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Cycle messengeringing

willhubwillhub Posts: 821
edited June 2012 in The bottom bracket
Someone was saying that it's apparently competitive?

I was talking to a courier today and I was surprised to hear it can be like 70 quid a day before tax, and if so, I'd certainly be interested.

I wonder if I could be a cycle messenger on my geared carbon road bike in my cycling kit?
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Posts

  • Cleat EastwoodCleat Eastwood Posts: 7,508
    sign on.
    The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns
    momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.
  • willhubwillhub Posts: 821
    sign on.

    for 50 quid a week
  • sungodsungod Posts: 15,235
    in london, the messengers are usually on grungey fixed/ss with flat bars and big tyres

    simple, upright for visibility, pothole resistant, already so beat up that being chained/unchained all day won't make a difference, and they're less attractive to the swarms of pikey bike thieves

    baggy shorts obligatory
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • snoopsmydoggsnoopsmydogg Posts: 1,110
    could be a good way earn a wage and ride at the same time but you may be better off with an old runaround and keep the carbon for best.

    A nice bike delivering around the city will probably attract unwanted attention and may not be there when you come out.
  • willhubwillhub Posts: 821
    I've got a crappy commuter road bike with panniers, but baggy shorts?? Horrible.
  • andy46andy46 Posts: 1,666
    Sounds like a good way to earn some money

    What happened to that bike messenger film that was advertised a while back?
    2019 Ribble CGR SL

    2015 Specialized Roubaix Sport sl4

    2014 Specialized Allez Sport
  • raymondo60raymondo60 Posts: 735
    I'm a Director of a well-known London Courier Company - I've been in the courier biz for 30 years. Being a Cycle Courier is one of the hardest, most dangerous, most unappreciated jobs you could imagine. Along with Motorcycle courier. How many occupations can you think of where you genuinely risk your life every single moment? Think about it. If I had my way all cycle couriers would be paid £100k a year - unfortunately our industry as whole doesn't agree and treats them like sh*t, even though they are a vital part of keeping modern commerce going. Sad but true. Ask the family of Henry Warwick, the most recent courier to be killed while delivering a package that he was probably paid about 2 quid for delivering. Sorry but you should know the reality of it before you make any decisions. Good luck.
    Raymondo

    "Let's just all be really careful out there folks!"
  • willhubwillhub Posts: 821
    well the guy who I was talking to rekoned 70 quid a day before tax and about 20 miles a day, I'd expect it'd probs be more than 20 miles a day.

    But how is it more dangerous than riding normally? I ride through Manchester nearly every day, in rush hour, doing 20+mph down Oxford Rd and through the curry mile, why am I risking my life more than riding my bike normally? Especially on a normal bike that has breaks?

    Is it the red light jumping?
  • Cleat EastwoodCleat Eastwood Posts: 7,508
    ah it thought you said 70 squid a week. Couldnt you get a job as a courier in moss side...you'd be on a grand a day, hehe.
    The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns
    momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.
  • alihisgreatalihisgreat Posts: 3,872
    For £70 a day it must be very competitive... If anyone knows a company in Oxford :wink:
  • EKIMIKEEKIMIKE Posts: 2,232
    A very good friend of mine couriered in London for two years. I think it was sort of 2006/07 kind of time.

    He really enjoyed it but it's hardly glamorous (not that you were suggesting it was). It's mainly a winter occupation as that's when business thrives. In the summer everyone goes on holiday in the corporate world so business dies down. He said you can have good days where you make decent money, other where you make barely anything. It's lottery so you will have weeks where you can only afford beans and bread for dinner.

