A tad earlier than the previous years, the LCEF and London’s Calling present the British and Irish Cycle Courier Championships on the bank holiday weekend from the 22 to the 24th August. Previous events have been popular with couriers and cycling enthusiasts alike and we’re working on a fun weekend with alleycat, parties, karaoke, track racing, roller racing, track standing darts, bike bungee, BBQ and a main race with a new format, a cross between an alleycat and a championship type race, which we hope will challenge our racers.

All info are available on the BICCC website: http://biccc2014.com/

You can register online for the  weekend. Entry payable at the event.  All the proceeds from the BICCC will go to the LCEF. We’re looking forward to see there….

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Here are few of the riders the LCEF has helped so far this year and their stories…

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Richard “Ricardo” Bartrum – Addison Lee

“I was recently injured as a result of a collision with a black cab.  On attending A&E, I was told that I had a fractured clavicle ( this being the third time that I have sustained this injury) & that I shouldn’t get back on my bike for six weeks.

After three weeks off work, I knew that I would soon have no funds in my bank account.

I have been aware of the LCEF pretty much as soon as they formed. Being a veteran London courier, I had noticed various fellow riders wearing caps with the Fund’s logo.
I applied to join the LCEF FaceBook Group only a couple of years ago, it was here that I learned of the extent of their good works. Postings, events, comments, fundraisers; everything our ever-growing community require to sustain solidarity, the evidence was there. At the few events that I have attended the aforementioned qualities are celebrated directly.

I contacted the LCEF. Within a few days, a LCEF volunteer had visited my control room manager to vouchsafe my claim.
The following day I received a payment from the LCEF.
This payment, has enabled me to rest assured that I can recuperate sufficiently & not have to return to work prematurely.
I am also grateful for the moral support that the fund has extended to me during my convalescence.”

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John “Overdrive” O’Driscoll – GoldStar

 “I think I’ve had two or three payouts from the LCEF now.The last one was quite recent after I was knocked off by a passenger getting out of a black cab,he opened the door on me which broke my collar bone.I was given £300 which helped me enormously whilst I took time off work to recover.

It isn’t just the financial aid the LCEF offers to injured bike couriers that’s important but the fact that the sense of companionship that exists among bike couriers has a constructive support system that is borne of the community.
The LCEF supports and sponsors many courier related events throughout the year both here in London and abroad. We are lucky to have it and long may the Fund continue.”

 

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Hugh Cole – Reuters 

 

 

“Most days, i think we are the lucky ones. Not bound to the confines of an office and made to stare blankly at a computer screen in a vague attempt to look busy for 8 or 9 hours before being allowed to go home again. No, i really think we are the lucky ones. We get pay to ride bicycles, what could be better?

Go there, get that, take it there and get that along the way to take somewhere else, all on double rush…… keR-ching!

But some days it can all go horribly wrong as I well found out at the end of January. 
I was stopped at a junction on Bishopsgate, not in much of a hurry because I could see the door of the post room i was heading for, I was caught unaware and t-boned by a taxi. In the brief moment before the impact (the bit that goes slow-motion) I knew I was in for it, and i knew it was going to hurt and so it did.
My thigh took the impact which in turn flipped me onto the bonnet, spewing my bike across the junction and bouncing me back into the road. 
I don’t remember much of what happened next, I remember the policeman asking me to get out of the road because concern for my bike hadn’t taken me as far as the pavement, and I remember the taxi driver apologizing profusely and waving a £20 note from the fare he had had just leave his cab. 
He got his tip, I got a dead leg the size of Nebraska and a broken shoulder. 
That said, and in credit to the cabbie, he drove me home and insisted we stop at Brixton cycles on the way to at least “pay for the wheel” as he so kindly put it. But that didn’t really help me in so far as how I was going to support myself for the next 11 weeks while my arm grew back, so I contacted Steph at the LCEF to see what could be done.
And here is where i owe the biggest thanks of all, to Steph and to the LCEF, because after zero fuss and not much more than a day I was a fair bit richer than I had been on Wednesday. 
The LCEF had come to the rescue, and really helped me out of a tight spot of post xmas just been run-over skintness and helped me keep afloat while I re-gathered my forces, grew a new arm and watched some of the most scintillating day time tv that I didn’t know I had been missing all this time.
So, to the LCEF, all i can say is thank you. I’m really indebted to you for your support.”
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The Sister City Alleycat series is now over and we have raised £300 for CMWC 2014 Mexico. A dozen other cities all over the globe have also participated and the total raised was around $4000 (about £2,300)  so well done to everyone.
Much artwork was produced for those races to promoted them. So we gathered most of these great designs and put them together.
Final Version 1
Posters are on sale for £10 (postage included) and all proceeds will also go to CMWC 2014 Mexico so if you got a wall space that needs brightening up, get in touch: londoncourieremergencyfund@gmail.com.
Talking of Mexico, i will be on my way to Mexico City next Friday with some LCEF merchandise as well as some limited edition t-shirts created especially  for the event by Xander Mac from the House of Pistard.
Tees will be on sale from this Friday, come at the Pakenham Arms, Pakenham St WC1 for a track standing darts special or drop me a line.
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T-shirts will be available in black and dark grey with a gold print.
Sizes S/M/L and ladies fit 
£10 all proceeds to the LCEF.

