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.


Tips for Faster Deliveries During the Holiday Season

Our delivery volume will spike dramatically during the holiday season, and you may experience delays, particularly during peak periods.  Here are some tips to avoid service delays:

 1) Place large orders in the early morning, preferably before 9:00 AM. We are open 24 hours a day.  Our peak periods are from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM and 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM. If we are extremely busy, pickup times can slow down. Trucking deliveries are generally slower because of traffic delays and security checks.

 2) If you are planning a large batch of gift deliveries, it helps to have one-day advance notice. For any delivery project with 10 or more addresses, you can just email us a spreadsheet and we’ll upload it directly into our system. Send the email to, and get more information at

 3) Label your packages completely.  Packages that are not completely labeled languish in the company mailroom.  Always include the recipient's full name, company name, room number, address and phone number. With post-9/11 security, many office buildings will not accept packages without complete information on delivery labels. Also include your return address on the package.

 4) Call ahead to the delivery point to make sure someone is there to receive your package. If you order an evening delivery, make sure the receiving party is open past 5:00 PM. It might make more sense to schedule the delivery for the following morning.

 5) Do not procrastinate! Please do not wait until the last minute. Many people start their holidays early, and some offices close for the entire week of Christmas, so it’s best to complete deliveries by Tuesday, December 18.

.6) Please circulate this flyer to all employees who will be using Breakaway’s services during the holiday season.

  Enjoy the holidays!




Breakaway News Volume No. 23 Issue No. 12 December 2018

Holiday Greetings

It’s the season for giving, which means it’s the season for shopping, which means it’s the season for shipping, which means it’s the season for calling Breakaway to deliver that special something to you so you can give it to that special someone and wow the pants off him/her/them! We want to thank all our customers for being with us another year, and wish you all a happy, healthy holiday season.

 Holiday Rush

 We at Breakaway pride ourselves on our ability to get deliveries done in all sorts of conditions, but even we aren’t entirely immune to the holiday season. Many stores and offices close early, and everyone is trying to get work done at the last minute. Please review the back of this newsletter for some tips to make sure your packages get where they need to go during this busy time of year. 

 By The Numbers

 Fitness app Strava, it’s fair to say, has revolutionized our ability to track our physical activity and compare it to others. Their numbers also reveal some interesting trends. For example, 36 million cyclists from 195 countries logged 6.67 billion miles (with a “b”), from Sept. 2017 through Aug. 2018 (and drank vast amounts of coffee). Something else caught our eye:  Globally, community by bicycle is up almost 43 percent vs. last year.  In the U.S., it’s up more than 30 percent.  Great news for the planet! 


 “…and then I read that quote, and it really resonated with me. It said, ‘Love is wisdom, and hatred foolishness.’ ”

“That’s funny…I’d have thought it was the other way around.”

 Just one of the many conversations overheard by our messengers every day.

Light the Lights

 As you read this newsletter, we’re already in the middle of Hanukkah.  The 8-day Festival of Lights started on December 2. As we wish a Happy Hanukkah to our customers, we remember that this year is especially poignant and ask everyone to keep the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh in mind as we light our menorahs and hope for a more peaceful year to come.

 One Last Ride

 As all our readers know, we at Breakaway HQ are big cycling fans, and that means we follow the big races and the people that call those races. Sadly, commentator Paul Sherwen, former pro, British national champion, and commentator on the Tour de France (with constant call companion Phil Liggett) for 33 years, passed away at the age of 62. We’ll miss him, and wish him a final good ride into the great beyond.

 Stump the Band

 Last month we asked wanted to know who created Day of the Dead icon La Calavera Cantina. Answer: Mexican lithographer Jose Guadalupe Posada, who created her as social commentary.

 T-Shirt Question

 Coffee is beloved by cyclists and Europeans, but before coffee, people drank beer for breakfast. Who first brought coffee to Europe and popularized it? The first person to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

Breakaway News Volume No. 23 Issue No. 11 November 2018


Breakaway Courier wants to wish all of our loyal customers a happy, healthy Thanksgiving holiday. This is the most highly traveled holiday of the year, so get ready for some long lines and lots of time in the car! This also means that you should call Breakaway to handle all of your holiday delivery needs, rather than venturing out to do it yourself.

