Friday, December 01, 2006

About Us.

So what in the fuck, you might ask, is the MBMA?

Well, we're a loose knit, (or tight knit depending on who you ask), non-organization of bike messengers in Minnepolis.

A downtown, street level, Professional Organization designed to improve and maintain the current working conditions for bike messengers in Minneapolis and promote cycling as a method of transportation and good times.

It also serves as a conduit between messengers of Minneapolis, (and St. Paul), and the larger worldwide cycling and messenger communities. Basically a support system for each other... You know, someone to bitch about your day to, to have a beer with after work.

For those contemplating working as a messenger: the MBMA is not a company, and does not exist to get you a job!

Please do not email, visit us, or phone us looking for a job -- call the companies like the rest of us had to.

Moving on...

Call us what you will: work horses, daredevils, nuisances...whatever.

We are bike messengers.

We work hard, (or we don't - depends on the pay).

We love our jobs, and we hate our jobs... depends on the weather, our mood, and/or the severity of our hangover...

So wanna hire us? Wanna be us? (most people do...we understand).

Well sir/ma'am you've come to the right in you'll find our "personal profiles", as well as a list of courier companies hiring bike messengers,and the following FAQ to answer all of your queries.
Breath deep children...

The answers you were looking for.
What follows is a FAQ (sort of), to answer some of the more common/annoying questions we tend to get. For instance:

Q: How do i get a job as a messenger?

A: If I had a nickel... seriously. It's not that I hate you for asking, it's just that I hate you for being the 15th person to ask today. All I can tell you is: Apply, Interview, Get Hired....just like anyother job.
It helps if you have, and can ride a bicycle.

Q: Who are the members of the MBMA?

A: Membership consists primarily of current bike messengers in Minneapolis.

Q: Who is in charge of what?

A: Good question. There isn't a set hierarchical structure to the MBMA, but we are generally run on consensus or xerocracy. Recent spontanious elections made Spencer President, and Treasury. SuperRookie VP, and The Little Guy Secretary.

Now we just have to figure out what that means.

Q: How far does a Minneapolis Messenger usually ride in a day?

A: Further than you think. Remember, we get paid by the job.

Q: What sort of things do you guys usually carry at work?

A: In our bags at any given time are: packages from the previous day, our lunches, more packages - envelopes, boxes, flats, tubes, etc..., tools, spare tube, patch kit, extra layers, rain gear, a good book, a few bucks, and later probably a case of beer.

Q: What is the pay like?

A: Ouch. This is the worst. It's like asking a girl how much she weighs... you just don't do it.

But since you asked;

There are some lucky messengers in Minneapolis that are hired as employees. They get hourly pay and benefits. Most of us, however, are independent contractors. The majority of us get paid per job, with no hourly base. So, it really depends on who you work for, how hard you work, the time of year, and the state of the economy.

So, in a word: Shit.

Q: I saw a messenger run a red light. What's with that?

A: The laws for cycling in Minneapolis are posted


We break them at our own risk. We don't, however, don't do so recklessly. If we did, we would be putting ourselves in tremendous danger. Remember, we do this shit for a living, and we do it every day. We excersize caution to minimize the potential for harm to ourselves, pedestrians, and even automobile passengers. What might look "dangerous" to the casual observer, is in reality a carefully excacuted, highly refined, skill that has been honed over the course of years on the job.

Please, (really- please), don't emulate us, especially in traffic! Nobody wants to see you get yourself hurt.

Also, we don't really "get away" with it, either: every couple of weeks, another messenger gets a ticket. But yes, you probably did see us run a red light.