Last weekend marked our first DBike business trip – to the twentieth edition of the European Cycle Messenger Championships in Milan.
The ECMC is a yearly event celebrating the passion and enthusiasm of thousands of bicycle couriers around Europe. And what a lot of passion and enthusiasm there was in Milan last weekend!
With a strong presence from Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Germany, we met representatives from most European countries during the 4-day event – and were surprised to find some people had even travelled from as far away as New York and Seattle to be a part of it. In fact we were almost disappointed that more bikers had made it from the States than had made it the short distance from Munich… (not counting the DBike team :)).
If you’re a newbee on the bike messenger scene, you’ll want to have the ECMC marked in your calendar as a must-do. From the moment you arrive for registration – and latest after your first beer with a random bike messenger from Latvia – you will understand: this isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle, a philosophy. And no matter where you are from, you are now part of a big new family.
The event kicked off with a trip to the Ghisallo Museum at Madonna del Ghisallo This famous hill close to Lake Como is nowadays a shrine where you can visit a small cycling museum and see an eternal flame burning for cyclists who have died. Back in town it was time to party, with the official ECMC opening accompanied by an exhibition covering the previous editions of the ECMC championship.
With the full-packed agenda, the days must have passed by in a blur for most of the participants: alleycats, qualifications, main race, dispatcher race, cargo race, skid & sprint competition… not to mention the parties and the non-official party competitions. Not sure whether naked trackstanding will make it as an Olympic sport though… 😉
Other than getting to know new people from the scene from all around Europe, one of the highlights of the weekend was an evening event at the historic Vigorelli Velodrome. Opened in 1935, the velodrome with its Futurist architecture has seen many record breaking races throughout its time but sadly hasn’t seen any two-wheeled action now since 1999. Thanks though to a group of local enthusiasts, the velodrome should be back in action ready for its 80th anniversary after a recent agreement to save the historic track.
The stamina of the participants at the ECMC is really unbelievable – we didn’t even participate in all of the events and were exhausted climbing back into the car to drive home at the end of it. Congratulations again to all the winners and we look forward to seeing you all again latest at the ECMC 2016 in Copenhagen!
Check out here some of our photos from the event (partially edited for reasons attributed to the aforementioned non-official competitions 😉 ).