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!

Retirement

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.

 

Breakaway News Volume No. 23 Issue No. 6 June 2018

Not Another Tie!

The change from May to June is wonderful because we get to go from remembering fallen heroes to recognizing the heroes in our own lives: our Dads! Here’s to all the fathers out there who stayed up late waiting for us to come home, helped us with our homework, and taught us life lessons that we still live by. Our couriers are standing by to help you get that perfect gift to the hero who helped raise you.

Taste of California

Congratulations to Egan Bernal of Team Sky for winning the Men’s Amgen Tour of California. The Columbian grabbed hold of the leader’s jersey on the 2nd stage, and held it to win overall. This, as his Sky teammate Chris Froom wins the Giro d’Italia across the pond. Congratulations also to Katie Hall of United Healthcare for winning the women’s Tour of California.

Generally Speaking

A while back we told you about our fancy new French trailers.  They’ve now acquired appropriate new monikers:  Sherman and Grant, after the logistical genius generals credited with winning the Civil War. Their likenesses also adorn the trailers, so keep an eye out for them around town, hauling up to 100 cubic feet of cargo.   And if you have a large bulk delivery to get done quickly, give us a call to send out the generals!

All Pretty Interesting

Speaking of bulk ordering, we are now offering our customers an API – that’s Application Programming Interface for the less techie among us. It’s a faster way to get your orders into our system so that they can be dispatched and delivered even more quickly.  Interested?  Have your tech people call our tech people.

Hubway, Flubway

Our Boston Breakaway brethren love cycling. As do we. And as do many people in Beantown. To prove it, Boston has its own bike share scheme, called Hubway. One rider took it to extremes, however, when he took a Hubway bike onto the northbound I-93 in the O’Neill Tunnel. A little extreme, but we love the commitment!

Tubular!

Or, we should say, lack of tubular. We hope. Our Fearless Leader RK has already been singing the praises of tubeless tires for his road bike. Now, he’s agitating for tubeless tires for his Brompton folding bike. Brompton, get on that, will ya?

Overheard…

“I would date him, he’s cute and all, except he has no money.”

Just another titillating conversation heard by our messengers every day.

Stump the Band

Last month we wanted to know which venerable, classic bicycle race finally added a women’s event. Answer: Liege-Bastogne-Liege, aka “La Doyenne.”

T-Shirt Question

“The Americans” has finally ended.   What conflict paved the way for modern espionage operations? 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. 5 May 2018

May Finally in Play

Breakaway wishes all of our customers a happy May Day, especially now that it seems that winter’s icy grip has finally eased. So, by all means, go out there and get some sun! Also, for all our customers of the Islamic faith, Ramadan Mubarak!

Text Now Not Vexed

It took a bit longer than we expected, but text messaging is now a part of our dispatch software. This means that if you want text updates on a job you’ve ordered, just give the phone operator your number, or enter it yourself when you order online. Our vendor helped solve the problem when he reached under our desk past the thicket of cables in the power strips to plug the console in.

Saddle Up

May is National Bike Month – the perfect time to trade in your traffic jams or delayed trains for a delightful sail to work on your bicycle. New Yorkers take 450,000 bike trips daily, and about 1 in 5 of those are commutes. If you’re ready to join us, Bike to Work Week is May 14–18. Not up to a whole week?  Try it out on Bike to Work Day, May 18. Of course, here at Breakaway, some folks are lucky enough to spend their entire work day, on a bike. 

Are You Experienced

Since 1998, economists have been writing about the “experience economy.” This is the next stage:  agrarian to industrial to service to, finally, experience. What is it? Basically, people are paying to have experiences. Businesses are providing memorable events for customers, and this experience then becomes the product. Heck, we’ll do you one better. If you want the experience of being a bike messenger, come work for us, and we’ll pay you!

