Valerie Topete, Journey of a NYC Bike Courier

Valerie Topete has never had what one might call an easy life. She has never had anything given to her, and always had to earn a living, as she came from an underprivileged family. Her whole life has been devoted to providing a good life and a stable home for her two children and her husband. She accomplished that for many years working as a freelance bike courier in New York City.

Being a bike courier in New York City is a hazardous career. Many are prone to injury, yet are not given health or medical benefits. The pay is often quite low and the work risky. However, Topete simply enjoyed the scenery, as well as the time spent outdoors among the rich culture and diversity of New York City.

Valerie Topete developed a passion for New York City over the years, and began capturing it by means of her own camera. After Topete’s son started telling his friends about the photos, they began to rise in popularity, something Topete was oblivious to at the time.

With lots of encouragement from her friends and family, Topete used a substantial amount of her paycheck to invest in a better camera, making sure to capture every good photo opportunity that came her way.

However, when Topete’s husband lost his job, money became tight, and Topete had to put all of her time and effort into generating income. That is when she made the transition from freelance courier to professional one. She began working for the courier company Mercury Rises, a hyper-competitive service that rewards employees with the best routes if they can put up the highest scores.

Because of the competitive nature of the job Topete had to hang up her camera and focus on the routes, something she did for four years.

What Valerie Topete did not expect, is that during those four years her reputation as a photographer was growing faster than her reputation as a courier. Now, in the blink of an eye, Topete is living her dream, selling her photos to her fans online. She has developed a huge fan following, and is excited for what the future holds.

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