Cycling courier jobs.

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Dave, Jan 26, 2003.

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  1. Dave

    Dave Guest

    Hi, I'd like to work as a cycle courier but have never actually seen any locally. Presumably they
    are used in bigger cities with congestion problems, such as London, but in smaller cities and towns
    ? Any idea how I go about finding out whether they are used locally ?...Is it just a case of
    approaching local courier companies via Yellow Pages or is there another route to it that I'm just
    not aware of ? I'm based at J10 M6, so Wolverhampton / Walsall is local for me. Birmingham would be
    a bit too far out.. Dave.
     
    Tags:


  2. On Tue, 14 Jan 2003 18:23:22 -0000, "Dave" <[email protected]> in
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Birmingham would be a bit too far out..

    Even so, just to get some info, pop into the coffe shop in the Birmingham Waterstones (Pavillions
    Branch). Have a chat with the courier that spends all his non-riding time there. He seems to be
    there more often than not, so I'm not sure how profitable his work is!
    --
    Two fish suddenly swim into a brick wall. Damn! To reply put only the word "richard" before
    the @ sign
     
  3. In news:[email protected], Dave <[email protected]> typed:

    > Hi, I'd like to work as a cycle courier but have never actually seen any locally. Presumably
    > they are used in bigger cities with congestion problems, such as London, but in smaller cities
    > and towns ?

    I think in London there are more media and legal firms where stuff is time-critical to the *hour* or
    *minute* (or those in charge like to *make* it that way to boost their egos) rather than just to
    "morning/afternoon" (which is easily handled by normal couriers or the Royal Mail)

    Incidentally, I'd *really* suggest you look at this site (especially if you have any kids)
    http://www.ahalenia.com/memorial/index.html

    Its depressing reading - but I'd rather warn someone of the dangers of a course of action at the
    start. A lot of the RTCs happen because the courier wages are so low that people have take a few
    risks on the road to make their targets - and the amount of heroin use amongst couriers seems
    worrying too, its almost as if some *need* the stuff to calm down presumably so they don't take out
    aggression from the roads on their friends and partners (bear in mind that on the street *everyone*
    will hate you apart from the other couriers, and this *will* rub off on the way you act).

    Even some of my more hardcore cyclist friends who really have lived on the edge won't become
    couriers because of what it can do to you (and the personal risks)

    Do you *really* want to risk your *life* to deliver parcels for the minimum wage? Frankly if its
    adrenalin rushes and the "thrill of beating the clock" you want I'd take up some kind of cycling
    *sport*; that way *you* are (slightly more) in control rather than your bosses and their fat
    corporate clients.

    Alex (aka Wolfie)
     
  4. On Tue, 14 Jan 2003 18:23:22 +0000, Dave did issue forth:

    > Hi, I'd like to work as a cycle courier but have never actually seen any locally. Presumably they
    > are used in bigger cities with congestion problems, such as London, but in smaller cities and
    > towns ? Any idea how I go about finding out whether they are used locally ?...Is it just a case of
    > approaching local courier companies via Yellow Pages or is there another route to it that I'm just
    > not aware of ? I'm based at J10 M6, so Wolverhampton / Walsall is local for me. Birmingham would
    > be a bit too far out.. Dave.

    If you can get hold of it (it's quite a difficult thing to find) the latest issue of Singletrack
    magazine has an article about cycle couriers which makes for interesting reading.

    They say that probably the best way to get in is by looking through the yellow pages and seeing what
    you can find. Apparently phoning first thing on a wet Monday morning and seeing if people haven't
    turned up is a great way to get your foot in the door.

    --
    Huw Pritchard | Replace bounce with huw | to reply by mail | www.secretworldgovernment.org
     
  5. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Dave wrote:
    > I'd like to work as a cycle courier but have never actually seen any locally.

