A passion for bikes: Carry Norfolk's new story

Maybe you’ve seen him speeding down Granby St on his black steel framed fixed gear bike. Or maybe there was a flash of something zipping by before you got a look. He might be delivering a highly time-sensitive document to the General District court. Maybe it’s someone’s meds from the pharmacy. A Glass Gardens terrarium kit? Or it could be a Jimmy John’s #12 Beach Club. Whatever it is, Andrew Rios, new owner of Carry Norfolk, is on a mission and has a need for speed.

“I love picking something up and seeing how fast I can get it there. It’s almost like playing a sport. There is a thrill in it.”

New energy of Carry Norfolk

Andrew acquired Norfolk’s only bicycle courier service back in August 2015. The bike transport service planned to suspend operations under the previous owner, but he didn’t want to see the venture die. He talked with Zach Miller of Hatch to brainstorm ways to make it work and he hasn’t looked back.

On a regular day he has between 3 and 5 deliveries in the Downtown Norfolk area. Usually these are legal documents going from a lawyer’s office to one of the courts several blocks away. His record is 12 deliveries in one day.

Speedy delivery

“The fun of it is getting there fast. It’s a great feeling when you pick something up, deliver it 10 blocks down the street and return with that signature and they ask if you ever even left.”

He has two employees that ride for him, but for the most part he’s doing it solo. Even in the cold weather, rain, and wind he’s out there peddling. His messenger bag is waterproof ensuring the cargo stays dry. He also delivers freaky fast for Jimmy John's downtown part-time.

For the love of bikes

Since childhood, Andrew has loved riding bikes. When he heard Carry Norfolk was opening up the first time he eagerly applied and was hired that day. Now as the owner, he keeps a seat at Hatch to get entrepreneurial support and guidance to ensure his passion succeeds. 

He’s most passionate about biking because of the community and the connections he’s made with other riders. It also gets him outside and moving.

“I have built so many friendships around riding bikes. It's a great community. I don’t like to be cooped up in the house.”

He also enjoys the bragging rights from having a nice bike.

Time for growth

He works with a handful of consistent clients, but anyone (in 23507, 23510, 23517 zip codes) can visit his website and get something delivered. He has a standard rate of $10 for any envelope and $15 for packages over 15 lbs.

“We hope to get back into delivering food here shortly,” he says. Originally that was the main thing Carry Norfolk was doing, but he wanted it to be more of a traditional bike courier service. He’s working on securing deliveries for some Norfolk breweries. He’ll deliver terrariums, air plants, succulents and kits from Glass Gardens.

As Downtown Norfolk continues to grow hopefully there will be more demand for this earth friendly delivery service so Andrew can manifest his other dream, owning his own food truck (or food bike?).