Knock, Knock New York! It’s the Fat Food Delivery Guy

by glenn on January 29, 2011

Yes. Coming soon to your apartment doorstep bringing your next meal.  My prediction is, that New York’s food delivery men are about to take up more space in your elevator.  Why, you ask? Two words. Electric bikes.

No longer will the pizza delivery man, or the chinese food guy  be pedaling feverishly 10 hours a day through the bike lanes of New York City.  Whatever worldly cuisine is coming to your door in about 20 minutes, usually the delivery person pedaling as fast as traffic will allow so they can to beat the lights, pass slow moving cars, and to get your food to you as hot and fresh as possible.  Not anymore.

About 6 months or so ago I remember seeing a new display for these electric bicycles at Best Buy.  Essentially, the way they work is when do actually pedal them, the energy you create is stored for later use.  So, essentially there is an option to pedal them, but there is also an option to plug them in for a battery charge.

Ever since I saw that display in the store, I have seen more and more deliverymen conveniently resting their feet on the foot boards while they cruise through the bike lane. Their top speed is no longer dictated by their leg strength. It’s now dictated by the bicycle’s manufacturer.

So what does all this mean?  It means that the delivery man’s only form of exercise is being cut out from their day.  Six months to a year from now that same person dropping off your sushi is going to have a pot belly.  All those ingested, but unexpended calories they used to burn up pedaling, will now be stored in their fat cells.   And when that happens, bingo!  Knock, knock, here’s your overweight delivery guy.  Now the restaurants who bought the bikes should spring for a gym membership and maybe even personal trainers NYC.

Another example of unintended consequences.  In an attempt to make life more convenient, we’ve taken away a major opportunity for exercise. Those pedalers didn’t even look at it as exercise either.  It was part of the job.  Now it’s gone.  Let’s not even get into the long term burden this puts on the individual’s health, the health care system, and health care costs.  In short, it’s not good.

I’m all for bicycles and bike lanes in the city.  They are good for the environment reduing congestion and auto emmissions, as well as helping people burn some calories on their morning commute.  Electric bikes are good for the environment, but they don’t help much from an exercise standpoint.  A conventional bike versus an electric bike is like comparing biking up an incline and coasting downhill.  The downhill is a rest period.

They do obviously have their positives.  However, in this particular case, for this crowd of food service providers, I think this is an unhealthy way to improve working conditions.  They’d better hope the restaurant pays for a gym membership or personal trainer NYC because, the slower top bike speeds will slow down their delivery times, lessen the number of deliveries they make daily meaning less tips.  It’s a downward spiral.

Remember to call ahead to give your delivery guy extra time to get to your doorstep.  Bon appetit!

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