    If you don't have any companies using _cycle_ couriers in your area, how about approaching firms
    that use motorcyles, cars or vans to collect & deliver small parcels (not necessarily just courier
    firms)? Suggest that you could supplement their services. Hard-sell yourself and the idea to them!
    Maybe then they might even take on more cyclists. Just an idea. Good luck. Please let us know how it
    goes if you do pursue it.

    Richard Ballantine's "Richard's 21st Century Bicycle Book" has a section on "Working in Cycling" .

    ~PB
     
  6. "Dave" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hi, I'd like to work as a cycle courier but have never actually seen any locally. Presumably they
    > are used in bigger cities with congestion problems, such as London, but in smaller cities and
    > towns ? Any idea how I go about finding out whether they are used locally ?...Is it just a case of
    > approaching local courier companies via Yellow Pages or is there another route to it that I'm just
    > not aware of ? I'm based at J10 M6, so Wolverhampton / Walsall is local for me. Birmingham would
    > be a bit too far out.. Dave.

    Dave, Congrats on having the courage and strength to get out of the rat-race. You have my
    admiration.

    Have you considered guided cycling tours of your area, or go and live abroad and run guided cycling
    tours of Spain/France/Italy/Portugal - anywhere nice and warm.

    I was priviledged a while ago to go on a guided climbing holiday in the Costa Blanca. The guys that
    ran it had a fantastic system. The family lived in the area. The son and the father did the guiding
    / climbing over the winter. In the Summer (too hot to climb) they decamped to the UK, or went to the
    Alps, or went surfing in Spain. They were both incrediably fit - doing something they enjoyed nearly
    every day made that easy. Basically they ran it so that their work over the winter paid for their
    Summer, but they also did other stuff to help - wrote, sold photographs, individual guiding in the
    Alps, etc etc.

    One warning - to live this way you need to have loads of energy and "get up and go", and they had to
    have tremendous patience with their crappier clients (eg me). I couldn't do it. If you can, then
    good luck.
     
  7. In article <[email protected]>, Pete Biggs
    <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> writes
    >Dave wrote:
    >> I'd like to work as a cycle courier but have never actually seen any locally.
    >
    >If you don't have any companies using _cycle_ couriers in your area, how about approaching firms
    >that use motorcyles, cars or vans to collect & deliver small parcels (not necessarily just courier
    >firms)? Suggest that you could supplement their services. Hard-sell yourself and the idea to them!
    >Maybe then they might even take on more cyclists. Just an idea. Good luck. Please let us know how
    >it goes if you do pursue it.

    You could try photo developing places - business customers often in a hurry, not superseded by fax,
    and relatively small parcels!

    ttfn

    Martin

    --
    "It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that
    are doing it." - Dan Quayle

    Martin Harlow [email protected]
     
  8. Dave

    Dave Guest

    Alex, Haven't read it yet, but will shortly. I think I get the drift. About a year ago I decided to
    get out of the rat-race. I had got to the dizzy heights of being an assistant manager of a
    data-centre in Birmingham. It was a place I really didn't want to be. OK, the pay was great, but I
    hadn't seen daylight during a working day for 23 years. My stress was set by faceless senior
    management, agreeing largely unachievable deadlines. If the deadlines were achieved it was as it
    should be and only to be expected, if they weren't, then some faceless ars*hole would expect people
    to jump *real* high. And this was a "our people are our strength" company. Anyway, to cut a boring,
    long story short, I took voluntary redundancy and have gone for a total career change. I am
    currently a leisure attendant at a local leisure centre (pool lifeguard) and looking to gain various
    qualifications (canoeing, rock climbing, mountain leader etc.), to enable me to work in the outdoor
    pursuits field. Money is no longer my 'driver', personal satisfaction is. The only time I get a
    personal buzz now is when I'm outdoors, doing outdoors things. So, I won't be looking to do the job
    to make ends meet, more to be out on the bike, pushing myself for my own ends (i.e. fitness levels).
    If someone wants to pay me while I do that, great. I'm currently working part-time in the leisure
    attendant role and can make ends meet with that income, despite being a very poorly paid job. I
    would look to do the couriering in addition to this, also part-time. I would absolutely refuse to
    get stressed out over it, it's one of my new 'life rules' since making the change. Anyway, thanks
    for your feedback. I do have children, so I'll go and read your reference now. I don't think we have
    sufficient business requirements around this area to warrant the use of cycle couriers...ah well.
    Cheers, Dave.

