Jun 2, 2014

Deghri Messengers: Where Cycling Pays, Literally.

A couple months ago and right after losing my daytime job, I approached my dear old friends at Deghri Messengers to join them aboard ever since I was drooling to do that ages ago. In no time, I officially became a proud Deghri Messenger, I had my own messenger backpack, my receipt notebook and a whole lot more stationary and accessories that would make one a Deghri messenger, that’s of course besides the bike and helmet. To all those to whom the word “Deghri” doesn’t ring any bell, here’s a snippet:

“We deliver things by bicycle. Our service is fast, reliable and good value. Businesses and organisations all over Beirut rely on us to respond to their urgent delivery needs reliably and with a smile.”
Deghri Messengers is a bike messenger service in Beirut. They deliver all kinds of stuff around the city using only bicycles and the power of their own bodies. It's hard work and takes a special mix of fitness, passion for cycling, city orientation and pure guts.

Bike Messenger Essentials, Courtesy of Deghri Facebook Page.
Here’s a confession, or two. Being one of the messengers of Deghri was absolutely one of the very few amazing things that happened to me ever since I became jobless. I had the chance to do something I absolutely loved, to meet new awesome people, to visit companies of interests different from what I'm used to, grow my social network, and on top of all that, get paid for it! How awesome?! The simple fact that such a thing actually exists in Lebanon is wonderful enough to be spoken of everywhere, and of course to put it to use in most of our delivery chores nowadays, especially with the hectic traffic.

Some of the crazy folks behind Deghri Messengers
I don’t hide the fact that I would absolutely love to wake up one day to see our major cities packed with cyclers of all types, ages and genders. Would be even better to enjoy the commodity of initiatives like Deghri instead of the notorious cars and motorcycles that are currently doing the job in deliveries of all kinds. Going even further, such an idea was highlight of my innovative ideas for Tripoli all week last week, the town is best made for cyclers especially the casual ones.

During my time with Deghri, I got the chance to meet the mighty bikers, especially the ones who were always around including - but not limited to - Saunders boy, Matt Saunders, the man in charge at the Messengers dispatch office and the guy always ready to lend a hand in being a messenger whenever needed. Wissam and Chafik were two of my biker-heroes at the time, those studs would pedal all the way from Hamra to Jounyeh and then up to Hazmieh or Mansourieh in one ride, and feeling ready to hit the road again in no time afterwards.

My time with Deghri in four simple shots :)

Moving on to a couple serious topics here, Deghri has raised the flag for some help from us, kind contributors and volunteers:

  1. Deghri has launched its shoutout for volunteers in Beirut, seems like work is picking up really well. So, in case you were a cycler and think you got the time and a decent bike that you’re used to, able to handle biking all day and can give some time of yours for a couple (or more) shifts a week and get paid for it, be sure to follow that link.

  2. On the other hand, Deghri founders are in need of financial support to be able to be in Stockholm and join the European Championship for Bike Messengers in and around Europe to crown the best Messengers around.

"As a fairly new messenger service, it's extremely valuable for us to attend the championship, meet other messengers and of course test our riding skills. What's more, we will be representing Lebanon at this event, the most important in the bike messenger calendar in this part of the world." - Crowdfunding link on Zoomal

Messenger on duty in Beirut, where a break is worth the world.

Why Support Deghri you ask? Here's your answer:
"Because we are a group of young people from Lebanon looking to make a change in the country. Our inspiration often comes from being part of an international movement of delivery by bicycle, and attending the Championship will bring us closer to this community. The journey as well as the competition will help us grow as people and give us determination to continue our efforts in Lebanon."
I've been with these guys quite enough for me to know they're really worth every penny contributed or every second spent working with them. I can't remember a time I was happier ever since I left my job :)
Just so that you get some of their latest updates, the guys at Deghri have been doing a marvelous efforts lately. Let alone the eco-friendly time-saving bike delivery of virtually anything you can deliver on bike, and by that doing the community and individuals a huge favor, it's also crucial to mention the below:

  1. Baskil Festival, the first bike festival in Beirut to have taken the streets of Mdawwar Area for several days during which many cycler-wannabes have learned how to ride a bike for the first time in their lives, and were sky-high happy with that, to the conferences and talks about cycling in Beirut and in general. The festival witnessed great success and has received tremendously positive feedback, which I got a stench of hands-on.
  2. Regar, your cozy-slash-top notch bike workshop around Beirut. It's quite one of the best I've seen around, and beats others with the services offered compared to the budget (and tools) available.
  3. Bullit, Deghri's first Cargo Bike among its fleet. This beast can hold up to 60KGs of goods. It's mostly shown to the public every Saturday at Souk El Tayyeb where Deghri offer shoppers to deliver their goods for as low as 6000LBP using the Bullit.
  4. Awareness, by creating it first and raising it whenever needed, towards turning bikes, and more deliberately delivery on bikes, a standard around Beirut and hopefully all over the country.

Friends and lovelies at Deghri, I wish you nothing but the BEST!

Co-Founder Matt Saunders introducing Deghri Messenger in the Baskil Bicycle Festival

At Souk el Tayeb every Saturday, Deghri Messengers دغري will be available to bring shoppers' groceries home