Breakaway News Volume No. 24 Issue No. 10 October 2019

Happy Halloween

BOOO!! Okay, so you’re not scared, but you should be, because soon, hordes of small goblins and other creatures of the night will descend on your domicile, demanding spiritual tribute in the form of sweet confectionary! If this prospect really does scare you, fear not! Breakaway is standing by ready to deliver all the goodies you need to feed the marauding ghoulies!

 Yorkshire Pudding

 Congratulations to all the victors and newly minted world champions at the UCI cycling world championships in Yorkshire, England last month. We salute the two new champs of the road race, Mads Pedersen and Annamiek van Vleuten, in the men’s and women’s races, respectively. Huge congrats to American Chloe Dygert-Owen, who scorched the Individual Time Trial, cruising on the flats at 45 mph, to claim the championship in that discipline for the USA.

 Hour By Hour

 Breakaway came into existence to serve a need; to get a package from here to there quickly, as needed. However, sometimes you need more than just a one-time delivery. You might need a courier for the day. Naturally, we can accommodate you! Call us to hire a messenger or trucker for the day on an hourly basis. Just please return him or her in the condition you got them.

 Nuts To That

 Dementia is a leading cause of rising senior health care costs, not to mention a terrifying prospect about aging. But maybe it doesn’t have to be that way. Recent studies show that eating 10 grams of nuts per day can dramatically improve brain function, as much as 60 percent. Walnuts and peanuts are particularly good. We know what our next Costco bulk purchase is going to be!

Ennui For A Day

 Ahhh, our old friend, Writer’s Block. Making us suffer ennui, like a philosopher contemplating his beret, while drinking espresso. We are suffering this ennui, pondering the meaning of “newsletters” and of life. However, I’m told that our couriers have no such ennui, and that they’re still excited to get out there and ride, to deliver your packages on time. Whatever time is, anyway.

 Mini, Micro, Mobile

 A new study by INRIX, a mobility analytics company, showed that 49 percent of all car trips in Boston are less than three miles, and a further 21 percent are less than one mile. Their recommended solution? What they call “micromobility;” bike shares, e-bikes, and e-scooters, integrated into the commuting infrastructure. Finally, the world is catching up to us!

 Stump the Band

 Last month we asked what Canadian group of islands are considered unceded territory. Answer: Haida Gwaii, also known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, home of the Haida First Nation.

 Trivia Question

 What crop is important as both a grain legume and as an oil crop? The first person to contact Gil Ortiz a or 646-674-8323 with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

Breakaway News Volume No. 24 Issue No. 9 September 2019

September 9, 2019

School Blues

It's September, another summer has come and gone, and that means it's back to school for all the kids out there. While children lament and parents celebrate, remember that Breakaway can get all your academic needs delivered to you.


It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to one of our own. Trucking dispatcher Percell "Big Perce" Carr passed away from a heart attack last month. A Breakaway stalwart and mild man, he will be missed by us, our truckers, and the customers who came to rely on him.

Be Curious

It's back to school and that had us wondering about the wonder of curiosity. Children are naturally curious, but we all seem to lose it as we get older. But we notice that the curious ones stay healthy longer. So, we conclude that staying curious is good not just for our noggins but our health as well. Stay curious, folks!

Labor Day

Although often used to signal the end of wearing white, Labor Day is here and that means it's a time to remember and appreciate our workers. Thanks to all our couriers in New York and Boston for all their hard work moving our items to and fro.


Our courier tells us it was quite the scene: four squad cars and ten NYPD officers corralling one guy. As he was being led away, he kept shouting, "I was a murder victim!" This weeks oxymoron.

Stump the Band

Last month we asked which state eats the most Portagee Steak. Answer: Hawaii, where Portagee Steak is another name for Spam.

Trivia Question

Once known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, what Canadian island group is unceded territory? The first person to contact Gil Ortiz at or 646-674-8323 with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

Breakaway News Volume No. 24 Issue No. 8 August 2019

Every Dog…

 Happy August, newsletter readers! Just so you know, it’s not your imagination; the dog days of summer are here and it is really hot. Hot enough to feel like you’re baking in the heat of the city, and sweat pours like rivers. Luckily, we’re here to swelter in traffic so you don’t have to. Also, as it turns out, every dog does have its day, as August 5th is Work Like A Dog Day. There’s no making this stuff up.

