Monday, 21 March 2016

Valerie Topete - An Intro to Mercury Rises

Valerie Topete has been working as a bike messenger in the New York City area for many years. As a freelancer, she overcame many challenges to iron out a good living for herself, and her family. After working on her own for three years, fate intervened, and she met John Tudebaker, CEO of Mercury Rises, a hyper-competitive bike courier service operating in New York City.
Valerie Topete

Topete had no idea what she was getting into when she accepted a test interview from Mr. Tudebaker. Tudebaker had found her based on her reputation as an excellent freelance courier with no traffic incidents on her record. It was based on that information he thought Topete may have what it takes to compete in Mercury Rises.

One thing that became apparent for Topete when she officially started at Mercury Rises, is their spirit of competition. Tudebaker has every employee of his company in direct competition with each other. The company is all about skill and precision, speed and accuracy.

Mercury Rises has a standard that does not compromise. Tudebaker simply wanted the best couriers that New York City had to offer, and Valerie Topete found herself on that list.

Valerie Topete has now found herself immersed in the competitive culture of the company. Though at first glance the competitiveness may seem strange to outsiders, Topete has developed a kind of bond and comradery with her fellow couriers based upon mutual respect. Topete continue to perform at her best, as working for Mercury Rises offers little alternative.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Valerie Topete - A Freelance life

Valerie Topete did not always enjoy the comfort and security of being employed full-time by a company. In fact, before she became a bike courier for the company Mercury Rises in New York City, she worked as a freelancer. Though her duties of delivering packages all around the city has not changed, her experience is much different working for a company than it was being a freelancer.

Valerie Topete
There are pros and cons to freelance living, as with any occupation. While having a reliable full-time position at a company ensures a steady pay rate and often comes with good benefits, it also comes with a rigid, set schedule and rules. Also, many jobs have a steady pay rate, which means it won’t go down, but also is likely not to go up.

Freelancers on the other hand have the freedom to set their own schedule. A freelancer is his or her own boss. While this means more personal freedom, freelancers also tend to have a far less reliable income, as job opportunities often change or disappear all-together. So while a freelancer has more freedom, they also take substantially higher risks. Freelancers are also not entitled to things like health insurance benefits.

Though freelancers’ income is not always certain, one upside is that they have the potential to make more, faster, based on how hard they want to work.

Valerie Topete enjoyed her time as a freelancer, but prefers working at a steady job where she can rely upon a stable income.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Valerie Topete - Bike Messenger Equipment

Valerie Topete is a mother, wife, and bike courier that has been working in the profession for over seven years now. Being a bike courier has been a unique experience for her, one that has made her a part of a sub-culture all its own. The job comes with its own set of rules, practices, accepted beliefs, and even some special equipment.

Valerie Topete

While the most obvious bit of equipment needed for a bike courier is a bicycle, there are many other pieces of equipment that are necessary for the occupation. Even the kind of bike one gets matters, as most couriers tend to favor fixed-gear bikes, as they require little maintenance and are simple. There is also little need for multiple gears, as most bike courier services are done in urban areas with relatively flat, level terrain.

Another important bit of gear for a bike courier is a lock. A lock is an important safety measure to deter theft while making deliveries. Simple chain and padlocks are often used, though specialized U-locks are also popular. Bike couriers also usually carry basic tools for quick repairs, weather-proof clothing, a backpack, and a street map. Sometimes basket mounts are used as well, depending on the kind of packages the courier regularly delivers.

Valerie Topete has had some interesting experiences as a bike courier. She has learned that it is important to have the right tools for the job. That is why Topete is always fully-equipped with a multitude of items to make sure that she is safe, well provisioned, and on the right track.