Smooth sailing thus far, driver says

United Parcel Service employee John Kast switched his delivery mode into high gear this month in an effort to keep up with the holiday demand.

Kast is one of two UPS employees who have volunteered to make deliveries by bicycle in an effort to increase efficiency, save fuel and promote wellness.

“When they asked me if I would be interested in riding a bike, I said, ‘Sure,’ ” Kast said. “I hadn’t ridden a bike probably since high school, but I thought it was a good idea. So far, it’s worked out well.”

Since mid-November, Kast has been loading a bicycle equipped with a trailer into a delivery truck and heads out into a different designated neighborhood with the truck driver.

At a predetermined stop, Kast said he piles from 20 to 25 packages, depending on weight and size, on the bike trailer and heads out on two wheels with the deliveries.

“It’s actually a lot easier than I thought it would be,” Kast said of pedaling the routes. “It’s a lot better than walking and a lot more quicker than in the truck. You just hop on the bike and go.”

Kast said by using the two-wheel mode of transportation, he’s able to make between 20 to 25 deliveries in an hour, compared to about only 15 while walking the same route with a hand cart.

A bicycle also makes it easier to do deliveries in certain areas that aren’t as accessible by truck.

“It works out great in areas like condos where we would normally have to park the truck down the street and walk,” he said. “Now we can maneuver through those areas on bicycles. It’s a lot more convenient.”

Kast said he was a little sore the first week he rode the bike, but has adjusted to the routine.

“It’s actually been good exercise,” he said. “Sometimes when I first start out, I’m pulling anywhere from about 200 to 250 pounds and going uphill that can be a pretty good workout.”

The one drawback to using bicycles Kast said is that when the weather is bad, they aren’t permitted to ride them.

“Fortunately in Pueblo, we don’t have too many of those days,”he said.

The Pueblo Chieftain