FEATURES

MOTORCYCLE COURIERS, THEN AND NOW

FROM BIKE-ENTHUSIASTS MAKING MORE THAN CITY GENTS, TO MARGINALISED WORKERS DUPED INTO DEBT AND STRUGGLING TO EARN A LIVING WAGE.

“Back in the day, being a courier was a licence to print money and have fun."

This is what dispatcher Mike Webb* told me, while tracking pickups, deliveries, and riders across a computer screen.

Webb runs a small courier company tucked inside a north London business estate. He worked as a dispatch rider in London throughout the 80s and 90s.

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Loadsa money!

“We used to drink stupid quantities of alcohol, ride our motorbikes, and make loads of money. And life was cheap; everything was cheap then; insurance was cheap. And it was just a really good laugh.”

Motorcycle couriers used to be part of a distinct subculture. They were an eclectic mix of bike enthusiasts, including artists, musicians and “real public schoolboys,” who loved to ride, and, one advert alleged, made more money than a “city gent”.

It is not like that anymore.

“That central culture has kind of dissolved or became spread thin," said Peter Bulman, from behind another desk in the busy office.

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What has changed, the two men agree, "is that it hasn’t changed".

The money, that is.

While the cost of living has soared since Webb started riding in 1979, the average courier wage has stayed nominally still. Dispatch riders now literally do not take home many more pounds than dispatch riders did back then, he said. Of course, this means the real wage, when you adjust it for inflation, has plummeted.

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Webb estimated that the average motorcycle courier makes about £500 each week. But dispatch riders are self-employed contractors, which means they have to pay all their own expenses. Even after they have invested in a bike, weatherproof clothing, and other kit, they still have to pay out for petrol, insurance, repairs to their vehicle, and the occasional speeding ticket or parking fine. Webb said he reckons when you take all this into account, take home is about £350 a week.

In the 80s, it was more like £500, minus £40 or £50 for expenses, and in real terms that was a hell of a lot more money back then.

Wages have stagnated, Webb said, because of big companies becoming involved with an exploitative “supermarket mentality”.

His firm is one of the very few small courier companies left in London. Most others have been bought up by industry giants like CitySprint and eCourier, Webb said.

“Management still make some money out of [the industry], but the riders are the ones who suffer,” Webb said.

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PHOTO BY DAVE GURMAN
The lived experience of couriers seems to back him up.

“I was offered a job at CitySprint working from Birmingham,” said Tom Freed, a dispatch rider I spoke to online. “It was £400 guaranteed a week, but that was with your own bike, insurance, petrol, and he reckoned you'd need to do over 1000 miles a week to get more than £400. So take-home would be abysmal.”

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He added, “It's very risky. It will have you soaking wet and freezing for half of the year, and probably kill your interest in bikes”.

Webb said his drivers do take home about London living wage - he pays a retainer to make sure of this. But he agrees it is still a hard way to make a living.

“One of the things I do when we get a new rider, is I tell them all the worst things. I paint a really, really bad picture, I tell them how everyone is against you, you get rained on all day, you get sh*tty receptionists shouting at you… I go on and on and on and then I say ‘if you’re still interested I’ll tell you the good bits’."

“A lot of people go ‘oh thanks’ and run away.”

Big companies tend to do the opposite, he said. They advertise heavily to lure in people who have never been dispatch riders before.

When newbies phone up, they are promised big earnings. It is very common, Webb said, to see people borrow money “to buy a motorbike, get insurance, and get all the gear, only to realise after a week they do not have the right aptitude for the job, so they leave, terribly in debt.”

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PHOTO BY DAVE GURMAN
Iain Rickman used to be a courier with one of the big firms based in London. “You'll spend weeks, months, years getting yourself into debt,” he said. “I spent two years trying to make a living out of it and failed.”

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He added the job put a strain on his relationship because he was always on call and frequently exhausted and “grouchy”.

