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Bicycle messenger will soon negotiate Rochester traffic

Rochester(MN) Post-Bulletin, March 24, 2007

Gunnar Soroos, who raced bicycles in Hawaii, now lives and works in Rochester and plans to start a bike messenger service.

By Bob Freund

Gunnar Soroos pedals up on his orange racing bike with a three-colored bag slung over his shoulder and riding his back. Both the bike and the waterproof courier's pouch soon will be his trade.

On April 3, the 37-year-old cyclist expects to be jockeying through traffic in downtown Rochester on the first trips for his bicycle messenger service.

Rochester Flyers will be the only two-wheel courier business in town, he says. Common in big cities, bike messengers work in a business in which urgent is routine. Soroos said he can pick up and deliver papers or packages within minutes -- at the longest, a couple of hours.

An avid rider, Soroos has pedaled year-round to his job for advertising agency Ads & Art. Now, he plans to be in the cyclist's seat every work day.

Q: You're planning to pedal for a living.

A: Yep, ride my bike around town for a living.

Q. What does a bicycle messenger service do?

A: We can take just about anything that you want delivered anywhere, whether it's a single-page document or a large package. I can pick it up and take it around town for you.

Q: Where would you pick up and deliver?

A: Anywhere in Rochester and beyond. Generally between 55th Street Northwest and 25th Street South and East and West Circle Drive(s).

Q: How do you stay in condition?

A: Just ride your bike a lot. The more you ride the fitter you are and the fitter you are, the more you can ride.

Q: Why do businesses and others want this service?

A: Basically it increases productivity within the office and the business.

Q: What's your delivery window?

A: About anything, I believe, can be taken to the destination within an hour, and, downtown, I believe, it's going to be faster.

Q: It's going to be cold out there in mid-winter! This isn't just a summer job for you, is it!

A: No. I'm ready. I'll drink a lot of coffee and wear a big coat.

Q: How fast does a bike messenger usually travel on two wheels?

A: We probably average about 18 miles an hour.

Q: And traffic doesn't scare you?

A: No. I'm very confident and comfortable riding in traffic, and taking a lane if I need to.

Q: So, Gunnar, I guess you've figured out a way to make your favorite sport pay?

A: Yeah. Not many people can do what they really like to do and make a living at it.




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