The Rocky Race is Philadelphia’s oldest continuously running alleycat. The first Rocky Race was organized by Dan Murphy in 1997, followed by Rocky II in 1998, again by Murphy. After Rocky II, there was a gap in time till the next Rocky Race was held. Fast forward to 2005, the Philadelphia Bicycle Messenger Association wanted to throw a kick ass pre-event for the Cycle Messenger World Championships (CMWC), held in New York City that year. The Rocky Race was brought out of retirement and has been held every year since as the preeminent Philly messenger event. Racers from all over the east coast and some from across the globe come to attend and participate.

160 people attended this years race with 23 teams of two people racing. One person is the sprinter, the sprinter runs to the top of the Philadelphia Art Museum stairs to get a job ticket, they then race by bike down the Ben Franklin Parkway to Love Park to hand off the job ticket to their teammate, the runner. Their job is go to whatever address is on the job ticket. Once at the destination, they take the package back to Love Park, and hand it off to the sprinter. The packages were as small as a bottle cap, heavy as a red brick, big a FedEx tube, and everything in between. Once all packages are collected the team rides together to Lemon Hill for the finish and after party bar-b-que. This years sprinters rode their bike about 23 miles, plus running up and down the Art Museum steps, while the runner rode about 53 miles collecting packages from various addresses around the city.

Top Ten Teams of this years Rocky Race:

  1. Corey Hillard / Austin Horse
  2. Little Ben / JP
  3. Little Stevie / Drew
  4. Bryan / Chris (First Place out of town team)
  5. Stoked Johnny / Mike the Greek
  6. Lane / Aaron 49
  7. Carl / Gary (Sweathogs Racing Team)
  8. Jordan / Maks (first team from off the continent, London and Sydney)
  9. Dustin / Jenny (first coed team)
  10. Paul / Steve

Over the years Philadelphia Bicycle Messengers have enjoyed this and many other alleycat races, love for the messenger community and fellow messengers has brought many racers back every year.

Unfortunately with all the joy of racing and many packages they have carried, the messenger community have endured the loss of fellow couriers, friends and loved ones. This being the 10th consecutive year of Rocky, they would like to honor those who have fallen.

  • Doris Quinn
  • Adam James
  • Kim Fern
  • Chris Soda
  • Tomas Ross
  • Rogers Simon
  • Trevor Butler
  • Brother Bill Kennedy
  • Evelyn B. Wiener
  • Manuel Eduardo Silvestre
  • Pamela Reeves
  • Julius Reeves Jr.
  • Bernard J. Zeblium III
  • Jordana Swan

Thanks to Kevin Dillard for supplying these photos, more can be seen of this alleycat and others at

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