“In all honesty, you will probably earn more delivering for Domino's Pizza in a rich area, ” he said, adding that pizza companies even tend to pay riders a fuel allowance.

On the bright side!

A single good thing about couriering nowadays, Webb said, is the bikes are much more reliable. But despite this, he said he had seen couriers’ enthusiasm for their vehicles wane.

“There’s less of that real enthusiasm for being on two wheels,” he said.

“You used to get in the past more biker people, now most couriers at the end of the day get home and don’t touch their bikes. It’s just a tool. Whereas in the old days, most bikers would play with their bikes at weekends because they were just really into bikes.”

There are still a lot of old bikes out there, he added, in addition to new scooters. But that could be about to change too, with the introduction of a daily emissions charge to reduce pollution in central London next year.

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Couriers have always been self-employed, so in a way they are not newcomers to the so-called “gig economy” (if you are not familiar with the term, it is exactly what it sounds like, a model in which workers are contracted job by job — gig by gig — rather than hired as employees with robust workers’ rights).

But in the past dispatch riders were adequately financially compensated for not being pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) staff. Job security and a safety net matter a lot more when you are scraping by hand to mouth, than when you are rolling in it.

“I looked into if I can afford to have PAYE riders, and I can’t," Webb said, adding that it is something he would like to pioneer. But unlike the big firms, he simply does not have the capacity.

Herding cats

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Recently, cycle couriers at Citysprint unionised, went on strike, protested and won concessions. On average, they now make the living wage.

But it is difficult to get couriers — perhaps motorcycle couriers especially — to organise. Webb and Bulman said: it is not in their nature.

“The thing about couriers is they’re all very independent," Wedd said. "They’re all loners. They’re all individuals. If you think, they’re spending days riding around on a bike on their own. To actually get them all together is like herding cats, basically.”

But it could happen, Webb said. He is sure there will always be demand for people to take things quickly from A to B.

“When the drivers stop working for peanuts, the customers will have to pay more,” he said. “If you think about it, there will always always be demand for couriers.”

*Some names and identifying details have been changed

Have you worked as a motorcycle courier? Tell us your story at news@wemoto.com.

Comments

22/12/16 - My first company was riva

22/12/16 - I witnessed the death of one of the last of the 'rock n roll' jobs. It was the best job in the world ... destroyed by technology and greed

22/12/16 - I used to live in London for many years.I never worked as a courier.But I have this to say:most of them are very good riders,very good guys.Also I am convinced that they are a different kind of bikers.I am a biker but they are different, not better or worst.Respect.

22/12/16 - Been in the courier game for 35 years, starting with Pony Express back in 1981

22/12/16 - Worked at Pegasus Despatch in South London when everyone either had a Peugeot speedfighter or CB500, I worked my EXUP 1000 and Honda Fireblade. Great times

          22/12/16 - Love This

          22/12/16 - I worked an Exup too. Loads of fun

          22/12/16 - Put over 140,000 miles on it.

          22/12/16 - Reserve tank switch was a C. ..though. You KNOW what I'm on about....lol

22/12/16 - I used to work as a courier nationwide ten years .worked out of peterborough

22/12/16 - I did 20 years at it .....

           22/12/16 - Nice

22/12/16 - So no difference between the UK and Ireland regarding Couriers pay and conditions

22/12/16 - 20*yrs in London, Pegasus/goughwallace/securitydespatch/citysprint.

22/12/16 - Worked for 13 years as a courier always London based but travelled all over. Briefly featured in MCN 1988 and a reader recognised me pushing my GSX 750 a week later as I ran out of petrol near Holyhead late at night and rescued me.

22/12/16 - Worked from 1976 to 1985 for Arrow One, Roadrunners and Inter City Couriers, the last on PAYE so he won't be pioneering anything.

Got to Leeds at 7pm in January one time. By the time I got back to London I couldn't move my legs so had to slip the clutch around the roundabout at the bottom of the M1. I also had to slow down for red traffic lights on the North Circular until I was able to move my legs. I spent the next day in bed.

