Congested streets and traffic jams in Metro Manila are getting worse every day. During rush hour, travelling from one place to another would cost you an excessive amount of transportation fee and most especially your time. On average, it takes up to an hour to travel for 7 kilometers in a car during these times. It was even reported a few months ago that traffic congestion cost the country as much as P2.4 billion a day in lost productivity and potential income, which includes getting your items for your business or documents for work on time.
Weaving through traffic, there's no better way of getting deliveries on time but through bicycle messengers. Completing a delivery only takes an hour within a 15-kilometer radius. "It usually takes us 1 to 1.5 hours to deliver items from Commonwealth, Quezon City to either Makati, Mandaluyong, or Pasig," says Desk Mullen. "And that's even during rush hour."
These bike couriers' clients are usually their regulars, making runs from the client's place of business directly to their customers. "Most of the clients are from the cycling community also, local bike-centric companies that want their products delivered the same day," says Mullen.
But corporate companies are also starting to take notice. "I've been delivering signed documents regularly from Mandaluyong to Makati and McKinley Hill," says Ema Milan. "That's twice a week during rush hour, and usually takes less than an hour to complete," he adds.
Their clientele contact them mainly for rush deliveries. They are usually contacted a few hours prior, and is timed from pickup to drop-off. "We usually take deliveries from 9am to 5pm, Mondays to Saturdays," says Mullen. "But we still make exceptions for urgent deliveries, even on Sundays," according to Milan.
Bike messengers complete their delivery jobs with their essentials: huge waterproof messenger bags, bike locks, first-aid kit, spare tubes, smart phone for the delivery list and map, and a notebook. Whatever season it is, they still consistently accomplish their deliveries. "Just recently, we delivered 50 magazines during the typhoon Hagupit," says Mullen. Ema Milan also mentions his 52-kilometer delivery from Manila to Cavite. "I remember getting a very urgent job of delivering heaps of receipt books from Recto to Silang," Milan recalls. "It took me 3 hours, but the client badly needed it the same day so I couldn't refuse."
Other unusual items they have delivered include a stroller and a crib, aluminum baking pan set, 60 shirts, cakes and flowers, and believe-it-or-not, breast milk. "We saw the need of rush deliveries for working moms, and now I also have thermal bags prepared in such cases," says Mullen.
At all times, they make sure that packages to be delivered are handled carefully and not misshapen. It may seem that they could deliver items of all shapes and sizes for delivery, but they may still turn down a job if it is too much to handle, given that their personal safety is their utmost priority. They normally limit themselves on unusually huge items and packages that weigh more than 20kgs.
But of course, they still find ways to accommodate these clients. Mike Lorenzana, a ramp designer and extreme sports coordinator, have started designing and fabricating two-wheeled cargo bikes with his team specifically for these types of jobs. "The demand for these kinds of deliveries has started to go up, and we still wanted to accommodate this need on bicycles," he says. "We couldn't use three-wheeled bikes as some areas in the city do not allow these, so we needed to be creative."
On being creative, aside from running the Mensaheros Bike Courier Service, Desk Mullen is also a freelance graphic artist and photographer for British School Manila. PhilSports Commission Events Coordinator and Ramp Designer Mike Lorenzana also officiates international extreme sports events around Southeast Asia. Ema Milan is a store manager and accountant for Coast Thru Life Surf Company. Marick Valdez is a full-time cake decorator and advertising executive for Buy and Sell Magazine.
At this rate, the need for bikes and bike courier services is getting more and more significant. To save time, trust a bike messenger for your errands. With the rising struggles of automobile traffic within the metro, it is only a matter of time until Filipinos favor the advantages of cycling in the Philippine society.
For deliveries, you can contact them through the following numbers:
Desk Mullen - 09228214387
Ema Milan - 09326677378
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