Quicksilver: The Real Life of Bike Couriers

Meet George. He’s from Leeds, England so he has a super cool accent…well, it is to us plain English speakers.  When I asked him if he loves his job, he gave me a smile. Of course he loves his job. Then I asked him if he’s seen the 80’s movie Quicksilver starring Kevin Bacon, and again it’s a smile and another yes. It’s kind of a cult classic among bike riders, but especially bike couriers.

However, unlike Kevin Bacon’s character, most of these guys aren’t ex-millionaire stockbrokers who decided to take a break and ride bikes for a living. But like the movie, they do this job not to make a whole lot of money, but because they love the thrill of riding and they like the lifestyle…

When I asked him if I could e-mail him the pictures I took, he said he doesn’t have e-mail. I thought that was kind of odd…however, the same day I ran into another fellow bike courier John, and he said the same thing. I’m thinking there’s a pattern here. These guys are living very simplified lives. No cars, no ‘regular’ job, bikes with no gears, no e-mail. Everything is stripped down to bare minimum. I don’t know, but it seems like a romantic concept, like shooting old film cameras, or wearing mechanical watches. It seems less efficient, but they also seem less stressed. George was just sitting there eating his lunch and watching traffic go by…maybe these guys are on to something…

If you haven’t seen Quicksilver, go see it. Watch how Kevin Bacon dismounts his bike using the fixed gear pedal to push him off…

Ride on George! Ride on!!

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