How Valerie Topete has survived as a Bike Courier
Valerie Topete of all people understands that the job of being a bike courier can be challenging, whether it is freelance or with a company. The work hours can be long and physically exhausting, especially if one is not familiar with the best routes or rush hours. On top of physical exertion, time is of the essence, and a late or missed delivery can spell disaster for a courier’s reputation. While all of this is much to consider, there is even more to worry about. Simply surviving the job can be a challenge in itself.
The dangers facing a bike courier while they are on the job are numerous, and everywhere. People, vehicles, and weather, all present constant dangers to be watched out for. In order to avoid becoming involved in an accident, or at least take precaution against one, a courier must be prepared.
A basic precaution is to simply wear a helmet. While this may seem simple, many do not adhere to it. It could prevent serious injury in the event of a collision. Another way to make the job easier and less hazardous is the use of navigation. A better route can be mapped out based on external factors, such as traffic or an event. Lastly, the signals on the bike can prevent an accident, as this gives others notice of your intent.
All of these seem extremely simple, and they truly are. Valerie Topete has used these simple procedures to ensure her own safety and success.
A Day in the Life of Valerie Topete
What is it like to live a day in the life of a bike courier in New York City? Just ask Valeri Topete, who has successfully worked as one for the past 7 years with no late or missed deliveries, or even an accident. Being a successful bike courier means getting up early, as client won’t simply wait for you, as the hustle and bustle of New York City is constant. They don’t call it the city that never sleeps for nothing.
Once the package is obtained, the arduous task of getting it to its destination on time begins. Getting through New York City can seem like a nightmare for someone unfamiliar with it, much less on a bike, but Topete has been doing this for seven years.
Her day consists of navigating the crazy and never ending maze of buildings, vehicles, and people to get the package to its destination on time in a safe condition. One successful delivery does not mean the end of the day for Topete, as she still has more clients and packages throughout the day to deliver. Having done this arduous service for seven years has given her the knowledge and foresight to successfully navigate the city in a timely manner. Once all the packages for the day are delivered, she then heads home to her loving family.
Truly this type of work is for only those able to successfully balance the workload with personal life. Valerie Topete has successfully managed to balance these.
Valerie Topete - Professional Mommy
Valerie Topete has managed to bike her way to the top of her career. With an unending drive for success, Topete began her life in a typical New York fashion: broke with no job and living in a ridiculously expensive one-bedroom apartment in the Bronx. Topete didn’t let any of these challenges hold her down as she relentlessly fought to create a business. For the next three years, Topete worked as a freelance courier searching the Internet for job opportunities.
Her dedication to her customers, fast response and delivery times, and courteous nature earned her the respect of her clients. As Topete better learned to navigate the city and built her clientele, she saw her business grow. Her hardworking spirit did not go unnoticed by others, and an unsuspecting meeting between her and a client resulted in a new job and an invitation for date. Seven years later, Topete is married and has two boys.
Trying to balance the life of a top bike courier in one of the busiest cities in the world with the daily trials and tribulations of a small family living in Brooklyn has been a challenge that Topete took head on. Her success as a mother and professional is the results of careful planning. Topete believes that a dependable schedule prepares the family for the day by clearly knowing what to expect. Balancing the children’s school schedule and extracurricular activities, along with her job and hobbies and her husband’s responsibilities, takes a team effort. Her supportive husband understands the needs of his family and helps to contribute to the flow of the family activities.
Topete knows that one of the ways of successfully balancing these responsibilities is the ability to multitask. She has proven this technique time-and-time again as she uses her days out and about in the city delivering packages and parcels as opportunity to explore new venues and subjects for her photography business. Topete also manages to involve her children in her business, and uses play time with them as an opportunity to practice her photography as well.
Topete is also well aware that the success of a family depends on her sanity as well. She makes sure to take time for herself, and had been competing in relay races across the city. The boys love the one-on-one time with their dad, and they enjoy mapping out the routes of the races. Topete knows she can count on seeing her three boys at some point during the race, cheering her on from the sidelines. Everyone knows that being a mom and working fulltime is a challenging endeavor. Valerie Topete is a great example of a dedicated woman, both to her job, hobbies, and family.