22/12/16 - Did 4 years London home counties NTV600.

22/12/16 - 1984-1987. Bristol.

Interlink Express. Pony Express.

Over 200,000 miles.

Three Kawasaki's. Z650B1. Z750L3. Z750GPA1.

Great times, with some great people. Nicky at Royds SW, springs to mind.

Liz Riches from Interlinks head office was another.

Never grossed more than £500 in a week.

22/12/16 - It always was (and still is) the best and worst job in the world

          24/12/16 - Hell yeah !

22/12/16 - Valuable Post !

22/12/16 - Great experience, a window into the working world of every business in london. . Great times, cold times, wet times. .

Got back what you put into it. . But the good times are laaaaaang gaaaaaaan. . Gave up in 2000. . Was averaging £500 + at reuter brooks. . Gotta take petrol and tyres outta that so. . Not brilliant £. . Could be very stressfull. .

Never doin it again

          22/12/16 - Agreed i quit around the same time hiring a cb 350 rent deducted for radio was a means to an end enjoyed the experience but glad i got out

          22/12/16 - Nice

          23/12/16 - I was at Reuter Brooks too. I started there when they were still Gough Wallace averaging around £700 p/w. I quit left in 99 when I became a full time Virgin Limobike rider.

22/12/16 - I managed just over a decade (13yrs) dispatching in the 80's/90's, Hornets, Pony Express, Fastway Flyers.... fantastic times, great memories but those glory days are long gone

          22/12/16 - +1

22/12/16 - 94-99 in london,bonds,premier,west one,courier express and last but not least,holborn globetrotters!

22/12/16 - Worked out of Croydon for Pony Express on a variety of bikes, CX500, 350lc in the summer, cb500, gt500 made an absolute fortune, wheelies everywhere not 1 prang in 3 years. It was great until they started fucking with the rates and if you weren't bunging the controller a wedge each week you'd get shit runs. Do my biking on track now, kindly sponsored by the best spares supplier on the south coast, yup Wemoto

22/12/16 - Did a year or so back in '79 for a small Company based in Duck Lane (Soho) on a Superdream...then years later in around '90 I did 5 years straight finally finishing up with Ricochet (now called just Rico) on an XJ900, until I knocked the Controller out, lol. Was great money back then...regularly hit the 500 quid a week mark.

Wouldn't go back though.... no money in it now, plus it's a young Mans game anyway

22/12/16 - Started at city bikes in 95 on rs260's and cx500's could earn good money then

          22/12/16 - That should be rs250's my fat fingers

22/12/16 - Started at mayday couriers in 83 " then city bikes in 86 until 2007.. bl**dy hard and demanding job. Looking back " it was a great experience.

23/12/16 - I did a few wks AtoZ in 86, drove trucks for a dew yrs to Malta. Pony Express and West1,1990 to 99. Ended with a big off on a wet December night in Victoria.

Bought and paid for my house. After being in the Army, it was my 2nd favourite job. Meet Prime ministers, World leaders, celebrities and some d*ck heads on security 😀.

Was in an article in a Motoring Magazine. Mentioned by the late Terry Wogan, as I almost wipped him out. Now living in fear of TOGs......my Mother still mentions her Tog embarrassment. As she realised Terry was talking about me on his show. He stepped off the pavement as I "made good progress". Around the corner, past the station. It was so close I heard him breath in, saying "good God"!!!!!

Great days, nearest iv come to being cool.

24/12/16 - Never mind dickheads I soon discovered that by putting down the delivery note on mind side of the receptionist desk I would often get a great view of their cleavage when they stood and lent over to sign. 👀

23/12/16 - I worked for Mercury Despatch for twenty years from ’74… the first eight on bikes - Suzuki GT250, GS425, GSX400 -  then vans for the rest.

