Photographer captures amazing pictures showing reality of life for London’s cycle couriers

Hatty Collier
Adam Keane / Instagram: @keanesteeze

A photographer has captured a series of striking images which show the reality of life for London’s cycle couriers.

Adam Keane, 22, a freelance photographer, started the project to try to show the feeling of isolation experienced by cycle couriers who ride through the capital for up to 10 hours a day.

The long exposure photographs feature different bike couriers who are working across central London with waves of traffic passing either side of them.

Mr Keane, from Ashtead, a cycle courier for Excel who started the project about six months ago, said: “I have been working as a courier for quite a while now. You are riding in traffic for 10 hours a day.

“Some days you kind of get the hook and really like the flow of going through traffic but you kind of get a bit isolated from the rest of the world.”

Cycle courier Bobby in Kingsway, London(Adam Keane / Instagram: @keanesteeze)

Mr Keane said despite sometimes feeling isolated from the rest of the world, the cycle courier community in London is quite close knit.

He added: “There is quite a tight community. We all know each other.

“You get talking to a lot of people and we all have a certain understanding of what gets you through the day.

“The isolation feeling, you all bond through it, it can be a good thing really.

“You are riding round in such a big city but you feel like you know everyone. It’s like your own little office.”

From UbertEats and Deliveroo to CitySprint, the streets of London are full of bike couriers. They zip around London delivering everything from takeaway meals to high-end fashion.

They are the most visible part of the so-called 'gig economy', a growing sector that focuses on short-term work which is often dictated via a smartphone app.

Champions of the 'gig economy' say it's an entrepreneurial way of doing new business and that workers are able to maintain their independence and working when it suits them.

But critics say it is an exploitative business model where workers earn low wages and are deprived of the rights they would have if they were officially classed as employees.

Mr Keane said he mainly enjoys his work because it feels more like "a lifestyle."

He added: "Sometimes it's not really like a job for me at all when you are riding around London all day when the weather is really nice."

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