London Cycle Courier Appreciation Day 2010

Wednesday, 27th October – that’s next week!

Have a look at the LCEF website for more details.

If you’re a courier, make sure you find plenty of excuses to ride up Shaftesbury Avenue on Wednesday – I will be making lots of this.

(Suggestions (and requests) gladly considered.)

And if you’re a real person – well, why should you care about Courier Appreciation Day? Isn’t it a bit vain of couriers to organize an appreciation day for themselves? And aren’t couriers just a gang of irresponsible hooligans who run over old ladies and make Gresham Street look untidy?

Good question.

Well, for a start, couriers are very useful if you’ve misplaced your lighter or need directions to anywhere in Zone 1. (And they’d make twice as much money if they were actually paid for these valuable public services.)

And you – yes, you, with the rolled up jeans and the aerospoke! – you owe us for your image. Big time.

But also…

Well, it’s bloody hard work being a courier – and it’s about to get a hell of a lot harder. Just look at the weather forecast. We can’t take the bus when it’s raining. And we have to do this ten hours a day, five days a week, week in, week out, right through the winter, even if it snows. Even when we don’t finish work till 7 at night – and don’t get in till 9, because we got a puncture on the way home (in the rain) and our hands were so cold that we hamfistedly ripped the valve head off trying to fix it and had to walk, and then still have to get up the next morning and be on the road by 8. And yes, sometimes we do feel like crying and going home. But most of the time we just keep going.

And we get very little recognition for this. Whenever I tell a civilian what I do for a living they’re very quick to tell me the story of how some courier nearly ran them over as they were crossing the road. No one ever seems to remember the time a courier saved their bacon by getting that urgent document all the way across town just in the nick of in time. And this goes for the courier companies too. They pay us a pittance, they charge us nearly £1,000 a year for equipment hire and insurance, and they nag us to do ‘just one more run’ when we’re cold and tired and should have finished an hour ago – but they almost never compliment us on a job well done, or offer any public expression of pride in these superhumans who pedal pushbikes around at top speed for 50 hours a week to make them their money.

Contrary to what you might think, most couriers take a great deal of pride in their work, set themselves high standards and (despite the odd bit of whinging) really care about getting the package delivered on time. I know I’ve invested more of myself into this than into any other job I’ve ever had (and I’ve had some ‘good’ ones), and there are several couriers who’ve devoted their entire adult life to this game.

And we’re the future. We’re green, we’re low-emission, we reduce congestion, and if we do hit you (well, you should have checked the lights before you crossed, idiot) we’re going to cause a lot less damage than a speeding motorbike or an inattentive van driver. Think about it.

So come on – let’s have a pat on the back. Just this once. A bit of positive reinforcement never did anyone any harm.

Oh, and if you really want to help, we will happily accept donations of

  • cake
  • any other sort of food
  • tea and coffee
  • beer
  • inner tubes and tyres
  • lights and/or batteries
  • warm socks and gloves

…and any other old kit you’ve got lying around. Go on – treat yourself to a new waterproof, and let some poor shivering courier have your old one. Winter’s just round the corner, and it’s going to hurt like hell.

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10 Responses to “London Cycle Courier Appreciation Day 2010”

  1. sarra Says:

    Ooh. I genuinely might, you know. x

  2. Mike Says:

    You won’t want my current waterproof as it proved last week to no longer be waterproof (or have a working zip). Now it’s just a windproof.

    However next time a courier comes in, hot drinks will be available at the very least – as the only person here that cycle commutes year round, I feel your pain in the winter.

    I’ll reinvestigate getting the building to put in the courier-only bike stand I suggested, oh, years ago. It’s not fair forcing people to risk not only their transport but their livelyhood every time their deliver.

  3. Dynamoworks Says:

    If it’s cake you’re after why not head up to Broadway Market at the weekend…….yea yea I know but…..wait a minute…..Dynamoworks is a bike obsessed printmaker and ex courier who is currently showing cycle related prints @ Lock 7 cafe and cycle repair shop. I know you desperately need to buy new components for the machine that earns but these prints are cheap cheap cheap….kinda. Go on have a look. Eat cake. Drink tea. Settle for another spare innertube…buy a print. Do it.

  4. tim Says:

    don’t forget about we cake-obsessed vegan couriers!

  5. Velorution sponsors Appreciation Day.. « London Courier Emergency Fund Says:

    […] October 26, 2010 Velorution sponsors Appreciation Day.. Posted by lcef under Uncategorized Leave a Comment  With London Courier Appreciation Day just around the corner, word just in from those gorgeous ladies over at Velorution that in honour of couriers around the city, Velorution will be donating 10% of all sales made at their shop on Great Titchfield St, W1 on Appreciation Day tomorrow, to the emergency fund. This is a very noble gesture, highly appreciated and comes completely unprompted by us. This stands as an example to all those companies and businesses that use, employ or have any peripheral involvement with couriers, we work pretty damn hard to get your junk to the church on time and it’s nice to feel appreciated. More reasons, more lyrically over here… […]

  6. Craig Says:

    As the only struggling bicycle courier in Belfast, I shall eat plenty of cake and think of you all in London tomorrow!

    Can you email me? Want to get in touch about something, but can’t see any address here and don’t want to spam your comments with a tangent. Thanks (craig.s.lloyd at gmail dotcom)

  7. mark Says:

    Check out http://www.londoncyclecourier.com and let me know if you think it looks good?

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