Confessions: Wish I Were a Bike Messenger!

Okay, okay… you caught me!  Daydreaming AGAIN on my way to work.  I wouldn’t consider myself a particularly fast, sneaky, or agile bike commuter (and by fast I mean speedy, Cycle Ladies and Gents), but the commute through shady downtown where bikes are faster than cars is often the best part of my day!  And although I’m not the archetype (I am an archiTECT, does that count?) of the tattooed, pierced, just don’t give a crap, badass hipster with an iphone type, I have a confession to make:  Sometimes I wish I were a BIKE MESSENGER.

Maybe not Third Rock from the Sun status bike messenger, or Robin “Lost Without You”  Thicke stunt messenger status because – let’s be honest – I would be as fast as an old lady crossing the street with a wire wheely cart full of ong choi and daikon radishes.  And who would hire a messenger who gets the package to its destination as-soon-as-I-feel-like-it instead of ASAP?  Plus, obeying traffic signals, using brakes, multiple speeds, and not smashing car mirrors with a gi-huge chain fist could be considered weaknesses in my resume.  Not everybody can rock the aerospoke/turquoise Bianchi look:

My buddy Sau used to bike message. Now he is the coordinator for non-profit KVIBE - building bikes with young'uns in Kalihi!

But you gotta admit, hasn’t the thought crossed your mind when you are pedaling through downtown or the financial district…?  How fun would it be to ride all day/every day!  If only I could get paid to cruise on the Bumblebee from 9-5 instead of sitting in the same position for 8 hours a day like an office cheetah.

Office Cheetah - we're out of staples.

Anyway, who knows – maybe one day I’ll start my own bike messenger freelancing organic raw vegan cooperative called SlowBike!  My slogan could be “It’ll get there, when I feel like it.”  A girl can dream, can’t she?


  1. Ghost Rider

    That’s not an Aerospoke (raises hand meekly and admits, “yeah, I’m a bike geek”).

    I fantasize about couriering all the time…except for the shitty pay and the incredible danger one must place themselves in to make real money. Mostly, I just want to ride my bike all day, and that fantasy takes the shape of pro racer, messenger, or whatever strikes my mood.


    I’ve always disliked the hypocrisy surrounding bike messengers… people hate how they ride, yet other people are paying them to ride they way they do!

    For myself, I don’t think I could summon the nerve even if I wanted to.

  3. Mir.I.Am (Post author)

    @Ghost – word!!! I think the sentiment is more like, I wish I could spend all day riding my bike from place to place. Bike messenger for me just seems like the closest thing to bike commuting: getting from one place to another using pedal power!

    @Rantwick – touche! I never thought about that angle. I wish there was a hypocritical/ironic emoticon, then we could insert it right after the PREMIUM RUSH video clip… or more like a emoticon of mocking amusement…!

  4. Graham

    I fantasize about running a bike shop… but not the lame beach cruisers and slightly better than WallyMart nonsense everyone has going on down here. I’m talking about a for-real alternative transportation shop with cargo bikes, touring/commuting machines, and employees who not only know what a fender is, but how to install one!

    Ahh, daydreams…

  5. Ghost Rider

    @Graham — I have that same daydream, too. Practical bikes, with a little ultra-high-end racing glory in the back (behind the beaded curtain, like those old video stores 😉 ).

  6. John h

    Robin Thicke vid was taken down BOO!

  7. Elizabeth

    I pretended I was a bike messenger yesterday as I had to dart across town to pick up some materials from the city about bike safety (and maps, etc) for a bike presentation I’m helping present today at work. Fun times. One really nice taxi driver made up for the one who tried to run me off the road.

  8. sau

    oh gosh @Mir.I.Am, not only did you find that horrendous old photo, but you will be happy to know that post-messenger that bicycle has received a transformation. it currently looks something like this:

    brake included…getting too old for brakeless riding.

    @Graham, please do start a shop for alternative transportation. at this point, honolulu has a stark refusal to provide bicycle roadways, but its my hypothesis (and hope) that it will change if there are more bicycles on the roadways – especially cargo bicycles. the KVIBE cargo bicycle is a joy to ride and really draws positive attention (mostly) from onlookers. heck, its even USAC race proven:

  9. Emika_B

    I am definitely pro-bike, but I am not pro-bike messenger. At least, not until they learn to ride responsibly and/or their schedules are redone so they can ride responsibly and keep their jobs. How sad is it that I’m flabbergasted by the bike messengers who do follow the rules? Shouldn’t that be the norm? Isn’t it in their best interest to set the good example so that motorists will give them the respect (and roads space) they deserve?

    Maybe I’m just old school, but two wrongs don’t make a right. Just because their schedules are too tight (wrong on the boss) doesn’t mean the rider should break the rules of the road (wrong on the rider). Time for folks to start taking responsibility. Riders, if you can’t make your delivery on time, let the boss know. Would he rather give each run an extra 10 minutes or pay out exorbitant health care premiums because his riders get hit? Or worse, have to pay out death benefits? Bosses, listen to your riders. They’re your lifeblood, you need them. Won’t work out if they’ve been hit because their schedule’s too tight.

    I know, preaching to the choir and all that.

  10. Emho

    Mir.I.Am: Entertaining, again! I don’t share your dream of bike messaging, but that’s because me on a bike is just unnatural and challenging and sometimes I’m hyperventilating, and I’m always snotting and screaming (which is really hard while hyperventilating) at my ex-pro-cyclist husband to slow down. But I do often dream about a food-based career, which is kinda the same because I spend at least as much time as you spend on a bike stuffing my face nonstop. So cheers!

  11. Bugsubi

    Sometimes I have the exact same dream. Except I’m living in a post-Apocalyptic Seattle, and I am a genetically engineered mutant working for a company with a name like Jam Pony who, because I’m a bike messenger has enough free time to steal valuable information for a subversive rebel network:

    I think I need to start stocking up on colorful gore-tex vests. 2019 is only 7 years away…

  12. Laura K

    joseph gordon levitt makes me want to ride a bike.

  13. RL Policar

    Ya I pretend all the time. That includes the times when I pretend to be fit and fast while riding my bike. One of my day dreams would be to open a cup cake/Bicycle shop with my wife.

  14. BluesCat

    Laura K – (chuckle) Cote de Pablo makes ME wanna ride! <3

    RL – I pretend to be a super hero; Mrs. Cat gets really angry with me, because of the red "S" I've put on all my shirts.


    @bugsubi – JAM PONY!!! Love it. I got nothing against bike messengers and nothing but love for people on bikes of all varieties…!


    I think I’ve stopped even pretending, choosing to laugh at myself instead.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *