The Deliverers

It’s hard to take good, long looks at bike messengers — at their August tans, high-wire tattoos, seven-block stares, and muscle groups — when they ride like the street is exploding. Beryl Fine not only got a bunch to ease up, but to stand down, and still, in front of a camera, for portraiture. Coming on the heels of her well-received bike messenger calendar, the S.F.–based photographer’s new, completely charming book, San Francisco Bicycle Messenger, features images of 24 local couriers and a cover by local artist Mike Giant. But shorn of the need to ride roughshod over you and your meager commute across town — and thanks to Fine’s talent —- the messengers reveal a new side: not so rough, not so tumble. They look kinda — and we apologize in advance for writing this (we don’t really mean it at all, actually) — soft. Maybe a little tender. Vulnerable. Rain-scented. Cuddly. Stopping now! The San Francisco Bicycle Messenger book release party and photography show includes music by DJ Centipede, LL Cool DJ, and Citizen Ten.
Fri., May 1, 7 p.m., 2009

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