In those days we were ‘employed’  on PAYE, with a company bike which we could use at evenings and weekends. The company looked after us pretty well because there was always the temptation of ‘big earnings’ as an owner rider elsewhere.

Some of the quick guys - and gals - could make good earnings self employed as long as they kept their heads (and their luck). Good riders were quick but not risk takers (though to some observers, it might have looked different). They relied on their knowledge and experience, and looked after each other. Many of the good riders returned to the company. They soon learned the advantages of a reasonable ‘basic and bonus’ with paid holidays, and a bike supplied - replacements if needed - all running costs covered, and a good workshop and crew to service or rescue as required.

I only passed a four wheel test and transferred to the vans so I could transport a race bike to meetings in the company Sherpa (later Transit). The company felt that their bright orange liveried van in the paddock was good advertising, so they allowed me a full tank of fuel on a Friday night, without having to wait till mid-day Monday to fill up again… effectively sponsoring my sport. (If I was racing ‘up north’ - Elvington, Esholt Park, etc. then I was even allowed to fill a big can with diesel too.)

There was definitely a sense of ‘family’ about the business… both within Mercury, and in the friendly rivalry between companies. We certainly had some laughs, with surprisingly few tears as serious injury or fatalities were rare amongst the experienced riders… A courier treated his bike as a tool, and wouldn’t hang on till the last moment in a ‘situation’, but would ‘get off’… unlike a guy clinging on to his ‘pride and joy’ till impact. A work bike could be replaced.

23/12/16 - The only good thing about all those years as a courier was that I got to get my knee down past all the famous London landmarks and most of the squares in W1!

23/12/16 - Did 15 years and lived to tell the tale. I had 3 minor accidents in all that time which was always cars pulling out in front of me and testament to my riding skills plus 6th sense of impending doom. There wasn`t any real money in it once you paid all your expenses. It Certainly wasn`t worth the risk to life and limb. On the plus side, i still know London like the back of my hand. No sat nav required!

23/12/16 - I crashed

          23/12/16 - Hahahahahaha haha yeah you did!

But then again, didn't we all?

          23/12/16 - Yes but it was into you

          23/12/16 - Funny times!

          23/12/16 - Now older but not wizer

23/12/16 - Why is this not still a thing.

           23/12/16 - ano hahaha I'd love to do that for a job

          23/12/16 - Aye but best we could do now a days it deliver pizza

23/12/16 - Gave it 24 years from 1985-2009. Where else do you get paid to do something you love? Money was great for the first 15-20 years - especially as I was fed rotten! Paid for my racing. Had to move to NZ to get out!

          23/12/16 - I work at the same company  for a while and I can confirm he was feed rotten

23/12/16 - West One 12 yrs MZ, RS,VT,CX,Boxer, KLT, XLH managed to stay upright now a Cabbie Chasbikes are still trading!!

24/12/16 - I remember when the postal strike was on loads of money

24/12/16 - Started at little old Mach 1 in 86 Cbrs125 then driving their transit for a while before taking up controlling there. Rented a bedsit on site off Jeremy Thompson the owner. Used to drink locally got an offer I couldn't refuse from Jambusters who had recently been taken in under the Gough Wallace umbrella. Work was mimimums which pissed the Gough boys off when getting handfuls from the likes of Clifford Chance and Price Waterhouse. Easy money if I didn't earn a £ a mile it was a bad day. Had an accident which involved my foot peg on my XL 500 going through the bottom of my foot. (Don't wear trainers)

Went to work in the office as coordinator / controller as it evolved into Reuter Brooks.

Left in 97 as I cracked under the pressure of office life.

Happy days.

Sciatica keeps me off motorbikes.

Stay upright road warriors

Merry Christmas and a Happy new year

24/12/16 - 15 years I did , best co was ambassador, worst was SG group although Express treated you like shit:

24/12/16 - Worked for Kipling...in late 70s started on a fs1e Yamaha...lol.lol.omg ended up on 750 Suzuki...wow..great manic days..meet lot great people ...learnt my way round London...days when you had knowledge and how too read nickelson map book...not a sat nav...lol..drinking coffee in carnaby st ....cr*p I'm old..lol..

