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  1. #1
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    Bike Messengers: Endangered Species?

    This article was in my local paper (Portland, Maine) yesterday. I think it will be available without registering for the next week.

    Evidently the bike messengering business is way off over the last few years, thanks to increased use of electronic document sharing such as email. It focuses on a few local cyclists, but also mentions industry stats from other parts of the U.S. Just wanted to share the article and see what comments people might have.
    Quote Originally Posted by MadfiNch on Commuting forum
    What's the point of a bike if you can only ride it on weekends, and you can't even carry anything with you?!
    Portland Maine Bicycle Commuting Meetup

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    Well, don't touch that dial! If Jim Kunstler is right (in his new book, "The Long Emergency") there will be plenty of work for those who can get things around by bike.

    Personally, I'm wondering how long it will take lazy/busy people to figure out that for the price of operating a car, they can get an immigrant/poor person to be a full time "go-fer" for them.

  3. #3
    1. e4 Nf6 Alekhine's Avatar
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    Let's just hope they don't go out the same way carrier pigeons did!

  4. #4
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilHinault
    Well, don't touch that dial! If Jim Kunstler is right (in his new book, "The Long Emergency") there will be plenty of work for those who can get things around by bike.
    Sounds like an interesting book, please tell us more! Is it about the coming oil crisis?
    Quote Originally Posted by MadfiNch on Commuting forum
    What's the point of a bike if you can only ride it on weekends, and you can't even carry anything with you?!
    Portland Maine Bicycle Commuting Meetup

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    Yeah, and it's a GOOD read, very information and idea dense. I bought it in hardcover for $23 and I'm normally the kind of person who waits for the softcover. It's just out, well worth getting I think.

    And yes, it's about the coming oil crisis - same author wrote a scathing book about urban sprawl that did well.

  6. #6
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    They'll always be needed. Not everything can be sent via email, and certainly, solid objects will need to be delivered too...

    Koffee

  7. #7
    Headed to the Library... DC_Emily's Avatar
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    here in DC the government keeps couriers way busy. and architects too. guess blueprints are special.

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    Business is still booming in boston, nyc, etc. Ask on the ss/fixie board...

    Actually, my dad who did a lot of business with messengers in the 80's, said that most messengers lost most of their jobs/work with the advent of the fax machine, not the email....

  9. #9
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DC_Emily
    here in DC the government keeps couriers way busy. and architects too. guess blueprints are special.
    Nah... simply the governments way of requiring archaic document formats that is "special." Lots of designs today are done on CAD and passed about electronically.

  10. #10
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DC_Emily
    here in DC the government keeps couriers way busy. and architects too. guess blueprints are special.
    Around here, we send most of our engineer drawings, C and D size, electronically either as the raw file, pdf, or a solid model file. It's even better than sending a paper copy since we don't have to dimension that much for them, they can just pull it off themselves.

  11. #11
    H23
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    Senior Member H23's Avatar
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    You fixie messengers think you're hardcore now?
    Just wait until you're forced to lug fat complaining tourists around town....

    http://www.bikesatwork.com/bicycle-rickshaw/

  12. #12
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by H23
    You fixie messengers think you're hardcore now?
    Just wait until you're forced to lug fat complaining tourists around town....

    http://www.bikesatwork.com/bicycle-rickshaw/
    That's creepy, in NYC, the trailer's behind the biker heh.

  13. #13
    FOG
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    The bike messengers on K street in DC, seem to be a self-endangering speicies, as they have no concept of how to obey traffic signals nor rules of the road.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by slvoid
    That's creepy, in NYC, the trailer's behind the biker heh.
    Those rigshaws may be the last form of employment for those human powered workers. Even the newspapers are delivered by car today!

    I was standing at the place in New York City where these cyclist go to work and it is HARD work indeed. One guy walked in looking nearly dead during the summer and he said there was no way he could work today. I don't see many girls doing this job because the bikes must be over 110 pounds and the wheels are heavy and inefficient.

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