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Old 09-02-05, 01:12 PM   #1
Crazy Cyclist
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How can I deliver papers by bike?

here is the situation. A friend of mine is going on a trip and she wants me to do her paper route. There are about 110 papers. I have a delivery bag already, I also have panniers. 2 of the streets are outside my door, I live in a bay, so it is both sides. In fact all of the streets are within walking distance but 110 paper might be to heavy to walk with and I was thinking about using my bike. THe plan was to put the papers in the bag and then ride my bike to the street, lock it up, do the papers and then go home and do some more until they are all done. Is there a quicker or better way?
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Old 09-02-05, 01:52 PM   #2
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Do you have a trailer?
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Old 09-02-05, 02:02 PM   #3
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Hi BNB. I don't have a trailer, I don't know if it is worth buying one. I will be doing the papers for about 1 week and after that, I wouldn't really have any use for it. I don't have any children.
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Old 09-02-05, 02:39 PM   #4
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um, get good at biking, and be able to bike without hands [slowly] and have the delivery bag at your side and throw the papers in... or attach a cheap basket to the front of your bike (large box+duct tape if you don't want to spend the $$) and reach in and throw! use the bike, dont ditch it
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Old 09-02-05, 02:41 PM   #5
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Practice by playing Paperboy on an old Nintendo. After a few hours, you should be able to thrown the papers into the mailboxes, and avoid all the RC cars on the sidewalk.
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Old 09-02-05, 02:44 PM   #6
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When I was a kid, I used to usually fold all the papers in advance and ride the bike to each location and toss a paper. Of course, I was out in the sticks, and my route was over 6 miles long... If I was in a hurry, I would take the papers and fold them while on the road, riding with no hands.

I think instead of dragging all the papers the whole way and walking the streets, you might want to consider breaking the route into segments and carry fewer papers at a time, and make multiple trips radiating from where the papers are dropped. Riding the bike the whole way will save significant time, even with the extra mileage. 25 or 30 papers would be much easier to manage than 110.

It is surprising how quickly you can get relatively accurate at throwing from a moving bike.

I used to be able to not only throw papers accurately, but also slam papers into the plastic newspaper tubes (the type found in rural areas below the mailboxes) at about 15MPH...

Have fun with the adventure.
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Old 09-02-05, 02:51 PM   #7
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I used to have a paper route and was fortunate it went from one intersection into 4 directions. I'd load up all the papers to do one street (direction) and then come back for the next batch. Depending on the route, you may be able to do the same.

I also got very creative at tying papers to the frame and handlebars as well as carrying some in the bag. Tie wrap a milk crate to the handlebars and then roll the papers up- put them in so they're standing straight up. Should be able to hold quite a few that way. A flat rack over the back tire could hold the rest. Sunday will be the hardest day by far...
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Old 09-02-05, 03:18 PM   #8
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I have a 207 paper route currently (nice extra $1k a month for my laptop and the new bike fund) in which I use two backpacks to hold the papers. I will be switching to a rack-and-pannier system soon (albiet I'm coughing up $400ish for the combo). The benefit to the pannier set is that I intend to do at least one continental tour in the coming year or two and the investment will pay for itself. In your situation, I'd recommend the milkcart pannier.
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Old 09-02-05, 04:33 PM   #9
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You may be able to get some pointers from this.
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Old 09-05-05, 12:01 PM   #10
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you could ask your friends for a car ride
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Old 09-05-05, 12:34 PM   #11
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Depends on the size of the paper, and the clients' expectations. If you have to stick each paper inside a screen door, it's faster to walk. If you can toss 'em on a porch a bike might be OK.

I did my paper route on foot at age 12 or so. It was a thin paper and I would fold it in three, tuck one side in the other, then pull it cross ways so the overlapping part had a fold through it, then slap it on my knee to bend it and "lock it". Once that was done I could toss it and it usually didn't fly apart. Hope the sketch helps.

Only works if it's a thin paper.

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Old 09-06-05, 04:06 AM   #12
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In the UK the postal service use bikes with a large box over the front wheel. You need some kind of rack to support it, bolted to the forks.
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Old 09-07-05, 01:27 PM   #13
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Depends on your delivery bag, the size of your panniers and the size of the papers.

With big papers, the easiest method is to have paper bags like panniers hanging off a rear carrier.

Then it's real easy:
1. roll papers with rubber bands
2. load in bags
3. ride the route
4. throw/stuff papers to client's houses.

You might get something for dogs if you don't have anything. They like the thrill of chasing paper boys.
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Old 09-07-05, 08:17 PM   #14
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Ahh, every little kid's dream job...
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Old 09-07-05, 08:51 PM   #15
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You need a Schwinn Heavi Duty bicycle. Put the high rise handlebars on it. Then the hard part. Find some of those old canvas newspaper delivery bags. One should go on the handlebars, and the other two are saddlebags for the back. You should be able to carry all those papers in the bags in one trip. You fold the papers ahead of time, the grab the ones out of the front bag and throw while riding. Replenish the front bag evenly from the back bags.
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