The Messengers depict some of America's most gutsy professional cyclists — five men who do not ride for fame or corporate sponsorships, but who earn their paychecks by pedal.
Most modern city dwellers are accustomed to sharing the streets with bike messengers. This particular career choice requires skillful bike handling abilities and nerve. What pedestrians and drivers alike perhaps do not see are the skill, control and fearlessness exhibited by these single speed fixed wheel bike riders we know as “messengers”.
Riding such a machine as a “fixer” requires constant pedaling, mental concentration and awareness for the unexpected on the busy and congested city streets. Not to mention the sheer thrill of speed and the freedom they enjoy while using their eyes and legs to avoid potential danger.
As a former bike messenger, professional cyclist and Olympian, this series of photographs expresses my affinity for life and bikes in an urban environment. I wanted to capture the messenger in their everyday surroundings; in and amongst the energy and pulse of the city, the congestion of traffic, pedestrians, tight spaces, the angles in which they take corners, their posture and most importantly the ease and comfort they have in doing so.
In order to achieve this, I photographed the messengers while riding alongside on a bike, facing the same obstacles and environmental pressures as they. Photographing required positioning myself to the left and right of them from one to three feet away with one hand on the handlebars and one on the camera, often no hands on the bars. This left me little time for camera adjustments but allowed a unique perspective to photograph the intense privacy of the messenger and pedestrians as they pass inches from one another on the busy public streets.