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  1. #1
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    USPS Bicycle Carrier's - fewer injuries

    Here's an article posted on USPS Newslink, an internal electronic newsletter issued daily. Posted in Safety to show that cycling can be safer than driving.


    WHEELING IN ENERGY CONSUMPTION
    USPS continues its support of eco-friendly initiatives

    Sun City, AZ, Letter Carrier Terry Hesselrode.
    The Sun City, AZ, Main Post Office is using pedal power to lower its fuel costs.

    Its letter carriers ride bicycles on 37 delivery routes — saving USPS $24,000 in annual gasoline costs at current prices. Bicycle delivery conserves 7,800 gallons of gasoline annually when compared to Long Life Vehicle delivery and eliminates 25,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.

    All Sun City carriers with bike routes received new wheels in November. “We’re thankful to have our fleet replaced,” Sun City Postmaster Mark Strong said. “Now our red, white and blue fleet of bicycles can maintain green delivery.”

    In more than 25 years of bike deliveries, none of the town’s postal cyclists have ever experienced a runaway bike, and they have suffered fewer injuries than letter carriers delivering mail on motorized routes. Only one other location in the country — St. Petersburg, FL — uses bicycle delivery.

  2. #2
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    In my neighborhood the carrier appears to have a personal choice.
    One drives to a nearby parking lot and load up bicycle (carried on truck) with mail and delivers to several streets.
    A different driver on same route parks truck at end of every street and walks down and up it delivering mail, then hops in truck and goes to next.
    Another driver will stop at nearly every house.
    Mostly I see the carriers walking house to house, even on rainy days.

    Al

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    It would be difficult to deliver mail on a bicycle. I work at the USPS at a regional center. Back in the early
    80's I was a secretary (clerk craft) and when they had a budget crisis I was sent to a station to carry mail. It is not so easy to carry flats on one arm, letters in the hand, Mail bag on opposing shoulder and then bend down to put mail in door slots. Let me tell you. People had their mailboxes all over the place. One time I couldn't find the mailbox and left the house and there it was mounted to a tree. So...I don't see how you can carry all different types of mail unless it is a rural route and you have a basket. Thanks for the info.

    Debbie

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    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    doesn't that concur with what Robert Hurst has always claimed? That couriers, despite what some would say practice "unsafe" techniques, have fewer collisions than other cyclists?

    When I was in the UK, I saw there were many posties delivering mail on bikes. Here was a pic of one I took outside a pub. (I'm guessing the odd pint isn't too bad either?)


  5. #5
    Good Afternoon! SamHouston's Avatar
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    Per kilometer traveled Hurst is correct, I've gone as long as almost 4 years without contact with another vehicle despite riding daily for hours in high density traffic.

  6. #6
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    doesn't that concur with what Robert Hurst has always claimed? That couriers, despite what some would say practice "unsafe" techniques, have fewer collisions than other cyclists?
    I would say not. These mail couriers in Sun City are certainly not riding in the urban courier style, environment nor route selection mode that Hurst is comparing to 'other' cyclists.

    Here is a photo of a Sun City mail carrier:
    http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...1&d=1197904771

    Al

  7. #7
    Delicious Dave Vicious dam6923's Avatar
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    Do these bike carriers have any sort of special training?

    Flying is also a lot safer than driving... a big factor is that the person driving is very well trained and not some punk 16 year old.
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    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    I posted the same article in Utility cycling.

    I don't know if there is training, but knowing the Postal Service, I would suspect that there is at least some informal training.

    I also just noticed that the mail handler isn't wearing a bicycle helmet, but only the usual pith helmet to protect from the sun.

    I am not in the area, but I think it is pretty logical to assume, based on the picture and the usual patterns for walking deliveries, that they probably ride on the sidewalk, in a more pedestrian than vehicular fashion.

  9. #9
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
    I am not in the area, but I think it is pretty logical to assume, based on the picture and the usual patterns for walking deliveries, that they probably ride on the sidewalk, in a more pedestrian than vehicular fashion.
    That is likely very correct. I've only twice been to Sun City and it is like in the pictures - driveways leading to quiet residential streets. The mail carriers who cycle in my neighborhood use the side walk and ride up to the mail boxes that face sidewalk or ride up each driveway to put mail on house mount mailbox. Riding on the street would not make sense as they would have to hop up on sidewalk every house. Cycling is at very casual pace, after all they are not being paid per delivery and there is no sense in going much over walking speed with a stop every 50-100'

    Of course there will be longer distance sections to/from neighborhood that may be cycled differently.

