Uber by bike (Photo by Kai Pilger on Unsplash)
Uber by bike, amazing eh?
If you had told me one day that I would become a professional cyclist, I would not have believed you! Yet today it is. I had never thought of this type of job in my life. I don’t particularly like cycling. Let’s say that doing it a dozen times when spring or summer comes, yes I like it, but it stops there. So do it, at least 4-5 hours a day … you can imagine that I did not expect it, to become a delivery boy on a bike … Wow …
First, don’t imagine that delivering by bike to Perth is like delivering by bike to Paris. The city is much less dense, and each race is a new discovery. I cross suburban areas, parks. The traffic is less dense too. Finally especially on the sidewalks, because it is a proven fact, the Australians walk little, they drive, yes they ride in their big 4 × 4, their Pick Up … And they hate small cyclists like me …
Perth by bike
And then Perth is a bit of a city with a thousand hills, it goes up, it goes down, and it is unexpected. Then the thighs force, and sometimes the morale goes down. Especially since my bike was a very good deal, but for less than 30 euros per bike, there is no miracle. Impossible to change gears, at the risk of derailing, small and large wheels, and brakes which sometimes require the help of my soles.
Uber, the Good Days
Then there are the good days, those when the weather is nice, when I feel fit, where I see it as an opportunity to think, to let my mind wander, to play sports. I get on my bike, go downhill, pedal, tackle the steepest slopes. I don’t have my hair blown, because I have a helmet (mandatory in Australia), but it’s just like. Yes those days, it’s almost a pleasure. I don’t see the kilometers or the hours passed. I take advantage of waiting to write, and I enjoy the sun which warms my skin. These days, the thighs are light and so is my mind.
Uber, the Bad Days
And then there are the bad days, the days when the legs are tired, when motivation is at half mast. On days when the wind keeps me from moving forward, when every pedal stroke is an effort. These days there, I plague, I treat the drivers of all the names, one, especially, returns particularly, it begins as collusion and ends as talkative. Yes those days, I blame everyone. I hate this precarious job, where the races are not well remunerated, where sometimes it is necessary to make 4 kms to go to deliver a coffee. And I hate this city so suburban, where once the delivery is finished, you have to redo the 4 kms in the opposite direction. Obviously, these days, I sometimes get discouraged in front of big climbs, I curse this connected city.
IT IS AWAY SOMETIMES!
I happened to find myself so far from my starting point, I take an order, it takes me to 4 kms, then my application rings, I have to go find another in a restaurant 3 kms, then the deliver even further. I then find myself 45 minutes from my hostel to return. In those moments, it’s 45 minutes lost, 45 minutes without a dollar, and it sometimes drives you crazy.
In fact, Uber is like a game, it all depends on your luck. Of course you have to know the neighborhoods, go to the right places, and then wait. At peak times, it sounds quickly. You have a few seconds to click on the minutes that appear. Usually it’s a minute from where you are, but it can happen that they indicate 3 minutes, or 5, so at 5 minutes, beware. Looking at the map is more prudent before accepting. Yes because Uber is optimistic, 5 minutes can quickly turn into a quarter of an hour, traffic lights, inappropriate climbs, we are rarely 20 kms at constant speed !!
Uber by bike, how is it going?
Okay and then we click, we go to the restaurant, the order is displayed, it can be single, or double. Double means that you have to collect two orders from the same restaurant and deliver them to two people. Sometimes it’s convenient, because the two controls are close, and it saves you from having to wait again. But double orders are paid less and sometimes they are in two opposite places. The algorithm sometimes has bugs and then you go 6 kilometers for 8 unhappy dollars …
And then it’s the surprise, impossible to know where you will deliver before retrieving the order and clicking. When the race is less than 1 km away, it’s the jackpot, you will have at least 6 dollars and you can return to the right area quickly. But when it’s more than two kilometers away, you cross your fingers so that the climbs are not too strenuous, the good days you take a deep breath and enjoy the scenery, the bad ones insult you Uber by all names.
Uber by bike: the Night
The night is something else, the day goes down before 18 and all the races are done in the dark. There is less traffic, it’s the nicer side, and races are generally linked faster. It has been cold for several weeks in the evening, and I had to buy a waterproof fleece jacket, not the most prominent but very effective … The night can be scary sometimes, the streets are poorly lit and it is not the dim light of my bike which will change a lot…
So this is my daily life, I oscillate, between the joy of playing sports and disgust at this job so poorly paid, I tire sometimes, but overall I gain in endurance. I no longer have pain in my buttocks like at the beginning, my thighs are rocky, I no longer get off my bike for big climbs, and I know the city of Perth as my pocket.
So yes overall, it’s a positive experience. I earn an average of 400 dollars per week, I no longer work on Saturdays and Sundays to give me a real weekend. I rave about the rare tips, and I expect better days …
5 replies on “Uber by bike…”
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