Same Digs, New Nabe

Oftentimes, people move to see new places and experience other locales. But nowadays, you don’t have to go anywhere for that. Here at Breakaway HQ we don’t even recognize our own neighborhood anymore, surrounded as we are by construction sites with 70-story behemoths rising all around us. It’s like being at the bottom of a fish bowl! We didn’t move an inch, yet there’s a brand new city being built before our very eyes.

Perchance to Sleep

Probably no commodity gets shorter shrift in our new world than sleep. Whether partying all night, binge-watching the latest Netflix series, or just plain old catching up on work or study, sleep often gets sacrificed for productivity or play. This isn’t ideal, however, since both body and mind are renewed during sleep. So, don’t worry about that last errand. Let us do it, and sleep in a little. Maybe a cat nap.

Stump the Band

Last month we asked what the last stronghold of the wooly mammoth was before extinction. Answer: Vrangel Island, in the North Sea off Russia.

T-Shirt Question

Women’s professional cycling has really taken off. Which very old race has finally added a women’s event, and only for the second time this year? 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. 4 April 2018

Easter Egg Face

We would like to wish our customers a very happy Easter Sunday. What’s noteworthy about this Easter is that comes on the 1st, and that’s also April Fool’s Day, so it’s the perfect opportunity for some cut up to really make this Easter memorable! We’re ready to deliver that Easter bonnet or whoopee cushion whenever you need it.

Factoid

This newsletter was worked on by videoconferencing. Now you know.

Spring Classics

March Madness has subsided, but now, for us cycling buffs, the real madness begins, albeit overseas. It’s the start of the spring cobbled classics in Europe, when pro cyclists put their posteriors to the ultimate test, by riding their road bicycles over some brutal cobbled roads of the old countries. We can’t wait for the thrills, spills and chills!

New Hires

Not sure why, but lately we’ve been swamped by a whole plethora of folk applying for a coveted position of bike courier with us. Lots of folks who say they’re from Washington and all muttering about having to get out of some “snake pit” seems to be the only common denominator. Could be a bit problematic; we don’t know if we have enough positions for them all.

Overheard

“I know, I know. I would’ve gone out with him, except…”

Just some of the titillating conversations heard by our couriers every day.

New View For You

We realize that, more and more, information is being moved electronically. This, of course, includes our invoices. If you prefer all things electronic, and are cranky about receiving this newsletter in the envelope with your bill, we can e-mail a PDF of your invoice instead, meaning that you can get it immediately, instead of waiting for the newsletter to be written and included.

Overstuffed

Have you got junk? Of course you do; we’re Americans in the 21st century, and that means we all have 3 bedrooms worth of stuff in a 1 bedroom apartment. We just want to remind you that we move stuff. Lots of stuff! We also move food, because after stuff, what else is there? So give us a call and let us handle your stuff!

Stump the Band

Last month we asked about Purim in other cities, and which one had the most. Answer: Ancona, Italy, with four Purims in one year, for salvation from an earthquake, two fires, and a riot.

T-Shirt Question

Wooly mammoths coexisted with humans a long time before dying out. Where was their last stronghold? The first person to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

 

 

 

Breakaway News Volume No. 32 Issue No. 3 March 2018

Smiling NY Eyes

The clover is in bloom, shamrocks are everywhere and the green beer will flow from many taps. It’s Saint Patrick’s, and Breakaway wishes all of our clients a happy Saint Paddy’s Day, and all the luck o’ the Irish! Be sure to factor the Parade into your deliveries, and be extra nice to our leprechauns when they come for pick up!

Holy Schlamoly!

Aside from Saint Patrick’s Day, this March marks the start of a plethora of religious holidays that are observed not just here in the burg, but around the world. So, here goes. Happy Purim (March 1st) Holi (2nd) Lent (14th) Good Friday (30th) and start of Passover (31st). Holy mackerel, I’m exhausted.

Spring Ahead

March is also the month of the vernal equinox, as we finally head into spring on the 20th. Why is it that the older we get, time speeds up, but spring always seems to take longer to arrive? Anyway, March also marks the arrival of Daylight Savings Time on the 11th, so set your clocks accordingly.

