Are you cut out for one of the hardest jobs going?

In the second edition of our Casual DBiker blog series we want to put the facts on the table. That sounds like it’s getting kinda serious you say? Biking is not exactly rocket science, right? The truth though is: being a bike messenger is one of the hardest jobs there are, whether you’re a professional or just casual biker.

Fortunately the job is also one of the best jobs there are :) . We would recommend you all the job of casual bike messenger right away, but you have to know what you’re letting yourself in for if you want to be a successful Casual Biker at DBike.

Riding around all day, none of that mundane office life, more fresh air than you can shake a stick at, planning your day as your own boss… That’s what being a bike messenger is all about. But then: Rain. Or snow. Or both. And wind. And a flat tyre. Yes, the tyre that you already had to change once at the beginning of the week… And now you’re running late. And those 15 kilo in your bag somehow feel like 150 kilo today. That’s also the kind of fun that makes up the daily life of a bike messenger.

To enjoy being a casual biker at DBike – and we want happy DBikers! – you need to keep a cool head. The cars turning right at the traffic lights that only see you in the very last second even though you have right of way.  How can it be that 50% of the population somehow still didn’t learn it’s usually better to look if something’s coming before you whip open your car door parked next to a bike lane? The poor overworked DHL guys who tend to park right over the bike path to get as close as possible to their delivery address in the hope of gaining any additional seconds. (On the topic of things on bike lanes, we could go on forever about it but you can save yourself from that ordeal and take a look at this nice collection).

The list of things that wind you up as a bike messenger is actually endless. You will be shouted at all day – bikers are of course on principle always the ones in the wrong. And don’t even think about trying to protest your innocence – this will only confirm that you are obviously one of these crazy militant bikers everyone always talks about, who think the streets belong to them.

And we have to be honest, the job is also dangerous: In a current series from stern magazine entitled „Seeing and understanding“ you can read some pretty sobering numbers: in 2014 there were 63,351 minorly injured and 14,516 seriously injured bikers reported in Germany alone. As you can see it’s not exactly like running a library.

Working – or rather living – as a bike messenger is so much more than the few frustrations and dangerous situations you encounter. For some it’s a way of life. Ignore the abuse shouted to you by our friends on four wheels. I would be raging too if I was sitting in traffic for 27% of my journey every day. Throw them a random smile back, easy as that – it will confuse the hell out of them. Of course there are also those who employ other tactics, for example shouting to the car driver as they ride past that his taillight is broken. But that is of course not an official DBike recommendation….

If you think you are cut out for the job we can promise you, you can take a whole lot more back home with you at the end of the day than the few insults you receive from frustrated car drivers. Download the DBike Messenger app and take a look or get in touch with us to find out more.

To close, here our one for the road: Infographic “Why Cycling Makes You Happy” 

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What is a Casual DBiker and why should I be interested?

DBike is not only about express delivery. An important part of our mission is also to promote sustainable economies whilst providing a service that is beneficial to the community and the environment.

That’s why as well as offering professional bike couriers an opportunity to use the DBike platform to build their own customer base, DBike is also available to anyone who is travelling by bike through their local city. We think of it like this: how many cycling enthusiasts are out and about riding around their city every day and could take a package requested by someone for delivery with a destination that lies along their route? Wouldn’t that save a lot of these short inner-city deliveries via traditional transport methods, which are not just clogging up the roads but also the air with the ever growing level of exhaust emissions? The biker himself also has the added benefit of earning some extra cash.

Some traditional delivery businesses are recognising the need for change, for example DHL with their acquisition of electric mobility start-up StreetScooter at the end of last year. But electric delivery vehicles are no long-term solution and especially not for helping to solve the space issues in our busiest cities. According to the new Stau-Index for example, drivers in Munich are facing on average 27% longer journey times this year due to the increasing levels of congestion in the city. And by the looks of the numbers, the trend is going in a very unattractive direction.

With the many new cycling initiatives in Munich from organisations such as the Radlhauptstadt München, it has never been easier and more attractive to get around the city via bike and with the ever-growing cycling community, we have a real chance to get involved ourselves and help design the kind of city we want to live in. We at DBike are not alone in believing that we are entering a new era of urban mobility. Cities throughout Europe are busy re-evaluating their infrastructure and mobility plans. We couldn’t agree more with this statement recently from an article in the Wirtschaftswoche: „The future of urban mobility belongs to the bike“.

So whether you are actively looking to contribute to developing sustainable mobility in your city, simply looking for some inspiration to take your bike more often instead of the car, or just want to earn some extra cash while you are riding around anyway: get in touch with us or check out the DBike Messenger app right away – and get ready for when it really kicks off in June!

Coming up in the Casual DBiker series we will be looking at a range of issues and questions around the topic of being a DBiker, passing on recommendations for the best bike accessories or places to get your bike fixed up and also have some top tips from the professionals out there. You have a topic you want to see covered here? Let us know!

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Bike trends and a sustainable city at the Streetlife Festival

Considering what the forecast says is coming the next days, the organisers of the first Streetlife Festival for 2015 were pretty lucky the event wasn’t a complete washout. We popped by on Saturday to catch up on the latest trends on the bike scene and where the vision for a sustainable Munich is headed, and were glad to also enjoy some early summer sun on Leopoldstraße (and a nice cold Augustiner from the guys at the Brazil Bar J).

There’s a lot of buzz around the topic of sustainable cities and quality of life in the bigger metropolitan regions, but at the Streetlife Festival here in Munich, organised by the Green City team, you really feel like it’s more than just “buzz”. Sure there are those visitors who are primarily there for the novelty of sitting in a deckchair in the middle of what is usually one of the busiest roads in Munich with a beer and some streetfood (less buzz more “craze” on that one…), but whilst walking through the different areas and stopping at the stands, you really get the impression that this is something people in Munich are taking seriously. Not just to talk about, but to inform themselves about, get involved with and consciously live a more sustainable and responsible lifestyle.

Whether it be alternatives for energy, mobility or just where you buy your bike gear: we for sure went home with a bag full of inspiration and are looking forward to catching up in the coming days with the guys from some of the exciting new initiatives we spoke with. And of course to the next Streetlife Festival in September!

And before we forget about the bikes: there were some pretty cool examples riding up and down on the test strips between Theresienstrasse and Schellingstraße: from the individual styles at the Rose stand, to the newest super-speedy electro-bikes and something a little more different from the guys at Bam-Original with their frames made out of bamboo. We might have to check out one of their workshops soon…


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