Bikeconomy

 

Cargo.PNG
Brice Bedos of London, England doesn’t let a few boxes stop him

Imagine a Buffalo where you could make your entire income with your bike.  Imagine the world was turned upside down and bikes, instead of cars, were the economic driver for the majority of the population.  It’s really hard!  We’re so used to our world revolving around the automobile.  It’s incredibly easy to fall into that trap of ease.  It’s rainy and yucky, who wants to ride a bike, get dirty, wet, and try to figure out the logistics of clothing so you’re not too hot or too cold?  Dangit!  The bike with the fenders has a flat tire.

There are all these integral factors that cause us to choose driving over riding a bike.  There are also few economic incentives to ride a bike.  When I quit working as a bike messenger, I never stopped wanting to ride my bike.  Back in 2000 there really were two choices in the bike world, only one was mechanic and the other was bike courier.  People who are sponsored to race rarely make good enough money to live on, and then you have to be good enough to get paid.

Nowadays there are a few more options, but wouldn’t it be fantastic if more people were talking about it and creating ever more bike employment.  What if there was a “Bikeubator” in essence, a bike-centric enterprise incubator.  It could take the example of various immigrant groups like the Koreans with their “Kye” or loan clubs where all members make an investment of $1,000-$2,000 and get interest on that investment, or they get a turn receiving a loan to start a business.  Imagine you put in $1,000 and a few months later you get a $12,000 loan to start a business, or maybe you just need $5,000 to buy a cargo bike the size of a small truck.

Another group, the Cleveland Evergreen Cooperative Companies, has the lofty ambition of providing employment and company ownership in some of Cleveland’s most vulnerable communities.   Aside from the normal positive outcomes of having gainful employment and the pride of part ownership of the company you work for, employees also can take advantage of a program that helps them buy a house.

Considering the structure of cooperatives or loan clubs begs the question, what sort of work could be done on bicycle that would provide revenue.  To start, there is already a burgeoning courier industry in Buffalo.  There are no bike couriers at this time.  With the certain introduction of Uber and Lyft in Western New York, the number of cars on the road will increase.  Also, as economies grow, so does traffic.  I drove food deliveries for Skip the Dishes for a few months.  As a veteran bike courier, it was evident to me that this company, based in Edmonton, Alberta Canada, has only a two-dimensional understanding of Western New York.  Dispatching is completely reliant on algorithmic functions of the mobile application itself.  Drivers take one delivery at a time.  They make inefficient loops around the city.  It is horribly inefficient.  The drivers make around minimum wage when you factor in all of their expenses.  The net effect of this gross inefficiency is that you need more cars to cover all the work.  Already, there are a lot more cars on the road delivering for restaurants that traditionally have never had food delivery as an option.  Now imagine the number of cars that will go on the road when Uber and Lyft get here.

So, as a result, in the coming years our streets and roads are going to get more congested, hence necessitating the need for more of the economy to move on bicycles.

Here are a few ways to make money riding a bike:  

Mobile Mechanic

Mobile Car washer

Tour guide

Bicycle taxidermist

Bike advertising

Mobile laundry bikers

Bicycle movers

Cycle barista

Spinning instructor

Adventure specialist

Bike share technician

Cycling tour mechanic

Window washer

Bicycle commuter act

Courier  

Bicycle based composting

Rent bike out  https://www.spinlister.com/about

Bike Path Commerce

 

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Typical “Adhoc Bike Shop” beside the Han River bike trail (Seoul, Korea)
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