The Bicycle Product Supplier Association (BPSA) has honored QBP founder and chairman Steve Flagg with its Lifetime Achievement Award, presented at Interbike in Las Vegas. The annual award is given to one person “whose career has greatly contributed to the advancement or promotion of the bicycle industry.”
The factors considered in the award selection process included span and scope of career, lives touched through the individual’s work, awards and honors received, and more. For this year’s award, the BPSA’s small group of board members unanimously agreed on honoring Flagg. They said, “In light of all that he has done for this industry and the legacy he is leaving at QBP, we couldn’t think of a more deserving person than Steve.”
Flagg started out in the industry over 40 years ago. After founding Minneapolis’ first bicycle co-op, he and wife Mary Henrickson created QBP to help independent bike dealers acquire hard-to-find parts and resolve technical problems. In 1981, QBP had just seven customers. Under Flagg’s stewardship, the company is now the largest distributor of bicycle parts and accessories in the industry.
The messengers showed up in Bushwick, Brooklyn, on Sunday, laying their bicycles flat in the middle of Waterbury Street, then stepping back as someone distributed photocopied manifests, the term used for a list of pickups and deliveries.
At 2:23 p.m., a man shouted “Go!” and they were off, about 70 men and women charging back to their bicycles, grabbing them, then speeding away to start the North American Cycle Courier Championship, a contest designed to test abilities honed over years of messenger runs.
There are about 5,000 bike messengers in New York City, more than any place else in the country, and the city has been the site of countless unsanctioned races, called alley cats, with names like Cranksgiving and Rumble Thru Da Bronx. But this was the first time the continental championship, which dates to 1998, was held in New York.
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