Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Valerie Topete - Three Tips for Working as a Bike Messenger

Valerie Topete took an unusual career path after she moved to New York City in 2008. She decided that she wanted to be a bike courier, zooming through the congestion of New York’s foot and vehicle traffic every day to deliver important legal documents, projects, and other materials to clients throughout the city.

Topete worked on a freelance basis for a while, delivering regular materials for a few steady clients until she was picked up by a local bike courier company, Mercury Rises. Working for this company is very competitive, and many who apply are turned away. Many more who make the cut are then fired when another bike courier comes along able to do the job faster and safer. Topete has stayed with Mercury Rises for four years and is in no danger of losing her spot.

Valerie Topete

Valerie Topete takes great pains to stay safe and always deliver her loads on time to the precise place and person she is assigned to. When she started working as a bike courier, she poured over maps of the city to get the best routes to certain boroughs and tested them out on the street with her bike whenever possible.

She took training runs throughout the city to understand the best ways to ride when she needed to make an especially quick delivery. Valerie Topete was able to carve out a niche for herself as a bike courier because of her dedication to the occupation that many people think is too dangerous.

Valerie Topete still lives in New York with her husband and two children.