March Meshugah

It’s also time for March Madness, the NCAA’s yearly strategy for destroying productivity all over the country by making people mesmerized with college hoops. This year, there’s a twist; Yeshiva University, for the first time in 80 years, has made it to the NCAA Division III tournament. Will the Maccabees be able to hammer their opponents on the hardwood? Tune into the madness to find out.

Just Saying

What’s with the lack of civility? When did listening to a smart phone out loud on the subway not make one a total dimwit? Just saying!

Electric Avenue

Tesla Motors helped popularize the idea of electric vehicles, and now others are starting to get in on the act as well. We went to kick the tires on an electric cargo van called the Chanje, which would drastically reduce our carbon footprint but is also heinously expensive. We love the idea, but controversy erupted over the name. How is it pronounced? We personally like adding a French twist to it: Shan-ʒe, rather than change. Makes it sound rather cosmopolitan.

Bulk Effect

What’s a sure sign of business growth? Instead of sending two or three things by courier, you have to send dozens of things! Especially if it’s e-commerce. Well, we’ve got you covered. Our logistics team can help with everything from warehousing to last-mile delivery. Contact our logistics department for more info, and see how we can complete 300-500 deliveries per day for you.

Stump the Band

Last month we asked what cyclists wore before the advent of Spandex/Lycra. Answer: Both shorts and jersey were constructed of wool.

T-Shirt Question

Some communities celebrated more than one Purim. Which celebrated more than any other? The first person to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

 

Breakaway News Volume No. 32 Issue No. 2 February 2018

Love’s Labor’s Month

Happy Valentine’s Day! Now, let’s all have a talk. You know, and we know, and your girlfriend knows, that if you don’t get that box of chocolates and tickets to that show, that you’ll be in big trouble this Valentine’s Day. So, what to do? Call us, of course! We can have that chocolate, tickets, AND even a stuffed animal in your hands faster than Cupid’s arrow can nail you. So, give us a call. We have long experience helping out here!

Segway Psychos

It seems like all the time, as technology progresses, there are more and more things to dodge that makes the streets of our burgs look like a real life version of Frogger. Texting drivers, distracted walkers, those costumed wackos in Times Square. Now, add Segway owners to the mix. Our own Fearless Leader RK quickly had to dodge a Segway driver while cycling in to work, bruising a calf and turning his morning ride into a mini Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome scene, only slower. Pay attention, people!

It’s Still Winter

The 2nd day of the month brings all our attention to a certain rodent in Western Pennsylvania.  The legend of Punxsutawney Phil tells us that if he sees his shadow, as he did this year, we’re in for a long winter.  Recently, though, a number of pretenders to the throne have popped up offering their own predictions.  Our own Staten Island Chuck, for example, saw spring on the way. We’ll stick with the local guy.

Photo Finish

All of our messengers, of course, are equipped with the hyperShip app, to make their lives, and your lives, easier. Now, we have a new feature: We can take a photo of the delivery drop for you and all to see. Call for details.

Bulking Up

We at Breakaway, both in NYC and Boston, have long done bulk deliveries. Now, we’re taking it to a new level with e-commerce bulk as well. If you have a large e-commerce order that needs to go out, we’ve got the right tools to make sure it gets there. From warehousing, to organizing, and last mile delivery, we are able to handle 300-400 e-commerce deliveries a day. And, if we deliver using our French-made, high capacity bicycle trailers, everyone gets a free baguette. Unless you’re going low-carb. Then you just get a picture of one.

Swings and a Miss

Climate change sure has been exciting this winter, and by exciting, we mean downright annoying. Swings into the 50s alternating with sub-freezing temps are really crazy on the wardrobe, especially when it’s cycling kit. What’s a courier to wear?

Stump the Band

Last month we asked who founded the holiday of Kwanzaa and when it was first celebrated. Answer: Kwanzaa was first celebrated in 1967 and was created by Professor Maulana Karenga.

