The minor adventures of a motorcycle courier

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by JoeyBones, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. garfey

    garfey Scruffy Adventurer Supporter

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    (quote function not working)
    Military radiotelephone procedure.
    "over" = I'm done talking, your turn.
  2. Rango

    Rango Phaneropter

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    And please, please, never say "over and out".
    That's plain stupid.
    Thank you.
    "Out." :lol3
  3. garfey

    garfey Scruffy Adventurer Supporter

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    .-. .-.-.
  4. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    .-.. --- .-..
  5. BaronVonDarrin

    BaronVonDarrin Been here awhile

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    How does one get into this here in the US?
  6. JoeyBones

    JoeyBones Encouraging Entropy

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    I would just try calling the courier services in your area. I Googled it here
  7. OdyBandit

    OdyBandit Long timer

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    Just found this thread today and read it all. Great stuff! I remember in early 80's I was riding a r65 and seen an ad in back of a motomag for courier service in DC riding new BMW's. I put in an application and the company had me talk to one of their couriers who talked me out of doing it. He said you almost had to be a DC native with a free place to live to make a go of it. He probably saved my life! Thanks
  8. 81forest

    81forest ADDRider

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    Nice work if you can get it. The commercial delivery gigs have really dried up in the cities that I'm familiar with. It's become pretty rare, although Joey Bones might have some ideas. Currently I do a little legal process service from time to time, which is not the same, but it's still getting paid to ride. YMMV.
  9. just jeff

    just jeff Long timer

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    Great thread I found this morning! Amazing that it is still active. The term "over" originates from early voice radio proceedure. In those days you had to manually switch the radio set from send to receive. You said over to alert the others listening you were no longer sending and were ready to recieve. "out" was the term used to say you were ending the conversation and were no longer listening or were off air. Over and Out really makes no sense!!
    jj
  10. Chris S

    Chris S Been here awhile

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    Just got sent this: Security Despatchers circa 1978 or 79. A grubby bunch of moto renegades.
    I'm in there somewhere and so is some guy called Barry Sheene.

    Note a Dave 'behind bars'. Nice guy, rode an XS500. But got caught with stolen goods or drugs or something?
    Come Friday nights, he was a 'procurer' to help the throng unwind, iirc.

    Fyi: sig below links to a book I just published about those interesting times and late 70s-80s bikes in general.
    First one to PM me gets an amazon voucher for the kindle version.

    Roger and out, #106

    [​IMG]
  11. Draechon

    Draechon Long timer Supporter

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    ^^ Book bought
  12. moggi1964

    moggi1964 Tiger Keeper

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    Chris S' book and posts brought me to this thread.

    I had a mate who rode despatch on a company BMW for a company based in Guildford i think; can't remember the name.

    I crashed his company bike on a Sunday taking my GF for a spin. It rained and I lost it at 80MPH on the M25 (a freeway). he actually found out from his boss about the crash before I got a chance to ring him (the AA had spotted the bike, recognised the company had a policy with them, called the boss and relayed it back to home base). The boss called my mate to check he was okay and he made up some story to start with then admitted I was riding it. We were okay but damn you slide a long way on wet tarmac and when it's backwards you can see ALL the traffic coming towards you :D Both relationships (mate and GF) were strained for a while!

    Anyway, one time he came back from a run and said he had a dead Pheasant in a pannier. He had run it over, picked it up and stuck it in there. I cooked pretty well so he figured we could have a meal of it. We went to the garage, opened the pannier and as i went to pick it up it went completely mental; dead my arse! It did seem to be struggling to keep balanced and kinda half flew, half ran in circles like a WW2 fighter plane with a wing shot off. Smacked it with a plank of wood and hung it for a week; ate it with a bottle of 1981 Chateau Lynch Bages I nicked from the wine store i worked at in Purley :lol3

    I worked as a kind of DR in that i took a job with a 'charity' that involved going to their office (a portacabin, in Sheffield I think), picking up a bunch of envelopes with addresses on them and then planning a route for the next day. I would call at each address and pick up a pre-arranged donation. I could easily cover 350 - 400 miles in a day though mostly that was getting to the city I was collecting in.

