News of the Day


by Craig Altschul

Crucial Couriers, a bike delivery service in Burlington, was started by Zach Rouda and Harrison Hagan, two former UVM students. They drew their inspiration from the bicycle courier services in their hometown of Washington, D.C., said the Burlington Free Press. But there is one big difference: big city couriers deal with businesses; Crucial Couriers deal with people. They prefer to deliver to central Burlington, but will go into So. Burlington and Winooski when necessary. Minimum fee is $4, plus a zone charge. They’ve delivered everything from Ping Pong balls, firewood (“that was the heaviest,” said Rouda), guitar strings, homework, scissors, breakfast, and banana peppers. Marketing strategy? Word of mouth and flyers at UVM. Business plan? Just fliers. Rouda says they typically receive five calls a day and hopes the warmer weather will increase business. They’ve even tried to expand their services by putting wheels on a shopping cart and attaching to their bikes. “With this,” Rouda said, “I can take 10 bundles (of firewood).”

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About Craig Altschul

Craig Altschul is Editorial Director of He is a veteran snow journalist, having covered the sport for more than 40 years. His syndicated snow sports humor column, Ski Tips, ran in newspapers across the country for 20 years. He was Global Editor-in-Chief for OnTheSnow for 12 years and has written for a variety of magazines and newspapers. Altschul is past president of both the Eastern Ski Writers Association and the North American Snow Journalists Association.

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