We've all seen them weaving in and out of traffic on Midtown Manhattan streets, pedaling like mad while bearing their burdens from Point A to Point B. Love them or hate them, bike messengers are everywhere, it seems.
Bicycle messengers are part of the Big Apple's manual labor workforce. As such, they don't need any special skills beyond endurance and a willingness to go forth in some fairly harsh weather conditions. For messengers, speed is essential. However, so is having a good working knowledge of the city's routes.
They need to be able to effectively coordinate runs with dispatchers and adapt to differing security protocols in the maze of New York City buildings.
Being a bike messenger can be dangerous. Almost every rider has their own tale of being "doored" or grazed too closely by aggressive motorists. The older bike messengers who have been on the job for a time tend to be safer than their younger and newly hired counterparts.
Still, distracted drivers who are texting, people-watching or otherwise engaged in something besides driving can endanger all who travel on foot or two wheels within the five boroughs. If you get injured while on the job as a bicycle messenger, you may be entitled to compensation from a negligent driver for your injuries and the damage to your bike.
In some cases where the injuries are very extensive and require months or years of recuperation and rehabilitation, bike messengers may face permanent disabilities that render them no longer able to work. Filing a claim for damages begins the process that can lead to financial recovery.