A brief history of bicyclecouriers.co.za

A brief history of time? Nope. A brief history of Bicycle Couriers!

I bet even Stephan Hawking would have been happy to send his wheels with us.

All you need to know about the company that takes great pleasure in sending your bicycle all across the country, and indeed the world. This is how it started and what we have done since. Pour a glass of red and see where we go next. Complete with 30 internal links to show you around. This is what happens behind the scenes.

*Transparency: OK, I admit this isn’t such a brief history. In fact, at almost 3000 words this is by far the most comprehensive article on the site, to date. But it is filled with tons of useful and entertaining info. If not, you can hit is with a waybill. Promise.

Exit in 2018

After I sold MMB in 2018 just prior to #TCRNo6cap123 (which was in hindsight good timing just before covid, but I still sold it for way too little), I still though that the local bicycle courier business had some legs.

Enter in 2019

I waited out the non-compete period diligently and then started a website, which you have here. No longer was the focus on bulk bicycle transport to events, but rather on ad hoc boxed bike transfers, anywhere and anytime. Now we cater for all the smaller and niche events and for those persons looking to send their e-bikes to a race or holiday destination, but because of the battery cannot fly with same.

Solved in 2020

Truth be told, I love playing around with #bicyclecouriers and solving an everyday problem which many of us cyclists face, whether it is transporting your bicycle to or from a race, or your holiday destination, or when buying or selling a bicycle from a remote location across the country. And we bridge that gap.

Growing in 2021

Competitors? I started by re-visiting what each of the existing bulk bicycle transporters do. There are about a dozen of them, and I shared my findings in ‘These are all the local bike transporters — and how I know each one of them’. This was a great exercise to see what everyone was up to, and which changes have been made, if any. Obviously, things went through a massive dip during covid as there were no races during lockdown. PS, I used the term competitors quite loosely here, as there is a good understanding and friendships between many of the local bike transporters, often working together to solve a problem.

Alternatives. Then I considered 10 different methods of sending your bicycle from point A to B, and compared the Pros & Cons of different shipping methods in a blog post that was titled ‘Confessions of a Bicycle Transporter’.

Online. By now the website was up and running and I have already signed up with various service providers to do the underlying dropshipping-shipping and I was loading content to show how you can book your bicycle transport online.

Races. Even though we more focus on shipping bicycles that are traded on the Bike Hub, Facebook and Gumtree (if there are still any that trades on Gumtree, after the most recent less-than-successful rebrand to user experience, in my humble opinion) – I love taking part in the odd bicycle race and created a calendar containing 100+ Bike Races & Cycling Events in Southern Africa for 2021. This was fun and I will do so again for next year.

Shops. A good marketing exercise and an opportunity to touch base with South African bike shops came when I virtually visited over 150 local bike shops. Don’t you just love visiting a good bike shop? We want to be all across Southern Africa. And this was a great start.

Flying. We often get questions about flying with a bicycle and from clients who prefer not to, for various reasons. I summarized What to expect when flying with your bicycle in South Africa on 7 different airlines, some of them are still flying while others have closed their doors. A rolling stone gathers no moss. In short, if you only remember one figure it is the maximum dimensions for a ‘standard sized bicycle box’ on most airlines at 140*30*80 centimeters.

Marketing. This is a toy and I like experimenting, also with online marketing and in this instance we tried listing on various existing platforms to see if it gets any traction. Do you think it is worthwhile? Find the answers in this Case study: Is listing in online business directories worth it?

Studies. Sharing is caring and when I spotted an existing customer with a daughter studying at UCT and needing to find research participants for her Honours Degree in Exercise Science, we promptly joined in and shared the word. Check out the UCT Cycling Research Study — Hey, Cyclist!

Footprint. How many towns are there in South Africa? Well, we deliver bicycles to them all. And you can find them right here, split into provinces. We are here and there and everywhere, and you can click through to each town in Wikipedia. Brilliant. Did you know that Bicycle Couriers are available in over 600 towns in RSA?

Offshore. We often get the question of ‘what it costs to fly your bicycle overseas’. And the simple truth is that it is rather expensive and takes some doing in behind the scenes admin. We share honest a experiences and tell it like it is in First time flying overseas with your bicycle. Learn from our experiences.

Simplicity. In stead of boring you with the details of what goes on behind the scenes in providing a standardized service for a non-standardized problem, all you need to know is that we deliver bicycles to all main centers across South Africa within around 3 days. But if you really want to see the nitty-gritty, read how we turned a complex network into a simple solution for bike travel.