T-Shirt Question

Created in 1958, Spandex or Lycra revolutionized sportswear, especially sports with high sweat. What did cyclists wear before? The first person to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

 

Breakaway News Volume No. 22 Issue No. 12 December 2017

Happy Holidays

Another year, another turning of the globe, another holiday season is upon us! Breakaway wants to wish all of our cherished customers a happy, healthy, and prosperous holiday season. May the adults have health and wealth, and may the kiddies get all the goodies they asked for. And, if you need extra help making sure the munchkins get their treats on time, give us a call. We’ve been made deputy elves this year!

Getting Around II

Last month, we complained about the state of our rail system in the Big Apple. Well, on top of that bad news sundae sits a maraschino cherry of distress. The bus system in NYC is the slowest not just in the state, not just on the east coast, but in the entire country. Average bus speed in Manhattan is a mere 5.5 mph. This means that if you take the bus, you can shave just before leaving your house and have pronounced stubble by the time you arrive at your destination. Precisely why we’re sticking with our bikes!

Trailblazing

They’re French, they’re amazing, and they can carry a lot. We’re talking about our new BiciLyft trailers, which we’ve been using to great effect. They can pull up to 400 lbs. of cargo, and yet are highly maneuverable in traffic while hitched to bicycles. Breakaway is the first U.S carrier to put them to work and we’re making news for it - from Fast Company to Newsweek!

Vocabulary

We’re really used to riding in traffic, but we never knew that there was a specific term it. Vehicular cycling is the act of riding as if you are a car, and is the model of urban cycling since the 70s. Bike lanes may be changing that, but we still think it’s a necessary skill. Stay tuned.

Boston Bike Ban?

From our colleagues in Boston comes a story of trying to turn back the wheel of progress. It seems a consortium of local businesses are trying to stop the creation of new bicycle lanes, and even to remove the Cambridge St. bike lane, a major route for cyclists. It seems local businesses feel that cyclists “deter customers.” Naturally, we feel that people cruising at cycling speed are more apt to stop at a local business. More as we learn it.

Holiday Stats

Well, we’ve survived Thanksgiving, and now it’s on to Christmas dinner. Exactly how many calories are consumed at this time of year? According to the Calorie Control Council, Thanksgiving dinner can be as much as 4,555 calories, and 229 grams of fat. If you celebrate Christmas, that dinner could add another 4,555 calories. Gym membership!

Stump the Band

Last month we asked: “on whose coat of arms does the American turkey appear and why?” Answer: English navigator William Strickland was granted such a coat of arms, as he was responsible for introducing the birds to England.

T-Shirt Question

Cyclist Mark Beaumont just cycled around the world in 78 days. What woman made the fastest trip around the globe on two wheels?  The first person to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

 

Breakaway Courier Guide to Holiday Season Deliveries

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) Don't procrastinate! Please do not wait until the last minute. Many people leave several days early, and some offices close for the entire week of Christmas, so it’s best to complete deliveries by Friday, December 15, 2017.

 

 

 

Enjoy the holidays!

 

 

Breakaway News Volume No. 22 Issue No. 11 November 2017

Gobble Gobble!

It’s almost that time of year, when we visit family and eat ourselves into a food coma so deep that not even strong espresso can get us out of it. It’s Thanksgiving! We wish all of our valued customers a safe and happily calorific Thanksgiving holiday. Need a few turkeys delivered quickly? Give us a call. We can deliver the bird and all the fixin’s!

Getting Around

A favorite pastime here in the big burg is, of course, to complain. Don’t know why, but it’s very New York. Now, however, we really do have something to complain about: The transit system. NY1 reports that delays are increasing across the board, with the biggest problems along the J and Z lines. The lost productivity amounts to some 35,000 lost hours every day. That does it, we’re sticking with our bicycles. So are our couriers, who can be called upon to get it there on time, even if you can’t because of a sick passenger/train traffic/police investigation/what-have-you.