 Tour de France, Coda

 One of the best editions of the Tour de France in years has finally come to an end, and after coming agonizingly close, a Frenchman has not won the Tour like many hoped and thought. Instead, congratulations and felicidades to Egan Bernal, the first ever Colombian to win the world’s most incredible and prestigious bicycle race!

 Electric Avenue

 Climate change is here. It really is, just read the first item on this page to realize how here it is. However, right on schedule, a new technology has merged with an old technology to produce a pairing like chocolate and peanut butter to feed a warming world: the e-bike. We’ll admit, at first, we scoffed at them, but now we’ve fully embraced them with our cargo e-bikes. But they could really offset carbon emissions in a big way. The U.K. and Sweden are both subsidizing them to help put people on them. Watch this space for updates on this trend.

 Our Fair City

 Tom and Ray of Car Talk always referred to Cambridge, MA with the above moniker, and now there’s good reason! Cambridge is the first US city to make protected bike lanes mandatory, stating that they must be included whenever a street is upgraded. The law provides for cycling infrastructure and bypasses neighborhood NIMBYism all at the same time. Fair city indeed!

Egg On Face

 We can’t take it anymore! For decades, eggs were part of the American breakfast. Then they got vilified because of cholesterol. Then, they were rehabilitated as being good for you after all. Now, another study says no, no, they’re bad for you again. Now, we don’t trust any of these studies, and neither should you. Slate reports that the methodology behind these studies is nothing more than surveys, which are quite inaccurate. Which means I’ll take a bacon egg and cheese with a side of cheese egg and bacon, and spam.

 You’re Promoted

 You’ve spent months, maybe years, perfecting an idea, a product, or service. You’ve agonized over the business plan. You’re ready to go, and now you need customers. In other words, you need a promotional campaign. That’s where we come in! Our team can expertly set up a distribution program to get your promotional materials out and to the proper target audience. Give us a call for details, and start growing!

 Stump the Band

 Last month we for Impossible Foods key ingredient in their meatless meat substitutes. Answer: Heme, a component of red blood cells.

 Trivia Question

 Where is Portagee Steak consumed more per capita than anywhere else? The first person to contact Gil Ortiz at 646-674-8323 or with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.


Breakaway News Volume No. 24 Issue No. 7 July 2019

Happy Fourth

 It’s once again that time to celebrate, all that this country stands for, and which, when neglected, is all too fragile: our freedom. Breakaway wishes all of its customers a happy Fourth of July. Enjoy the fireworks, and celebrate safely.

 Tour de France

 July is also time for that other celebration, which happens across the pond, in the nation that allied with us during our fight for independence. That’s right, it’s time for the month long sufferfest that is the Tour de France! This year, it’s a wide open race, with heavy favorite Chris Froome having been severely injured in a frightening crash. Who will win? Stay tuned.

 Blurry Vision Zero

 Cycling in New York – or any big city – is fraught with danger, much as driving is. This year, Vision Zero, the city’s campaign to eliminate traffic deaths, is facing a big test, as several cyclists have been struck recently. We at Breakaway want to remind all road users to follow all traffic laws, and to be mindful when on the roads. Rest assured; our couriers take safety with the utmost seriousness. We’ll always be sure to get your package – and the courier – there, safe and sound.

 Pack on Track

 Back in the mists of antiquity, people used a telephone that couldn’t play Angry Birds and which was tethered to an actual hard wire in the wall to call us for a delivery. Then, they had to wait to call for a confirmation of that delivery, or request that the dispatcher call when it was delivered. Crazy, right? Well, now it’s the 21st century, and you can track your package from your desk. Log into to get started using our package tracking software, and experience the vicarious thrill of watching it get delivered!