 Impending Coma

 It’s November, and that means it’s the beginning of the holiday season, or, as we like to call it, “Eating Season.” Yes, it’s the season that kicks off the day after October with a massive sugar and candy binge from the Halloween loot, straight through Thanksgiving dinner, and on to the Christmas and Hanukah offerings. Forget Winter; food coma is coming. Wake us when it’s February. We should have fully digested by then.

Reader Poll

How many of our food preppers out there are going to use marshmallows on their sweet potatoes this year? No prize for answering first, we’re just really curious. Let us know when you answer the trivia question.

Standard, Savings

It’s that time, again! Daylight savings time is coming to an end, and we revert back to Eastern Standard Time, completing once again one of the most useless exercises in chronology that was ever put in place. At least, we all get an extra hour to sleep in.

Uber This, Lyft That!

Tooting our own horn edition! We’ve had some amazing successes with our French cargo trailers! Customers are amazed at their capacity, the fact they’re green, and that they perform so efficiently, even with all those Uber cars in the way!

“E” For Everything

Once upon a time, someone invented paper. For centuries, paper was the medium of choice for everything business; letters, documents, invoices, etc. Now, however, it’s the 21st century, and we think we should all join it. You can order online, pay online, track your package online, see your invoice online. You can even read our newsletter online, including back issues! Because paper is so last century.

 Ladies, We Need You!

As cycling advocates, we have long agitated for better cycling infrastructure here in our fair burgs. But what if that’s not all there is to it? A new study says that one way to make city cycling safer is to have more women cycling. Or, as the headline cheekily noted, “Fewer angry dudes.” So for all the dudes out there: we know you have a Strava PR to set, but really, slow down and let the ladies play through.

Stump the Band

Last month we asked who the first European was to sight the Americas. Answer: A Norse-Icelandic explorer named Bjarni Herjolfsson.

 T-Shirt Question

Although an icon of the Day of the Dead, La Calavera Cantina is a modern invention. Who originally created her, and what for? The first person to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

Breakaway News Volume No. 23 Issue No. October 2018

All Hallow’s Breeze

 Halloween arrives this month, on a slightly warmer breeze than usual. What’s really scary is, the longer we write this newsletter, the faster it seems to roll around. Not to worry; if you’re short of teeth-shattering sweets to give out, you can still call us to deliver them to you by the truckload.

Irish Edition

 We bring you this edition of the Newsletter fresh from our trip to Ireland! Ireland was verdant and serene, and we’re feeling especially lucky. Don’t worry: we’re relaxed but raring to go with deliveries and rushes. They might just come with shamrocks, and maybe a leprechaun or two.

 Pumpkin Chunkin

 We actually enjoy Halloween, but, we are a little afraid of…THE ATTACK OF THE PUMPKIN SPICE EVERYTHING!!! Yes, the terrifying tactic of making everything taste pumpkin-like kicks off this month, with pumpkin burritos, pumpkin Pringles, pumpkin beer, and pumpkin spice you-name-it. Horrors! Of course, we’re not averse to delivering your favorite pumpkin spice treat, so call us. We’re ready for it!

 Leaf Peeping

 Another tradition that starts this month is leaf peeping season. The forests and trees of New York and New England all start to pop and burst with color as the trees get ready to shed their leaves yet again for the winter. If you’re too busy to take a drive, no worries. We can always bring you a box of leaves.

 Elevator Talk

 Then I said, “You’re not allowed to have any communication with me. I’m represented by a firm.” Confused friend: “Then why are you talking to him?”

Just another conversation overheard by our couriers every day.

Explorer One – Two

October 8th is Columbus Day. Interestingly, October 9th is Leif Erikson Day, the day we celebrate the first European to set foot in the New World, in Newfoundland. Two celebratory explorer days back to back? It’s an embarrassment of celebrations! Get the longboat ready!