24/12/16 - was a london despatch rider in the early 80s best days of my life to date!.rode for mercury inter city couriers west 1 and loads of less known companys

24/12/16 - I was a motorcycle messenger on a Honda CG 125 with a huge metal box on the rack that was big enough for A2 sized paper to fit flat! Honda main stands wouldn't last 5 minutes until will discovered Honda CB 125 footrests would bolt straight on allowing use of a side stand. Doing 1st gear wheelies was fun because you just couldn't flip it because of that box!

24/12/16 - Tough work and i'm still at it.www.nunonabike.com

          24/12/16 - Merry Christmas you're the best one. working there x

24/12/16 - 12 years, Abbis Brand Couriers, Deadline & Churchill Express where i met my sons mum, loved every minute of it

24/12/16 - I've still got my Pony Express jacket, green with white arms

          25/12/16 - Iv got a top box in my shed

24/12/16 - Internet killed it, had quite a few mates who did it back in the day, all ended up buying expensive bikes from me for the weekends..ISDN meant internet connection of most documents so courier not needed..

          24/12/16 - I did it for a few years back in the day and it was hard!

           24/12/16 - Yeah for sure, especially in town, most of the money was made intercity, from what I was told, especially across channel.

          24/12/16 - Leaving home at 7am not returning until at least 7pm. Cold and wet most of the time. Sweating profusely the rest. I did mostly City and West end.

          24/12/16 - Bit like working on a building site in the city then..mind you they start a bit earlier..

25/12/16 - London and UK couriers past and present. Is a Facebook site. Join up if you havent already.

25/12/16 - I used to work as a courier between surfing trips round the world. Worked crazy hours and did huge milages on my R850 to pay off my debts. Still found time to go to Box Hill at the weekend and up to Archway to hang out with the guys. Competitive, hard, but good fun, still don't use a Sat Nav, still ride (but now only when its dry and I can get my knee down)

25/12/16 - Yeah! Premier, MPC, Addie lee and then out to the 'burbs - mogul and PJ's!!

GT750, maggots ,VT500 (lol) eventually GPZ900r - that's when the fun began.

So many good memories that will never be seen again

Loved it

27/12/16 - I agree about the money side and how wages haven’t changed partly, I think, because the big companies are ripping the couriers off of which I have an example. (Sorry I don’t have pound signs as this is a South African laptop which has $)

I first subcontracted in 88 for News International along with 27 others and were paid an hourly rate for 8.5 hours a day plus overtime if you wanted it. There was no need to rush around as you were paid by the hour not the job and, to be honest, it was pretty laid back with no jobs out of London. I used to work Saturdays (mainly because I had nothing else to do) which usually involved me going to matches (football, rugby, cricket, whatever) and sitting with the photographer and then taking his rolls of film back to Wapping in the afternoon/evening. For this and my normal week work I was paid the princely sum of over 500 quid out of which came maximum 30 quid on expenses. I had two bikes then a Yammie Tenere and a BMW R100RT. I loved this job, it was great fun and I worked with a great bunch of professionals.  I left in 91 to go back to my travels in Africa.

I came back here in 2012 and went to work for Courier Connections (ecourier) and even with a couple of long jobs each week and working over 10 hours a day and Saturdays I only just managed 500 quid a week on some weeks but expenses had gone up by a mega amount since 88 so I was working longer hours for less money. The reason I left (not just because of the money) was some of the practices they used. One was, although they knew the day before,  they would hang on to long jobs until mid afternoon and then expect you to race like mad to deliver it by a certain time (I picked up one at 3pm and it had to be at Hull Airport by 6pm so you know what speeds I had to travel at). But the clicker was (and here’s the exploitation) that when I was in the travel agents to pick up the passport they wanted to process the payment and one guy asked the other how much were the courier company (us) costs and he said 650 quid. I was getting paid 150 quid for this so I was pissed off with this and resigned. (In 88 I got a job to deliver in Middlesbrough and got paid 150 quid back then). The trouble is that they know that they can exploit it as they mainly employ foreigners who are more than happy to work for that kind of money and not the money they deserve. I’m sure there are some decent courier companies out there and I was sad to stop doing so but in the end things worked out much better for me so I should thank them for their exploitation.

