Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Is Jessica Alba the Bike Messenger "Eve"?

As we are all keenly aware, urban areas are awash in a bike messenger craze. Some are actually professional messengers, but most people just want to look like they are one. While many debate the pros and cons of the huge boom in popularity, I feel it is a good thing as it has resulted in more people on bikes. A small change, but still a good change. One topic that continues to surface is "how did this all start?" That is, what was the messenger "tipping point".

Lots of people state that this is a long due delay to Kevin Bacon's movie "Quicksilver". As all things lead back to Mr. Bacon, it is quite possible, though unlikely. The trouble is the date of the movie, 1986. The kids riding fixies were likely just starting kindergarten then, so it is tough to say that this started it. So who might be their contemporary? Who is a recent role model? I have a hunch that it was Jessica Alba.

In 2000 Fox released the popular "Dark Angel" television series starring a very young and not quite yet superstar Jessica Alba. She played Max Guevara, an escaped Manicore soldier on the run from her former government trainers. Max survives in Seattle and makes her living as a Cannondale riding bike messenger for Jam Pony. Here she is with her television buddy Original Cindy. Check out Jessica's front wheel and compare it to the current craze for Aerospoke front wheels. Coincidence, I think not. The show was short lived, but its popularity lives on. This was the show that the current messenger crowd was watching in college, or possibly while still living off their parents at home. She is quite the Eve and likely started it all.

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