Valerie Topete - Relay Bicyclist
It was not by accident that Valerie Topete became a bike courier when she moved to New York. An avid long distance bicyclist in college, Topete was able to launch her hobby of biking into a successful and lucrative career. She worked relentlessly as a freelance bike courier for three years while trying to survive the New York lifestyle. She searched out job opportunities online one at time and made a life for herself in a tiny one-bedroom apartment in the Bronx. Her dedication to the job quickly earned her a reputation as one of the most reliable couriers in New York City.
She spent her days furiously biking around the city, darting between cars and pedestrians, to ensure that her packages were delivered as fast as possible. Topete created quite the name for herself, and after three years of making it on her own, she was hired by the most prestigious courier companies in all of New York City. At Mercury Rises, Topete was able to further push herself to become the best in the business. Among a highly competitive group of couriers, she pushed herself to the limits and her efforts were rewarded.
Seven years later and settled into her New York life, she was ready to return her focus to the thing she loves: Long-distance relay races. Over the past few years Topete had been so consumed with her new career, husband, and raising two very active children, she had minimal time to dedicate to biking outside of work. Now that her children are older and are enrolled in school, Topete realized she had some spare time to dedicate to herself. Working in such a highly competitive environment such as Mercury Rises was not a random event for Topete. Her competitive nature was something she applied throughout her life, and she was ready to prove her skills in a new hobby of relay racing.
Not surprisingly, bike couriers tend to be avid bicyclists and it is a tight community of individuals. Through Topete’s professional acquaintances, she joined a bicycling group that competes in relay races on the weekends. Topete logs her practice miles during the week while working and competes as one of the fastest members of her relay team. The structure of a relay race allows her to have the experiencing of being part of a team, while competitively pushing herself to be the best. Her husband and children love mapping out the race path and finding the perfect position to set up camp in order to be able to see her speed past. Valerie Topete has been competing for seven months now and has successfully won five medals and finished in first place three times.
Valerie Topete - Finding Photography Clients
Valerie Topete loves to take photos and when she isn’t working as a bicycle courier, she can be found practicing her talent. Living in New York allows her to take photos of many different people, places, and things and help her appeal to many different clients. If you want to find photography clients, these tips can help.
More and more people are using social networks to advertise their services. Social networks allow you to reach a lot of people and are a great way to share information about your photography services. You can create a page specifically for your services or just post information on your own personal page.
Create A Portfolio
When you have people interested in your services they may want to see an example of the type of photography you offer. You can create a portfolio by taking a variety of different photos and putting them on a website in a gallery or you can make a photo album with photos you have taken.
Use Online Classified Sites
Online classified sites are a great way to advertise anything, including photography services. Most of them are free and sorted by location. You can even post photos with your ads to people can see an example of your work.
Part of being a photographer is being able to find clients. Valerie Topete is an amateur photographer but she still works with clients from time to time. If you need help finding clients to photograph, the above tips can help.
Valerie Topete - How To Keep Your Bike Courier Services On Time
Valerie Topete works as a bicycle courier in New York City. Her job is often fast paced and demanding but she always manages to make her deliveries on time. If you are a bike courier and struggle with making your deliveries on time, these tips can help.
It can sometimes be difficult to stay focused as a bike courier, but if you want to be successful, you have to know where you are going, what you are delivering and when it is due. Many couriers are freelancers and need to motivate themselves to deliver their packages and documents on time.
Keep Your Bike In Good Shape
If your bike is in good shape it will work better for you. If you are constantly stopping to make repairs or if you bike cannot operate as needed to get you to your deliveries on time, you could lose clients and ruin your reputation as a courier.
Manage Your Time
When you are delivering packages to different people or for different companies you should take a second to plan your deliveries in a way that will allow you to make the most of your time. You should check a map to see which delivery locations are closest or the closest route between the different locations.
Working as a bike courier can be difficult. Valerie Topete has worked as a bike courier in New York for several years. She strives to make her deliveries quickly and to make her customer happy. The above tips can help you do the same.
