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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 07-27-05, 10:42 AM   #1
deadly downtube
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Mess in Chicago?

I'd like to post a question to those who live in Chicago, or better yet ride a bike, or even better yet mess around in Chicago... what's it like as far as the weather goes? I'm mostly interested in the upsides and downsides of the seasons, especially winter... my friend said he did it in winter and wasn't too bad, told me there's a freak bike race in the dead of winter where you ride in your undies???
how does it compare to new york?
just thinkin of getting out of santa cruz and getting a mess job hopefully as i love riding bikes, any tips would be appreciated...
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Old 07-27-05, 11:25 AM   #2
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There's an awful lot of messengers sitting much of the day. I would suggest a different line of work. You could always bike outside of work.
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Old 07-27-05, 02:20 PM   #3
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how stupid of me to try and get a job doing what i love... i should just stick to the crappy ass job i have and ride my bike more... thx for the great advice
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Old 07-27-05, 02:24 PM   #4
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dude. settle down. he was only trying to tell you that mess work is slow right now. It's something you should know. You'd probably be able to get by on messenger work in Chicago. You can live cheaply there. MUCH more cheaply than NYC. But Monkey is giving you the inside scoop; he sees lots of folks just sitting around waiting for dispatch to call. And if Monkey is a messenger (I don't know if he is or not), it's in his best interest to keep you off the streets...
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Old 07-27-05, 02:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadly downtube
how stupid of me to try and get a job doing what i love... i should just stick to the crappy ass job i have and ride my bike more... thx for the great advice
The problem with getting a job doing something you love is that then something you love becomes a job.

I know that sounds kinda weird, but trust me, it's true.
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Old 07-27-05, 02:34 PM   #6
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How stupid of me to try and help a guy out by giving the informed opinion that he asked for.
a**hole.
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Old 07-27-05, 02:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by deadly downtube
how stupid of me to try and get a job doing what i love... i should just stick to the crappy ass job i have and ride my bike more... thx for the great advice
ha.. i love that you equate being a messenger with doing something you love and all other jobs as crappy.. ahh..youngin...my friend once said "sometimes you have to hit the wall with your own face" ..id say moving from santa cruz to a winter mess job in chicago would be a solid face hitting..

edit: annd jimbobs 110 percent right.. those are words to live by.. when you dont want to do what you love.. because youve been doing it all day for your job.. that is a bummer
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Old 07-27-05, 02:43 PM   #8
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This forum is getting crappy.

Stupid jerks, the same ol' questions, people copin' attitudes.

Oh and they comment on how I have my seat tilted.

Who has the time?!

Myspace. If you're not on it I'll tell you it's better than this. Hot chicks, need I say more?!
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Old 07-27-05, 02:49 PM   #9
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Whoever told you messing in winter wasn't too bad was wrong. My old roommate used to messenger here in Chicago. In winter he blew 3/4 of his paycheck trying to stay warm on the streets while waiting for packages/runs to come in.

Mess'ing in Chicago is slow in the summer because everybody's out there doing it. Monkey was dead right and being honest.

A lot of people romanticize messenger work. Having had a good friend who was one day in and day out and know plenty of others, it's tough. Especially if you haven't done it before. I'm not saying you shouldn't, but you better be prepared to deal with small paychecks and non-choice runs if you're starting from the bottom. Dispatch will give you the crappiest, farthest runs first, until you've proven that you're going to stick around.

That said, Chicago, as EnLaCalle mentioned, is affordable and you can live in good neighbourhoods for cheap, in decent neighbourhoods for cheaper and in shady ones for nothing (though if you can tough it out and take no ****e, you'll be fine).

Chicago has four seasons. And winter is harsh. My old roommate would as mentioned above, spend all his money on coffee, sandwiches and fruits and nuts -- almost $10 a day. He originally started out earning just $100 a week. Minus radio rental (from the company) and taxes and you're looking at $200-300 a month. But winter is also where all the fairweather messengers go away and you can make some good money if you hook up with a good company and work your ass off.

Messengering, anywhere is not for the weak. And in any place that has the full range of climate and a large cycling population, you have to be prepared to fight for your right to make money.

I'll say it now and I'll say it again: Unless you're hardcore and want to make this your life or are ready to commit to it, find a different job.

But if you're willing and ready, then go for it.
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Old 07-27-05, 02:53 PM   #10
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P.S. These days in Chicago, a lot of messengers have started doing food delivery runs for places like Potbelly's and such. The word is that it's much better (benefits, runs, etc) than mess'ing and pays decent too. So that's an option.
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Old 07-27-05, 03:02 PM   #11
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i messengered a winter in seattle.. and its not even that cold there.. but it was wet and sucked.. another thing people dont always factor in is.. your gear all falls apart.. the weekly parts upkeep was a total pain when youre riding 60 miles a day.. shoes fall apart, etc..and ive never eaten so much in my life.. always hungry.. but like absntr said.. try it .. you might like.. but i for one am glad i left it long ago
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Old 07-27-05, 03:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raygunner
This forum is getting crappy.

Stupid jerks, the same ol' questions, people copin' attitudes.

Oh and they comment on how I have my seat tilted.

Who has the time?! YOU DO

Myspace. If you're not on it I'll tell you it's better than this. Hot chicks, need I say more?!
another empty promise??
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Old 07-27-05, 03:11 PM   #13
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Ah, the summer of 1995. Over 500 heat related deaths, and our dear monkey was just beginning his short- lived career as a bicycle messenger. And going home to his apartment near Cook County Hospital:

http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/C.../443213in.html
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Old 07-27-05, 06:28 PM   #14
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I was just saying i love riding my bike, and would love to get paid to do it...
monkey, your response seemed a bit snobbish and or elitist... i guess i should expect this, ask about a good city to mess in, and people who have mess'd just assume your a weakling who couldn't cut it, or a posenger who should get ****ed.

delivering sandwiches or delivering whatever it is messengers deliver is all the same to me, i just want to get paid for riding my bike, and i dont want to have go and win the giro de italia to do it....

thx for the advice from those with thoughtful responses to my questions... i rode in chicago for 2 weeks during the summer, it was quite nice, and i have cousins there.. but there are a lot of cities to choose from...
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Old 07-29-05, 04:07 PM   #15
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Right now because of the nice weather everyone is out delivering their own, but once the season changes you can make good money. But, if you go to the smaller companies like faster you can make some money. I was just hired on and am gauranteed 25-30 deliveries a day. Also, once the weather turns and the college kids go back to school alot of business frees up.
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