 

 

 

Come to Look Mum No Hand in London Fields this Saturday to meet Rebecca Reilly, messenger legend and author of Nerves of steel. The evening is organised by Emily Chappell and there will be a raffle with prizes from Swrve, Brooks and the LCEF.

Emily’s interview of Rebecca is here: http://www.movingtargetzine.com/article/rebecca-reilly-nerves-of-steel-heart-of-gold

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The Sister City Alleycat series put on to raise funds for the 2014 Cycle Messenger World Championships in Mexico has been going on for a few months now. Every city that joined was paired with a sister city that was chosen by the organisers in DF . Each city send their sister city a work jersey and a mess t-shirt (or something similar).  Cities do the race on the same day, work together on ideas, share themes, race formats and photo. On this occasion, London and Zurich in Switzerland have been teamed up. 

Both cities will be racing simultaneously.
We’ll have Swiss themed checkpoints and both cities will be swapping local goodies so Swiss chocolates coming this side of the channel and the finest selection of Cadbury bars for our alpine buddies.

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House of Pistard will be printing some limited edition t-shirts for this alleycat…artwork by Chris Bock in Zurich…entry  will be £5,  £12 with the tee or £10 just the t-shirt.

Get in touch at: londoncourieremergencyfund@gmail.com if you would like one.

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The London courier community has lost one of his brother. Young Josh has ridden off and left us all quite shaken. All my thoughts are going to his family and friends. I’ll remember him with a big smile on his face, his lips all swollen after crashing at the last London’s Calling, raising his pint to good times with the mess family.

Rest In Peace Josh…

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Some words from Clarence:

“I was first aware of Josh by noticing the BDP tattoo behind his right leg and his in your face way of riding before I got to spend much time with him. If anything that Boogie Down Productions tattoo was nothing but a glimpse into one of the most energetic and straight talking courier I had ever met. 
From talking to other people who knew Josh and reading the comments left on various forums I have been left with a much greater sense of loss. The comments have been testament to his approach to life and has been helpful in coming to terms with his passing. Many have been reflecting on his young age but his experiences from these various anecdotes appear to show a life lived to the full. 
On the road Josh will be missed. For most of the couriers the road is what keeps us together. Even though Josh was now on a path to pursue other things he will always be a courier. His love and knowledge of all things bikes was extraordinary as were his bar-spins. 
With the help of James, a fellow courier, this piece is our way of celebrating his life.”

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Josh’s funeral will be held on Friday 21 February at 2.30pm at St Mary’s Church, Church Lane, Walberton, Arundel BN18 0UD.
 The nearest train station is Barnham (from Victoria) 2 miles away. The number for Barnham Station Taxis is 01243 551 753.
And of course, times like these makes us miss our departed friends even more. Those riders who were part of our community and left us too soon. On the 23rd February, it will be 10 years that Sebastian Lukomski passed away. I think of him every time i go past that spot on Southwark Bridge…never forgotten.
 
 

If you wonder how it all happened behind the scene during one of the shoot for the new courier calendar, check Ben’s link here:

http://twelvepictures.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/the-naked-courier-calendar-shoot.html

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Calendars are on sale online here: http://houseofpistard.bigcartel.com/

Also available at Full City on Leather lane EC1 and London Green Cycles, Chester Court, Albany st, NW1.

