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? 😉
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.