Being a bike messenger or courier is a difficult and demanding job. A lot people may think that just being fast and knowing your way around the city is enough, but there's a lot more to it than that.
While it can be tough when getting started, if you do well, you can earn a decent living from it. And for some, it is a great way to monetise the time they'd otherwise spend riding. Regardless of why you want the job, here are five essential tips for female bicycle couriers.
You Can't Ride Any Old Bike
You need to buy a bike that you can comfortably ride for hours. This type of bike can cost anywhere from £400 to £1,400, but since you'll be riding it so regularly you'll also need to set aside enough to pay for essential repairs each year.
Of course, you'll spend even more fixing the bike if you don't know how to do repairs yourself, which is why some people say that if you can't and won't repair the bike regularly, you shouldn't be a bike messenger. So, make sure that you are ready for additional expenses along the way, or upgrading your current bike if this is the one you intend on using.
You Should Take Out Insurance
Everyone knows that driving a car requires auto insurance, but if you're a bicycle courier you really should view courier insurance as just as essential. After all, you're carrying goods to your customers and taking on liability risks, so it's just as important to be properly insured. Sites like Quotezone.co.uk will allow you to compare courier insurance policies. You'll be able to get a quick quote and compare policies from multiple insurers.
It is Hard Work
As a courier, you're paid for the runs you make. You won't earn much money per run, so you have to make multiple trips to earn decent pay. The faster you go, the more money you'll earn. This means you can't earn a living as a messenger if you're travelling at a leisurely pace. It isn't uncommon to do 20 to 30 jobs a day and travel sixty miles in the process.
Most bike couriers are freelancers. This means that you don't get paid if you don't work. Freelancers like couriers don't have sick pay or sick leave, either. If you don't ride in that winter weather, you need to find another way to pay the rent. On the other hand, you don't get to choose when you work when you're working with a delivery service; the controller assigns certain days to you. If you don't show up when you're expected to work, you won't be working with them any longer.
Don't let the promised pay rate per run fool you. You'll have to pay your own expenses out of that money whether it is bike repairs, food, or renting a two-way radio among other things.
Learn Your Way Around
As a bike courier, you'll be navigating city streets every day. Learn your way around the city so you don't spend as much time checking maps or apps. The better you are at navigating the city, the faster you'll finish your route. And you won't be able to count on your GPS all the time, so if you thought you could get around knowing the city this way, think again.
You also need to learn where the service entrances are where you go to pick up deliveries, because they don't want you coming in the front door and through the reception area.
Pay Attention to the Process
One of the first things you'll have to get down is basic radio communication. You'll need a radio or mobile phone to accept jobs, but be careful not to agree to anything before you have remembered the address for both pickup and delivery. Every parcel is supposed to be signed for. When you've dropped off all the packages in your load, tell the controller you're empty so that they know you're ready for more work. You can hold off on this until after you've had something to eat.
Arrive early so you can get one of the first jobs and get going. Try to pick jobs that take you further from the office, because nearby jobs don't take long but leave you wasting time in line every time you return for your next assignment.
Working as a bike courier is a great way to get in shape, have fun and earn money. However, you need to know the facts going into it so that you can make the most of it.
Meet Agnes Berzsenyi, the President and CEO, Women's Health, GE Healthcare who's responsible for driving the strategic and commercial direction for the women's health portfolio, including mammography and bone densitometry. She has been focused on commercial growth, customer collaboration, ensuring the right investment decisions and other strategic programs.
GE Healthcare's new system for mammography creates a better way to detect and attack breast cancer. Designed by a team of women just outside Paris, where most of the design and manufacturing for GE Healthcare's mammography systems is done, the new mammography system will make mammography less uncomfortable and reduce patients' anxiety, with the hopes that more women will get mammograms.
Unlike the clunky, industrial mammography machines of the past, the Senographe Pristina comes with the option for patients to use a wireless remote control that lets them determine how much their breasts are compressed during the scan, with the help of a technologist. This was approved for use in the United States, in September 2017. Compressing the breasts spreads tissue, resulting in better images and requiring less radiation, an industry first: remote-control managed by the patient making the experience more manageable for women.
