Informationen zur Sendung ergänzen

Features, Functions & Updates

We’re working continuously on the development of new features and functions to make sure every express delivery with DBike always runs smoothly and we are meeting the requirements of all our customers.

In focus right now is the topic of security with 2 new features launched this week.

Sign here, please

Sometimes the recipient of a delivery is not available to accept the package him or herself. Some deliveries are particularly sensitive or valuable, or you’d just prefer to have a legally binding confirmation that your delivery was accepted and by whom. With the new Signature feature your DBike bike messenger will now collect a signature, both at the pick-up and the drop-off address, directly in his DBike app. As soon as the signature at the drop-off address has been saved, the sender receives a confirmation in real-time, that the delivery has been completed successfully.

 

Signature_english

Large or small, light or heavy

Some deliveries involve multiple items or packages, or are particularly large and bulky and need to be transported with a cargo bike rather than your normal fixie. For orders via the DBike Web Application it is now possible to define a size and weight for your delivery as well as the total number of items to be transported. After confirming the desired pick-up and drop-off address, the sender selects what kind of delivery is being requested and adds the weight and size information for each item. All details are sent together with the delivery request to the DBike courier network so that the best biker for the specific requirements can be found. Particularly heavy or large deliveries for example will be managed by bike messengers riding with a cargo bike.

manage.dbike.com

 

As well as lots more features and functions, we are busy working on a larger project that we are looking forward to announce soon – so, stay tuned!

Which features would you like to see in DBike? Send us an email with your feedback and suggestions!

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Tipps für Fahrradkurier in München

Top 10 Tips for Bike Messengers

A blog series without a top 10? Here’s one from us then. Back to our Bike Messenger series and we have gathered our favourite tips as well as a few from some of our oldest bike messengers. Especially for the new guys, you might find one or two things in the list that you hadn’t placed too much importance on until now. Here’s Part 1:

1. It’s all about the bag

Your bag is your best friend. And as your best friend it deserves a decent amount of respect. You want it to last more than a week? You want to be able to take a variety of different jobs from different customers? You want to be able to pick up a beer at after work without searing pain through your neck and shoulders? Invest in a good bag. “That’ll be fine for sure.” or “I’ll have to keep replacing it anyway, what’s a day here or there.” – said no bike messenger ever. The few extra Euro you spend now you will not regret later.

2. (Actually it’s all about the bike)

If you’re a bike messenger that’s a no-brainer really… right? 😉

3. Tools

It’s early Friday morning and you’re coming from Stachus on the way to Sendlinger Tor… you guessed it already: Sonnenstrasse + bike = flat tyre. Not to make unfounded accusations but take a look next time: 90% of broken glass lying about outside the many bars and clubs on that street is not on the pavement where you’d expect people dropping things to be hanging out, but on the bike path. Maybe there’s some magical force of attraction between glass and a bike path but we’re guessing not… Anyway. Unless you’re anywhere near Nymphenburger Str area – where half the bike shops in Munich seem to have their home within a few meters of each other – you’ll need to fix that yourself. And quick. Your customer doesn’t care that his bike messenger is half an hour later because he got a flat tyre. Instead he might just not book you again.

4. Don’t get mad, get even

Even the calmest bike messenger will reach the end of his nerves at some point. The reasons are many and varied, as we have mentioned previously, but none of them are worth getting upset (or arrested) over. A driver who considers a bike on the road to be an invasion of his space is not likely to have a friendly ear when you try to explain that actually no, you don’t have to ride on the bike path because of a, b and c. It’s more productive to take some personal revenge. No, we don’t mean following the guy and slashing his tyres / scratching his paintwork in the night. You can annoy the people who make your blood boil in much more simple (and legal) ways. When you catch up with an aggressive overtaker later in traffic, smile and wave as you sail past, or tell the driver his taillight is broken, or whatever else your imagination comes up with to get one back 😉

5. Know your fines

Make sure you know how much of your days income you are risking when you consider a slight or major deviation from the rules. Let’s talk traffic lights. One second is nothing right? So skipping a traffic light that has been red for just a second or longer is not so bad? That’ll be €100 – or up to €180. Zebra crossings. If a car is passing the crossing it is blocked for pedestrians, but a bike? It’s not like a bike takes up so much space, I can scoot over on one side and there’s still space for a pedestrian to cross at the same time. Right? That’ll be €40. No bell? €15. Would have been cheaper to buy one. You can find a full list here.

Part 2 – coming soon.

 

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Gadgets für den Fahrradkurier

Gadgets to save your life as a bike messenger – Part 1

There’s another fun infographic doing the rounds today. This time presenting the likelihood of dying when partaking in certain activities. So how’s it looking for bikers? Apparently you have a 1 in 140,848 chance of dying when riding a bike. For bike messengers the likelihood is supposedly higher of course, considering the above-average time spent on a bike.