Valerie Topete - Multitasking Tips To Help With Any Job
Valerie Topete works in New York City as a bicycle courier. She was a freelancer for many years and stayed very busy. She still has a full schedule and often has to multitask to get everything done. If you work and have a lot on your plate, learning to multitask can help you get it all done. These tips can help.
One of the best things you can do when multitasking is to take action. It is easy to get caught up in planning and thinking and forget to actually do anything. While it is important to have a plan or idea of how to do things, it is also good to know when to stop planning and start doing. Once you take action you will start making progress and reduce the amount of things that need to be done.
One of the most important aspects of multitasking is learning how to prioritize the things you have to do. Certain things will be more important than others or need to be done first and if you are able to take the time to prioritize your tasks you will be able to get a lot more done in a shorter amount of time.
Multitasking is all about toggling between tasks. You need to decide which task needs your attention at the moment, which ones need to be done before you can move on to others and which ones can be done quickly. Toggling can take some time but once you get the hang of it, you will move through your projects much faster.
Many people get caught up with starting different tasks and working on each one for a short period of time before moving onto the next and forget to finish each project. If you are going to multitask, the point is to get as many things done as possible and that means you need to focus on not just doing but also finishing each task.
It can be easy to put one task off or several tasks off in order to work on the ones you would prefer to do first or think are the most important. While it is one thing to plan it is another to procrastinate. Make sure you do not put off any one project for too long.
Multitasking is a great skill for anyone to have. You never know when you will need to do more than one thing at a time and if you aren’t able to juggle multiple tasks at one time, you could fall behind and become overwhelmed. The above multitasking tips help Valerie Topete keep up with her demands and can help you no matter what kind of job you have.
Valerie Topete - Bicycle Safety Tips
Valerie Topete works as a bicycle courier in New York City for a company called Mercury Rising. She delivers important documents and other things, such as architecture prints, to and from companies. Being a bicycle courier is something that she loves and she knows if she wants to continue to work in the industry she needs to stay safe while riding. These bicycle safety tips can help you stay safe while riding a bike whether it’s for work or fun.
Obey Traffic Signs And Signals
When you are riding a bicycle you should always pay close attention to the traffic signs and signals. You need to obey the same traffic laws as cars and will use the signals and signs to help you navigate the area and know when to change lanes, cross the road and avoid accidents.
Always Wear Your Helmet
The most important rule of bike safety is to always wear a helmet. The helmet will keep you safe in the event of an accident. Make sure your helmet fits properly and is comfortable. You should never ride a bike without a helmet. You can buy helmets online and in sporting goods stores.
Watch The Road
When you are on a bicycle you must always watch the road and other drivers. If you are hit by a car or involved in an accident, you could be severely injured. Don’t count on other drivers to watch out for you, always be aware of where you are and where the other drivers are headed.
When you ride your bike you should always be alert and pay attention. Do not attempt to use your phone, eat or do other things while riding your bike. You need both hands to steer and you should always be focused on where you are going, what you are doing, and where other people using the road are located.
Use Lights At Night
If you are going to be riding your bike at night, you need to have lights and reflectors on it. You should also try to wear light colored clothing. When you ride at night it can be hard for drivers to see you and this can be dangerous. You can find lights that are designed to clip onto your bike. You can even find brake lights and turn signals for your bicycle.
If you are planning to be a bike courier like Valerie Topete or if you just like riding bikes for fun, it is important to stay safe. The above tips will show you how to stay safe on your bike so you can continue to ride and enjoy it for years.
Valerie Topete - Tips For Improving Your Singing Voice
Valerie Topete is a talented singer who entertained aspirations of becoming a pop star when she was studying at high school. She still has an excellent singing voice and is always interested in techniques that she can use to get better. These handy hints will help anybody who is looking to improve their technical abilities or those who just want to sound a little better.
Few things in life come easily and those who are not blessed with natural singing talent are going to find that they need to practice to make improvements. Sing along to any of the songs that you love when they are playing, but try to pay attention to pitch and tone while you do so. This will allow you to match the efforts of the singer on the record, improving your own voice in the process.
