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 breakawaycourier.com 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 gortiz@breakawaycouriere.com 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 gortiz@breakawaycourier.com 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 gortiz@breakawaycourier.com 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 szelaya@breakawaycourier.com 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: www.breakawaycourier.com/about-our-rates.

 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 manyorders@breakawaycourier.com, and get more information at http://breakawaycourier.com/bulk-deliveries.

 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! 

 Overheard

 “…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

Thanksgiving

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.