It was not by accident that Valerie Topete became a bike courier when she moved to New York. An avid long distance bicyclist in college, Topete was able to launch her hobby of biking into a successful and lucrative career. She worked relentlessly as a freelance bike courier for three years while trying to survive the New York lifestyle. She searched out job opportunities online one at time and made a life for herself in a tiny one-bedroom apartment in the Bronx. Her dedication to the job quickly earned her a reputation as one of the most reliable couriers in New York City.
She spent her days furiously biking around the city, darting between cars and pedestrians, to ensure that her packages were delivered as fast as possible. Topete created quite the name for herself, and after three years of making it on her own, she was hired by the most prestigious courier companies in all of New York City. At Mercury Rises, Topete was able to further push herself to become the best in the business. Among a highly competitive group of couriers, she pushed herself to the limits and her efforts were rewarded.
Seven years later and settled into her New York life, she was ready to return her focus to the thing she loves: Long-distance relay races. Over the past few years Topete had been so consumed with her new career, husband, and raising two very active children, she had minimal time to dedicate to biking outside of work. Now that her children are older and are enrolled in school, Topete realized she had some spare time to dedicate to herself. Working in such a highly competitive environment such as Mercury Rises was not a random event for Topete. Her competitive nature was something she applied throughout her life, and she was ready to prove her skills in a new hobby of relay racing.
Not surprisingly, bike couriers tend to be avid bicyclists and it is a tight community of individuals. Through Topete’s professional acquaintances, she joined a bicycling group that competes in relay races on the weekends. Topete logs her practice miles during the week while working and competes as one of the fastest members of her relay team. The structure of a relay race allows her to have the experiencing of being part of a team, while competitively pushing herself to be the best. Her husband and children love mapping out the race path and finding the perfect position to set up camp in order to be able to see her speed past. Valerie Topete has been competing for seven months now and has successfully won five medals and finished in first place three times.