Or get in touch at: londoncourieremergencyfund@gmail.com

That’s right, the new courier calendar 2014 is here. This edition is UK only so all your favourite couriers from London, Glasgow and Edinburgh in the buff. Eleven photographers and Richie Andrew, our graphic designer, have combined their talents to bring you the 4th LCEF calendar…all the proceeds from the sale of these calendars will go to the LCEF and the BMEF (Bicycle Messenger Emergency Fund). So if you’re looking for that special Xmas pressie, look no further.

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The calendars are on sale online for £10 @ http://houseofpistard.bigcartel.com/, we deliver locally and ship internationally. You can also get a copy on the Bagaboo website: http://www.bagaboo.hu/

They will  be available at Full City,72 Leather Lane EC1 and at London Green Cycles, 4 Chester Court, Albany St NW1.

Or get in touch at londoncourieremergencyfund@gmail.com

You can also come along to the Bullseye LCEF Xmas party this Friday, a super bash to celebrate the winter holidays, and grab a copy.

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We will also present you the new LCEF 5th anniversary limited edition t-shirt courtesy of Xander Mac of the House of Pistard. Baker extraordinaire, Julia and myself will get our aprons on and provide sweet delights on the night so come and help us blow our candles.

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In other news, we’re starting to look into the new year and all the exciting events coming up. We’re only a few months away from the CMWC 2014 (Cycle Messenger World Championships) to be held in Mexico City. We will be sure to get our ticket , catch up with the worldwide messenger community , ride in the Mexican sunshine and raise more funds for the LCEF.

More info @ http://mexicocmwc.com/

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We will also be on our way to Scandinavia a few weeks later for the ECMC 2014 (European Cycle Messenger Championships) in Stochkolm the 1st weekend of July and the Viking Quest pre-event in Copenhagen.

London will be hosting our biggest fundraiser in September. London’s Calling will present the British and Irish Cycle Courier Championships..more info to come soon.

In the meantime, i will be celebrating the New Year in Duisburg, Germany where the XxX Yeahs of Mess will take place from the 28th December for an awesome week of winter messenger games, take a look at the program @ http://xxxshit.wordpress.com/

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Special mention also to the Bike Syndikat 15th Anniversary weekend we attended a few weeks ago. Our friends over in Cologne threw a great weekend of races and parties to celebrate the 15 years of the Bike Syndikat, a courier/bike shop co-op.

Check out Spoke Magazine @http://spokemag.de/news/bike-syndikat-15th-anniversary

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To all of you who have supported us , made donations, help out at our events and to all the good people i have met through the year, i wish you a happy holiday season and a happy New Year..

See you  on the road..

The last few weeks have been busy, busy..riding, travelling, partying and raising some serious funds for the LCEF.

While in Lausanne for the Cyling Messenger World Championships, we held a LCEF stand that was very popular with messengers and locals alike and raise nearly £3000 in a couple of days selling the LCEF merchandise. Looking trough the pictures from the event, it seems every second rider is wearing one of our cap so thanx again to the global courier community for supporting us and an amazing time.

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While there, i bumped into Lukas, one of the organisers of the European Cycle Messengers Championships in Bern. Back in April, as part of the world courier calendar sponsorship, we sent £800 from the sale of the calendars to them to help with the organisation of the ECMC. He told me the event had been a success and made a healthy profit so they decided that they wanted to return the favour and made a generous donation of £1200 to the LCEF.

Back in London, we got on with the organisation of the 6th edition of London’s Calling, a 3 days event of races, cycling events and parties that bring the London courier community together and is one of our main fundraising weekend. Over 100 riders registered and we made a profit of over £2000..thanx to all of you who came and took part and contributed to making the event a success…all results, pictures etc here: http://www.londonscalling2013.org.uk/

Another sweet touch to this weekend was the £900 cheque that was handed to me by Brenda from the Hackney branch of the London Cycling Campaign. The money was raised during the night ride from London to Dunwich back in July. More info about the ride and its origin here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunwich_Dynamo. They also have a Facebook group if you would like to join or are interested in other local rides.

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Last but not least, i have received an email from Bo’s mum, Kathie last week. She’s impressed with the work we do so she’s making a monthly donation. As much as we appreciate larger donations, we are also touched by individuals who dig deep in their pockets and support us on a regular basis.

The continuous support from the cycling community is keeping us going and giving us the enthusiasm to organize more events. Our goal now is to spread the word within the London courier community. We would like every new cycle couriers in this city to know that we exist and that we can bring support and financial help when they need it the most so tell everyone you know who rides a bike for a living about the LCEF.

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