ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Every morning starts the same when Nadir Alwani is getting ready to deliver mail.

What You Need To Know

  • St. Pete is one of three communities that still delivers mail by bicycle

  • They operate out of the Open Air facility in downtown St. Pete and cover the 33701 zip code

  • Mail carrier Nadir Alwani says he makes more than 800 deliveries a day, covering homes and high rises

  • The USPS says there are still 50 bike delivery routes in the country

He’s a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service, so he’ll gather letters and packages for his route and puts them in a container that he carries for his journey.

“Each route has, like, a line of travel, basically,” Alwani said. “So, we follow that all the way throughout.”

But Alwani is different because for the last ten years, Alwani has delivered mail by bicycle covering the same route in St. Petersburg.

“They are surprised, kind of, and they ask you questions that they never seen a mailman on a bike in their town,” Alwani said.

Which makes sense because the Open Air Post Office in Downtown St. Pete, where Alwani starts his day, is one of three post offices left in the country to still use bikes to deliver mail.

“It brings me to a part of history that way,” Alwani said. “So, it’s a very unique way to deliver mail as well on bike.”

For about six hours, whether in rain or sunshine, Alwani is riding his bike around town.

“I do like the idea of riding the bikes and delivering the mail at the same time,” he said.

But, at this time of year, summer rainstorms and heat waves can be brutal.

“Well, when it comes to summertime, it is [tough], but as long as you keep yourself hydrated, you know, that’s the game right there,” he said. “You want to beat that heat before it gets to you.”

And in our time with Alwani, he was winning that fight while accumulating over 20,000 steps, which, he said, doesn’t include him riding his bike.

“I prefer walking, I do bike on my own time,” he said.

He covers a lot of ground on bike and on foot, making over 800 deliveries to homes and high rises.

“I enjoy doing it,” he said. “You know, something unique in this post office.”

Despite the regularity of his job, he says he still gets approached from time to time from people shocked to see their mail coming to them by bicycle.

Part of the reason St. Pete still uses this delivery method is because of the alleyways and some of the narrower streets.

Using a bike makes these areas easily navigable.

While Alwani has had chances in the past to deliver mail in a more conventional way, he prefers the bike.

He says getting great exercise and getting to chat with people along his route makes this a great career for him.

The other two areas that still use this delivery method are in Miami and in Arizona.

The USPS says there are still 50 bike delivery routes in the country.