The minor adventures of a motorcycle courier

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

  1. just jeff

    just jeff Long timer

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    Glad I stayed subscribed to this thread. Excellent post Reynaldo!!
    JJ
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  2. Reynaldo

    Reynaldo Adventurer

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  3. MoBill

    MoBill Smiles when says dat Supporter

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    Rey, I'm 31 year Army vet and avid rider....I still push it every day I can. At 48, I can't run like I did. Can't stay awake like I used to....but your post reminds me, I'm not going gently. I love your post. This thread that Joey Bones started means a lot to me. Thanks for sharing---you remind me of a thousand sunrises.....and sunsets. Of rain running down the crack of my ass, of shivering and frozen toes----not in the same vein as yours---but similar.

    Thank you. And Joey---you fucking rock for starting this thread mate.

    -B.
  4. Reynaldo

    Reynaldo Adventurer

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    Copy that Bill - rain where it shouldn't be! Heavy duty all welded seam PVC bib 'n brace trews and a matching jacket kept me dry no matter what the heavens threw at me. Look like a North Sea trawler-man - but I was dry underneath!!

    Star!

    Derek Reynolds (aka . . . )
  5. MoBill

    MoBill Smiles when says dat Supporter

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    LOL....I have NO idea what that bib yer talking about means---but it sounds like body armor for riding in shitty weather.

    Good stuff today. in the low 30s...2-3c....today....reminds you you're alive my friend. Good stuff.
  6. Reynaldo

    Reynaldo Adventurer

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    Close - You'll know them, just by a different name! Like the dungarees the farmers wear that has the front extended upwards from the waist with a pair of sewn in braces that clip to the front, except in PVC. The 'bib' is the front part (like a baby's bib) and the 'brace' refers to the braces over the shoulder. Anything that got through the jacket fastenings didn't get through the bib. Only wore them in the rain though - they soon became a personal Turkish bath if worn otherwise! Mine were made by Helly Hansen - still have them forty years on.

    Like these but no pockets and no fly - nowhere for water to get in. (Major issue when needing a leak!)
    http://mammothworkwear.com/carhartt-duck-bib-overalls-p1770.htm

    Damp and 5° in the UK Midlands, Scotland has snow. (It's either snow or Midgies!!)
  7. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    Hey Joey, Glad to see this thread rolling along. And happy to see those contributing books to this thread. Regarding my earlier posts I too have a book written about my experiences I shared here... About when I went from a courier putting me through art school to an assistant art director and international fashion model. The book was released last year and is a coffee table art book titled "The Bold, The Beautiful and The Damned, The World of Fashion Illustrator Tony Viramontes". Unfortunately the person who wrote the book was an outsider and thought I was dead as so many others featured in the book from drug over doses. Had the writer done a proper search on me I could have filled him in on some of the real highlights of studio Viramontes including discovering and working with 17 year old Cindy Crawford. Sadly my involvement working as an assistant art director and international fashion model for Tony Viramontes during one of the biggest fashion illustration movements in modern times was reduced in the book to being mere entourage and art groupee. Damn that lazy writer... I should have wrote that book myself.

    Cheers and keep up the good work blokes. ( FYI, check out my latest ride report in day trippin: In Search of Baja's Lost Coast (If desolate exploration fancies you).
  8. goodcat

    goodcat Changing latitudes, altitudes and attitudes

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    Damn there's some great stories here.

    And alot of funny moments :imaposer
  9. Pedersoli

    Pedersoli Been here awhile

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    This is one of the most interesting threads on Adventure Rider. My Dad was a Cycle Dispatch rider in WW-2.
  10. aspieman

    aspieman M58

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    I found some pics of London despatch riders taken by Phil Crean in 1986: http://www.philcrean.com/couriers
    And a news report from 1988 when Westminster council were thinking about imposing licenses etc on us:
  11. philipbarrett

    philipbarrett Been here awhile

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    Can't believe I missed this thread! Currently trolling through the stories before I add a few of my own. In the early to mid-80s I rode for Apollo based out of a ratty 3rd floor office right next to Charing Cross station. The East End kinda became my domain for no particular reason apart from I got good at navigating what was then a crumbling & neglected part of London. Amazes me that today Shoreditch and the like are now dez-rez!
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  12. Chris S

    Chris S Been here awhile

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    Didn't know this thread was still going! Rarely get alerts.
    Well spotted aspieman - great collection from London by Phil Crean, just as the tide was beginning to turn in the riders–earnings ratio.
    And great vid too, forseeing the beginning of the end. Despatch Rider training... what is that exactly?
    Centrale cafe (as pictured by PC) was an old favourite – cheapest lasagne is the west and grumpy Polish waitress for free. Sexy Young Girls two doors down, too.

    And Reynaldo, great post on your despatching years and the lure or the blaring Motorola, btw.

    Phil B, I was with Apollo at that time too (late '81). Lost a big package in tight traffic, got sacked, went to the Sahara.

    Fyi, on a reprint I decided to retitle the book The Street Riding Years. Seemed more appropriate, and anyway this 'adventure' fad will surely pass.
    Similar cover, same words and often (as today) #1 in its amazon uk category.

