European Cycle Messenger Championship 2015
From one championship to the next – the ECMC (European Cycle Messenger Championship) and the journey to get there involves a shared enthusiasm for cycling and taking to the road with like-minded people. The pre-event for this year’s ECMC took place in Basel. A weekend filled with two-wheel fun and a group ride from Basel to Zurich, then on to the Gotthard tunnel and the Ghisallo overpass to Milan. It was a wonderful trip, full of spectacular landscapes and an excellent warm-up for the main event – the 20th European Cycle Messenger Championships in Milan.
The 400 bicycle messengers descended on Milan from all corners of Europe to crown the fastest on the beat. Although it was not really about finding out who was the quickest, but rather an opportunity for everyone to get together and celebrate our mutual passion for messenger cycling. Our time in Milan was jam-packed with small and large events, as well as alleycat races and parties.
The ECMC Schedule
The 20th ECMC opened with a Goldsprint once many messengers had gathered in Milan. Some of them came directly from their own cities, while others came in group rides with large and small groups.
On the second day, there was a group ride through Milan, while the opportunity to get to know the city streets a little better presented itself that evening with an alleycat. This ended at the Vigorelli Velodrome, where there was a party.
Qualification for the main race took place on the third day. There was a slight delay, and the procedure seemed a little unclear to some participants.
A four-page rule book was provided in advance, which stated that the qualification would last for 90 minutes. Due to the chaotic start to the event and unclear organisation of the races this probably was caught up. . The goal was to take care of orders in five blocks. The messengers had 90 minutes time, and if they were unable to complete the task in this time, they had to submit the incomplete manifesto (task sheet). These misunderstandings and sources of difficulty were not all on the part of the cyclists, but also based on the information provided by the organisation.
Some cyclists were extremely frustrated, while others were happy to qualify. In the evening, there was another alleycat, as well as track stand events and such like, along with the Open Forum to decide where ECMC 2016 would take place. The options to choose from were Copenhagen and Vienna.
The cargo race and dispatcher alleycat were held on the last day, although the dispatcher alleycat was soon abandoned due to technical problems. The main race with 60 male and 20 female messengers was about two hours late getting started. Most people were relieved when it finally got underway. The waiting was finally over.
First, four manifestos had to be completed, and then the number of finalists was reduced. The fastest male messengers had to complete seven manifestos, the female messengers had to take care of six.
The Winners at the European Cycle Messenger Championship 2015
The leading trio all came home at around the same time. In the men’s event, Austin Horse from the USA came home first, although he could not be crowned European champion. Giovanni from Freiburg was therefore awarded the victory. In the women’s event, Clara (Orca) from Austria came first. Due to some confusion at the finish line, Giovanni and myself (Orca) initially did not know that we were the new European champions. Our joy when we realised the situation was even greater as a result. Many congratulations to Giovanni and to all the others who took part and made this event possible.
Clara Felis is bike messenger, bookseller and slam-poetess. Since 2012 she is sometime more, sometimes less as a bike messenger in Vienna on the roat and her nickname is Orca. She loves travelling and thinks outside the box. Currently she is on the streets of Vienna again.
Image © Stefano Bruni & © ECMC 2015