Sunday, January 7, 2007

Bike Messenger

Bike messengers or bike couriers are one of those traffic nuisances that New York City drivers have to deal with on a daily basis. These bicyclists tend of swerve around cars, in and out of traffic to get to their destinations as fast as possible. Majority of them are paid on commission by their delivery agencies so their incomes are based on how many deliveries they make a day.

The profession dates back to the mid-19th century with the invention of pedal-driven bicycles by Frenchman, Pierre Lallement in 1864. Since then, bike messenging became a integral part of commerce in many metropolitan cities around the world until the 1990s, when the internet boom took over the information delivery industry. Today bike messengers still exist but in few numbers. They have carved out a niche market offering delivery services for items that e-mails and faxes cannot do.

The young man in the photo is dressed in his bike messenger outfit. Notice his rolled-up pant legs with black spandex leggings underneath, over-the-shoulder messenger bag and stretchy ropes to secure additional packages on the rear wheel.


Olivier said...

A NYC j'ai toujours ete impressioné par ces "Bike Messenger", des vrais Kamikazes de la route.

With NYC I was always impressioné by these “Bike Messenger”, of Kamikazes truths of the road.

Dsole said...

This is a so dangerous job!
I can't imagine here in Madrid because of the traffic-jam, but if it's possible in NYC... maybe here too
It's so nice of you all that information with your photos, thank u for sharing that! :)

madrid dailyphoto blog

Han said...

Oh, I saw them in somewhat old movie, 'Quick Silver'. In Korea, there is motorcycle messenger, is dangerous too.

Annie said...

I don't think I'd want that job. Like dsole says, it's too dangerous.

pcfranchina said...

..but whata great leg workout.
These guys are nuts and now we have all these pedi-cabs all over midtown.


Ming_the_Merciless said...

olivier, dsole, han & annie - yes, the job is very dangerous, for both the cyclist and the drivers.

pcfranchina - yes, these pedi-cabs and 5 people tricycles are beginning to be a traffic hazard.

Keropok Man said...

Well, without them our packages would not get delivered so quickly :-p

I am sure if I get lost in NYC, I should ask directions from them, they should be living street directories!

gwadzilla said...

assholes in cars and idiot pedestrians are some of the nuisances that cyclists have to deal with everyday

that said

not every car driver is an asshole
not every pedestrian is an idiot

and well
in case you can not predict my logic

not all messengers are nuisances

nice photos

no I am not a messenger
nor am I an asshole car driver
nor am I an idiot pedestrian

Anonymous said...

"olivier, dsole, han & annie - yes, the job is very dangerous, for both the cyclist and the drivers."

How exactly is it dangerous for drivers? There is no way that a driver could get hurt by a cyclist. The only danger involved in this job is the life-threatening danger of being hit by a motor vehicle

Anonymous said...

Maybe if you didn't drive like such a fucking oblivious scumbag, we wouldn't be such nuisances.

Anonymous said...

it's more dangerous to be a fat ass car driver at great risk for heart disease, than it is being a bike messenger