Agnes Berzsenyi took the time to address questions about the concerns and trepidations of breast cancer screening and detection with SWAAY, and how the Senographe Pristina will help to transform what is too often an anxiety-inducing quandary into an almost spa-like experience:
How will the new system for mammography, designed by a team of women outside of Paris, impact the mammography experience?
Regular mammograms are a critical tool in detecting breast cancer, In fact, evidence shows that finding breast cancer early reduces a woman's risk of dying from the disease by 25-30 percent or more.
Any patient who has ever had a mammogram knows that it can be uncomfortable. We know that one-in-four patients avoid getting mammograms because of the fear and anxiety from the potential result and exam discomfort.
The choice can delay a breast cancer diagnosis negatively impacting their long-term prognosis. Our hope is that by giving women a more active role in their healthcare, coupled with creating a more comfortable mammography experience, we will encourage more women to be compliant with screening guidelines and help improve outcomes for breast cancer screening.
Only 69 percent of women 45 years and older reported having a mammogram within the past two years in 2013, according to the National Health Interview Survey, and according to The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. every 74 seconds, somewhere in the world, someone dies from breast cancer. Might the Senographe Pristina change that?
We do know that one in four women avoid getting mammograms because of the fear and anxiety from the potential result and exam discomfort. The choice can delay a breast cancer diagnosis and impact a long-term prognosis. That's why we brought Senographe Pristina and a more comfortable mammography experience to market. Senographe Pristina and Pristina Dueta have been available in Europe for more than a year. In a patient survey done in Europe with 315 women, when patients received a mammogram on Senographe Pristina while using the Pristina Dueta, 79 percent of the patients who used the patient-assisted compression device found it improved the comfort of their exam, and 54 percent found it led to less anxiety. But even without Dueta, 83 percent of patients scanned on the Senographe Pristina rated their experience as better than with traditional mammography systems, 70 percent noted it was more comfortable and 66 percent perceived the exam was shorter.
How might the Senographe Pristina empower patients and attract, specifically women over 45, to obtain a mammogram?
We developed the Senographe Pristina with insight from thousands of patients, technologists and radiologists. Patients are responding very well to the Senographe Pristina and Pristina Dueta. We're even getting feedback from radiologists and technologists that their patients will only schedule their annual mammogram on the Pristina moving forward. Improving the patient experience has become a major trend in healthcare. Healthcare is a competitive industry and by improving the patient experience, we hope to help healthcare providers get more patients in the door.
How long did it take for the new mammography system to reach the market?
How much market share, in the U.S., does GE estimate that the new system will achieve?
We do not disclose our market share, but we've seen tremendous interest in the Senographe Pristina and the patient-assisted compression device, Pristina Dueta, since it was recently FDA cleared. We launched the Senographe Pristina in November 2016 and have doubled shares for the first two quarters.
How often do GE's customers-hospitals, healthcare centers-replace their mammography systems? What's the cost to purchase the new Senographe Pristina?
The average replacement life cycle for Senographe Pristina is 7 to 10 years. We do not share the cost of the product as configurations vary greatly, affecting the price. Depending on the configuration, it can range from $300,000 to $500,000.
What makes the Senographe Pristina system different from previous mammography systems?
Senographe Pristina was designed by a team of women at GE Healthcare who used their unique insights as women, combined with feedback from patients, technologists and radiologists, to design a new, more comfortable mammography system-one that they would want to be scanned on. The new system offers comfort features for a better patient and technologist experience, including: rounded corners instead of sharp edges that used to poke patients' ribs and armpits; a thinner image detector that requires less hard, cold material touching the patient; and comfortable armrests for women to lean on instead of conventional handgrips, naturally creating a more relaxed body and less muscle tension during the exam. All of these features simplify positioning, compression and image acquisition.
Additionally, it offers the option for patients to use the industry's first wireless remote control that lets patients control their own breast compression during a mammogram with the help of a technologist. First, the technologist positions the patient and initiates compression. From there, the patient, under the supervision of the technologist, operates the remote to adjust compression until she reaches adequate compression.
This remote helps to reduce discomfort during the exam, thus addressing one of the main concerns women have for avoiding mammography screening. We've also designed the rooms (sensory suite) to resemble spas: soothing natural images, scents and sounds that are pleasant, which help to further positively enhance the mammography experience.
This article was republished and first posted on November, 2017