Q&A. Everyone likes good quiz. Just as much as we like testing new things online. And playing with excel. Almost just as much as we do enjoy cycling. This one was very simple and very topical for what we have achieved since starting the company. How well do you know SA? Quiz: QUIZ: can you recognize all the main centers where we deliver? Take all the time you need to test your skills, just don’t use google to assist.

Races. We’ve done it before, and we’ll do it again. Because there is nothing better than to fill your calendar with carrots dangling in the distance in the form of races and events you want to attend on your bicycle. Especially in the post-covid era. Let’s get cracking with a confirmed 100+ Races and cycle tours for the next 12 months!

Munga. What is better than a Munga? Two Mungas. Which is exactly what we’ve done to end off 2021 with, a double Munga from Stellenbosch to the start line in BFN and then back again the next day together with the official race. Why? Because we can. And to raise funds for TEAM NIKA for education in South Africa. And you can still make a difference and get a tax deduction – check out the video and consider a contribution on Cause of the Month: A Double-Munga as part of TEAM NIKA. Because a person is a person, no matter how small.

WOW. 2021 was a year full of growth and wonderful experiences, and we took that bumper December-holiday momentum into the new year to expand even more in 2022. This is what happened so far…

Bicycle Couriers: The best is yet to come...
Bicycle Couriers: The best is yet to come…

Fun in 2022

Thanks. Newsletters are not quite our thing, but one a year isn’t bad, right? And I’m sure you don’t want to be bugged every other day and I guess you hate spam as much as I do. Reflecting on what happened in 2021 made me realize that a thankyou was in order, because We couldn’t have done it without you!

Bikebox. New things for the new year. I found this brilliant practical invention online and it ticked all my boxes (see what I did there). Bikebox is cost effective, innovative, re-usable, environmentally friendly, and it won a EUROBIKE Start-Up Award. So, it deserves your attention. Or you can compare it to the 13 different bike boxes to buy in SA right now.

Expansion. We want to be the best, and therefore we partner with the best. And what better way to start off the new year than with announcing that we have included another carrier under our wing (or we under theirs?). Nevertheless, we now have a very solid understanding of the local bicycle transport market and are not active looking to enter into any new agreements at this point in time, because We have expanded (again!)

Invite. Remember that campaign we had last year with the UCT study? Well, we’re at it again, and this time with something once again very topical: Returning to sport after covid-19. This was an open invite to all endurance athletes to take part in a 15 minute survey to consider The Impact of COVID-19 on Endurance Athletes. Well done. Back to normal, we hope.

Boxing. I believe that BikeBox is the perfect answer for bike travel. Compared on dimensions, costs, weight, strength, security, practicality, environmental friendliness and a couple of other factors, the numbers tend to agree. Eurobike award winner and Axis approved maximum airline dimensions recommended size. Here are TEN Reasons why you should use a BikeBox.

Unbelievable. Welcome to the house of fun. Because if we don’t enjoy doing this anymore, then I would simply sell the business and continue with other ventures. But things like the 5 examples of what happened this week ensures that there is Never a dull moment in the life of a Bicycle Courier!

Payments. We live in a digital age where everything needs to happen instantly. Different payment methods on our website have different advantages, but also different costs associated with it. And with a thin margin business such as this one, every penny helps. Remember that often we need to move fast and get your bicycle en route, the same day or next day. With that in mind, can you guess what is our preferred payment method?

Direct? Do you need to use bicycle couriers? Why not simply go direct? After all, we are drop-shipping-shipping. Well, the reason is quite simple, and rather obvious. You don’t need us, you can go direct. But you might end up spending more time in analyzing and comparing rates and deciding which courier to use to handle your prized possession that what would be productive. So, lets save you some time, and often money, because we buy in bulk, and already have open accounts and existing relationships where it matters. And we do this every day. But for the sake of transparency (and our competitors might not like this): WHY not send your bicycle directly with a courier company in SA?

Timing. Life is short. Do stuff that matters. Ensure your bicycle will be delivered at the right spot on the right time by considering our service times and ETA. In short, work on 3 days for any major center in SA, but be sure to check out all the options in our very simple but complete guide to WHEN will my bicycle be delivered?

