Occupation: Owner/courier of Cowtown Couriers
Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri
Current neighborhood: Westport
Who or what is your sidekick? My iPhone and coffee
What career would you choose in an alternate reality? Architectural photographer for a design publication would be neat. Ideally, it would involve lots of travel and the opportunity to see different cultures.
What was the last local restaurant you patronized? Y.J.’s Snack Bar
Where do you drink? Buzzard Beach
What’s your favorite charity? The Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City. I’m a big fan of their Bacon-Fest fundraiser.
Favorite place to spend your paycheck: Crick Camera for rolls of Kodak Portra film.
What local phenomenon do you think is overrated? Pub crawls for charity are a really bad idea. They cause more harm than any potential benefit. They just encourage people to get wasted in public “for a good cause.” Ask any bartender how awesome they are.
Where do you like to take out-of-town guests? The Good You at Czar Bar and Westport for drinks.
Finish this sentence: “Other than the Kauffman Center, Kansas City got it right when ...” It started to reinvest in making the urban core a better place to live, work and play.
“Kansas City screwed up when it ... ” Built our sports stadiums so far from downtown. Keeping major attractions like that in the urban core is essential to bringing more dollars where they are better spent.
“Kansas City needs ... ” More transportation options. Driving isn’t always the best or easiest way to get around, especially when everyone wants free parking on every corner. There are plenty of people who would love to sell their car and have extra money, but without adequate mass-transit options, they are stuck.
“People might be surprised to know that I ... ” Hate walking. I’m lazy and want to ride my bike everywhere; it’s just faster.
“On my day off, I like to ... ” Ride bikes with my friends and nerd out on economics and urban studies.
“In five years, I’ll be ... ” Continuing to make Kansas City, Missouri, the most progressive Midwest city for entrepreneurial ventures and becoming a global representative for my hometown through bicycling.
What TV show do you make sure you watch? 30 Rock on Hulu
____ takes up a lot of space in my iTunes: Wu-Tang Clan
What movie do you watch at least once a year? Zoolander
What local tradition do you take part in every year? Pub ’n’ Pedal photo scavenger hunt put on by Ryan Jones.
Celebrity you’d like to ride the Mamba with at Worlds of Fun: Henry Rollins
Favorite person or thing to follow on Twitter: ShitNoOneSays, Alton Brown and #messlife
Person or thing you find really irritating at this moment: Suburbanites who come into the city to take cliché photographs of “urban decay,” only to act clueless and disrespectful to people who actually live down here. Downtown is trying to progress and get a better image, not keep it the same; the same, tired image of a loading dock isn’t doing us any good.
What subscription — print, digital, etc. — do you value most? Urban Velo and Cog magazines
Last book you read: The Rise of the Creative Class by Richard Florida
Favorite day trip: I don’t really have time to get out of the city a lot, but visiting my parents is my go-to day trip when I can manage it.
What is your most embarrassing dating moment? Too many to name. I’m kind of awkward when it comes to dating.
Describe a recent triumph: Making it to the Cycle Messenger World Championships to represent Kansas City, Missouri. I’m the first person from KC to compete at this event, and I want to show the world that Kansas City has bike couriers and that we are pretty good at it, too.
Rudy Gonzalez competes in the Cycle Messenger World Championships in Chicago, August 2—5. Follow his progress on Twitter at #816Courier.