“The three most dangerous jobs in New York City,” says “Rocket,” a dispatcher for a bicycle messenger service called Quik Trak, ticking off the jobs on his fingers, “police, firemen, bike messenger.”
“Rocket” is one of the regular characters in a new reality series about New York bike couriers, which premieres Thursday on the Travel Channel. The series is called Triple Rush, the term for the highest-paid run for a messenger.
It’s the latest in a genre of reality shows about dangerous occupations. The Discovery Channel has Deadliest Catch, featuring crab fishermen on the Bering Sea. And the History Channel has Ice Road Truckers, Ax Men and Swamp People.
Triple Rush provides an inside look at three New York City courier companies, which handle a part of the 6 million packages delivered every year in the Big Apple.
Because of the city’s horrendous traffic, it can take a car as long as two hours to travel from one side of Manhattan to the other.
Breakaway Courier, one of the companies featured in the series, delivers 1,000 to 1,100 packages by bike in Manhattan every business day, Andrew Young, general manager for the company, says in a blog on the Triple Rush website.
Most of these deliveries occur in a box that’s 4 miles by 1.5 miles — or 59th Street on the north to Wall Street in lower Manhattan and from First Avenue on the east to 10th Avenue on the west.
“FedEx will charge a Manhattan business $18-$20 to pick up a small envelope and deliver it to another stop in Manhattan the next morning,” Young writes. “A bike messenger will deliver that envelope in 90 minutes for a lot less … sounds like a business plan!”
I’ll be watching on Thursday when Triple Rush premieres. Maybe it will replace my now-favorite reality show, Deadliest Catch.
Russ Roca and Laura Crawford, whose bicycling adventures I follow in Facebook and their website, The Path Less Pedaled, likened Triple Rush to another reality show: “Sort of like Ice Road Truckers on fixies.”