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My Job as a Bike Messenger

Photo: Courtesy Daniel Boatman

Name: Kendall Sexton

Job:  Owner and operator, Crosstown Couriers

Years of Experience:  Five

Challenges:  Running Honolulu’s only bicycle-messenger company that services the area from Kahala to the airport is tough enough. Add unpredictable weather, bad drivers and a shortage of adequate bike lanes, and you start to appreciate what this Massachusetts native goes through every day.

“I don’t think it’s crazier than anywhere else,” says Sexton, 29. “You would think Honolulu would be a symbol of bicycling because of the great weather all the time. But it’s not … Once you get used to it, though, I actually think it’s kind of fun how ridiculous it is.”

Toughest Assignment:  Once, Sexton had to take a package from an architecture firm downtown to the state Department of Transportation office at the airport – roughly six miles away – by 4:30 p.m. But the firm didn’t get him the package until 4:17 p.m.
“I just took off. When I got to the airport, I was biking on the sidewalk, biked right into the elevator and ran through the door just as the guy (who needed the package) was walking out. That was kind of insane.”

Rewards:  “You’re exercising, you have freedom, and for the people who do this, this is what they like to do,” Sexton says. “They want to ride their bikes. And if they were sitting in an office, they would be thinking about riding their bikes.”

Pay:  Bike messengers typically get paid a commission. At Crosstown Couriers, messengers get 60 percent of their delivery fees and the company keeps 40 percent. “If somebody is really hungry to make money, he can work harder and get rewarded,” Sexton says.

Crosstown Couriers

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