Re: [rootsradicals] Re: Gas prices and Xtracycling
- Thanks, Tone. That's exactly what I read on some websites today.On Sun, Mar 2, 2008 at 5:04 PM, Tone <Tone@...> wrote:
After working as a professional messenger for several years in NY, I suggest not getting into the industry now. These days the internet has allowed much of the "packages" pointless. Much of what was and might still be carried by messenger can now or will soon be sent on-line…. All those artist/model portfolios, floor-plans, legal documents, film/video reels, etc… basically anything media/text content can be sent over the internet. Cycling might be faster than any other vehicle in a major city and clients might like the idea of using a "green" method of transport… but the immediacy and cost effectiveness of the internet blows that all away.
That was one of the big reasons why I bought an Xtracycle. I could see the industry changing and strategically I figured with gas prices on the rise a cargo bike would make the most logistical sense. I could execute higher paying "car" jobs, but not have all the overhead of fuel, insurance, parking, and tickets. Still, with all of those positive reasons for being a cargo bike courier it was hard. I may have been one of the top paid messengers in my company (and possibly in NYC), but it was still pretty harsh and I was not getting any younger. In almost all courier scenarios the rider on the street has no insurance/medical coverage. Your health may be good from riding all day, but if you get in an accident you might get seriously screwed. On top of the lack of insurance/medical coverage almost all messengers work on a commission basis, so if you are out of work for any span of time you miss out on that money. Even if you return to work you might not recover to the same level of work you were doing before, which will result in less income.
I do not know of any couriers in this country, who have any decent retirement plan. Most messengers I knew practically lived from one pay check to the next, so saving money was almost unheard of. Forget about retirement, and if you have any kids, you might as well get a second job.
I apologize if I am knocking the courier industry. I obviously loved messengering since I did do it for the better part of ten years and almost all my friends still are or have been couriers, but it definitely is not a job for everyone. As it is, I moved from NYC to Pennsylvania and got into a completely different industry. I still bike to work every day, but that just seems logically the correct thing to do despite some of my coworkers joking with me about it. I guess I am just trying to put things in a possibly different perspective for you if you were really considering the messenger line of work. I hope it helps.