Welcome to Santa Cruz County’s Bicycle Courier Blog

I thought it would be great to have a place where Bike Couriers and Bike Riders could meet and talk, share stories, trade advice, and build an online community. I look forward to reading and writing our Courier stories, news, and comments.

Rick Graves

Monday, December 21, 2009

Rick Graves Owner of Clutch Couriers Nominated for Nextie Award!

This feels a little like tooting my own horn, but it would be remiss not to mention that I was nominated by Jeremy Neuner for a Nextie award.



This kind of recognition comes only from the hard work of our crew and the support of our community. Thanks Jeremy, Clutch Riders, Clutch Clients and Denizens of Santa Cruz. I am deeply honored, and see you at the Nexties!

"The NEXTies honor young people in Santa Cruz who are doing amazing things locally or globally. These inspiring individuals could live anywhere, but they choose Santa Cruz to apply their talent and passion. These individuals might include entrepreneurs, artists or volunteers who are leaders in their chosen field and are making an impact on the community or the world. Nominees live or work in Santa Cruz County, are between the ages of 22 and 45, and have an inspiring story to tell."

'Hey Rick, I thought you might want to see the write-up that I submitted for your nomination:'

"Rick Graves is the owner of Clutch Couriers, a bicycle-powered courier, legal, and messenger service with clients all over Santa Cruz County. He and his team have built a successful business by focusing on superior customer service, a trait that is (unfortunately) rather lacking in our town. I've worked with Rick in a variety of ways and I've always been impressed with his can-do attitude, good humor, and attention to detail. In a town that (again, unfortunately) is often characterized by its slacker attitude, Rick and his team at Clutch Couriers stand out as people who work hard and play hard.

Here's what impresses me most about Rick: he saw a need in our community for a reliable, high-quality, environmentally-minded courier service. Rick's business isn't high-tech and I doubt that he's getting rich from it. But he wanted to find a way to live and work in Santa Cruz. He wanted to raise his kid here. And, by leveraging his talents and working hard, he filled that community need and found a way to have the lifestyle that he wanted for himself and his family. Moreover, Rick's business is innovative, successful, and environmentally sustainable.

I think Rick Graves stands as a great role model for the entire Santa Cruz NEXT community. Rick has shown us that by being innovative, by working hard, and by sticking to a set of core values, we can succeed in this town and create the kind of economy and the kind of lifestyle that will sustain our community for decades to come.

Plus, Rick is a total stud. He rides his bike to Watsonville and back several times a day. He deserves a NEXTie just for that.....!"


Jeremy Neuner
Co-Founder and CEO
NextSpace Coworking + Innovation, Inc.

Legality of Bicycle Courier Helmet Use in California

I've mostly tried to stay out of this because there is so much emotion involved with this issue you can't win no matter what you say. However, someone called expressing concern over some Clutch Couriers not wearing helmets 100% of the time, and threatened to "report me to the authorities" for not supplying helmets to my riders.
All I can say is that I recommend helmet use, especially in wet or high speed conditions, and that I try to set an example by wearing a helmet every time I work. Also there is a brand new Specialized helmet ($175) in the office for anyone who wants to use it, however, YOU CANNOT LEGALLY MANDATE HELMET USE FOR ANYONE OVER EIGHTEEN IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA.
In this state it is an adult choice whether or not to wear a helmet while cycling and I encourage anyone driving around without a helmet to investigate the top causes of severe head injury (motor vehicle collision) before screaming out your car window to "get a f'ing helmet."

Ride Safe-RG

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Secrets to Longevity #3-Love

Just love yourself, love the ones you're with and love what you do and you'll have more than enough reason to keep living.

And just be thankful. Every breath is either a gift or a curse depending on that.

I'm not talking about easy postcard love. Love to me is often bewildering and sometimes frustrating.

I'm just saying if you throw yourself wholeheartedly into what you do-not keeping a cool distance but really caring about it-what emerges is always worth the effort put forth.

I love my life, my family, and my job of 15 years, but I know that so far I've just been practicing. The best part has just begun.

Nothin' but Love-RG

Monday, December 7, 2009

Advertising Clutch Couriers in Santa Cruz

First of all-let me say that the purpose of advertising is to get people to notice the product or service being offered.
Given that definition I would say that the ad campaign donated by our former messenger Nate was a success-We printed two posters featuring a male and female model and distributed them around town. Below is a sampling of the reactions:

"Looks like you are selling make-up"
"Awesome!-Really eye-catching and professional"
"Great job-got me to look and then I was pleased to see that it was advertising Clutch Couriers."
"Very different for Santa Cruz, I like it."
"She looks like a vampire in Twilight"
"What you need is a picture of a messenger with a helmet on in the sunlight, surrounded by flowers."
"At least you are trying to let people know that there are bike messengers here."
"Are you hiring?"

Also seen at the Farmers Market was a woman violently tearing down the poster of the female model.

Also seen at the Farmers Market was a gaggle of teenage girls drooling over the male model(Nate).

Thanks Nate and Crew! You still know how to get 'em talking.