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Bike Messengers, where are you??(13 posts)

Bike Messengers, where are you??Geko
Mar 13, 2001 4:14 AM
Are there many bike messengers in the cities like Detroit or Chicago still? I only see a few. Also, do you guys think that the introduction of fax and e-mail have made messenging obsolete? I feel this would have to be one of the better jobs. Except for the occasional getting hit by a car. Let me know what you guys think.
Messengers abound in ChicagoGadfly
Mar 13, 2001 7:19 AM
I run into them all the time! But seriously, folks. I see these guys riding some pretty nice rigs in all kinds of weather and -- most of them -- exhibit bike handling skills that would put the rest of us to shame, e.g. mid-intersection track stands against traffic, and so on. One thing I've noticed is the increase in fixed gear bikes. You'd think being a bike messenger in Chicago in winter would be hard enough.
During a trip to New York...JBergland
Mar 13, 2001 7:32 AM
... last Fall I got the chance to watch many messengers. I did NOT see many nice rides... a few here and there, but mostly older bikes and some really junky ones. The funny thing was EVERY bike that I saw unattended for more than 10 seconds was chained with at least one chain, sometimes as many as three. And these were CHAINS!!

After watching many messengers go through an intersection I was hanging out at, I can see why many drivers (taxi, truck, etc.) HATE them. 90% of the messengers that I saw in 45 minutes went right through the intersection... didn't matter what color the light was, how much traffic there was, or people walking... went right through!! I was also amazed at what I saw a couple of them do on a bike... some are great riders!!
Big city, big locks.Gadfly
Mar 13, 2001 7:38 AM
Unattended bikes don't stick around very long, even in Chicago. Yesterday I saw a messenger on a Klein Pulse Comp.
But double or triple...JBergland
Mar 13, 2001 7:50 AM
... chaining a Huffy or Murry?? Bikes must be hard to come by in NYC. Many of these bikes also had duct tape all over the down, top, and seat tubes. This was either to protect the finish or hide what kind of bike they were really riding (if it was a 'good' bike).
Sure....sugarloaf
Mar 13, 2001 9:00 AM
Thieves will steal anything if it can be ridden. If they can't get the whole bike, then they'll take the cranks and pedals or anything else if they're worth stealing. I've seen some really 'crappy' beaters better maintained than some high-dollar models I see around NYC.

The kryptonite chain and lock I use are probably worth more than the bike I use for commuting dollars-wise but the bike runs fine and it sure beats mass transit or walking.
fixiesColnagoFE
Mar 13, 2001 11:28 AM
in denver they are almost all fixies. and some have the cowhorn bars dropped so low you wonder how their backs take it all day long.
Fixies in DenverLazy
Mar 13, 2001 12:13 PM
There was an article in The Denver Post on January 30, 1999 about bike messengers (I was gonna paste it here but they want $1.95 for the article from the archive so if you want to read it you're on your own). As I recall, one of the interviewees said that the reason most of them ride fixed wheel bikes was to reduce theft. Apparently bike thieves can't ride a bike without brakes so they end up leaving them sitting on the sidewalk a couple blocks away.
re: Bike Messengers, where are you??ColnagoFE
Mar 13, 2001 11:24 AM
one of the better jobs? maybe when the weather is good, but if you call sliding around in the slush when it's 10 degrees out for ~$10/hr (just guessing here now at how much they make but I can't imagine you get rich from this) and barely being missed by cars and trucks all day long fun then you must be a glutton for punishement. i think one of the better jobs is to have enough money to not have to work and just ride all day...still haven't landed that gig though!
re: Not to mention, no health insuranceMichaelC
Mar 13, 2001 11:47 AM
My brother was a messenger in Seattle. He "only" lost two bikes to run-ins with cars. Fortunately, he never needed that health insurance.

We still have bike messengers in Seattle, by the way.
i used to ride fixy and deliver but then i landed on my headjohn de
Mar 13, 2001 8:55 PM
bike broke all by itself and i now have post head trauma(dizzy, ringing, headaches, poor spelling)..luckily there was no one behind me....i wear a helmet now.
I thought you left 'cause you couldn't live without "view all"?dope
Mar 14, 2001 4:54 AM
hollow threat I guess... or did that crash affect your memory too?
I thought you left 'cause you couldn't live without "view all"?john de
Mar 14, 2001 5:21 PM
ummm...yea i wasnt really going to leave i was just trying to scare the powers above with my threat of leaving..