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Doordash can be a helpful way to supplement your income but doesn't bring in enough cash to justify getting a new car.
Spending a large amount on a car's downpayment can be counterintuitive if you want to earn and save more money. It can further cash-strap you without promising a consistent income. But if you own a bike, you might want to use it for delivering Doordash orders instead.
You can use a bike to Doordash. In fact, you can register as a Doordash bike driver to get orders that are possible to deliver with a bicycle. This can monetize your daily aerobic activity but can be unsafe in areas with high-speed traffic.
In this article, you will learn more about the best practices and safety precautions of being a Doordash bike rider. Among other things, you will also learn which bike accessories will prepare you for Doordash work.
The content in this post derives from government resources on bike safety alongside Doordash's own blog posts and support materials for bicycle users. It is meant to be the definitive guide to getting started with Doordash as a bike owner.
What To Expect When Using a Bike to Doordash
It is possible to use your bike to Doordash in an area that has plenty of orders within walking distance. Walking distance + Bike = speed. And Doordash prefers speed. Biking distance is the maximum distance you can travel on a bicycle. This is usually far enough to take thirty minutes of cycling. As a result, there is no such thing as a "biking distance" delivery in Doordash.
When you choose a bicycle as your default delivery vehicle, you will get orders that are within a thirty-minute walking distance. This takes 10 to 15 minutes of bike riding and is just as speedy as a car. This is as quick as a regular Doordash delivery from the customer's perspective. But from your point of view, plenty of things are different. Here are a few things you have to expect as a Doordash bike driver.
Ease of Movement
The first expectation is mostly positive because you have access to more areas on a bicycle than you do in a car. Moreover, cars are burdened with comparatively more strict rules and paths. While urban areas disallow bikes on pedestrian paths, you can carry your bike to the other side of the road instead of making a long U-turn.
This is just one example of how a cyclist can easily switch routes. You'll find yourself beating the Doordash delivery time projections with fair consistency and should, in fact, slow down a little for your own safety.
Risk of Bike-jacking
While car drivers are accustomed to locking their vehicles, bike riders have to get used to securing their bikes after every 15 minutes. Depending on the area of delivery, you have to be cautious of getting your bike stolen or forcefully taken.
It is better to accept delivery assignments that are within an area you're familiar with and are curbside orders, so you don't have to get off your bike. It helps to good the name of different neighborhoods followed by the term "robbery" or "mugging." This one-time research will help you feel more secure when you start accepting jobs. Areas where there is the highest risk of bike-jacking also have higher crime in general.
Inconsistent Order Volume
This one is more of a regular Doordash expectation that is amplified for bike riders. It is routine for a Doordash driver to have a few orders followed by a flood of orders. But with the geographical area of Doordash bike riders being limited, the scarcity and abundance dichotomy is far more obvious.
Its greatest drawback is that you cannot project a consistent hourly income. However, you can get an accurate estimate of what you'll make each day and the hours you should block out for optimal returns. Order volume is quite high around lunch and dinner times.
You should leave lunch orders to people who have cars and monopolize dinner-time orders. This will get you the best return for your time with the most comfort. Do not forget to practice road safety at night, though.
Road Safety for DoorDash Bike Drivers
If you use the bike for Doordash, you take at least five times more bike trips than the average bicycle user. With a higher trip volume comes a higher risk of accidents, so you should exercise caution and follow the best practices of urban bike safety. Here are some tips that will help you be safe on the road.
Wear Bright Clothing
Wearing clothes that can be seen easily by car drivers is the easiest way to automate road safety. Car drivers are usually more affluent and have more to lose financially in an accident. Generally, they want to avoid hitting your bike at all costs but if you wear dark clothes and the streets aren't well lit, they are unable to maintain the required distance. If you don't have bright clothes, wearing a reflective jacket can help.
Pioneer High Visibility Coat is a black and yellow reflective coat with a detachable hood. It is hard to miss on the road and is made with the same material used by road and construction workers while they are in an area accessible to cars.
Given that professionals on their feet trust this reflective material to keep them safe, it is quite evident that wearing it while on a moving bike will maximize your odds of avoiding road accidents.
As with all things that have to do with your safety, you should look for a high volume of consistent feedback. This coat has over 2,200 reviews and ratings, and 79% of those have given it five stars. That's over 1,739 verified customers who are completely satisfied with it.
Over 260 customers (12%) have given it four stars. The 3% 1-star reviews feature complaints about sizes and material durability, neither of which reflect on its safety.
Avoid Wet Spots
If there is a chance of heavy rain, don't take orders. If the roads are wet, avoid going on Doordash tasks. Your safety is more important than work. When it rains, your bike can slip, and car brakes are usually not as strong or reliable.
This increases the likelihood of accidents, making Doordashing for that period not worth it. If you still have to deliver, then look up names of different areas on Twitter alongside the word "flood." Usually, areas that have poor sewage and drain control often get lambasted on Twitter by users alleging that their neighborhood is "flooded."
Wear a Helmet
A bike helmet can minimize the impact of a fall and is, therefore, a mandatory safety accessory. Helmets have a good enough factor where even the worst helmet is better than having no helmet. That said, when you buy a helmet, you should look for one that gives you the highest visibility. This means not getting a motorbike helmet but instead wearing a skull-cover helmet often used by professional cyclists.
Zacro Lightweight Helmet is excellent for its breathability and should be worn by riders in warmer climates. For those living in colder areas, the OutdoorMaster Helmet is better as it covers and sheathes the head from impact as well as the cold. Both the products have a 4.6-star average on a 5-star scale and have fairly consistent reviews from verified customers.
Use a Bike Basket
This one is a practical suggestion that also has a safety benefit. When you deliver anything on a bike, you need to focus on the road. Securing your cargo allows you to focus on the road. Retrospec Bicycle Basket is a fairly durable basket that can easily carry the weight of up to two Doordash orders simultaneously.
It has over 9000 reviews and ratings that come to a global average rating of 4.3 stars on a 5-star scale. Its installation requires attention to detail because if you don't lock it on, it can fall off if you hit a bump.