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.
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.