 Power by the Hour

 Did you know that you can call us to hire a courier by the hour? If you have a special project, of if there’s a courier who knows your business well, or if you need particular help with a slew of deliveries, you can call to hire a messenger on an hourly basis. Short term or long, we won’t leave you in the lurch.

Bikes, Cars, Food

 How environmentally friendly is cycling to work? The Keith Group attempted to answer that, and included the fuel for both cyclists and cars: food and gas. They found that a vegan cyclist impacts the earth one seventh as much as driving a Prius, while two paleo-dieting cyclists would have the same impact if they rode or carpooled in said Prius. Make in another Impossible Whopper for my ride, please!

 Stump the Band

 Last month we wanted to know for what else is legendary cyclist Gino Bartali honored. Answer: Bartali worked as a courier for the Italian Jewish resistance, carrying documents with him on “training rides” to help rescue Italian Jews during the German occupation of 1943.

 Trivia Question

 Impossible Burgers are plant based, but what secret ingredient makes them taste more like meat? The first person to contact Gil Ortiz at 646-674-8323 or with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.


Breakaway News Volume No. 24 Issue No. 6 June 2019

Happy Father’s Day

May was Mom’s Month. Now it’s Dad’s turn. We’re sure he didn’t mind Mom going first, him being a gentleman and all, so now it’s time to reward that gentlemanly manner with a day where he can put his feet up, have a nice tall drink, and have peace of mind, knowing that his delivery is going to get there on time via Breakaway. Seriously, if you want something delivered to or for Dad, call us. He deserves it.

 Cyclists, Unite!

 It’s no secret that we love bicycles (if you’ve been reading this newsletter, you’re nodding saying, “Yeah, we know!”), and apparently, we’re not the only ones, because the United Nations has declared June 3rd to be World Bicycle Day! The brainchild of World Bank sociologist Leszek Sibilski, a cyclist and activist, it’s a day for us to not only take a ride, but reflect on how the bicycle can help reduce climate change. If you’re interested on learning more, we recommend Professor Sibilski’s World Bank blog post, “Cycling Is Everyone’s Business.” Riveting stuff!

Congestion Cure-all

 Congestion pricing – charging motorists for entering into a certain zone of a city by car – is more and more a certainty here in New York. While we don’t know the specifics of the plan (those details are still being hammered out) we do know that motorists will be charged for entering Manhattan below 60th street. Cyclists won’t be charged – yet another reason to ride!

 Giro d’Italia

 It’s been an exciting Giro this year! As we write this, it’s boiling down to former winner Vincenzo Nibali and current race leader Richard Carapaz. Our money is on Carapaz, but stay tuned!

Summer Daze

 It’s June, and the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, is almost here. June 21st is the day when the sun will seem to hang in the sky for a long, languid time, enabling everyone to work on their tan, shine on your garden, and heat the city like an apple in the oven set on convection. Yeah, we’re not keen on leaving the A.C. to go out either, but we know a lot of crazy people on bikes who don’t mind. If you have a deliver or a pick-up, they’ll go out in the noon day solstice sun and get it done!

 Poor Man’s Tesla

 It’s official: E-bikes are here to stay. They’re just too effective to not put to use on the roads. Once they became the standard for food delivery people, we knew there’d be no shaking them. Now, regular cyclists or even aging ones can get in on the act. They’re like the Tesla, but with two wheels and a much smaller price tag.

Stump the Band

 Last month we asked for the native name of Easter Island.
Answer: Rapa Nui is the island’s original name.

 Trivia Question

 Gino Bartali was a champion of the Giro and the Tour de France, but he also has a very different honor achieved at great peril. What is it? The first person to contact Gil Ortiz at 646-674-8323 or with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

Breakaway News Volume No. 24 Issue No. 5 May 2019

All For Mom

 Mother’s Day is May 12, and all of New York City’s ethnic groups will compete again for the title of “Mothers Who Make Their Kids Feel the Most Guilty for Forgetting Mother’s Day!” Luckily, we at Breakaway are here to remind you that you really should buy her those flowers. We’re standing by to deliver them directly to her - guilt not included.