Your voice is an instrument, much like a guitar or piano, so it is important to practice the basics so that you can develop the technical skills that you need to tackle difficult songs. By practicing scales for a few minutes every day, you will be able to extend the range of notes that you are able to hit and thus become able to sing more songs.
Valerie Topete believes that hearing yourself sing can play a large role in highlighting issues that you need to work on. By recording yourself belting out a few tunes, you can play them back and make improvements. Save multiple recordings over time so you can document your progression and stay motivated.
Valerie Topete - Bike Equipment That Every Cyclist Needs
So you have finally purchased a bike and you are looking to get out on the roads as soon as possible. However, before you do, it is important that you pick up all of the relevant equipment that you will need to make your journeys as comfortable as possible. As an experienced bike courier in New York City, Valerie Topete knows better than most just how important good equipment can be, particularly during long days of cycling. All of these are important for any new cyclist to have if they want to stay comfortable for longer.
The very first thing that you should purchase before you head out on your bike is a good helmet. Make sure that you do some research and pick a helmet that has been made by a quality manufacturer, instead of trying to buy the cheapest option available. After all, your helmet may end up saving your life if you are involved in a collision or end up coming off the bike for any reason. It is also important to ensure that you purchase a helmet that properly fits your head, so that you can enjoy full protection.
A Water Bottle
Long rides can get very exhausting and the constant sweating may lead to you becoming dehydrated in fairly short order, especially if you are cycling in warm weather. This means that you should always have a water bottle available so that you can take a quick swig if the ride is starting to wear on you. Always refill it before you head out on the bike and make an effort to clean it properly when you return home. If you’re on a very long ride, it is also wise to take advantage of any opportunities that you have to get a refill by stopping off at water fountains that might be on your route.
A Puncture Repair Kit
Tire punctures are one of the biggest issues that a bike courier or long-distance cyclist is going to face, so you always want to be sure that you have what you need to make quick repairs so that you don’t end up stranded on the side of the road. Purchase a good puncture repair kit that leaves you able to repair multiple tires if needed. It is also a good idea to bring a bike pump along with you as well, so you can re-inflate a tire following the repair work.
Valerie Topete finds that the friction that her hands experience from constant gripping of handlebars while she is working as a bike courier can be problematic. By investing in a good pair of cycling gloves, you completely eliminate this issue and will also be able to remedy any problems that could be caused due to vibrations while riding.
Valerie Topete - Handy Bike Maintenance Tips
As a bike courier, Valerie Topete must be aware of the condition that her bike is in at all times so that she doesn’t suffer from delays that are caused by maintenance issues. Thankfully, there are many things that you can do to ensure your bike is prepared for a long day of riding, with all of the below being essential maintenance tips that you should aim to follow if you don’t want to spend a lot of your time pulled over on the side of the road dealing with punctures.
Check Tire Pressure
Ensuring your tires maintain the right pressure is important for a number of reasons. Underinflated tires will end up dragging on the road and causing more friction. Not only does this slow you down, which is not ideal when working as a bike courier, but it may also lead to the tires undergoing more wear than they should over shorter period of time. This will lead to you having to spend more money to get replacements, when keeping the pressure at the optimal level would have allowed your tires to last longer.
Pay Attention To Your Brakes
The brakes on your bike are amongst its most essential safety features, so it is important that you do what you can to ensure they stay well-maintained so that they function as expected when on the road. Otherwise, you will find your stopping distances increasing, which can cause all sorts of problems when in traffic. Check your brake pads for any signs of wear and replace them immediately if they start to underperform. You should also pay attention to your brake levers. If you have to pull them all the way to the handlebars to stop, they are too loose and likely need tightening.
Clean The Chain
While it is important to be aware of the steps that you need to follow in order to replace chains or damaged links, you should also keep your chain in the best condition possible if it is going to last for a long time. Make sure to clean it regularly, getting rid of any dirt or sediment that has built up during your time cycling. Hot water, degreaser, chain lube, a rag and an old toothbrush should be all you need to get the job done, plus you don’t even need to remove the chain.
