Working as a bike courier is a desirable job because it keeps you in shape, avoids you feeling stuck behind a desk and provides unique challenges daily. You might drop off a package in one part of the city and then get a message that you need to pick up another package elsewhere in the city as soon as possible. This will leave you racing through the streets to serve your customers, but it’s important that you always make safety a priority. Keeping safe as a bike courier starts with wearing the right gear — helmet, knee pads and elbow pads — but extends to being smart on your bike. Here are some tips to ensure you always travel safely.
Steer Wide Around Parked Cars
One of the quickest ways for a bike courier to get injured is to be hit when a motorists opens the door on a parked car. It’s ideal to always be aware of parked cars and to leave as much room between your bike and the doors as possible. In heavy traffic conditions, this might be challenging. In this situation, look to see if anyone is seated in the car. If not, you can generally pass closely to the car; if you see someone, gauge his or her body movements, as they can suggest whether the person is about to open the door.
When In Doubt, Ring Your Bell
A bell is a close ally of any busy bike courier, as it allows him or her to alert others to his or her presence. There’s nothing rude about ringing your bell; a quick “ding” will clearly tell people that you’re approaching the area, whether it’s a crosswalk, a sidewalk or any other area in which there are lots of people.
Be Smart In The Rain
A rainy day can be challenging as a bike courier, but provided you’re wearing waterproof gear and taking some extra safety precautions, you’ll be okay. Do your best to avoid puddles; it’s hard to know how deep they are and a deep pothole filled with water could cause you to crash. Likewise, give yourself extra braking time and avoid following others too closely due to slippery roads.
Make Eye Contact
Even if you’re following the rules of the road concerning the right-of-way, there’s no guarantee that those around you are doing the same. Never assume that you know how a driver or pedestrian is going to react; whenever possible, make eye contact. A quick glance can often let you know about someone’s intended path, which means that you can quickly alter your course, as necessary, to avoid a collision.Read More