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  1. #1
    Senior Member cupcrazy4's Avatar
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    courier cyclist as a summer job?

    Firstly, I didn't really know where to post this thread, but in my sifting through previous 'courier' threads a few people mentioned this would be a good place to post. (If not feel free to direct me in the right direction.)

    I'm 17 and am about to graduate from high school in June. I need a job over the summer break, and was considering being a courier (I live in Toronto, Canada). I have been riding a crappy old bike for quite a few years now, but nothing more serious than errands and some pleasure rides. I'm in the process of upgrading to a decent cyclocross bike (possibly a touring bike) and plan on commuting 25km per work(school)day until the middle of june. My only other job experience was working construction for 2.5 months last summer (60hour weeks) In terms of fitness, I play competitive hockey and think I should be a bit sore for a while, but ok in the end.

    I've searched around a bit online and the few cycle courier job opportunities I've found demand 'experienced' or 'talented' riders. I can hold my own on a bike in traffic and have job experience (just not as a courier). Do you think being a courier in downtown Toronto is a reasonable option as a summer job?

    thanks for you help!

  2. #2
    edw
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    can someone pass the popcorn?

  3. #3
    broken spokes bike club napalmandroses's Avatar
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    if you want to work really hard for 40 hours a week and sometimes make minimum wage for it. do it.

    I know that here in montreal many couriers don't make minimum wage (for the hours they work) at the end of the week.

    to top it off...youll be worked harder and make less money for the first few weeks

  4. #4
    Look at all these buttons EivlEvo's Avatar
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    Try searching messenger also.

  5. #5
    Senior Member cupcrazy4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by napalmandroses View Post
    if you want to work really hard for 40 hours a week and sometimes make minimum wage for it. do it.

    I know that here in montreal many couriers don't make minimum wage (for the hours they work) at the end of the week.

    to top it off...youll be worked harder and make less money for the first few weeks
    I went to my LBS to look at some bikes today and I was talking to the manager about being a courier. He said couriers make decent money in downtown Toronto.

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    If you want to do it and you can get the work, why not? It beats working at Wonderland.

  7. #7
    Senior Member doomkin's Avatar
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    you'd probably make more money at mickey d's.

    just saying.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    i've been thinking about seeing if Jimmy Johns needed any delivery people this summer. I've already got a job, but i won't be getting that many hours over the summer and I'll have a lot of free time.

  9. #9
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    you only really make money as a courier after a couple of years of hard work. if you just need a job for the summer, you should wait tables or go back to construction.

    speaking as someone who's done all three.

  10. #10
    dan bones! goldenskeletons's Avatar
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    naw, be a messenger.

    i did commercial roofing when i was your age and it was the most depressing job i've ever had. being a messenger is fun, but don't do it if you need money. lots of your money is gonna go right back into your bike as well. you just can't ride these things for 40 hours a week without replacing stuff rather frequently.

    also, you're most likely gonna catch a lot of flack for being a fairweather messenger. the easiest time to get hired as a messenger is january and february. ...but damn, i'm too much of a sissy to wanna work toronto in january. boston was enough.

  11. #11
    Lotion/Basket/Hose Doctor Who's Avatar
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    I gotta vote for construction, especially if you get prevailing wages. Ride your bike to/from work or after.

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    By all means, abuse your body while you still can (just remeber you will feel it in 10 years)

  13. #13
    live free or die trying humancongereel's Avatar
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    no, don't be another tourist kid hanging out for a summer and taking work from the all the people who depend on it as more than just a "summer job". you will be hated, and rightly so.
    have:ea50 flats, black, light, stiff.
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    want: risers, light, stiff, 1", black if that can be
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  14. #14
    Senior Member nathbdp's Avatar
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    ^^ +1

  15. #15
    . . . bonelesschicken's Avatar
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    Do it! But just remember that to pass the messenger entrance exam you have to be able to do barspinz.

  16. #16
    Senior Member cupcrazy4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by humancongereel View Post
    no, don't be another tourist kid hanging out for a summer and taking work from the all the people who depend on it as more than just a "summer job". you will be hated, and rightly so.
    "Tourist kid"? I'm not really sure what you mean. I live in Toronto...

    I did a search on Craigslist and there are a few companies looking for bicycle couriers. Does this still qualify as taking work from people who depend on it for more than a summer job?

  17. #17
    Successful alcoholic krusty's Avatar
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    Don't forget to save all your food receipts, as it's all tax deductible in Ontario if you're a courier (fuel). I say go for it. I briefly considered being a courier 20 years ago in Toronto when it looked like I may have ended up on strike. It didn't happen, but the jobs are always there in this city. Have fun.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Slabshaft's Avatar
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    You'll make way more money and find it easier to find a job in construction or something. I did that during summers in high school and college and it was great despite the 115+ heat. Despite all the youtube videos and the contrived bike messenger culture, it's a bottom of the barrel job with no real glory. It's more on the same lines as being a paperboy (if that even exists anymore).


    And by the way, never tell a company you are looking for a summer job. You always make them think it's a career choice so they give you all the benefits and proper pay. Otherwise you will not only have a hard time finding someone to hire you, but you will get ripped off pay wise.

  19. #19
    Senior Member cupcrazy4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slabshaft View Post
    And by the way, never tell a company you are looking for a summer job. You always make them think it's a career choice so they give you all the benefits and proper pay. Otherwise you will not only have a hard time finding someone to hire you, but you will get ripped off pay wise.
    Thanks for the tip--I'll keep that in mind.

    About the construction job--I hated it. I made great money but the job was pure misery. In fact, because of the money I made last summer + the fact that I saved almost all of i,t I really don't need the money (my parents are making me work full-time anyways...)

  20. #20
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    i did construction at 17. that **** sucked. if there are job posts LOOKING for messengers, then you're not taking food from anyone's mouth. that means there is a position open at a company, and everyone's buddies who got first dibs didn't take it, so it's open to the rest of the people. we all know that's how these jobs go, so don't act like some rookie coming in is some sort of scab.

    if you can get the job, and you know downtown like the back of your hand, then do it. it'll be fun, healthy, and you may like more than you think and keep going back to it (school breaks, after a layoff, etc).

  21. #21
    Top 5 ****** snortCRANK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serendipper View Post
    Doggy style is the jam.

  22. #22
    gz_
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    FREE DEATHHARE gz_'s Avatar
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    work on a farm... good hard work, get to be outside, get to drive monstrous tractors... say 'aw yup' a lot

  23. #23
    Senior Member cupcrazy4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by metaljim View Post
    ...and you know downtown like the back of your hand, then do it...
    is it ok if I don't know downtown like the back of my hand? I live in the west end. I figure I'll just buy a good map and get by on that... ?

  24. #24
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by humancongereel View Post
    no, don't be another tourist kid hanging out for a summer and taking work from the all the people who depend on it as more than just a "summer job". you will be hated, and rightly so.
    Oh please.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  25. #25
    nobody resin heaven's Avatar
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    its really not that hard to find courier jobs

    i called up every company i could find in dallas, found out which ones used bikes, then asked if any were hiring. still waiting on a call back from one and another has me on a list to start work in a couple weeks.

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