Store It Properly
Valerie Topete always makes sure that her bike is stored in a cool, dry area so that it doesn’t end up experiencing the various issues that can be caused by exposure to the elements. Leaving your bike out in the rain, for example, can lead to rust developing on both the chain and frame, necessitating replacements in many cases.
Valerie Topete - Essential Tips For Road Cycling Safety
As a bike courier for Mercury Rising, Valerie Topete has an exceptional safety record and has never been involved in any traffic collisions, barring the occasional small scrape with taxis. To maintain this record for safety, she makes sure to refresh her knowledge of security while road cycling on a regular basis, which is particularly important given that she works in New York. These pointers will prove useful for anybody who is wary of cycling on the road, particularly in built-up areas that are often congested with traffic.
Avoid The Sidewalk
A lot of new cyclists try to ride on the sidewalk, rather than the road, in an effort to avoid collisions with vehicles. This is not only dangerous to yourself and pedestrians, but may also lead to you breaking the law in some states. Avoid the sidewalk whenever you can and make sure to get off the bike if you have to use the it. Remember that trying to weave in and out of groups of pedestrians is extremely difficult at the best of times, but is much more so when doing it at high speed on a bicycle.
Make Eye Contact
One of the key challenges that faces cyclists is ensuring that other road users recognize their presence so that potential accidents can be avoided before they happen. Though you may find it a little uncomfortable at first, by making eye contact with drivers, especially when at stop signs or traffic lights, you make sure that they are aware of your presence. You don’t need to get into a staring match, as a look and a smile should be more than enough to suffice and keep you in their minds as they pull away.
Always Wear A Helmet
One of the first safety tips that any cyclist will be given is to always wear a helmet, even on the shortest rides. This is particularly important for road users and may save your life if you are involved in a collision. Hard concrete hurts and hitting it at speed can lead to traumatic injuries that, in the worst case scenario, could have a dramatic impact on the way that you live your life. Always be sure to invest in a quality bike helmet and make sure that it fits before taking it out on the road.
Wear Light Clothing
Valerie Topete points out that cycling at night presents a range of challenges that you won’t face during the day, the biggest of which is maintaining visibility. Always make sure to wear light-colored clothing when you are out on the road so that drivers can easily see where you are. Reflective stripes and other high-visibility clothing will also be able to offer additional protection.
Valerie Topete - Best in The Business
Valerie Topete is no ordinary bike courier, she is a spirited competitor that has proved time and time again that she is one of the best in the industry. Her journey into the world of bike messengers began seven years. She worked as a freelance courier in the heart of New York City, raising two kids and being a devoted wife at the same time.
It was not long until Topete’s skills were recognized, and her reputation as a courier garnered attention from some big players in the industry. After three years of working as an independent freelance courier, Topete met John Tudebaker, the owner of Mercury Rises, a hyper-competitive bike courier service in New York City.
Tudebaker keeps a small but elite staff of bike couriers at his disposal. Topete became one of them four years ago, and has since risen to become one of the best couriers New York City has to offer.
With some of the best route times, a virtually non-existent accident history, and unparalleled passion, Topete has been consistently putting up the best numbers among the elite Mercury Rises staff. She continues to demonstrate to her peers and bosses that she has what it takes to succeed.
Valerie Topete is a passionate individual. It is her passion and competitive spirit that has allowed her to rise through the ranks of Mercury Rising and become the courier that she is today. In the future she hopes to continue to grow, and maybe one day own a courier service of her own.
Valerie Topete, Freelance Strategy
One of the skills that Valerie Topete has developed over the course of her career in the knowledge of what it takes to be a good freelancer. Choosing freelancing as a career is a unique experience, one that requires a certain kind of personality and the right skill set to do well in. While freelancing can be a lucrative career, as some make over 100,000 a year, many more make far less.
The key to being a good freelancer is learning how to find balance. Some say that a freelancer can’t have a reliable income. While there is certainly some truth to this statement, freelancers do have a few tricks to keep their income steadier than one might think.