    Al

  10. #10
    Good Afternoon! SamHouston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by outashape View Post

    In more than 25 years of bike deliveries, none of the town’s postal cyclists have ever experienced a runaway bike, and they have suffered fewer injuries than letter carriers delivering mail on motorized routes. Only one other location in the country — St. Petersburg, FL — uses bicycle delivery.
    This injury rate likely includes soft tissue damage & strains, repetitive motion troubles that would be far more prevalent for a small delivery vehicle. Constantly reaching from vehicle to streetside box, constant sitting or constant entering & exiting of the vehicle are all problems the bicycle fleet would not face as often, combine that with the possibility that the bicycle fleet could enjoy a better standard of overall fitness when compared to a motor vehicle delivery person, this too reduces injury substantially.

    The Post Office could probably save themselves a lot of money applying & modding this to other areas

  11. #11
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
    ...I also just noticed that the mail handler isn't wearing a bicycle helmet, but only the usual pith helmet to protect from the sun...
    There's probably a greater risk of harm from the sun than harm from a fall.
    Last edited by closetbiker; 12-17-07 at 10:36 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member wheel's Avatar
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    Yea bicycle carriers ,
    I seen them also in Scottsdale and Mesa I have some pics I can post when I get home.

  13. #13
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by outashape View Post
    Here's an article posted on USPS Newslink, an internal electronic newsletter issued daily. Posted in Safety to show that cycling can be safer than driving.


    WHEELING IN ENERGY CONSUMPTION
    USPS continues its support of eco-friendly initiatives

    Sun City, AZ, Letter Carrier Terry Hesselrode.
    The Sun City, AZ, Main Post Office is using pedal power to lower its fuel costs.

    Its letter carriers ride bicycles on 37 delivery routes — saving USPS $24,000 in annual gasoline costs at current prices. Bicycle delivery conserves 7,800 gallons of gasoline annually when compared to Long Life Vehicle delivery and eliminates 25,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.

    All Sun City carriers with bike routes received new wheels in November. “We’re thankful to have our fleet replaced,” Sun City Postmaster Mark Strong said. “Now our red, white and blue fleet of bicycles can maintain green delivery.”

    In more than 25 years of bike deliveries, none of the town’s postal cyclists have ever experienced a runaway bike, and they have suffered fewer injuries than letter carriers delivering mail on motorized routes. Only one other location in the country — St. Petersburg, FL — uses bicycle delivery.
    The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.
    No worries

  14. #14
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Those houses must be far enough apart to make delivering by bicycle faster than a walking route. In between houses they can only be riding the bike, and not "fingering" the mail until they get to the box. There's no chance that any of those guys could deliver mail faster than I can on foot on my route. The big thing I notice is they don't have to dismount to deliver up a porch. The biggest change we are making is apartment type boxes on streets in new developments. I can do about 400 stops of single family homes in 8 hours, while some in the Central Valley of California can do 1500-1600 per 8 hours.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  15. #15
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamHouston View Post
    This injury rate likely includes soft tissue damage & strains, repetitive motion troubles that would be far more prevalent for a small delivery vehicle. Constantly reaching from vehicle to streetside box, constant sitting or constant entering & exiting of the vehicle are all problems the bicycle fleet would not face as often, combine that with the possibility that the bicycle fleet could enjoy a better standard of overall fitness when compared to a motor vehicle delivery person, this too reduces injury substantially.

    The Post Office could probably save themselves a lot of money applying & modding this to other areas
    Motorized routes include "Park and Loop"(walking), which has the biggest potential for injury. The routes where a person doesn't leave the vehicle to deliver the mail are less prone to injury.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  16. #16
    Delicious Dave Vicious dam6923's Avatar
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    Just out of curiosity, what bikes were they riding? I have never seen this before (very cool though!). Are they hauling trailers? Riding e-bikes?
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  17. #17
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    They look like they might be made by Worksman.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

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