    One time I was in Hull (I had worked out of there on the ferries so knew it well) and my last collection was from a business in a part of the city that was proving a bitch to get to (one way streets and closures). I knew it was on the other side of a huge department store (EDIT: I think it was Hammonds/Binns/House of Fraser as that is the only building large enough to have room for a bike) and I was running out of time. It was summer and the doors next to the rotating doors were propped open so I rode in, past the perfumery isle and out the other door. Seemed clever and I did say "Excuse me!" on the way through. I did ride really slowly. :D

    Funnily enough, the guy at the last collection came storming out of his office, accused me of being part of a scam and grabbed hold of me whilst shouting at his receptionist to call the Police. I still had my helmet on so i headbutted him and legged it. This incident was to be repeated twice more in the following months at different places (no more headbutting required) and i began to think something might be amiss. One night I returned to the 'office' and it was empty. I kept the cash I had collected, tore up the cheques and hoped to fuck i wasn't going to be considered an accomplice.

    That was the end of my DR career! Oh, bike was a Z550 Kawasaki.
  13. Chris S

    Chris S Been here awhile

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    Great stories. Sounds like something out of Withnail & topbox & I ;-)

    I have a soft spot for Purley. Or should that be sore spot?
    That's where I wrote off the 900SS in 1979.
    But a side benefit was it put me onto trail bikes.
  14. DesertRatliff

    DesertRatliff Tinker Tinker Ride Ride

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    Wow! Thank you JoeyBones and all the rest for creating this amazing thread. Some of the best stories I've ever heard.

    Thank you:bow
  15. DesertRatliff

    DesertRatliff Tinker Tinker Ride Ride

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    And "Adventures in Motorcycling" ordered.
  16. moggi1964

    moggi1964 Tiger Keeper

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    I used to often see Richard E. Grant in Richmond, when i worked there, driving his old Jaguar. Pleasant bloke to say hello to.

    I worked for Wizard Wines and Threshers and Majestic; all in Purley/Croydon I think.
  17. JoeyBones

    JoeyBones Encouraging Entropy

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    I want to take a moment to thank those that continue to add to this thread and keep it alive over the years.

    I also want to thank Chris S. for sending me a copy of the book! I have been reading it on various airplanes over the last few days and I can tell you that it is very well written, exciting and rewarding to read. It's hard to capture the rogue / renegade lifestyle we lived back then but Chris has done an excellent job. I encourage anyone who rides to pick it up or order it for their Kindle (you can read Kindle books on any PC or laptop - no actual Kindle needed).

    Joe
  18. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave I cannot abide.

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    Can't embed it, but here is a video of modern day couriers. Of course it isn't nearly as exciting, but the job is out there if you want it badly enough :D

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-30005764

    Anybody happen to know what the make of the bike is? Cancel that - it's a Yamaha A G http://www.bikez.com/motorcycles/yamaha_ag_200_e_2007.php


    <iframe width="400" height="500" frameborder="0" src="http://emp.bbc.co.uk/emp/embed/smpEmbed.html?playlist=http%3A%2F%2Fplaylists.bbc.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fscience-environment-30005764A%2Fplaylist.sxml&title=Medical%20motorbike%20couriers%20battle%20HIV&product=news"></iframe>
  19. 81forest

    81forest ADDRider

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    A friend sent me a few pics from back in the day. This was about 2007-2008 in Seattle, we worked for KNR Couriers and Halo Messengers. What a job... I miss it. :cry

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    Company Christmas card, happy holidays! Nvm, looks like Valentine's Day with all the hearts, duh!

    [​IMG]
  20. Tubaman

    Tubaman Adventurer

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    Guess you guys never been in the Army?