29/12/16 - Started.. Carlton cars/couriers Crystal Palace Football stadium ( Charlie victor 15?) Suzki gs125.....ahhh late Friday pick up from what is now CAPITA Beckenham to Redditch ( Yes That one) on my 125 with a loose chain that kept slipping in 1st, 2nd and by the end 3rd.....M1 L plates off.......Oh how I laughed ...then S & G Couriers, old street then Globe couriers Foley St (Captain Kev) then independent for Planet 24 the big breakfast/The word.....then 1st couriers E.2 on a CX500....but many little bikes......and in those days you didn`t always have a licence, insurance, etc etc , lol just be polite and hopefully you don`t bump into that officer again.......lol

          29/12/16 - A CX 500, a popular choice for many messengers.

04/01/16 - Worked as a courier from 1987 to 2009. Loved it. As I am a woman the receptionists didn't yell at me, they just delayed me by asking questions! Moved to Cornwall in 2010, not much call for bike couriers there unfortunately. Still ride my bike nearly every day though.

04/01/17 - Great feature, thanks

I couriered in London with Addison Lee and then with Interlink (much better) in 1978 and 79, and again in 1981 on my MZ250. The money was very good, but only if you worked long hours every day, didn't take much holiday, seldom crashed, kept costs right down (that MZ!), and lived somewhere cheap but central. It was crucial also to avoid the tax man. I kept every pay advice note and every receipt for petrol, oil, tyres, parts, clothing etc for 10 years in case he asked- but he never did.

Chris Scott's book The Street Riding Years is an excellent read on the hey day of the couriers and the spirit of the age.

Yours, ex- Echo 20

By the way, I still have the MZ

04/01/17 - I started in 1985 with Media messengers EC2, great times. VT500 mainstay bike. Become their controller for a while but hated it. Formed my own firm in Colchester in 1989 and continued onto 2009 when we transformed into a motorcycle training school and moved to Wickford. Very happy memories throughout. Great full I made a living for my family from bikes. Unbelievable.

04/01/17 - I have been a courier for more over 25 years, it all started Croydon based with CCL as a sub contracter, all the other riders were company riders., I worked for Capital Parcels, Hornets, Fiveways express, Direct couriers and West One Rapid. That was just the Croydon based companies. When West One was taken I stayed with the new American owners now under the name City Sprint. After an issue with one of the riders I moved to stay with City sprint but from the London base. Ended up moving to Quicksilver which didn't work out and went PINK. Stayed with them till I ended up booted out from a Fleet manager who was a t*ss*r and was on a mission to get rid of all the riders and replace them with people will kiss his arse I ended up working for Worlds End Couriers which is where I am still. Back in the Capital Parcel days I was doing long distance work, had a Quack GT550 and boy did I do some miles and same days didn't get home till the wee small hours. Since the GT550 wore out I've been using Honda CD250U's then onto CB250's For many years I've done more local work, south east area mainly but at Worlds End my work is confined to within the M25 with the odd run outside. I can see myself doing this job till I'm pushing up the daisies.

06/06/17 - Did 7 years on the road for Mercury, short time at Delta and a while at West One. Loved the call "anyone want an early start?" It usually meant BACS, Southend wait and return. A days wages in the bank, before anyone else had earned anything !!!!! Then about another 7 years back at Mercury in the workshop. I can still remember how to take a VT 500 engine apart, throw all the parts into a box, and then rebuild it. Some great times, and some miserable times, I remember one year when it rained EVERY DAY for 6 months !!!!!

