We've been in Buffalo for about half a year now, but I (Andy) grew up in nearby Lewiston, so it's more like a return to the region. If you find yourself asking the question, what do couriers do? We learn a lot about how bikes and cities go together while we're on the job. Here's some of what we've learned as bicycle couriers during our years in Boston:
You've seen our posts on what couriers carry and how they learn about the city, but if you're still wondering, what do couriers do? Couriers create community. On a local scale, bicycle messengers tend to form a tight knit community and stick together. Small city-wide races are organized regularly to benefit a cause or just for fun, which encourages messengers from other cities to visit. In the past few decades, these little communities have grown more connected. Regional and world championships have cropped up, and many messengers travel to as many as they can.
Working as a bike courier might seem easy and straightforward from the outside, but it actually takes years to learn the ropes and become proficient. There's so much to learn, from how to watch and interact with traffic, to properly handling different cargo, to bike maintenance, and more. If you're wondering, what do couriers do? One thing we do is carry a lot of strange cargo. Here is some insight on what we've carried with us as bicycle couriers.