Big D and the Man

For a while a few years back, “big data” was the buzzword. It was going to revolutionize the way commerce works and influence our daily activities. Here at Breakaway, we don’t use “big data” per se, but we do get distracted by our stats, especially on Strava. Regardless of that or of what the data sets are telling you, you still need a courier so call us. Tracking them is more fun than collating your sigma tau set and multiplying by the integer of the cosecant.

How High?

We have calculated we are twelve feet above sea level. Just thought you should know that.

Rise of the Robots

The Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, and Detroit Free Press have all recently run articles about robots. Not cute, Japanese anime AstroBoy type robots, but robots that are taking over jobs once done by people. More and more, it seems, automation is replacing people. But, we know you still need a real person to talk to, so call our friendly phone ops, and have a flesh and blood courier assigned to deliver your job. And don’t be afraid to talk to him or her. They’re people too.

Daylight Savings

November 5th is officially the day when we all fall back, and enjoy the lack of sunlight streaming through our windows at seven in the morning. You heard it here first, so be sure to reset your clocks, and don’t be late!

Stump the Band

Last month we asked who said, “I got no reason to be there, but I imagine it would be some kind of change” and what it referred to. Answer: It was Bob Dylan, in the 1965 song “Outlaw Blues,” and it’s about his longing to be on an Australian mountain range.  

T-Shirt Question

The American turkey appears in the coat of arms of whom and for what reason? The first person to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

 

Breakaway News Volume No. 22 Issue No. 10 October 2017

Booooo-yah!!!

It’s October, and that means that at the end of the month, we get to experience the annual sugar rush we call Halloween! Hordes of tiny hobgoblins and pint-sized superheroes will beat a path to your door in hopes of upping their cavity count from your bowls of sweet goodness! Need help preparing? Give us a call; our trucking department is ready to ship a few pallets of premade confectionary your way!

Fall Tasting

Fall weather is definitely in the air. We at Breakaway are getting ready for some serious leaf-peeping, getting out our fall and winter clothes from storage, and bracing ourselves for what has become the new annual onslaught: pumpkin spice!! We have no doubt as we wander through our respective cities that we will be inundated with  pumpkin spice lattes to accompany our pumpkin spice scones, perhaps later to be followed with pumpkin soup and some pumpkin spice beer. All in moderation, of course.

B.o.B, S.O.S, N.u.T.

Rapper B.o.B. has made a new name for himself recently. He came out strongly in favor of the idea of a flat earth (because, why not?), and has now launched a Go Fund Me page to launch satellites in order to “help him find the curve.” Of course, he could save himself, and people who might contribute, a lot of money; all he has to do is ask one of our couriers. They have enough miles and measurements in their legs to suss out any curve. Heck, we can even rush that to him.

Overheard

One well dressed young boss to another: “Oh my god, none of us have working phones!”

 Just another titillating conversation heard by our couriers every day.

Ultimate Stairmaster

How famous are general manager AY’s stair workouts? Famous enough for real estate mogul Stephen Ross to build him the ultimate stair master! In his Hudson Yards project, there is what looks like a large waffle cone in the middle of the whole shebang, the sole function of which is to provide a stair platform. Andy is already lacing up his running shoes.

Shorter Days

The days are definitely getting shorter (thanks to a round earth, B.o.B!), and we’re feeling the effects of the declining sunlight. Groggy all day, groggy all night, time to take a flight. Admittedly, some of our couriers love the winter. That’s why we hired them, so we could fly south.

Stump the Band

Last month we asked why the Tappan Zee Bridge is located where it is. Answer: It was deliberately built 25 miles north of the Statue of Liberty to keep it outside the jurisdiction of the Port Authority, and under the NYS Thruway’s authority.

T-Shirt Question

“I got no reason to be there, but I imagine it would be some kind of change.” Who uttered this and what does it refer to? The first person to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.