On the Job, Her Bag Is a Lifeline

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Logging 900 miles a week on a motorcycle to deliver packages may not sound like a sweet ride for a lot of women, but to L.A.’s Cris Bassa it’s heaven.

The 28-year-old got her training wheels working part time as a bike messenger while attending the University of North London. Sick of the fog, she moved to the smog, landing a job at P.D. Rabbit in Culver City, where she is the only woman in the fleet.

Many women shy away from the profession for safety reasons, but not Bassa.

“You just have to put up a strong posture, and hopefully no one’s going to mess with you,” she says.


And to commuters who sit inside their air-conditioned cars complaining about road rage, Bassa says forget about it. She does more time behind the wheel, er, the handlebars, than almost anyone, and she still stays cool as a cucumber--as long as she has her trusty side bag.

What’s inside? Gloves are a must, “for protection against the sun, the cold and if you should fall.” (Luckily, she has never had any major accidents.)

Bassa has lived in L.A. for only four months, so the Thomas Guide is her lifeline. She mostly delivers envelopes, although she keeps a bungie cord in tow “in case I am carrying something heavy and it doesn’t fit on my bike.”

A pager and a two-way radio are essential for communicating with her dispatcher, but what about that purple Crayola marker? Bossa uses it to write directions on her side-view mirror. (The ink can later be wiped off.)

For fuel, she carries energy bars and Gatorade or water, and Carefree sugarless bubble gum.

Not one to fuss with makeup, she doesn’t have one tube of lipstick in her bag. There is an Emory board, however.


“You never know when you might need one,” she says.

But don’t worry. She doesn’t file her nails while driving.