Floods. Let’s not forget the huge floods in KZN and massive impact it had on the lives of so many. As a company, we were fortunate not to have been affected too much and frequently updated you on the impact on delivery times. But along with our own updates, there were also more than half-a-dozen other reports with pictures listed here. Because it never rains, but it pours.

Matrix. We now have over 100 branches, in more than 70 different towns and cities across SA. These are fairly evenly split between various service providers and depots across the country, so that we can effectively collect and deliver your bicycle where it needs to go. So next time you wonder, where in the world will I find a bicycle courier, check out The Matrix: Bicycle Couriers Branches in Southern Africa.

Google. How did you find us? Most like from google. Or from another happy customer. Because those are the two things that we excel at — appearing at the top of the google organic listings and providing a great service. To date, we’ve never run s single paid ad or Facebook campaign (in fact, we’re not quite social that way). I googled, and found that When looking for Bicycle Couriers, People also search for these terms, but that doesn’t phase me at all, because we appear at the top of where it counts. Just don’t get too cocky.

Namibia. Are you looking to send your bicycle across the border this December? Or ad hoc? How long does it take? What forms to complete? Or what does it cost? And what to pack and what to leave? And what about insurance? Then this is what you Need-to-know for cross-border bike travel (ie Namibia). It’s my pleasure.

Simplicity. Have you ever wondered who we use to send your bicycle? We’ve built up some great relationships and rapport with various carriers, couriers and shipping companies over the years. But while you experience smooth sailing in sending your bicycle with us, we do the leg work and deal with, in order, a red provider, blue provider, yellow provider, green provider, and an orange service provider. See the light at the end of the tunnel in Streamlining the Bicycle Courier process for your convenience.

Fuel price. Can you guess by how much the local fuel price increased over the last year and a half? The answer might surprise you. I frightened me. Thanks Putin et all. The Diesel Price increased (check out the percentage increase here!)% in 18 months from Jan-2021 till Jun-2022. And it has gone up some more since then. ping.

Service! Location, location, location? Bollocks. Service, service, service! This is what we want for ourselves, and I bet you do too. As such, when you receive great service, please do share it with the world so that others can follow in your footsteps. This is just one example of good service I have received and is deserved of being shared with the world. And from a shop that might surprise some.

#TCRNo8cap123. And off I went for another magical bicycle race across Europe, just like in 2018. Only this time it was faster and further and included more climbing, including Stelvio pass. I thought the latter was going to be the highlight of the trip, and for the most part it was, but the Transalpina pass in Romania was just one level up (including in elevation). I closed the site to cover over 4500km in about 17 days. Pure magic.

Stayaway. I predict a riot, I predict a riot! South Africa is a pretty amazing place, albeit with some unique and some not-so-unique challenges. This was one of them. See how the national stayaway impacted our delivery times. Or better yet, just have a look at the Kaiser Chiefs’ music video right here

Holidays. Where are we riding this December? Much like Santa Claus brings joy to a child (or was that the clown from Reggies?), we deliver your bicycle all across the coast this (and every) December holiday. Pick a spot and book your bicycle transport. Even have it ready and waiting on your arrival. Off to the beach with holiday bike transport.

December spots. Continuing with the previous bicycle holiday themes, we explore the top local spots where you can ride your bike during your precious time off. Go at it alone or take along the whole family, kids bikes, and e-bikes included! Be active and pro-active and check out 20 Local Spots to take your Bicycle this Holiday.

Track+trace. Most of the time it is not necessary to check up on us and find out where your bicycle is while in transit from here to there, but we do understand that this might be a new experience for you. And for that reason we have shared the tracking options on all deliveries so you can now use the tracking number on the waybill to check up on your delivery, on time and online with Bicycle Couriers Track & Trace.

Funnies. We are here for one reason only and that is to have fun while solving your bicycle transport problems, one at a time. And this collection of advertisements by pudo is right up our ally, even through we cannot use them as a service provider for sending your bicycle, for obvious reasons. So then, which one is your Favourite courier ad? Proudly south African. Bring out the gimp.

Testimonials. How was it for you? We rapidly gained over 250 happy comments on our rate and review page and encourage you to share your story of our service levels right here. Show your support and share the love. As always, tell your mates. Good or bad. The biggest compliment you can give us is to refer someone else. With thanks.

What’s next?

As you can see, we post with ever increasing frequency, just as our volumes continue to increase and we get to spend more time on doing what we love. And we do. Cheers. Meanwhile, where can we send your bicycle today?

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