    "Mr [email protected] (2.3 zulu-alpha) [comms room new build]" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In news:[email protected], Dave <[email protected]> typed:
    >
    > > Hi, I'd like to work as a cycle courier but have never actually seen any locally. Presumably
    > > they are used in bigger cities with congestion problems, such as London, but in smaller cities
    > > and towns ?
    >
    > I think in London there are more media and legal firms where stuff is time-critical to the *hour*
    > or *minute* (or those in charge like to *make* it that way to boost their egos) rather than just
    > to "morning/afternoon" (which is easily handled by normal couriers or the Royal Mail)
    >
    > Incidentally, I'd *really* suggest you look at this site (especially if
    you
    > have any kids) http://www.ahalenia.com/memorial/index.html
    >
    > Its depressing reading - but I'd rather warn someone of the dangers of a course of action at the
    > start. A lot of the RTCs happen because the
    courier
    > wages are so low that people have take a few risks on the road to make
    their
    > targets - and the amount of heroin use amongst couriers seems worrying
    too,
    > its almost as if some *need* the stuff to calm down presumably so they
    don't
    > take out aggression from the roads on their friends and partners (bear in mind that on the
    > street *everyone* will hate you apart from the other couriers, and this *will* rub off on the
    > way you act).
    >
    > Even some of my more hardcore cyclist friends who really have lived on the edge won't become
    > couriers because of what it can do to you (and the personal risks)
    >
    > Do you *really* want to risk your *life* to deliver parcels for the
    minimum
    > wage? Frankly if its adrenalin rushes and the "thrill of beating the
    clock"
    > you want I'd take up some kind of cycling *sport*; that way *you* are (slightly more) in control
    > rather than your bosses and their fat corporate clients.
    >
    > Alex (aka Wolfie)
     
  9. Dave

    Dave Guest

    "Huw Pritchard" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Tue, 14 Jan 2003 18:23:22 +0000, Dave did issue forth:
    >
    > > Hi, I'd like to work as a cycle courier but have never actually seen any locally. Presumably
    > > they are used in bigger cities with congestion
    problems,
    > > such as London, but in smaller cities and towns ? Any idea how I go about finding out whether
    > > they are used locally ?...Is
    it
    > > just a case of approaching local courier companies via Yellow Pages or
    is
    > > there another route to it that I'm just not aware of ? I'm based at J10 M6, so Wolverhampton /
    > > Walsall is local for me.
    Birmingham
    > > would be a bit too far out.. Dave.
    >
    > If you can get hold of it (it's quite a difficult thing to find) the latest issue of Singletrack
    > magazine has an article about cycle couriers which makes for interesting reading.
    >
    > They say that probably the best way to get in is by looking through the yellow pages and seeing
    > what you can find. Apparently phoning first thing on a wet Monday morning and seeing if people
    > haven't turned up is a great way to get your foot in the door.
    >
    > --
    > Huw Pritchard | Replace bounce with huw | to reply by mail | www.secretworldgovernment.org
    >

    Excellent, thanks for that Huw, Dave.
     
  10. Dave

    Dave Guest

    "Richard Bates" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Tue, 14 Jan 2003 18:23:22 -0000, "Dave" <[email protected]> in
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >Birmingham would be a bit too far out..
    >
    > Even so, just to get some info, pop into the coffe shop in the Birmingham Waterstones (Pavillions
    > Branch). Have a chat with the courier that spends all his non-riding time there. He seems to be
    > there more often than not, so I'm not sure how profitable his work is!
    > --
    > Two fish suddenly swim into a brick wall. Damn! To reply put only the word "richard" before
    > the @ sign

    ...Think that probably speaks volumes, Richard. This is what comes of living 'out in the sticks', I
    guess. Cheers, Dave.
     
