Houston's new bike delivery service will bring almost anything to your door 24 7
Admit it, you've been there — hung over and in need of a greasy remedy, in a bathroom bind with no toilet paper in sight, in the middle of baking an intensive dessert when you realize you missed an item on the grocery list.
Meet Clutch Delivery, a new Houston bike delivery service that operates 24/7, rain or shine, to bring almost anything you need right to your doorstep.
"It's just my phone and me," explains Liam Musgrove, who has been filling orders since Feb. 15 on his fixed-gear bike with the help of a high-capacity bag. He has a heavy-duty cargo rack on the way for larger orders (and will add more gears once he adds more weight).
"The map in my head is probably as good as Google."
Musgrove tells CultureMap that he was essentially "twiddling his thumbs" when he decided to fulfill his longtime pipe dream, which he first thought up during a convention of bicycle messengers in the Northeast in 2009.
He had since seen delivery services open up in Richmond, Va., in Milwaukee, Wis. and in San Francisco — so why not here? The Houston native has had experience as a local bike courier and an avid inner-city cyclist. Musgrove admits, "The map in my head is probably as good as Google."
Here's how it works: At any hour of the day, send Clutch Delivery a text at (713) 838-5450 to place your order and to get a wait time estimate. Musgrove will pay for your items at pick up, then a delivery charge will be added to the total, which you'll pay in full with cash or credit card (via Square Wallet) upon arrival.
Fees start at $5 for delivery in Montrose and Midtown between 8 a.m. and midnight, with a $9 charge for late night delivery in the area. Clutch Delivery's website lists spots in the neighborhood where you can order food, get groceries or stock up on snacks and drinks, along with menus, phone numbers and closing times.
The three things he won't deliver? Illicit substances, dry cleaning or kenneled pets.
Rates to Downtown, the Museum District, Upper Kirby, West U, Rice Military and other peripheral neighborhoods start at an $8 base charge (or $12 between midnight and 8 a.m.).
Deliveries are also available to the Heights (south of 20th Street), Eastwood (west of Lockwood Drive) and between 610 and Buffalo Speedway starting at $12, and service to the Galleria area, as well as points further north and east, starts at $16.
Tip is not included or requested, Musgrove says, but it will be happily accepted. The three things he won't deliver? Illicit substances, dry cleaning and pets.
Musgrove foresees potential for corporate accounts, community partnerships and an eventual need for a bike cargo trailer and up to a dozen potential riders — all of whom are already lined up and ready to ride.
"It's a cyclist's paradise once it comes together," Musgrove says. He hopes that this eco-friendly delivery option, and others like it, will help turn the dial backward on Houston's petroleum- and car-centric ways.