Congrats, Valverde 

 We love cycling and cycling races, like the World Championships held last month.  Many fresh young faces showed their prowess and established themselves as the new talents that will dominate the sport. But we especially want to congratulate 38-year old Spanish rider and new World Champion in the road race Alejandro Valverde. We love to see an older guy showing the younger crowd how it’s done.

 Stump the Band

 Last month we wanted to know which monarch is commemorated in Central Park. Answer: King Wladyslaw Jagiello of Poland.

 T-Shirt Question

 Although the first European to set foot in the New World, Leif Erikson wasn’t the first to sight it. Who was? The first person to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

Breakaway News Volume No. 23 Issue No. 9 September 2018

Labor Daze

 It’s already upon us. Labor Day weekend has come and gone, heralding the end of summer, the start of school, and soon some holiday shopping. As you relax and enjoy summer’s last gasp, remember that Breakaway can help you with all the work you’ll be returning to once the fall season is in full swing.  We can’t help you put off work, but we can help make it more painless.

 Office Rivalry

 As of this writing, a most unusual set of circumstances has arisen: the Yanks and Red Sox are in first and second place. Naturally, this boosts the inter-office rivalry between Breakaway New York and Breakaway Boston. Which office will have bragging rights? Which home city will prevail? We’re mostly bicycle racing fans, so we’re not invested, but most of our couriers are! Stay tuned!

 Shoe Leather

So, here’s an odd statistic: fully ten percent of shoes that are brought to the cobbler for repair of some sort are never picked up. They’re fixed and ready to go, but the party who thought highly enough of the shoes to bring them in just forget or never showed up. That’s a lot of unused shoe leather! If all those people just called Breakaway to have their deliveries done, maybe they’d have their shoes in better shape a while longer.

 One Last Grand

 July is already a memory, and the glow of the Tour de France has worn off, but right on its heels is the Vuelta a España. The last Grand Tour of the racing season is already well under way, and it started with a bang, with challenging mountainous stages almost right off the bat. This will be the last fix for fans like us this season. For Yankees and Red Sox fans, it merits merely a “meh.”

Off the Cuff

 Buildings continue to rise above our humble HQ in Hell’s Kitchen as the Hudson Yards development continues apace. According to our ad hoc and completely unscientific survey, there seems to be a 50% vacancy rate among the new buildings. Lack of services maybe? We know there will be plenty of new restaurants - if you’ve got the dough for it. To reserve a table, be sure to bring your mortgage broker. End rant.

 Very Intermittent

The newest craze sweeping the fitness world is intermittent fasting. Basically, you spend about eight to ten hours out of 24 eating, and then the rest of the time, you simply don’t eat. Some folks are down to two, even one meal per day. Not to be outdone, we at Breakaway are committing ourselves to eating only once per week, and then the rest of the time drinking hydrogenated water. Immortality, here we come!

 Stump the Band

 Last month we asked which large southern constellation was split into three. Answer: Argo Navis, which was split into Carina, Puppis, and Vela.

T-Shirt Question

 What monarch is commemorated with a statue in Central Park? The first person to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.


Breakaway News Volume No. 23 Issue No. 8 August 2018

Dog Days

The dog days of August are upon us. Sadly, August’s arrival means summer’s imminent departure. It also means heat. Lots of sticky, summer heat. But, it also means that you have yet another reason to call Breakaway. Our couriers have been heat-treated and can withstand temperatures approaching 200° F. So, stay cool in the AC, and let our guys deliver your goods for you. Just have some water on hand, if you don’t mind.

 More Dog Days

Speaking of dog days, it’s widely believed that the term refers to our canine friends seeking relief from the heat. In fact, it actually comes from Sirius, the “dog star,” which appears just before sunrise during parts of July and August.  The ancient Romans believed that the presence of the bright star brought extra heat (and also caused fever, madness and thunderstorms!)  Good days to stay inside with the AC on!

