Jimmy Bargisen has four bikes in the stairway, two in the apartment – and there are an unknown number in the loft – altogether, he and his girlfriend have about 15 bikes. He is a bike messenger and co-owner of a bike shop, Track Bike Shop, and she is a former bike messenger – so bikes are an inevitable part of their life.
“I cover 80-150 kilometers on my bike every day. Most of it is during my work hours – but I use my bike all the time, wherever I am going. I only go by car if the distance is very long – and someone offers me a ride,” says Jimmy.
Daily exercise is important for Jimmy, and he says he’s addicted to it. So when he hurt his hand and could not ride a bike for some time, he did not jump on the bus – he went on his roller skates. His pregnant girlfriend shares the attitude: She plans on riding her bike during as much of her pregnancy as possible.
Jimmy often travels abroad and participates in competitions for bike messengers. He likes the social element, the gathering of his colleagues from all over the world. And his results are remarkable – he has won numerous titles of championships for bike messengers around the world.
“I like my job as a messenger, and I can see myself growing old in this job. In New York, I have seen messengers in their 60s – so I know it is possible,” he says.
But Jimmy is worried about one thing: the air that he breathes as a bike messenger in the city.
“I worry what the air pollution does to my health. I spend eight hours a day biking on highly trafficked roads, and I have done that for eight years now,” he explains. “The next time I see my physician, I plan to ask him to run a test on my lungs.”