    It is risky. The better you are the more work and jobs you get. He said the best guys are poor dudes from eastern europe who fankly don't care for their or anyone else's safety. It's definitely sounds like an adventure.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    And I'd assume you'd have to do it in London. Can't really imagine there is much of a market for cycle couriering outside the capital. And that means usually huge costs of living.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • EKIMIKEEKIMIKE Posts: 2,232
    Yeh he'll have to move to London but you don't have to have huge living costs just because you live in London. You just won't have a conventional lifestyle.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Remember Ray Eden - he started off as a courier - and he was a phenomenal rider.

    http://www.muppetleague.co.uk/
  • mididoctorsmididoctors Posts: 12,934
    edited June 2012
    dont believe the hype

    £70 a day is censored money considering the hours/aggro and that cycle couriers were earning that or more 25yrs ago... there is more money in winter for various reasons, one being there are less couriers on circuit hence more work for those willing to work in cold rain.... as for milage...it varies a lot but the hours spent in wet clothes can be very draining... 10 hours in wet gear soaked throu? you arrive on circuit at 8.30am aand it pours down with rain...in winter...you get the idea

    the amount you earn is based on 2 factors

    1) knowledge; knowledge is speed. Being a fast cyclist counts for nothing if you dont know the post rooms/short cuts i]and not just the route short cuts but knowledge that saves you getting a signature or knowing which jobs are going to get chased[/i knowledge can take yrs to acquire


    2) Being fed...being fed is a term used for riders that have a good relationship with the controllers and as a consequence are "fed" large numbers of easy jobs.If your face doesn't fit you may never get fed.

    back in the day [early 90s] I was earning up to £180 a day averaging £90, I worked the winters then raced in france in the summer

    dispatch destroys bikes...cheap shimano/single speeds on alloy frames is the way to go

    Ray Eden was a monster but he rode on circuit like a old women on a shopping bike....real slow, used it as very very gentle recovery
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • mididoctorsmididoctors Posts: 12,934
    edited June 2012
    the spending power of cycle couriers in London has degraded substantially

    in 1990 a courier earning £70 a day would take less than 1&1/2 days on the road to pay 1 months rent in my house

    A 2012 courier earning £70 a day would take 4&1/2 days to pay 1 months rent in my house [which I should add is very cheap these days]
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • AggieboyAggieboy Posts: 3,996
    willhub wrote:
    well the guy who I was talking to rekoned 70 quid a day before tax and about 20 miles a day, I'd expect it'd probs be more than 20 miles a day.

    But how is it more dangerous than riding normally? I ride through Manchester nearly every day, in rush hour, doing 20+mph down Oxford Rd and through the curry mile, why am I risking my life more than riding my bike normally? Especially on a normal bike that has breaks?

    Is it the red light jumping?

    The more hours you ride, the greater the chance of an accident. Think of it like you and girls Will - the more you take out, the greater the chance of you losing your virginity.
    "There's a shortage of perfect breasts in this world, t'would be a pity to damage yours."
  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    willhub wrote:
    well the guy who I was talking to rekoned 70 quid a day before tax and about 20 miles a day, I'd expect it'd probs be more than 20 miles a day.

    But how is it more dangerous than riding normally? I ride through Manchester nearly every day, in rush hour, doing 20+mph down Oxford Rd and through the curry mile, why am I risking my life more than riding my bike normally? Especially on a normal bike that has breaks?

    Is it the red light jumping?
    70 quid a day? Maybe for someone who's been at it for a while. As a beginner you'd be lucky to make £200 a week. You'll probably have to pay a percentage of that just to do the job (hire of uniform, PDA / radio, bag). Do do a mere 20 miles over eight hours (assuming that doesn't include walking up and down stairs etc) you'd have to be doing very little riding and a lot of sitting on your censored . For which I wouldn't expect to be paid £70.
    CAPTAIN BUCKFAST'S CYCLING TIPS - GUARANTEED TO WORK! 1 OUT OF 10 RACING CYCLISTS AGREE!
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 9,674
    Herbsman wrote:
    willhub wrote:
    well the guy who I was talking to rekoned 70 quid a day before tax and about 20 miles a day, I'd expect it'd probs be more than 20 miles a day.

    But how is it more dangerous than riding normally? I ride through Manchester nearly every day, in rush hour, doing 20+mph down Oxford Rd and through the curry mile, why am I risking my life more than riding my bike normally? Especially on a normal bike that has breaks?

