Even in this
technological age, major urban
cities still need the services of
bicycle messengers who are able to
carry and deliver documents from one
business to another or to
courthouses or other city
destinations quickly and
Bike messengers, or couriers, are
a unique and proud breed. Its
members have their own “hang names,”
which identify them to other
couriers, their own code of
behavior, art, and racing
competitions. Motorists and
pedestrians look on in awe or fright
as the couriers wind their way
through traffic at breakneck speeds
to deliver their parcels on time or
ahead of schedule.
NY Bicycle couriers are usually
male, in their 20s, although older
riders do exist, as well as a
handful of females, and may earn a
reasonable living. Bike couriers
in New York City have a huge
metropolis to traverse with bad
roads, traffic jams, exhaust, heat
and humidity, rain, cold weather,
unruly drivers, and other obstacles
with which to contend. Many revel in
their work and play just as hard.
Obtaining employment as a bike
messenger may be difficult depending
upon the economy and the season, but
some perseverance and making the
proper contacts can result in a job.
If you are a bike messenger, you
must abide by certain regulations
and by the traffic laws of the city.
Survival in this profession is not
easy, but with some help a bike
courier can thrive.
If you want to become a bike
messenger in New York, you can
find lists of delivery services,
bike messenger or shipping companies
on the internet or phone book.
Your best source, however, is other
bike messengers. You can usually
find a congregation of them hanging
out somewhere in the city, so
approach them and ask for a company
or companies that are the best
There is large turnover in the
bike courier business, so companies
are usually hiring on a consistent
basis. Once you are hired, be
on-time and show up consistently for
work regardless of the weather. You
will probably not be treated very
well initially until you prove your
You need a sturdy
bicycle--usually a mountain
bike--chain lock, helmet, eyewear,
and a water-proof bag to carry your
parcels. A strong chain lock may
be heavy, but it is more resistant
to being broken by a thief. A
foldable city map is also essential
regardless of how familiar you
become with the city as you will
save valuable minutes by knowing
exactly where you are going. Also,
have dependable rain gear on hand
and dress in layers in cold weather.
If the company does not provide you
with a radio, get a cell phone. You
do not want to carry around a horde
of quarters and have to find a pay
phone to call in.
Traffic Laws and Regulations
A bicyclist is subject to the same
traffic laws as any motorist, with
some exceptions. If there is a
bicycle lane on the street, you are
required to ride in it unless you
are making a turn. Here are some
other regulations to follow:
Do not ride
signals, and keep at least one
hand on your handlebars.
Do not wear
headphones, an ipod, or a radio
while riding. You cannot ride
You must have
a headlight and a red taillight
if riding early in the morning
and at dusk. You also need
reflectors or reflective tires.
requires a bell or any other
sounding device other than a
Do not hitch
yourself to a motor vehicle and
do not ride more than two
The back of
your bike must carry an approved
sign with the name of your
business and your personal
3-digit identification number.
Further, you must have in your
possession an identification
card that contains your name,
photo, residence, and
identifying information of your
Bicycle Messenger Safety Tips
eye protection and a helmet. You
are prone to accidents on the
city streets, so having the
proper clothing can minimize
If you are
going as fast as traffic, ride
in the center of the lane;
otherwise, stay to the right but
at a safe distance from parked
cars to avoid car doors opening
into you (ie: dooring).
contact with motorists at red
lights or stop signs. At large
intersections, try to stay close
to the center so that drivers
can see you. Avoid making too
many left turns if possible.
Always have a
map with you and a clip board to
pin it down. You want to know
exactly how to get to your
down too quickly and do not ride
directly behind another rider.
especially to police. They will
remember you the next time or
mistake you for the arrogant
rider who argued with them the
last time they stopped a bike
Carry a small
first-aid kit with you for
yourself or other riders who may
sense. You are no match for
If Injured in
a Bicycle Accident
If you ride long
enough, your risk of injury
increases. If you have an
accident with a motor vehicle, get
off the roadway to safety and call
for help if possible.
Obtain the identifying
information of the other party
including insurance, license and
license plate and the identities of
Do not admit
fault to anyone, but do give
your version of events to police.
Call your employer and report
your injury. Be sure to note the
name of the person you spoke to and
the date and time of your call.
If you are a regular employee and
were injured in the course and scope
of your employment you are entitled
to workers’ compensation . If
you are an independent contractor,
you may be able to file for
disability insurance benefits.
A bicycle messenger or delivery
position is a risky profession and
you need to treat it as such.
Being well-versed in the traffic
laws and regulations as well as
preparing for your job each day will
ensure your survival.
bicycle accident attorney to
discuss your case.
accident attorneys will represent
you on a contingency basis; they do
not collect any upfront fees from
you and are only paid out of the
proceeds of any settlement or
verdict in your case. They will
gather all evidence, talk to
witnesses, obtain your medical
records, ensure you receive the
proper care and treatment, consult
with experts if needed, and present
your case for settlement or
litigation at the appropriate time.
York No Fault Insurance Law
entitled to have all of your medical bills paid
through "no fault" insurance rather than by your
own private medical health insurance carrier.
New York law you must file under the "no fault"
law within 30 days in order to retain your
rights. Don't delay,
contact us today for a free consultation.
In court, the motor vehicle
operator will have attorneys that
will try to refute and devalue your
case. Having a bicycle
accident attorney on your side will
help fight and counter the testimony
given by the accused.
If you don't win, you
You have the right to sue for proper
compensation for injuries sustained
as a result of other people's
Don't wonder about your rights!