But we don’t want to be so negative on such a sunny Friday here in Munich! If you avoided doing everything that could potentially be dangerous then you wouldn’t even get out of bed in the morning. Every week there are new tools and gadgets popping up that want to help us as bikers and particularly bike messengers, to stay alive on our travels. Which gadgets are on the market and are they practical for the average bike messenger?

SmartHalo

SmartHalo successfully completed a Kickstarter campaign this week and will be on the production line soon. And what does this blinking, LED circle that you attach to your handlebars do? Almost everything except for doing the pedalling for you by the looks of it. Firstly it is a navigation system which connects to your smartphone via bluetooth and show you the quickest and safest route to take. It’s got anti-theft covered, with a smartphone authentification process or a “tapcode”. And for all the numbers-guys, the halo tracks distance covered, average speed as well as calories burned.

Cool-Factor: Nice… this halo thing doesn’t look half bad!

Practicality for a bike messenger: A bike messenger who doesnt know his way around town is not a bike messenger 😉 The navigation system could be useful for newbies, but a professional bike messenger doesn’t need anyone (or anything) to show him the way – you won’t find the shortcuts and cut-throughs he knows in any navi 😉

Cyclee

The Cyclee safety tool involves a mini-projector that is fixed to the back of the saddle and projects signals onto the riders back. This is supposed to make is easier or quicker for drivers to identify a biker that is stopping, turning, pulling out etc

Cool-Factor: Hmm, well… no.

Practicality for a bike messenger: Considering the vast majority of bike messengers carry some kind of bag on their back at all times, it seems pretty unlikely that the Cyclee will be a big hit in the bike messenger community.

The good old bike helmet

…. naaah. We’ll leave the bike helmet discussion for today. What with the #DankHelm vs #BesserObenOhne campaign or the latest highlights from the Eurobike show this week in Friedrichshafen, there’s enough going around to read on that topic at the moment.

Cool-Factor: Bike helmets are officially not cool, there are however every now and again new products popping up which want to try and improve that image – for example the Hövding Airbag Helmet or even a Bavarian style Tracht Helmet

Practicality for a bike messenger: Unless you have a particularly oversized head, there’s not much reason for a helmet to not be practical.

 

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ECMC 2015

DBike On Tour: European Cycle Messenger Championships 2015

Last weekend marked our first DBike business trip – to the twentieth edition of the European Cycle Messenger Championships in Milan.

The ECMC is a yearly event celebrating the passion and enthusiasm of thousands of bicycle couriers around Europe. And what a lot of passion and enthusiasm there was in Milan last weekend!

With a strong presence from Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Germany, we met representatives from most European countries during the 4-day event – and were surprised to find some people had even travelled from as far away as New York and Seattle to be a part of it. In fact we were almost disappointed that more bikers had made it from the States than had made it the short distance from Munich… (not counting the DBike team :)).

If you’re a newbee on the bike messenger scene, you’ll want to have the ECMC marked in your calendar as a must-do. From the moment you arrive for registration – and latest after your first beer with a random bike messenger from Latvia – you will understand: this isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle, a philosophy. And no matter where you are from, you are now part of a big new family.

The event kicked off with a trip to the Ghisallo Museum at Madonna del Ghisallo This famous hill close to Lake Como is nowadays a shrine where you can visit a small cycling museum and see an eternal flame burning for cyclists who have died. Back in town it was time to party, with the official ECMC opening accompanied by an exhibition covering the previous editions of the ECMC championship.

With the full-packed agenda, the days must have passed by in a blur for most of the participants: alleycats, qualifications, main race, dispatcher race, cargo race, skid & sprint competition… not to mention the parties and the non-official party competitions. Not sure whether naked trackstanding will make it as an Olympic sport though… 😉

Other than getting to know new people from the scene from all around Europe, one of the highlights of the weekend was an evening event at the historic Vigorelli Velodrome. Opened in 1935, the velodrome with its Futurist architecture has seen many record breaking races throughout its time but sadly hasn’t seen any two-wheeled action now since 1999. Thanks though to a group of local enthusiasts, the velodrome should be back in action ready for its 80th anniversary after a recent agreement to save the historic track.

The stamina of the participants at the ECMC is really unbelievable – we didn’t even participate in all of the events and were exhausted climbing back into the car to drive home at the end of it. Congratulations again to all the winners and we look forward to seeing you all again latest at the ECMC 2016 in Copenhagen!

Check out here some of our photos from the event (partially edited for reasons attributed to the aforementioned non-official competitions 😉 ).

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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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