    Is it the red light jumping?
    70 quid a day? Maybe for someone who's been at it for a while. As a beginner you'd be lucky to make £200 a week. You'll probably have to pay a percentage of that just to do the job (hire of uniform, PDA / radio, bag). Do do a mere 20 miles over eight hours (assuming that doesn't include walking up and down stairs etc) you'd have to be doing very little riding and a lot of sitting on your ars*. For which I wouldn't expect to be paid £70.

    Uniform?
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
    Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
  • pinnopinno Posts: 47,744
    willhub - have you got a driving license? you can always get a job with a driving agency.

    Driver Hire
    (0161) 683 4333

    Fax: (0161) 683 8888
    476 Broadway, Oldham, OL9 9NS

    Sorry mate, don't get squashed under a truck.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • pinnopinno Posts: 47,744
    And in Manchester, you got to watch out for bloody great potholes:

    sinkhole-jpg_153702.jpg
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    Ben6899 wrote:
    Herbsman wrote:
    willhub wrote:
    well the guy who I was talking to rekoned 70 quid a day before tax and about 20 miles a day, I'd expect it'd probs be more than 20 miles a day.

    But how is it more dangerous than riding normally? I ride through Manchester nearly every day, in rush hour, doing 20+mph down Oxford Rd and through the curry mile, why am I risking my life more than riding my bike normally? Especially on a normal bike that has breaks?

    Is it the red light jumping?
    70 quid a day? Maybe for someone who's been at it for a while. As a beginner you'd be lucky to make £200 a week. You'll probably have to pay a percentage of that just to do the job (hire of uniform, PDA / radio, bag). Do do a mere 20 miles over eight hours (assuming that doesn't include walking up and down stairs etc) you'd have to be doing very little riding and a lot of sitting on your ars*. For which I wouldn't expect to be paid £70.

    Uniform?

    Yes, uniform. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniform
    CAPTAIN BUCKFAST'S CYCLING TIPS - GUARANTEED TO WORK! 1 OUT OF 10 RACING CYCLISTS AGREE!
  • disgruntledgoatdisgruntledgoat Posts: 8,957
    It's like gazing to the future...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sF6Lnxl8ZA
    "In many ways, my story was that of a raging, Christ-like figure who hauled himself off the cross, looked up at the Romans with blood in his eyes and said 'My turn, sock cookers'"

    @gietvangent
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 9,674
    Herbsman wrote:

    I know what a uniform is. But I can assure you, round these here parts at least, that cycle couriers don't wear them.
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
    Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
  • mididoctorsmididoctors Posts: 12,934
    Ben6899 wrote:
    Herbsman wrote:

    I know what a uniform is. But I can assure you, round these here parts at least, that cycle couriers don't wear them.

    metro photographic used to have a pretty strict uniform code...
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • mididoctorsmididoctors Posts: 12,934
    It's like gazing to the future...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sF6Lnxl8ZA

    tyres...nick smiley used to be a real courier working for Poste Haste but never wore the baggy shorts.

    Baggy shorts came to London post 1994 after the CMWC94 held in the docklands... it was a transplanted fashion from toronto
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 9,674
    metro photographic used to have a pretty strict uniform code...

    Really? They must be a one off, then?

    The only item, I generally see as 'uniform' among the cycle-courier fraternity, is a pair of black SPD Sidis. :) Everything else seems to vary wildly: baggies/tights, jacket/t-shirt, cap/helmet...
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
    Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
  • mididoctorsmididoctors Posts: 12,934
    Ben6899 wrote:
    metro photographic used to have a pretty strict uniform code...

    Really?

    no I just made that up to make myself seem more interesting

    yes really

    :lol:
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 9,674
    Ben6899 wrote:
    metro photographic used to have a pretty strict uniform code...

    Really?

    no I just made that up to make myself seem more interesting
    yes really

    :lol:

    Well that happens a lot in here! :D
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
    Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
  • davieseedaviesee Posts: 6,386
    Rolf F wrote:
    And I'd assume you'd have to do it in London. Can't really imagine there is much of a market for cycle couriering outside the capital. And that means usually huge costs of living.
    You would be assuming wrong - http://www.google.co.uk/#hl=en&gs_nf=1& ... 0&bih=1016

    I hear that there are actually businesses in Leeds too. :wink:
    None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.
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