9 Messenger Appreciation Day!

Happy Messenger Appreciation Day!Should be an international holiday-photo is NYC 1896

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Secrets to Longevity #1:Bicycles

As the workweeks and bike to work weeks fly by I am reminded to share four secrets of longevity-bicycles, pacing, yoga , and love.

Bicycles are fascinating to so many people for different reasons.
For me bicycles are an exquisite means to an end-that incredible feeling of freedom you get that could only be described as flying. I remember the act of learning to balance on a two-wheeler as one of my first significant confrontations of fear, an assertion of independence out there in the world, the realization that I must press forward or fall over.
Many people lose this feeling once they get their drivers license and adult cycling is left to wide array of factions, all with various baggage and class divisions. It's a pity that cycling isn't seen as a more approachable sport or activity by the mainstream. I know of no better bridge between a very adult functionality and the sheer joy of childhood.
Sometimes I feel people are discouraged to pick up a bicycle by how intimidating all the cliques on the road are. When I wear my helmet and ground-scored maui-jim sunglasses I hear comments about how my bike must be worth thousands of dollars(it was $375). When I wear my chrome messenger work-bag I get lumped in with hipsters on fixies even though I have gears and brakes.
The best thing I think all these groups get and hopefully will appeal to more and more people over time, is the conquering of one's fear of vulnerability, the ability to get off your ass and feel great while seeing the world. I swear it's the cure for depression or whatever ails ya.

Of all the modern human inventions the bicycle may bring the most joy of life. So lets enjoy the ride.

Keep the rubber side down-Rick