The Jimmy John’s Delivery Guy is a regular sighting in Downtown Salt Lake—rain or shine. You’ve probably seen Graham Abrams blow through the intersection at State Street and 200 South on his bike without hesitation, or his friend and coworker, Evan Vice, riding against traffic on a one-way street during lunch rush. These guys have a reputation for being fast and reckless, but it’s all part of the job. Time is money in the food delivery service: The more sandwiches delivered, the more tips add up. These delivery daredevils aren’t just risking their necks for the hell of it—it pays the bills. Being able to weave through traffic and knowing when to run a red light are only a few tricks of the trade—outfitting themselves with the proper gear can cut even more time off of a delivery. Bag, shoes, bike—everything is just as important as the other when it comes to delivering sandwiches to hungry patrons.
1. XL Messenger Bag – Handmade from local company Velo City Bags, because who wants to support some city-hopping bag company and the habits of its trustifarian creators? “I’ve packed like 30 sandwiches and a bread box, which holds five loaves of bread, into that thing. I couldn’t do this job without it,” says Vice.
2. Gloves – Gloves give better grip on handlebars and dampen vibrations from the road. Fingerless is best for sorting through receipts and papers in the hip pouch and so the bird is clearly visible to motorists making bad lane changes and pedestrians walking mindlessly into the street.
3. Helmet – It is not necessary to fly down a hill with a 15-percent grade, between traffic, hop-skidding as you go, followed by a powerslide through an intersection all to deliver a sandwich. Helmets are required for the job at Jimmy John’s.
4. U-Lock – The utopian streets of SLC don’t require you to have a military-strength bike lock to deter theft. A simple U-lock will suffice—they’re quick, reliable and don’t make you look like Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
5. Pedal Straps – Clipless shoes are cool and all, but only if you and your fellow pack of MAMILs (Middle Aged Men In Lyrca) are going to powerhouse through downtown directly to the juice bar to get a round of post-ride recovery shakes. Delivery guys opt for handmade pedal straps from Velo City. Properly adjusted, pedal straps provide comfort, convenience and security.
6. Shoes – Locally designed at Zuriick and specially modified to the delivery guy’s preference. These shoes were won in an alleycat race, which works out because any extra cash is going towards the next round at Junior’s. Lightweight, keep a good grip on pedals and keep the feet protected from the elements.
7. Fixed Gear – Fixies are so 2007, but for the delivery guy, “Having a fixed gear means you don’t have to worry about the countless problems a bike with many gears will encounter. Riding in shit weather means salt and grime will jam up derailleurs, and if you’re going to deliver, you can’t afford to worry about that. Parts are easy to replace because there are so few of them. How fast or how slow you want to go is totally dependent on you … On top of all that, riding fixed is more fun,” says Abrams.
8. Bell – To annoy passersby and to let herds of pedestrians know that the delivery guy won’t be slowing down, regardless of their awkward pace through the crosswalk. Also, a super-cute accessory.
9. Handlebars – Flat or riser bars cut down to keep elbows safe and sound from passing car mirrors and badly placed sidewalk and construction signs. Perfect for snaking through gridlocked vehicular masses in the Downtown area.
10. Spoke Cards – Let everyone know exactly how many alleycat victories have been snatched up, but also include pictures of local celebrities, custom images and Pokémon cards.