  11. Dave

    Dave Guest

    "Pete Biggs" <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Dave wrote:
    > > I'd like to work as a cycle courier but have never actually seen any locally.
    >
    > If you don't have any companies using _cycle_ couriers in your area, how about approaching firms
    > that use motorcyles, cars or vans to collect & deliver small parcels (not necessarily just courier
    > firms)? Suggest that you could supplement their services. Hard-sell yourself and the idea to them!
    > Maybe then they might even take on more cyclists. Just an idea. Good luck. Please let us know how
    > it goes if you do pursue it.
    >
    > Richard Ballantine's "Richard's 21st Century Bicycle Book" has a section on "Working in Cycling" .
    >
    > ~PB
    >
    Excellent idea Pete. I've got a motorbike as well, so who knows, I could maybe approach from the
    motorbike angle, then work from inside to suggest / convince them that bikes would be a good way to
    go for urgent local work... Thanks again, Dave.
     
  12. Dave

    Dave Guest

    "stephen pridgeon" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "Dave" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > > Hi, I'd like to work as a cycle courier but have never actually seen any locally. Presumably
    > > they are used in bigger cities with congestion
    problems,
    > > such as London, but in smaller cities and towns ? Any idea how I go about finding out whether
    > > they are used locally ?...Is
    it
    > > just a case of approaching local courier companies via Yellow Pages or
    is
    > > there another route to it that I'm just not aware of ? I'm based at J10 M6, so Wolverhampton /
    > > Walsall is local for me.
    Birmingham
    > > would be a bit too far out.. Dave.
    >
    > Dave, Congrats on having the courage and strength to get out of the rat-race. You have my
    > admiration.
    >
    Why, thanks <blush>...

    > Have you considered guided cycling tours of your area, or go and live abroad and run guided
    > cycling tours of Spain/France/Italy/Portugal - anywhere nice and warm.
    >
    Cycling tours of the Black Country..... think you might've spotted a gap in the market here,
    Stephen. It has great potential. It could be linked in to Telford and the Ironbridge Gorge,
    birthplace of industry 'n' all. Variations could be catered for, standard touristy type, cross
    country, and jump sites...hhmmm, I'll give this some serious thought as it looks like the courier
    thing might be a bit of a non-starter.

    > I was priviledged a while ago to go on a guided climbing holiday in the Costa Blanca. The guys
    > that ran it had a fantastic system. The family lived in the area. The son and the father did the
    > guiding / climbing over the winter. In the Summer (too hot to climb) they decamped to the UK, or
    > went to the Alps, or went surfing in Spain. They were both incrediably fit - doing something they
    > enjoyed nearly every day made that easy. Basically they ran it so that their work over the winter
    > paid for their Summer, but they also did other stuff to help - wrote, sold photographs, individual
    > guiding in the Alps, etc etc.
    >
    > One warning - to live this way you need to have loads of energy and "get up and go", and they had
    > to have tremendous patience with their crappier clients (eg me). I couldn't do it. If you can,
    > then good luck.

    Here's hoping :-D

    Thanks, Dave.
     
  13. Cicero

    Cicero Guest

    "Dave" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:Ak%[email protected]...
    > Alex, Haven't read it yet, but will shortly. I think I get the drift. About a year ago I decided
    > to get out of the rat-race. I had got to the dizzy heights of being an assistant manager of a
    > data-centre in
    Birmingham.
    > It was a place I really didn't want to be. OK, the pay was great, but I hadn't seen daylight
    > during a working day for 23 years. My stress was set
    by
    > faceless senior management, agreeing largely unachievable deadlines. If
    the
    > deadlines were achieved it was as it should be and only to be expected, if they weren't, then some
    > faceless ars*hole would expect people to jump
    *real*
    > high. And this was a "our people are our strength" company. Anyway, to cut
    a
    > boring, long story short, I took voluntary redundancy and have gone for a total career change. I
    > am currently a leisure attendant at a local leisure centre (pool lifeguard) and looking to gain
    > various qualifications (canoeing, rock climbing, mountain leader etc.), to enable me to work in
    the
    > outdoor pursuits field.