Time/Food Restricted

 The latest research in the field of nutrition is very interesting. It seems that “restriction” is the new magic bullet that can save your health. Studies have long shown that restricting caloric intake without malnutrition is a powerful deterrent to cancers and other age related illnesses. Now it seems that restricting the times you eat is at least as powerful a tool for weight loss and health, with benefits like increased muscle mass, lower body fat percentage, better sleep, and more energy. The key term is “without malnutrition.” That means Doritos are out, nutrient dense foods are in. Sorry.


 “I missed you!”

“I missed you too!”

“Great! We missed each other!”

Just another titillating conversation heard by our couriers every day.

First, and Last

Congratulations to Geraint Thomas, winner of the 2018 Tour de France. Thomas is the first British-born rider to win the Tour and the third from mighty Team Sky. Also of note was Texan Lawson Craddock, who crashed on the very first day, fracturing his scapula, yet still completed the race even as other healthy riders dropped out. He finished in last place, earning the unofficial yet prestigious Lanterne Rouge, and raised more than $200,000 for his local velodrome. Now that’s Texas tough!

Roman Holiday

 This is the first newsletter written by the editor post-vacation in Rome! The Eternal City is an amazing place, with amazing sights, amazing folks, and amazing food which people love to eat outdoors, sometimes late at night. Which led us to wonder: When does everyone go to bed? They’re up all night eating! Don’t you have to wake up for work?! Most importantly, how can I live like that?!

 Stump the Band

 Last month we asked what empire served as the precedent for Indonesia’s current borders. Answer: The Majapahit Empire, which lasted from 1293 - 1527.

 T-Shirt Question

What large southern constellation was split into three? The first person to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

Breakaway News Volume No. 23 Issue No. 7 July 2018

Go Fourth, Have Fun

We wish all of our valued customers a very happy and safe Independence Day! We hope that you, like us, will be celebrating July 4th with a barbecue and the libation of your choice, while watching the rockets’ red glare and fireworks bursting in air. Make sure you get those deliveries in early for the holiday, and stay safe out there.

Why Ask Why?

Why we like bicycles: in a word, simplicity. Why we’re not too fond of cars: because they’re complicated. Why do we write such good newsletters? Because we ride bicycles. Why are we so good at quick, efficient deliveries? Because, we ride bicycles!


A heart-felt farewell to Walter DeRienzo, former owner of Personal Messenger Service. Breakaway merged with Personal last year, with the understanding that Walter would stay on a year while we integrated the companies. Now, he’s finally retiring, and is off to his native Uruguay. He worked alongside us in our office and is so likeable a guy that we bought him two cakes and a send-off package. Good luck Walter!

Complaint Dept.

Here’s our complaint: Windows 10 isn’t printing our invoices properly. It’s a perfect time for ALL our customers to sign up for electronic invoicing. Call Maria in Accounts Receivable at 646-674-8351 to get started. Really, it’s painless.

We Haul

Think that only vehicles can haul a lot? Guess again! Our cargo bicycles can haul as much as 400 lbs. Have a lot of stuff and want a small footprint? Call us and see what our cargo bicycles can do for you!

Tour Time

July is a month that we at Breakaway look forward to, because of that big annual event, the Tour de France. This year, unusually, the Tour is starting a week later, on the 7th. Which is just fine with us, because we’re always so into it, we don’t know what to do when it ends!

Final Stretch

Have you got a semi full of goods coming into the city? Do those goods need distribution? Have those goods come from all over the world, just to languish at the final stretch because navigating the city is complicated? Give us a call and see what our Last Mile Service can do for you. Whatever you have arriving, we can stage it, organize it, and deliver throughout the city, making sure your customers get what they need when they need it. Don’t blow it in the last leg!

Stump the Band

Last month we asked what conflict paved the way for modern espionage operations. Answer: The Great Game, a conflict waged between the British and Russian empires.

T-Shirt Question

What empire served as the precedent for Indonesia’s current borders? The first person to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.