 Ramadan Mubarak

 A happy and blessed Ramadan to all our Muslim customers! Ramadan is tied to the lunar calendar, so this year, it starts on May 5th in the U.S. and ends on June 4th. The actual date, though, is never completely confirmed until the first crescent of the new moon is sighted. (Since we now have gadgets to tell us when the moon will appear, we can usually figure it out in time to go shopping.)

 Seeing Red

 Protest comes in many colors. Ukraine’s government was toppled by the Orange Revolution, France has the Yellow Vests, and now cyclists in Massachusetts have red cups. The Red Cup Project has activists placing red cups (normally used for beer pong) in the buffer zone between the car and bike lanes. When they’re crushed, it shows how close cars come to the cyclists in unprotected lanes. Cyclists in Newton, Boston, and Amherst want to show that “paint is not protection” and more protected bike lanes are needed.

 Cycling Commute

 It is true, we do blab on a lot about cycling and how it’s good for you, but that’s because we know how good it is for you. A new study out of the UK draws some interesting conclusions:  individuals with obesity who commute by car have a 32% higher risk of death compared with average weight individuals who have active commutes. In contrast, those with obesity who reported being active commuters had a risk of death that was similar to average weight active commuters, suggesting that cycling or walking to and from work could reduce the detrimental effect of obesity. We needn’t say more, but you know we will at some point.

 Memorial Day

 We close out May, of course, with the first long weekend of the summer. Memorial Day is set aside to remember and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Here’s wishing all of our customers, a safe and peaceful Memorial Day with good memories and a good barbecue.

 Caveat mTOR

 We at Breakaway love our molecular biology, and so we were very interested in how rapamycin might increase longevity. Discovered on Easter Island, presumably by one of those giant statues, rapamycin blocks the activity of a protein kinase, mTOR, the signaling of which increases during aging. Blocking mTOR also seems to increase insulin sensitivity, mimicking calorie restriction. But, instead of doing all that, we recommend riding your bike, having a good cup of coffee, and read a good book now and then.

 Stump the Band

 Last month we asked who the father of modern congestion pricing was. Answer: Nobel winner William Vickrey.

 T-Shirt Question

It’s known to us as Easter Island, but what was it known as to its inhabitants? The first person to contact Gil Ortiz at 646-674-8323 or with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.


Breakaway News Volume No. 24 Issue No. 4 April 2019

April Fools’!

Happy April! The year is really flying by, and here we are again, with another newsletter – and it may be the last. The Newsletter is being bought by a news conglomerate, and will be brought under an umbrella publisher that will do house decorating stories and recipes, because that’s what a poll shows our customers want. The Newsletter will hence forth be called “Break a Leg Decorating.”

 Observance Month

 Aside from April Fools’ Day, April is also a month chock full of religious observances. Breakaway wants to wish our customers a Joyous Easter, a Happy Passover, and a Blessed Ram Navani. We’re all meeting at the Buddha Bodhi kosher vegetarian restaurant later for eats.

 Congestion Pricing

 It may sound like an April Fools’ Day joke, but it’s a done deal. New York will be the first city in the United States to implement congestion pricing. Expected to launch in 2021, the scheme will affect vehicles entering Manhattan below 60th street, although the FDR and West Side Highway will be unaffected. We don’t know all the ins-and-outs of the pricing plan regarding cargo yet, but we’ll be keeping all of you posted as we learn more.

Taxing Times

 As always in April, the tax deadline looms. Even in this day of electronic filing, there is still a need for good old fashioned paper deliveries of records and returns, so we want to remind all of our customers that we have you covered this tax season. Call us for delivering to the tax man and have some peace of mind.

 E-Bill and Pay

 When Breakaway started more than 30 years ago, naturally we billed all of our clients by mail. As we grew, we developed a whole department for creating invoices and putting them in envelopes and mailing them. Times have changed, and we have with them. Now, the vast majority of our clients get electronic invoices and pay electronically via credit card. You can too. Don’t be that last guy who’s still using the rotary phone. Call us to learn more about electronic invoicing today.

