Bike Messengers and the City

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Urban bike messengers are a devoted bunch with their own subculture. Jeffrey L. Kidder, assistant professor of sociology at Northern Illinois University and a former bike messenger, discusses his new book Urban Flow: Bike Messengers and the City. 


Jeffrey L. Kidder

Comments [10]

Harpo from Australia

I was a new immigrant to NYC in the late 80's and worked for two years as a bike messenger. Without doubt it was the most thrilling job I've ever had. I discovered New York in all its overt (and hidden) glory and met an amazing bunch of people from all over the globe. I did run plenty of lights but never hit anyone. When I was granted a green card and I moved on and got a job in television but those heady days won't be forgotten...

Aug. 15 2011 12:40 AM

Back in the early nineties, fresh in and out of college in San Francisco, I loved bike messengers -- they made the best boyfriends: spirited, open-minded, good taste in music and life in general.

Aug. 11 2011 10:59 AM
Wqueens7 from Queens

I was a track bike messenger from 79 to 86. This guy avoids the change from the "mostly" non-white to college track white hipster change in the late 80s

Aug. 11 2011 10:58 AM

People in Manhattan like to get ALL working class people away from them as fast as possible, it's not just bike messengers.

Aug. 11 2011 10:58 AM
nina from EV

The 'art' of the bike messenger = disregarding all traffic laws. They make the rest of us cyclists look bad.

Aug. 11 2011 10:58 AM
Dave from NYC

For me it's less the messengers and more the Take Out guys.

Aug. 11 2011 10:56 AM
Debbie from midtown

I was hit by a bike messenger who ran a red light a few years ago. He stopped to ask if I was ok. I was.

A friend of mine was also hit by a bike messenger who ran a red light. He knocked her down and her wrist was broken. He did not stop.

Bicyclists (messengers and otherwise) are constantly running lights, speeding, and driving dangerously between traffic.

Aug. 11 2011 10:53 AM
joe's friend from switzerland

yes, joe, the cyclist who hit you was the duly elected representative of all cyclists everywhere always.

Aug. 11 2011 10:53 AM
Mark from Westchester

I used to work in Manhattan on Park Ave. and 32nd St., where a tunnel emerged from Grand Central Station in-between the lanes of Park Ave. Cars coming out of that tunnel seemed to nail bike messengers on Park at least once a week, very dangerous location.
Those guys take their lives in hands every day.

Aug. 11 2011 10:49 AM

That such a book could be published and then given coverage is a testament to WNYC's continuing apologist complicity with the lawless, reckless cyclists and cycling organizations of this city.
What the cyclist who hit me on Sixth Avenue, going the wrong way during a red light and then started yelling at me can "teach" all of us. This piece is insulting.

Aug. 11 2011 10:48 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.