Bicycle couriers have been around almost since the bicycle. In recent years, they’ve become more interested in, and proud of, the incredible physical effort of being a bike messenger. A number of bike messenger tournaments have sprung up. The NACCC, the North American Cycle Courier Championships, is a major international event for cycle couriers of all kinds, not just racers. The NACCC is also one of the largest annual gatherings of the courier community. Cycle Messenger Championships are world class sporting events, but they are also a festival celebrating messenger culture. The related events, shows, parties and vendor markets showcase the artistic, photographic, musical and literary talents of the world’s hardest working professional athletes.
The NACCC is just one of many such events, including the Cycle Messenger World Championships, Global Gutz, and regional events such as the San Francisco Alley Cat Challenge, and the Great Harlem Bike Messengers Race.
An account of the NACCC race when it took place in New York City says, in part:
The 13th annual Cycle Messenger World Championships were held earlier this summer in the New York City boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, as well as Jersey City, N.J., which sits just on the other side of the Holland Tunnel from Manhattan. The five-day rally began Thursday, June 30, and lasted through Monday, July 4, with the main races getting underway the same day as the Tour de France and the whole thing winding down with an Independence Day barbecue. Organizer and New York courier Kevin “Squid” Bolger describes the event as “20 percent race, 20 percent family reunion, 60 percent party.”
The NACCC has been held in New York, Atlanta, and Austin, among other cities. The race simulates work conditions for messengers. Competitors are given a list of stops to make, and must determine their route—one that best enables them to finish by the deadline.