06/02/18 - Thanks for writing a very good and very realistic aspect of being a dispatch rider (D.R.).

I too was a D.R. back in the 80’s & 90’s and have particularly fond memories of doing the job for 15 years or so! Postal strikes were of course a favourite; earning £1,300 or more per week but this happened rarely so your take on what a courier actually takes home (after expenses) is spot on.

As I got older and ‘tired’ of the job I decided to become a primary teacher!

Long story short, after 15 years of teaching I decided to don my leathers once again working for a company here in Bournemouth. I only started last week so it’s early days but the owner and other riders are definitely from ‘the gold ol’ days’! I’m 53 years now and have always loved riding motorcycles - but only time will tell whether or not I can ‘last’ another 15 years!

13/08/19 - I was a courier in london and Birmingham and loved it.

26/09/19 - I just read the article about dispatch riding. I was 18 when I got my first full time dispatch job in W.1. I had been a rider for a photographic studio in Duck Lane where there was a Dispatch Co in the same alley. The Company was a Rogues gallery of every type of bike rider ( Same Day Delivary ) which was run from a base down in Tintagel , Cornwall had guys doin the knowledge , Firemen on side work, old hippies rolling their joints for the day ( Dave Bond "007" ) , an orthodox Jew ( Steve Steingal )., ( Grubert the Marine Biologist ) a couple of college boys from Streatham along with my mate Turkish Ed and myself from SW16 too

There were the girlfriends of the hippies , Jenny , Vanessa , Jane who all did some riding too ,  ( I found Jane working in Africa where she has lived from many years.)..The Girls were the ones who got some nice jobs if we were all out on the road....We had a guy who was the exact double for Bob Hoskins ( Stan) without being menacing ..He and his house mate Steve road the big Suzuki's and lived in Blackheath....

OH GOSH !! The memories are flooding back...Once in a while during the summer we would all take off for the New Forest or the Black mountains of Wales and set up camp...everyone would be there along with whatever kids they owned too....I remember a girlfriend who I took once and she was a nice girl from a nice family in Streatham,,,,She was scared stiff when she first set eyes on the mob but soon changed when she saw what a great family we all were.. I treasure those times.....I left Same Day in 81 and in 1985 I found myself in Los Angeles working the same job for 2 Londoners who had set up the company and were raking it in... I would make more in a day in LA than I would in a week in London .....and I was on good £ in London in 79/80... I think I was on a guarantee of £200 a week and that was low compared the the older riders.

I really wish that the collected time I spent at Same Day could be written down by a professional writer. There is a story there somewhere . Thatchers Britain help some people and in a roundabout way I was a victim of it too. I left the UK and made LA my home for 20 years and what a story that is.....from living in a Castle in the Hollywood hills , with all that LA bull shit life style to soak up and also the fact that one day I went to work and found out I was working for the Gambino crime syndicate out of NYC......what tales.. !!!

14/04/20: ..rode for Citylink out of Manchester in 1988 for two months in the summer to see if it was viable. I was riding a VF750FD "interceptor' and felt like a pig in shit in terms of job satisfaction. It quickly became clear why six out of the 10 riders had CX500 s. I went through rear tyres at the rate of  one every 5000 miles and  chains lasted about two weeks. In those days the job was viable with a CX and in an ideal world  preferably two of them.  I very nearly continued being a courier and had I not been offered a short term but High paid job instead I would have done. I still ride and these days have an old but still fast Cx650 Eurosport.

It was not an easy job but I loved it. I think you really need to love riding bikes to get something out of it especially these days. The other thing was the camerardery.. Absolutely great  bunch of guys\ riders..take care road warriors. I salute you.. Rocky..

TOPICS: COURIERING
Posted by Charlotte England
for Wemoto News on 22 December 2016 in Features

Edited By: John Younge

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