Bike messenger Jason Maurer of Denver Boulder Couriers was screaming down Baseline Avenue in Boulder when a car parked on the right side of the road suddenly pulled out into traffic.
“I was hauling,” says Maurer, recalling his worst crash while working. “It was a college kid. He didn’t have his blinker on or anything.”
Maurer tried to avoid the car but he had nowhere to maneuver, so he slammed into the vehicle and hit the pavement hard. Lesson learned: motorists are knuckleheads who don’t look out for cyclists.
“I’ve gotten better at predicting what cars will do and to be more defensive. Now I just assume people don’t see me when they’re driving.”
Call it the messenger school of hard knocks. But one thing is certain, working as a courier in Boulder is much more pleasant than in a major city. Maurer, 31, landed in Boulder after a stint in the U.S. Marines, and he has been a messenger for three years. Aside from dealing with bonehead drivers, it’s a sweet job for someone who grew up mountain biking.
“You’re outside every day. And I get to ride all the time. I hate getting into cars.”
Like most couriers Maurer has an eye for cool bikes and new technologies. He loves riding the two Carbon Drive bikes that are available for workers to use at Denver Boulder Couriers—a custom Primus Mootry and a Trek District belt drive.
“Having the Carbon Drive really lightens up the load. I never get passed. And it feels effortless when pedaling.”
The belt drive is also super quiet.
“It’s totally stealth, like a hybrid car. You come up behind people and they don’t even hear you coming.”
Maurer puts 30 miles or more on his bike per day, dropping off paperwork at architecture firms, law firms, City of Boulder government employees, banks and making pharmacy deliveries in all weather conditions.
Maurer even took one of the belt drive bikes out into the snow during his rounds last winter. Winter riding requires some straight up messenger style gators to keep the road slush off his clothes. “It saves your pants from getting all sloppy at the bottom.”
What’s the best part about being a courier in Boulder?
“The people are less stressed than elsewhere. All the receptionists that I deal with are in a good mood.”
Just watch out for college kids who don’t use their blinkers.