If you happen to be riding or driving on University Ave between Hillcrest & North Park a kick-ass lightning bolt might catch your eye from the storefront window next to Tobacco Rhoda’s. Then the next time past you’ll notice the huge cargo bike resting behind the glass with the words Courier Collective painted in bright white just above that lightning bolt.
What is Courier Collective? In short, a delivery or messenger service. In long, a team of messengers working together to get your stuff-be it documents, architectural plans, cheese pizza or dry cleaning-from here to there on a bicycle. Yes, bicycle.
We sat with Collective team member Jason for the better part of the morning talking about the ins and outs of being a messenger. There is still a lot of physical stuff that has to move across town everyday. Bike messengers can provide that service quickly & in a manner that is environmentally friendly. CC has rider’s on the road from 8AM-10PM, and they cover a large portion of San Diego. Essentially, anywhere south of I-8, west of I-15, and north of Harbor Drive. If it is legal they can probably get it where you need to go.
A big selling point is that they are more affordable than a car service. They charge based on distance and priority. If you need it further, faster it will cost more than closer and without the need for immediate speed. The cargo bike in the window can handle some pretty big deliveries.
According to Jason, part of being on your bike as much as the messengers are means taking the good with the bad. A car honking its horn or someone upset if he takes the lane is no reason to get upset. Just a smile, and a “Have a nice day,” will do the trick usually. There are six team members now but business has been building and growth seems inevitable. While they aren’t getting rich just yet they do get to ride their bikes all day. So their worst days, their “is it Friday yet” days are still pretty damn good.
CC has been in business since fall 2014 but just recently moved into the University Ave space. It has a fresh coat of white paint, a dispatch desk and conference table with stools around it. In the corner is a bike stand with several pumps around it. Well worn bikes lean up against each wall along with a surfboard. A large map of California covers most of the table with a copy of Surfer’s Journal helping hold it down.
The space is functional & efficient and has the early glow of future potential. In addition to being the new team headquarters, the space will be evolving into a home for the local community bike scene. Being offered up as a place to organize bike events, watch movies projected on the wall or possibly even sip a coffee from a cart still in the works. In addition to a business Courier Collective will be helping strengthen the SD biking community.
You can find details on hiring Courier Collective for messenger or delivery services here, and the are actively seeking new clients. We look forward to seeing how they become embedded in the neighborhood, and add one more dimension to the bicycling culture of Southern California. Check out the photo gallery to see more details of the new Courier Collective HQ.