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So Long Zippy… Hello Office Express Couriers

When I first heard that Mike Rizzo (Zippy Delivery), Buffalo’s infamous bike messenger, was retiring, I was saddened that the city would be losing an invaluable service. Thankfully, bike messengers will still be around after Mike retires. After seven years, the ever-present two-wheel delivery rider has decided to pass on the torch to three part-time messengers who will continue to make sure that the delivery routes are maintained. Over the last three years I have taken photos of Mike riding in all sorts of weather conditions. There were some days when I envied him for his job, and others when I thought he was crazy. All in all, Mike was an inspirational person for a lot of people. He invented his own job… and stuck to it when I don’t think many others would have. He found a niche in which law firms (among others) would rely on him to transport timely documents efficiently.
In a recent press release Mike talks of the days when Buffalo had a number of bike messengers… the days of the Western Union. I can only imagine what an experience a full-time job like this must be like. Mike is quoted as saying, “Everyone wants to be a bike messenger. I’m not sure if it’s the recent gas prices, the freedom, the ability to be in the sun all summer, or what it is. Every time I would advertise for messengers I would get anywhere from 10-30 calls. Some of them found out it’s not all glamorous though. Especially the wind and rain. A few worked only a day or two before quitting.” That alone is a testament to a seven-year fulltime career. In the future, Mike’s customers will be able to count on the services of Office Express Couriers. It’s going to be business-as-usual… though Zippy Delivery will be no more.
Thanks for getting the business off the ground Mike. Hopefully we’ll see the business of bike messengers continue to grow. Please consider utilizing their services. For more information, click here.

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at The Hotel @ The Lafayette, and the Madd Tiki Winter Luau. Other projects: Navigetter.

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  • 4610

    Okay, I’m not from here but I’ll say “Best Wishes” for a new year and new life for the messneger.

  • 4521

    It must be great to have created a job with something you love, cycling. As an all weather cyclist I couldn’t do it. A dangerous job with little pay but, very rewarding to the one that’s dedicated . It’s a job I would have done 20 + years ago if I had known about it. A job mostly replace by the fax machine but, still a need for this service. A job that can be carried on by the next generation of dedicated cyclists. Best of Luck…

  • 3630

    Two words: car door.

  • 1035

    Seven years is a good run for a courier. I did about 5 in NYC (on and off) and 1 in Seattle. One of the best and worst experiences of my life. With all the lawyers in this town, I’m surprised there isn’t need for more messengers. When downtown gets busy again, and traffic increases, hopefully we will see more messengers. Luckily you can’t fax sneakers, cookies, cash, pap smears, eyeglasses, and prosthetic legs. Some of the odder things I carried in my messenger days.
    The Cycle Messenger World Championships will be held in Toronto again this coming year, so hopefully the Buffalo riders will represent. Good times to be had.
    With bike culture in Buffalo on the rise (as it seems to be everywhere) maybe our fair city will host an Alleycat race sometime soon. Perhaps a Ground Hogs day “ArcticCat” or something would be appropriate..

  • 3630

    Really, Hoss, you can’t fax pap smears? Then what was that thing that spat out into the hopper? I never ordered a Rorshach.

  • 4580

    If I could fax my pap smear it would save me a lot of money.

  • 4580

    We should throw a retirement party some Thursday night at the Essex. Get the guys from Blue Bicycles to sponsor it. It would be a real Hoot-N-Nanny. Those dudes can drink there weight any day of the week!!

  • 4622

    We could retire his bike shorts in the museum, imagine a whole wing dedicated to past couriers. We could even start the Cycle Messengers Hall of Fame to piggy back off the Toronto games.