Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Valerie Topete - Essential Tips For Road Cycling Safety

As a bike courier for Mercury Rising, Valerie Topete has an exceptional safety record and has never been involved in any traffic collisions, barring the occasional small scrape with taxis. To maintain this record for safety, she makes sure to refresh her knowledge of security while road cycling on a regular basis, which is particularly important given that she works in New York. These pointers will prove useful for anybody who is wary of cycling on the road, particularly in built-up areas that are often congested with traffic.

Valerie Topete Avoid The Sidewalk

A lot of new cyclists try to ride on the sidewalk, rather than the road, in an effort to avoid collisions with vehicles. This is not only dangerous to yourself and pedestrians, but may also lead to you breaking the law in some states. Avoid the sidewalk whenever you can and make sure to get off the bike if you have to use the it. Remember that trying to weave in and out of groups of pedestrians is extremely difficult at the best of times, but is much more so when doing it at high speed on a bicycle.

Make Eye Contact

One of the key challenges that faces cyclists is ensuring that other road users recognize their presence so that potential accidents can be avoided before they happen. Though you may find it a little uncomfortable at first, by making eye contact with drivers, especially when at stop signs or traffic lights, you make sure that they are aware of your presence. You don’t need to get into a staring match, as a look and a smile should be more than enough to suffice and keep you in their minds as they pull away.

Always Wear A Helmet

One of the first safety tips that any cyclist will be given is to always wear a helmet, even on the shortest rides. This is particularly important for road users and may save your life if you are involved in a collision. Hard concrete hurts and hitting it at speed can lead to traumatic injuries that, in the worst case scenario, could have a dramatic impact on the way that you live your life. Always be sure to invest in a quality bike helmet and make sure that it fits before taking it out on the road.

Wear Light Clothing

Valerie Topete points out that cycling at night presents a range of challenges that you won’t face during the day, the biggest of which is maintaining visibility. Always make sure to wear light-colored clothing when you are out on the road so that drivers can easily see where you are. Reflective stripes and other high-visibility clothing will also be able to offer additional protection.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Valerie Topete - Things To Consider Before Becoming a Bike Courier

Valerie Topete became a bike courier after she moved to New York, following the completion of her studies at UCLA. She started out as a freelancer, taking jobs from Craigslist and online forums before she came to the attention of Mercury Rising in 2011. She has since developed into one of the top bike couriers in New York and was recognized as the Top Rider for the company in 2015. There are a number of things that people need to consider if they are interested in following in her footsteps and becoming bike couriers themselves.
                                      Valerie Topete
How Well Do You Know Your City?

Before you start making deliveries, it is important that you develop an almost-encyclopedic knowledge of the area where you will be operating in. This can be a challenge, especially in built-up areas that can often feel somewhat maze-like when you are out on the road, but it is going to prove essential if you are to make fast deliveries and stay safe while doing so. Pay special attention to designated cycling routes and take full advantage of them, as they may allow you to cut out large parts of journeys if used well.

Is Your Bike Up To Task?

As surprising as it may seem, speed is not always going to be the top priority when working as a bike courier, as it will often be the case that you can’t get up to top-speed due to traffic or the winding nature of a journey. Instead, you need to have a bike that is reliable and capable of handling long distances without causing you any issues. Invest in a bike that has a strong frame and do your research before committing to a purchase. Your reputation could end up being ruined by a poor bike that breaks down at an inopportune moment.

Learn To Handle Stress

Remember that every single package or document that you carry is very important to the person asking you to make the delivery and should be treated with the utmost respect. This can become very stressful, especially if you have taken on a number of jobs for the day that all require very speedy deliveries. You need to be able to handle the often-frenetic nature of life as a bike courier when riding, plus it is crucial that you take advantage of your time away from the road to unwind.

You Have To Love It

Valerie Topete has been a successful bike courier because she has a passion for cycling. If you don’t share this passion, it may be worth reconsidering the career choice as you are going to end up spending long days on a bike, every single week. A lack of passion leads to missed deliveries, which often means that you don’t get paid for your work.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Valerie Topete - Bike Equipment That Every Cyclist Needs

So you have finally purchased a bike and you are looking to get out on the roads as soon as possible. However, before you do, it is important that you pick up all of the relevant equipment that you will need to make your journeys as comfortable as possible. As an experienced bike courier in New York City, Valerie Topete knows better than most just how important good equipment can be, particularly during long days of cycling. All of these are important for any new cyclist to have if they want to stay comfortable for longer.

A Helmet

The very first thing that you should purchase before you head out on your bike is a good helmet. Make sure that you do some research and pick a helmet that has been made by a quality manufacturer, instead of trying to buy the cheapest option available. After all, your helmet may end up saving your life if you are involved in a collision or end up coming off the bike for any reason. It is also important to ensure that you purchase a helmet that properly fits your head, so that you can enjoy full protection.

A Water Bottle

Long rides can get very exhausting and the constant sweating may lead to you becoming dehydrated in fairly short order, especially if you are cycling in warm weather. This means that you should always have a water bottle available so that you can take a quick swig if the ride is starting to wear on you. Always refill it before you head out on the bike and make an effort to clean it properly when you return home. If you’re on a very long ride, it is also wise to take advantage of any opportunities that you have to get a refill by stopping off at water fountains that might be on your route.

Valerie Topete
A Puncture Repair Kit

Tire punctures are one of the biggest issues that a bike courier or long-distance cyclist is going to face, so you always want to be sure that you have what you need to make quick repairs so that you don’t end up stranded on the side of the road. Purchase a good puncture repair kit that leaves you able to repair multiple tires if needed. It is also a good idea to bring a bike pump along with you as well, so you can re-inflate a tire following the repair work.


Valerie Topete finds that the friction that her hands experience from constant gripping of handlebars while she is working as a bike courier can be problematic. By investing in a good pair of cycling gloves, you completely eliminate this issue and will also be able to remedy any problems that could be caused due to vibrations while riding.