    As others have said, I wish I'd taken better photos during that time, but at that age the universe in infinite and you are immorta - so why hang about!

    106

    [​IMG]
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  13. BSK

    BSK Ohhh mist! Die Bullen!!!!

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    nice share
  14. limeymike

    limeymike Who Me?

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    1981-1985. I was a service engineer repairing fax machines in London. My company supplied vehicle? . . a R100RT. Panniers filled with spare parts and my tool kit. I would be in the center of London by 6:30am ready for my first dispatch. I would be first call fixing what I could, switches, bulbs, clips, belts, springs, all the small stuff. It was much easier on a bike getting through the traffic. Loved it. During down time I would hang with the couriers, tough bunch of blokes.
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  15. philipbarrett

    philipbarrett Been here awhile

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    A company bike? I used to dream about such luxury. I know one of the upmarket services (Securicor?) had their guys on BMWs or something similar. For an oik like me on a ratty Honda that seemed so amazing.
  16. sion

    sion sigh-own

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    What's an oik?
  17. philipbarrett

    philipbarrett Been here awhile

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  18. philipbarrett

    philipbarrett Been here awhile

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    One day I was making a left turn onto Marylebone Road, I'm thinking it may have been from Great Portland St. but a quick check of Google maps makes me not so sure. Anyway, minor detail...

    As I was waiting at the light up against those railings they built to stop tourists wandering into the road, a car suddenly whips around me & plants his front wheel directly in my path effectively blocking me against the fence. The driver then proceeds to get out and unload on me. Something about fucking motorcyclists tearing his door mirrors off, menace on the roads, hooligan riders...usual claptrap. Whilst giving him as good a verbal lashing as I'm getting I decide to back out of the predicament and leave this idiot to his rant. Unfortunately by this time a CND type on her bicycle has pulled in behind me and is joining the the motorist in a general stream of abuse aimed at me! Apparently I am now the despatch riders representative at PM's question time?

    Since I'm wearing leathers & helmet I'm not particularly concerned for my safety & finally Mr. Madman jumps back in his car & floors it hard. The bad news for him is that the crossing light is now red and he proceeds to run down 3 pedestrians in his path. Luckily his POS gold Granada had not gained enough speed to do any real damage except send the poor folks sprawling on the ground. One of them, an Indian gentlemen in a smart 3 piece whistle and turban jumps to his feet, grabs his brolly and placing his hand firmly on the car bonnet starts screaming at the driver and banging the car with said umbrella! "You shout at the motorcycles but you are the crazy driver!" Bang, dent from steel tipped brolly appears on the bonnet. "You are madman!" Bang, another dent. "You should be locked up!" Bang, another dent. And so on... Our driver is busy locking all his doors and trying to back out but he's trapped by traffic and now a less than friendly long-arm of the Met is wandering over to see what's all going on 'ere then? Meanwhile Miss CND has wet her patchwork knickers and I'm having difficulty holding the bike up as, by now, I'm doubled up laughing.

    Recovering some of my composure, I ride off to fight another day, waving a friendly cheerio to our friend who is now helping police with their enquiries.
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  19. The Call

    The Call n00b

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    Raynaldo, that was fucking beautiful. You loved it.
  20. The Call

    The Call n00b

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    Three jobs I remember (Sydney, Mail Call, 2003/04) ..

    The Cat.
    One cat from a vet studio in Chatswood to Lane Cove. Kitty was in a cat box that I roped to the top of the carrier box on the back, and I roped the cat box together because I just did not want it disintegrating with any vibration. All good ? No. Kitty was a large angry Tom, not happy about the vet, the cage or anything the world had to offer. Spitting and clawing the box while I was tying him on and meowing loudly all the way there. I could hear him even with the helmet on. Still, 100 kph in the rain will do that to a cat :)

    The Booze.
    Christmas Eve. Everyone is sending booze because you can't email booze, only the pictures of how you use it. I had a box, tank bag, jacket and backpack full of booze. If I'd just gone home with it all I could have stayed there until February. I'm in the city in Surrey Hills about to go north to deliver the flood when the radio calls up '
    Got any room for one more ?'

    Me: 'One more what ?'
    Them: 'Bottles, what else'
    Me: 'The only way I can fit that in is if I drink it now and deliver it to them about 5pm' . Them: 'Ok, grab it and we'll get the other end to line up when you walk in the door at 5 ' :)

    How could I forget - The Sausage.
    Drop off at a home-office in a residential street in Mosman. The door is open and a good looking woman in her mid thirties is working in an home art studio workshop. She's signing the POD and I looking at some of the wall prints, three of which are her buck naked with her legs wrapped around some guy who is firmly hiding the sausage. Me thinking 'so she's an out there kind of girl.., so..'
    Me: ' Hey, thats you is it, that is fucking beautiful !'
    Her: 'Yeah (smile... pause..) thats me and my husband (pause...) he'll be home later and you're welcome to come around tonight if you like.'
    Me: Well thats the end of that idea.
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