 Stump the Band

 Last month we asked what popular coffee brand was founded in the Bronx. Answer: Café Bustelo, which was founded in 1928 by Gregorio Menendez Bustelo. A New York original.

 T-Shirt Question

 It’s used in London and it’s coming to New York City, but who is considered the father of modern congestion pricing? The first person to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

Breakaway News Volume No. 24 Issue No. 3 March 2019

Happy and Green

 It’s March, and that means it’s time to get ready for some important festivities. By the time you receive this newsletter, Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday will already have happened and the Lenten season begun. March 17th brings Saint Patrick’s Day, and that means a parade! It also means that major avenues will be affected, so plan your deliveries accordingly. Our army of cycling leprechauns are standing by.

 Clam Bake

 So there we were, sitting in the office with our new water-tight shoes, when we noticed that the airtight seal was making our feet sweat and feel clammy. Which got us wondering: What does “clammy” mean? That is, how did we get to use that word for it? What are clammy feet, after all? Is it because you would go clamming with them, and pick up clams with your toes? Wading about in clam beds? And what is it about cold, clammy feet that feels so horrible? With cold feet, you back out of a deal; what does one do with clammy feet? All we know is we put on some dry socks and feel much better!

 Daylight Bright

 On March 10th, it’s happening. Yep, it’s time for Daylight Savings Time. At 2:00 am on March 10th, the clocks will spring forward one hour. Don’t get caught by surprise, otherwise you’ll find yourself an hour late!

 Seasonal Start

 March brings more than Daylight Savings and leprechauns. For those of us who are cycling mad, it heralds the start of the European road cycling season. Parity seems to be the big theme now, meaning parity between the men’s and women’s races. As there should be, since at the Omloop race, the women’s race was going so fast, they were about to catch the men’s. That’ll keep the boys on their toes!

New Name, Same Biz

 For those of our customers who don’t know already, it’s time to inform you that Maria Ortiz is no longer our AR manager. Not to worry, you can still pay your bills online or send in your checks to our new Accounts Receivable Manager, Stephanie Zelaya. Please update your records and feel free to contact Stephanie at 646-674-8327 with any questions about your bill.

 Snowpocalypse Never

 So, Sunday night, we looked out our window, and saw a very steady snowfall blanketing the area. Naturally, we made plans to get in early and avoid the chaos, but a funny thing happened: The chaos never materialized. The roads were clear, public transport was good, even the LIRR was on time! Yet suddenly, no one is at work! The higher temps have melted a lot of the snow, so go ahead and call us. We need something to do.

 Stump the Band

 Last month we asked “who is the only former SS officer buried at Arlington National Cemetery?” Answer: Larry Thorne, born Lauri Torni in his native Finland. He served as a Finnish officer, an SS officer, and lastly as an American soldier, dying in Vietnam.

 T-Shirt Question

 Which coffee brand popular among Hispanics was founded in the Bronx? The first person to call Gil Ortiz at 646-674-8323 with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

Breakaway News Volume No. 24 Issue No. 2 February 2019

Love Delivers

 Your palms get sweaty. Your mouth goes dry. Your heart starts to race. But, enough about how you react when thinking about your tax returns! It’s February, and February is for lovers! At least, it will be on Thursday the 14th, which Valentine’s Day. So, if you’re feeling romantic and want to send a bunch of love to that special someone, give us a call. We’ve been delivering love (and saving relationships!) since 1988.

 Port Short

 Creative juices rarely get going with a life of boredom. That’s why Newsletter editor and former Coffee Avenger RM hangs out in dodgy places: i.e. the Starbucks at Port Authority. When he entered, there weren’t any seats, and he saw a man sleeping across from a bag. So, he woke the man and asked if he could sit there. The man said yes, took the bag and left. No sooner had RM sat down then another man came up, asking if RM had seen his bag. Now, a traveler was without his rucksack! Former Coffee Avenger RM sprang into slightly-slowed-by-age action; while the owner went to speak to an officer, RM went toward the rest rooms, to see if he could spot the sleeper. Sure enough, he found him at the trash cans with the rucksack under his coat! He recovered the bag without fuss or muss, and gave it back to the owner, who was grateful enough to buy the retired Coffee Avenger a venti. That’s avenging the hard way!

