11.21.2012

an article on the DC Messenger scene... and two shots of a Kevin




pictured about are shots of Kevin before he retired as a DC Messenger

Greater Greater Washington has an article on the declining DC Messenger Business

The Courier Business Changes and Endures

give the article a read
not sure if I agree with all that was said here
although I do not want to give a line by line rebutal
I am going to slap the key board as I sip my coffee

as far as "blending in"
I feel that the messengers stand out like sore thumbs

their gear... often a little gritty is not like any other in the elevators
the standard apparel for men and women down town are elements of clothing that are dry clean only
women in heels and men in freshly pressed suits
not the same as battered Gortex jackets and knickers frayed at the right calf from catching the chain too many times

then to quote the over estimation of how work once was?
there are 100 Senators and 435 Congressmen
which means that there would more than likely not be too many more than 535 drops on the hill
sure there could be 5,600 envelopes
but to sort them would take as long as to deliver them

and then to quote one person's issue with "smelling like shit"
sure... there are and have been some strong smelling bicycle messengers
but I am not sure if that is the norm
sure... there may be a messenger or two with a "Pigpen" like reputation for needing a shower and needing to either wash or burn their gear
glove hand is a bad smell... but I do not recall ever standing next to a DC Messenger and thinking that they needed to take a shower

and then the pay scale...
the short lived industry has had an evolution
set wage\guarantee jobs... in house jobs... and commission jobs have been various options for pay relationships of messengers for years
there is also the growth of the "cargo messenger" 
and then the messengers who have drifted off to become pedi-cab drivers

personally I feel that the messenger industry has shrunk dramatically
far fewer messengers
and only a few messengers making money
but... there are a handful of dc bicycle messengers who are doing better than getting by
while there have always been a segment of the dc bicycle messenger scene who only make enough to squeak by

although I lack the crystal ball technology to foretell the future
I think that there is the potential for this industry to continue
and in fact... it could grow
if and only if there are companies who wish to make that happen

DHL is embracing the cargo bike option

European Cities have seen a boom in the cargo bike delivery services

and of course
there is the SPERM BIKE
google it!

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