Interview with Anton Bennett
(Kell on the left, whose at CWMC, and Anton on the right)
Recently, I got to talk to Anton about riding, QCR, and his plans this year. I'm really proud of him and I can't wait to see what else comes from this guy.
1. What’s your name and where you from?
My name is Anton Bennett, 27, and from Oakland California.
2. When & why did you start riding?
I got my first taste of riding back in 94-95. My best friend at the time and his brother were really into BMX racing in places like Modesto and Stockton. I finally tried it; trophies were 6 feet high and I wanted one. I was never great at it, but the rush stayed with me. Flash forward to my teens where I got into triathlons and similar stuff. Flash forward more to my mid 20’s when my homies intro’d me to fixed gears. It wasn’t love at first ride, but it wasn’t long before I really took to it. After that I couldn’t get enough. It has completely changed my life, and for the better.
3. Who do you work for and for how long?
I’ve worked for others, but I’ve been with King Courier, aka BADASS, in SF for 7-8 months.
4. What’s your daily ride and what’s in your stable?
My daily ride is 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Messenger work is tough, low paying, and dangerous, but I can’t see myself doing anything else. Most days, the average is 35 miles, no less than 25, and up to 50+. You gotta be addicted and a tough bastard to get up everyday and hustle cuz it can be a real mindfuck. But I take enormous pride in my work.
I’ve got 2: My Dolan Pre-Cursa, with purple Profiles, and my Quattro Assi G66 (Thanks, Clary), with a mix of Chorus and Record, Mavic Kysriums, and Thomson. Both rockets, both crushers, and both always leave me smiling.
5. What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen on the job?
A lot of car accidents. Bum fights. Saw a dude getting blown by a hooker on Stevenson recently. Saw Market shut down because a guy was at the edge of a building threatening suicide. And the cab that tried to side swipe me... Also, a seagull attacked me. I’ve forgotten a lot, but there’s plenty of shit daily. One of the reasons I love it.
6. What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to complete a job?
Some of the craziest moments are in extreme weather. Like at 840am with crazy wind and rain, and one on board trying to climb to the 1200 California block with no traction, and no visibility. It gets ridiculous.
7. You recently took 1st in QCR. Tell us a little about that.
First off, big up to my fellow SFBMA folks for putting it together. It takes a lot of hard work to put on an event like this. What an honor to be inked in SF messenger history. I think winning QCR is the last few years of street racing for me coming to a head. I’ve been doing really well right below everyone’s radar, winning or always getting damn close. I couldn’t be more excited to be competing so well. Definitely having a lot of fun kicking ass. But I never let my competitive spirit get in the way of fun, and I’ll be the first to congratulate the folks that put it down hard enough to beat me and the other top guys cuz it gets really fast and seriously risky. I can’t stay away right now and I would expect to see me doing this right for at least a couple years to come. Hopefully it doesn’t stop at QCR 2011 because I’m really motivated. I'm hungry.
8. How’s it feel racing against friends?
Ha. Everyone has their strengths and their good and bad days. Bragging rights is great, but the best part is the support and motivation everyone lends one another to do their best. Leave it all out there on the pavement, ya know? The atmosphere in the crew right now is infectious, and I’m super grateful for my friends support. Now if I could just get some sponsors on board...
9. You have any favorite loops or routes?
Nothing like hauling up and over Oak at 40+mph and bombing into downtown. Get Climbing Grizzly Peak, Oakland hills, surrounding areas on the weekend, and ripping around with roadies on Oakland’s Tuesday night POO ride after a full day in the saddle. Get some.
10. Got a crew?
Ya’ll know what it is. WOB crew! We’ve been doing the street thing for some time, racing a lot, and throwing races. Taking it international too, we’re hard to miss these days. We’ve got a lot of talent and get a lot of love, and some hate, from the local scene. It’s been awesome to inspire this group and others to take it to the next level and to get so involved in the cycling community. Really proud of all my fellow WOBs. We’ve Only Begun!
11. Have any thoughts on traveling out of the Bay Area to race this year?
I’ll be at the NACCS doing my best to rep SF messengers, WOB crew and having a blast. Getting all tingly just thinking about it. Hopefully, LA. I hear their races are sick and their scene is huge.
12. Any last words?
Someone put me on, I’m ready. Shout out to my brother Kell who’s at CMWC in Poland. And to the contingent of SF messengers out there, GET IT. We got some serious hitters I’m stoked for those guys. To my brother EJ, my hella awesome girlfriend Savanna, JB Davis, Jason Clary, Balls, Hustle Jamie, Bay Area Bikes, Warren, Robin Song, James Newman, Ben Palanco aka Flea, Thomas, and the rest of the WOB crew and affiliates. John Reiss and Chris Nguyen for the super dope flicks. And again to you my friend, for giving me the opportunity to do this. Now I’ll leave the talking to the others, I got some riding to do.