 Street Trailer: TNG

 We’ve talked about our French-built bike trailers before, since we’re really proud of them. Now, we are upping our game with The Next Generation of cargo/trailer bikes! They can haul almost as much as a van but with a much, much smaller carbon foot print. With them, customers can really take advantage of e-commerce deliveries, no matter how bulky. The only thing missing are phasers. And photon torpedoes.

Big Brother Is Us

 If you have a screen addiction, and love up-to-the-minute updates, then we have good news for you. All of our couriers are equipped with mobile devices with GPS tracking. Now you can track your item’s progress in real time, while simultaneously playing Candy Crush and editing your spreadsheet. Just one more screen to keep track of!

 Vortex Part Deux

 By the time you read this newsletter, the Polar Vortex will have come and gone, but water cooler talk about it will probably still be going on. Just for context: During the vortex, some parts of the Midwest were colder than Siberia or the peak of Mount Everest. And yet, the cold didn’t stop our bicycle couriers, nor did it stop some dedicated cycle commuters. CityLab reports that in Minnesota, some brave (or crazy) folk still commuted by bike despite the -20 degree temperatures.

Stump the Band

 Last month we asked who created the square bottom paper bag, and where? Answer: George West, aka the Paper Bag King, who invented the bag and lived in Ballston Spa, NY.

 T-Shirt Question

 Who is the only former SS officer buried at Arlington National Cemetery? The first person to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.


Breakaway News Volume No. 24 Issue No. 1 January 2019

Auld Lang Syne

 We’d like to wish all of our customers a Happy New Year! Thank you for being a part of the Breakaway Courier family of customers for another year, and for trusting your sensitive, high priority deliveries to us yet again. Here’s wishing all of you a healthy and prosperous 2019.

In Remembrance

 January is the month we ring in the New Year, but it’s also a month during which we take time to remember an American giant, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  This year MLK day falls on January 21.  In recent years, the federal holiday has become a Day of Service, when Americans are encouraged to volunteer to help others less fortunate than themselves as a tribute to Dr. King’s legacy.

 Ride For Your Mind

 People who have been with us for a while now know that we have long extolled the health benefits of cycling. Now, it seems that the very old can benefit also, thanks to technology. Senior centers in Liverpool, England, are using stationary bikes and Strava to let its residents with dementia “ride” virtually anywhere in the world, and the residents love it. Staff at the facility say the project has boosted well-being and happiness. We’re passing out applications to see which ones want to be our couriers!

 Polar Vortex

 We’ve been talking about global climate change for a long time now. Well, don’t get ready to spend all year in a Bermuda shirt and sandals just yet. We have to get through the unstable Polar Vortex. Meteorologists are saying that the same Polar Vortex that hit us last February is getting ready to sock us again, possibly over the whole winter. So please, be sure to spare a hot chocolate for the messenger when they come to pick up!

Gauge of the Wage

 As you read this newsletter, the minimum wage has gone up to $15 per hour in New York City. This means that in the last three years, the minimum wage has gone up 67%, and in the last five years, 87.5%. At Breakaway, we pride ourselves on making sure our couriers make a living wage, which is saying something in this economy. To learn more, visit:

 Breakaway R&D

 New Year’s resolutions: Every year, we make them, with all good intentions, and every year, we all fall down on the job. Statistically, there are few New Year’s resolutions kept. That’s where our new service comes in! For a yet to be determined fee, call us to assign a courier to you who will track your movements, and wag his finger at you every time you start to slip. For an added fee, he’ll even scold. This service is going to be popular so reserve your Resolution Nag today!

 Stump the Band

 Last month we asked who got Europeans wired on coffee. Answer: Suleiman Aga, Ottoman ambassador to France, opened a coffee house in his Paris mansion, sparking a coffee craze.

 T-Shirt Question

 Who created the square-bottom paper bag and where? The first person to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.