From a Melbourne bicycle courier.
Andrew Swan wrote:
Well put, and anyone who flames you for saying what you said is the one
with the problem.
Anyway, I'm interested - what kind of bike do you ride in order to cope
with such continual all-weather (ab)use? Any special mods?
Cutting down the handlebars is common, makes it easier to fit between
cars. Some couriers prefer to ride a single speed .. lighter, less parts
to wear out. Protecting the paintwork on the frame is also important ..
old tubes, gaffa tape and lots of stickers are some remedys. Mudguards
are a must in winter.
The best thing is to start with high quality components, and service
bike regularly. Cheap stuff breaks/wears out very quickly when used for
40+ hours a week.
The hardest part about weather abuse is the poor old rider. It can be
very difficult getting out of bed in winter knowing you are going to be
riding through rain for 8 hours a day for the next 5 days. Some guys
swear by the hot/cold shower method .. when you have a shower, finish
off with a cold shower every time, even in winter. This is supposed to
(1) lower you core body temperature, (2) build up a tolerance to cold
conditions (the martial artists will also say it builds your chi
energy). It seems to work for some people.
There is the old courier myth of the guy who used to drink a cup of his
own urine, first thing every morning. Somebody asked why he did it, was
it to restore a mineral imblance? He replied: "I get up every morning
and drink a cup of my own ****. Then I think to myself - from this
moment on, my day can only get better".