    <snipped>

    >> Cheers,
    > Dave.
    >
    <snipped>
    >
    ==============]
    I hate to pour cold water on your enthusiasm but a little cautionary advice is in order. You say you
    'hadn't seen daylight during a working day for 23 years.' That suggests that you are 40+ years of
    age, assuming that you didn't start work until a normal minimum age of 16. Many people are fighting
    fit in their 40s and much later but the human body wears out and a minor accident or wear and tear
    on cartilage or joints could put you out of work and possibly leave you crippled. Think of the many
    top sportsmen, especially footballers who are crippled with arthritis. Perhaps you should consider a
    stress-free job which allows you plenty of time to pursue your outdoor sports without the danger of
    losing your livelihood if things go wrong.

    Best of luck,

    Cic.
     
  14. In article <[email protected]>, no- [email protected] says...

    > > Have you considered guided cycling tours of your area, or go and live abroad and run guided
    > > cycling tours of Spain/France/Italy/Portugal - anywhere nice and warm.
    > >
    > Cycling tours of the Black Country..... think you might've spotted a gap in the market here,
    > Stephen. It has great potential. It could be linked in to Telford and the Ironbridge Gorge,
    > birthplace of industry 'n' all. Variations could be catered for, standard touristy type, cross
    > country, and jump sites...hhmmm, I'll give this some serious thought as it looks like the courier
    > thing might be a bit of a non-starter.

    This isn't a bad idea. If you can cobble together some decent day rides on minor roads there could
    certainly be a market. I know a couple who do such holidays in Wales and the Welsh borders. They run
    them as holidays, weekes and weekends, based at centres. They aim their tours at a wide
    cross-section using detours and short-cuts to meet the mix of riders they get. You could probably do
    just day rides initially, accommodation and food adds a whole lot of other complications into the
    mix, especially if you ran them from towns which did feed from a tourist trade. Do what they do and
    sell you local knowledge.

    Colin
     
  15. "Dave" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<Ak%[email protected]>...
    > Alex, Haven't read it yet, but will shortly. I think I get the drift. About a year ago I decided
    > to get out of the rat-race. I had got to the dizzy heights of being an assistant manager of a
    > data-centre in Birmingham. It was a place I really didn't want to be. OK, the pay was great, but I
    > hadn't seen daylight during a working day for 23 years. My stress was set by faceless senior
    > management, agreeing largely unachievable deadlines. If the deadlines were achieved it was as it
    > should be and only to be expected, if they weren't, then some faceless ars*hole would expect
    > people to jump *real* high. And this was a "our people are our strength" company. Anyway, to cut a
    > boring, long story short, I took voluntary redundancy and have gone for a total career change. I
    > am currently a leisure attendant at a local leisure centre (pool lifeguard) and looking to gain
    > various qualifications (canoeing, rock climbing, mountain leader etc.), to enable me to work in
    > the outdoor pursuits field. Money is no longer my 'driver', personal satisfaction is. The only
    > time I get a personal buzz now is when I'm outdoors, doing outdoors things. So, I won't be looking
    > to do the job to make ends meet, more to be out on the bike, pushing myself for my own ends (i.e.
    > fitness levels). If someone wants to pay me while I do that, great. I'm currently working
    > part-time in the leisure attendant role and can make ends meet with that income, despite being a
    > very poorly paid job. I would look to do the couriering in addition to this, also part-time. I
    > would absolutely refuse to get stressed out over it, it's one of my new 'life rules' since making
    > the change. Anyway, thanks for your feedback. I do have children, so I'll go and read your
    > reference now. I don't think we have sufficient business requirements around this area to warrant
    > the use of cycle couriers...ah well. Cheers, Dave.
    >
    Start your own business.
     