One good way to keep your income steady as a freelancer is to make sure you have multiple jobs working for multiple companies. It is good to have multiple sources of revenue because if one of those jobs suddenly disappears, or does not require any more freelance help, a freelancer will not abruptly be without income.
For example, if a freelancer has 4 different jobs, and one of the jobs ends due to a complication, that freelancer has only lost 25% of his or her income, as opposed to all of it.
Valerie Topete learned to make a living for herself by being a savvy freelancer for many years. Though she has settled down and is now working for a well-known and competitive bike courier service, sometimes she still misses her life as a freelance courier.
Valerie Topete - Bike Messenger Equipment
Valerie Topete is a mother, wife, and bike courier that has been working in the profession for over seven years now. Being a bike courier has been a unique experience for her, one that has made her a part of a sub-culture all its own. The job comes with its own set of rules, practices, accepted beliefs, and even some special equipment.
While the most obvious bit of equipment needed for a bike courier is a bicycle, there are many other pieces of equipment that are necessary for the occupation. Even the kind of bike one gets matters, as most couriers tend to favor fixed-gear bikes, as they require little maintenance and are simple. There is also little need for multiple gears, as most bike courier services are done in urban areas with relatively flat, level terrain.
Another important bit of gear for a bike courier is a lock. A lock is an important safety measure to deter theft while making deliveries. Simple chain and padlocks are often used, though specialized U-locks are also popular. Bike couriers also usually carry basic tools for quick repairs, weather-proof clothing, a backpack, and a street map. Sometimes basket mounts are used as well, depending on the kind of packages the courier regularly delivers.
Valerie Topete has had some interesting experiences as a bike courier. She has learned that it is important to have the right tools for the job. That is why Topete is always fully-equipped with a multitude of items to make sure that she is safe, well provisioned, and on the right track.
Valerie Topete - A Brief Introduction to Bike Couriers
Valerie Topete is part of an elite few of individuals that are strong enough in will and spirit to be a bike courier in New York City. Couriers, also known as bicycle messengers, carry and deliver important messages, documents, and items of every assortment to specific destinations via bike.
These couriers are most frequently found in densely populated urban areas, as it is simply faster and more practical to use a bike to travel in the heart of the city. That is because a bicycle can’t be held up by traffic jams, worry about finding a proper parking space, or abiding by rules of the road.
A bike courier offers a way to get consistent delivery times without fees or fines in an urban area. Even today, in the age of the internet, bike couriers are frequently used by a wide assortment of companies in order to get sensitive and important information to its destination.
That is because some information is too sensitive or important to be exposed to the internet, which makes it vulnerable to viruses and savvy hackers. Bike couriers are still an integral part of the economy of urban areas such as New York City, and London.
Valerie Topete has been a bike messenger for over seven years. She has seen much of New York City on her deliveries, and believes that the need for couriers will persist, as it is still one of the most efficient and environmentally-friendly way to get documents from one side of the city to another.
Valerie Topete - Working for One of the Top Courier Agencies in the City
Valerie Topete is currently working as a bike messenger for Mercury Rises, one of the most popular courier services operating in New York City. She is dedicated to her career and to serving the needs of her clients in a timely manner. Although she moved to the city in order to pursue a career in photography or singing, she found that she had a gift for traveling around the city quickly on her bike.
Due to the vastness and constant density of the city itself, getting around via bike is one of the fastest ways to travel. This makes bike messengers the fastest local means to deliver important documents, objects, or time sensitive messages for locals.
Mercury Rises has tailored their business to be competitive, both with other businesses and amongst themselves as well. Working for the company is like constantly being a part of a giant bike race that takes place within the gridlocked, concrete jungle. The competitive nature of the company not only pushes messengers to work harder, it also pushes them to pick up more jobs, giving them more opportunity to prove themselves.
Valerie Topete has worked hard to become one of the best messengers at the company, and she is always looking to prove herself even more. She understands that in order to be successful in the field she has to know the area like the back of her hand. Even if she isn’t working, she is looking up the fastest routes to get to particular places, which may not just include using the roads.
