Best of Philly

2013 Package Delivery

Timecycle Couriers

I find bike riding in the city perplexing. I know people do it all the time, but the combo of swerving taxis and buses that share biking lanes provides enough excuses to keep me firmly on my feet. Jorge Brito, a veteran messenger for TimeCycle, understands. It’s things like this, he says, shaking his head as we maneuver around a car illegally parked in a bike lane. Our first pickup: GreenStreet Coffee Roaster in Point Breeze, whose owner serves us java as he gives instructions for out drop. From there we bike to Rittenhouse Square, then two jobs in Kensigntown assignments Brito gets via smartphone or the radio strapped to his chest. Brito is among the two-wheeled, tattooed, messenger-bagged concrete crusaders at TimeCycle who have long kept the city’s daily commerce (Stephen Starr’s latest menus, an architect’s plans, important legal contracts) reliably moving, at the fast pace that life and Philadelphia demands. We cut through gritty neighborhoods, ride against the occasional one-way street seasoned bike messengers know how to get around. Brito, 31, used to work as a teacher in North Philly. He says the key to delivery is keeping tabs on your packages, and on the errant car doors and oblivious drivers. There was a time when he didn’t wear a helmet, and got a shattered collarbone and a brain hemorrhage in return. He wears a helmet now. Keeping up with him is literally an uphill battle. My legs burn as I flip through gears; I battle a bat-out-of-hell driver; a minivgo.’

230 North 2nd Street, Suite 1C, Philadelphia, PA 19106; 215-627-7874;