  16. Dave

    Dave Guest

    "Mr [email protected] (2.3 zulu-alpha) [comms room new build]" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In news:Ak%[email protected], Dave <[email protected]> typed:
    >
    > > largely unachievable deadlines. If the deadlines were achieved it was as it should be and only
    > > to be expected, if they weren't, then some faceless ars*hole would expect people to jump
    > > *real* high.
    >
    > <snip>
    >
    > I would
    > > absolutely refuse to get stressed out over it, it's one of my new 'life rules' since making the
    > > change.
    >
    > Hmm - in *this* case I *definitely* think being a courier wouldn't be a
    good
    > idea - apart from the stress and personal safety risk to yourself, it
    would
    > just be becoming *part* of the "hurry up! Now! NOW!" society that you
    tried
    > to escape - in other words you would actually be becoming part of the *problem* rather than the
    > solution.
    >
    > I suppose if Royal Mail are recruiting you could become a postie, this is safer and more socially
    > acceptable (posties are there for *everyone*, not just rich companies) but riding a Royal Mail
    > clunker may be too *slow* for you :)
    >
    > > total career change. I am currently a leisure attendant at a local leisure centre (pool
    > > lifeguard) and looking to gain various qualifications (canoeing, rock climbing, mountain leader
    > > etc.), to enable me to work in the outdoor pursuits field. Money is no longer my 'driver',
    > > personal satisfaction is. The only time I get a personal buzz now is when I'm outdoors, doing
    > > outdoors things.
    >
    > In my area the leisure centre is often used for cycling events and
    sometimes
    > as a training track for younger cyclists (both for proficiency and
    racing).
    > Perhaps you could suggest similar schemes to the leisure centre? This
    could
    > be more personally satisfying to you and safer than being a courier!
    >
    > Alex
    >
    >
    Just got back from the Messenger Memorial site.... Food for thought and several good alternative
    ideas in there. Thanks Alex, Dave.
     
  17. Dave

    Dave Guest

    "Cicero" <s?e?d*a?*@hellfire.co.uk> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > I hate to pour cold water on your enthusiasm but a little cautionary
    advice
    > is in order. You say you 'hadn't seen daylight during a working day for 23 years.' That suggests
    > that you are 40+ years of age, assuming that you didn't start work until a normal minimum age of
    > 16. Many people are
    fighting
    > fit in their 40s and much later but the human body wears out and a minor accident or wear and tear
    > on cartilage or joints could put you out of work and possibly leave you crippled. Think of the
    > many top sportsmen,
    especially
    > footballers who are crippled with arthritis. Perhaps you should consider a stress-free job which
    > allows you plenty of time to pursue your outdoor sports without the danger of losing your
    > livelihood if things go wrong.
    >
    > Best of luck,
    >
    > Cic.
    >
    >
    Ahhh, getting old...yup, I know about that one (41 and threequarters ;-). The surprise at the effort
    required to regain my once taken for granted super fitness of my early 20's. The fact that when I
    hit the ground I stay there rather than *bounce* like I used to ;-). I've come to terms with it and
    wish to make the most of what I've got while I've got it. I cycle anyway. It won't be my sole
    earning source and my other one's got a sickness benefit scheme. Regards the stress factor, I've
    also realised that it is largely self-inflicted and I'm willing to bet that I wouldn't get stressed
    over it now. Having said all that, it's looking less and less like there will be a locally
    convenient opportunity, so it's probably all academic now anyway.... but thanks for the responses,
    much appreciated Dave
     
  18. Dave

    Dave Guest

    "dan.gregory1" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > > "wafflycathcsdirtycatlitter" <[email protected]> wrote in
    > message
    > > news:[email protected]...
    > > > >The fact that when I hit the ground I stay there rather than *bounce* like I used to ;-)
    > Must be that affinity for paving slabs then ..... All the best Dan
    >
    but, but,,,I've never even so much as looked at a pair of b*bsh*rts.....?
     
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