Valerie Topete - How to Be a Professional Bike Messenger
Valerie Topete is young professional and artist currently living in New York City. She moved almost a decade ago in order to pursue a career in photography or singing, but decided that she needed a more stable means to support her lifestyle in such an expensive city. She is currently working for a local company called Mercury Rises, which is based in the bike messaging industry.
Valerie Topete has become the most successful bike messenger for her company, and is determined to continue her success in order to operate her own business in the industry in the near future. She is even taking businesses classes at a local college in order to support her professional dreams. She is always willing to help out her fellow colleagues in order to make Mercury Rises even more successful.
One of the tips she gives other messengers in the field is always know your route. As you continue to work in the field, you will begin to learn the ins and outs of the city, as well as shortcuts to particular areas or frequent delivery locations. However, it is always important to submerse yourself in your surroundings and find the best route before you set out.
Another tip she gives is to keep your bike in proper condition. Every morning before a day of work, she checks all aspects of her bike in order to ensure that she can ride as efficiently as possible, without hitting any snags along the way.
Valerie Topete hopes to use her skills to enhance the success of her future business, and she is determined to be successful in the industry.
Valerie Topete - A Future in Freelance Photography
Valerie Topete is a talented artist currently living and working in New York City, the most rewarding environment for young professionals and artists. Although she has yet to make any serious money through her singing or photography, she has made a lucrative career out of being a professional bike messenger. She works for a local company called Mercury Rises, and can deliver important documents for small businesses, large businesses, or even individuals.
However, when Valerie Topete isn’t working on furthering her success in the bike-messaging world, she can be found practicing her artwork. She enjoys walking around the city and taking pictures of intimate and candid moments of the people in her neighborhood. She hopes to one day be a photographer on a freelance basis, but it can be difficult to get started.
In order to begin a career as a freelancer in any industry, you have to know the right people. There are plenty of people who want to be freelance photographers, but you have a connection to the industry already, your names gets passed around by people looking for talented photographers.
You also have to be willing to do small jobs, maybe even as an intern, in order to develop those initial connections. As the market continues to be more and more competitive, there is no shame in doing some pro bono work in order to meet professionals in the field.
Valerie Topete hopes to supplement her career in bike messaging with a freelance career as a photographer. She is talented, determined, and has the right mindset to succeed.
Valerie Topete - Tips for the Professional Bike Courier
Valerie Topete is a dedicated individual with the professional drive to be successful in any career field. She moved to New York City around seven years ago in order to pursue a career as an artist. She is a gifted singer and has sung for several amateur organizations. Although she has yet to sell any of her photography, she is also a gifted photographer as well. However, her current career is in the world of bike messaging. She works for a local company called Mercury Rises, and has climbed the ranks of the business to become to the top messenger.
Due to the vastness and the constant traffic of New York City, bike messengers are the fastest means to deliver important, physical documents from one place to another. Both large and small businesses use bike messengers frequently to deliver important documents.
In order to be a successful bike messenger, you need to know the area. New York City is one of the biggest cities in the world, and understanding the area is key to navigating it quickly. If you don’t know a particular area really well, use the GPS on your phone so you don’t get lost.
Always be ready to work. Bike messengers don’t always have a lot of time to get ready for a job, and they need to be ready to work at a moments notice in order to be successful.
Valerie Topete has worked hard to reach the level of status she enjoys within Mercury Rises. She took the time to know the area well, and is always ready for the next job.
Valerie Topete - Photography Tips
Valerie Topete is a professional bicycle courier and an amateur photographer. She gets plenty of opportunity to explore New York City as a courier and take pictures of what she finds. Because of her job, she is never at a loss for things and people to photograph throughout the city, and she loves to show off her work. She hopes that one day she’ll create a secondary career with her findings of scenes throughout New York. Although Topete hasn’t taken a formal photography class since high school, she has learned many valuable lessons about getting that perfect shot:
Ask permission. Taking candid shots, still life, and others devoid of human expressions can be breath-taking, but Valerie Topete learned that you should never box yourself into a corner by being shy around people. Capturing the countless expressions on people can be a lifelong preoccupation, and some photographers have devoted their careers to it. Ask people’s permission to take their photograph and see what kind of show they put on for the camera.
