[messengers] Making speedy deliveries via cargo bike

Date: 31 Mar 2011 12:38:58 +0200
From: Joe Hendry <messvilleto@xxxxxxxxx>


Making speedy deliveries via cargo bike

 

BY Aline Reynolds

 

 

Downtown Express, March 31, 2011

 

Shortly after 9/11, Battery Park City resident Shelly Mossey
accepted a reduced price for a rental in Gateway Plaza
thanks to a grant provided by the federal government.

 

While many traumatized New Yorkers were fleeing the city,
“We really wanted to be Downtown – we’re urban warriors,” said Mossey, who runs
a cargo bicycle delivery service in Lower Manhattan.

 

Mossey capitalized on a seven-month unemployment stretch to
create a blog that last summer catapulted into a successful one-man business.
The messenger, born and raised on the Lower East Side
and in the delivery business for 25 years, transports groceries and home
improvement goods to residents’ doors via cargo bike — a converted pedicab that
can haul two to three hundred pounds at a time.

 

The enthusiastic deliveryman says he has a passion for what
he does.

 

“I’m 56 years old, and I’m still getting that adrenaline
rush from being out on the street and riding,” he said. “It’s like you’re
skydiving all day long.”

 

Mossey delivers to residences throughout Manhattan
and in parts of Queens, Brooklyn and Jersey City,
scheduling local trips in Battery
 Park City
and the Financial District on weekends. He makes between 15 and 20 deliveries
per week, and has cultivated five regular Downtown clients, including Frankly
Wines in Tribeca and Joulebody, a diet and cleansing program in Battery Park
City.

 

“It’s convenient – he’s able to do it at any time,” said
Joulebody founder and director Yvette Rose, who hires Mossey to deliver three
vegan Whole Foods orders per week to customers around Manhattan.

 

Mossey avoids truckers’ hassles of having to fill up with
gas, find street parking and pay costly garage fees. The service is also less costly
for customers, who don’t incur fuel and municipal parking fees that would
normally be passed on to them.

 

“It’s kind of a no-brainer,” said Mossey. “With a network of
bikeways, I don’t have to sit in traffic anymore.”

 

Mossey conceived the idea of a cargo bike messenger business
while heading Chick Chack, a bike and trucking delivery company based in
midtown Manhattan.
Mossey vowed never to deliver by truck again after spending nearly an hour one
day traveling from Downtown to midtown and getting slammed with a costly
parking ticket.

 

“It was the worst thing in my life – the ticket cancelled
out all my profits on the job,” he recalled.

 

While at Chick Chack, Mossey proceeded to purchase two cargo
bikes as an experiment, and quickly realized their advantages over cars. They
“alleviated trucking problems and made life easy as far as picking up 50-pound
boxes,” he said.

 

His current service, Mossey said, would prove efficient to
Whole Foods and other Downtown shopping marts. Whole Foods Tribeca, at 270 Greenwich Street,
is considering hiring Revolution Rickshaws, who Mossey works with, to deliver
groceries to their personalized shoppers via cargo bike. But Whole Foods, still
in the research phase of its delivery program, must first sort out liabilities
and other logistics before signing any contracts.

 

“We’re entertaining the options and what we can do,” said
Steven Marion, Whole Foods Tribeca’s marketing team leader.

 

On his way to or from a job these days, Mossey makes a
slight detour to pick up and drop off his seven-year-old son, Jackson, at his
school, P.S. 89. The youngster’s friends and their parents sometimes hitch a
ride as well.

 

“We basically have every contraption in the world to haul
him around,” said Mossey of Jackson, who frequently rides with his father in
his cargo bike.

 

Mossey would eventually like to turn his small business into
a company with five or 10 cargo bikers that focus on Lower
 Manhattan deliveries.

 

“The harder I work,” he said of his job, “the better I
feel.”
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