Let the shots come to you. Inspiration can strike the true artist at any time. Don’t shrink from a strong urge to take some shots of trees even if you don’t have your full equipment. Valerie Topete always takes a backup camera she can capture images with when she’s on the go.
Use your camera’s instruments. Sometimes the best shots come from fiddling with the aperture, the f-stop, and the many other adjustments you can make on the best cameras. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself with new looks.
Valerie Topete is married with two children.
Valerie Topete - Courier for Mercury Rises
Valerie Topete has been a bicycle courier in New York City for seven years. She worked for three years as a freelancer. She charged much less than courier companies charged and made up the difference by finding many clients throughout the city—all of whom were impressed by her promptness. Over time, she built a reputation and had all the clients she could handle. That’s when an elite bicycle courier service noticed her efforts and brought her in for a “riding interview.”
Valerie Topete didn’t know what to expect when she first met John Tudebaker, the owner of Mercury Rises. He told her honestly that most of his employees don’t make it past the first month, let alone build a career out of riding bikes. Tudebaker fosters a different kind of atmosphere at his company headquarters in Brooklyn. He wants his employees constantly competing and trying to get better to impress his many clients throughout the city. Instead of creating a toxic work environment, Tudebaker finds that it actually breeds a kind of friendly competition, and still allows for employees to work together and help each other. Valerie Topete became one of his top couriers not by stepping on others working below her with fewer routes and fewer clients, but by seeking the toughest assignments and constantly practicing her skill. This is exactly what Tudebaker wanted to see.
Valerie Topete is now married with two children. She is able to help support her family because of the opportunity that Tudebaker gave her four years ago.
Valerie Topete - Working as a Freelancer
For three years, Valerie Topete worked as a freelance bike courier in New York City. The job was never easy for her, but she loved riding her bicycle and exploring urban areas. She had never been to New York City before she moved there in 2008 and she loved exploring every corner of the city. She used these three tips to expand her freelancing career and make a living:
Live your art. Few would consider what Valerie Topete does for a living an art, but to her, being the best bike courier she could be was her ultimate goal. All freelancers need to have the confidence behind what they do that only comes from practicing and working to improve their skills.
Time is precious. Freelancers are rarely chained to a regular schedule. Valerie Topete set her own goals and created her own schedule that would allow her to deliver parcels and documents for her clients on time. She made the most of her time whenever possible. Even in down times, she looked for more clients.
Always over-deliver. The risk of under-delivering usually comes from over-promising. Sometimes wanting to please a client can lead to making unrealistic promises. Manage your deadlines and work promises according to a deep understanding of your own abilities.
Valerie Topete now works as a full-time employee for the bike courier company in New York, Mercury Rises. She decided that a full time job was more stable and after her marriage and firstborn, she needed the stability. She still delivers packages and important documents for a wide range of clients in New York City.
Valerie Topete - Secrets of Success for Bike Deliveries
Valerie Topete loves riding the streets of New York on her bike in any weather. An avid distance rider in college and before, Topete moved to New York and quickly decided that she wanted to work as a bike courier for a living. She started delivering parcels and sensitive documents in person on a freelance basis until she landed steady work with Mercury Rises, a local bike delivery company. Jobs at Mercury Rises are very competitive; here’s how Topete stays on top:
Always be ready to roll. There are days when Valerie Topete doesn’t take her helmet off when she returns to the clubhouse after a delivery. She stays ready to take a parcel and go in any weather, any time she’s assigned to a delivery. Staying in her biking gear in the workhouse allows her to gain a few seconds for every delivery and make her runs on time.
Know the best route. Valerie Topete has been delivering materials from her bike for long enough to know the best routes to take to any given part of the city. In the event that she doesn’t know an address or area, she has navigation tools that plot the best bike route for her to make her deliveries on the run.
Secure the load first. One of the worst fears of a bike courier is reaching a delivery target empty-handed. Valerie Topete always secures her parcel and protects before she even thinks of getting on her bike.
Valerie Topete loves her job. She lives in New York with her husband and two children.