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Growing Up On Two Wheels: From Delivery Boy To Punk Rock Messenger

Joe Kirk worked as a delivery boy and bike messenger in downtown Chicago.

From the project Uncuffed:

How many of us have been lucky enough to turn one of our favorite childhood hobbies into a way to earn a living? Imagine being paid for the simple, innocent joy of riding a bike? One of our trainees, Jeb DeAngelis spoke to another producer, Joe Kirk, about his life-long obsession with riding on two wheels.

"One day, he decided to have me deliver a small model house. You know, if you don't have your hands on a fixed gear bicycle and you're trying to stop, that's kind of bad."

Hear more stories like this by subscribing to Uncuffed in podcast players. Visit WeAreUncuffed.org to learn more.

KALW’s radio training program in California prisons is supported by the California Arts Council, with funding from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The producers fact-check content to the best of their ability. All content is approved by a prison information officer.

Uncuffed is a project in which KALW editors train incarcerated people to report stories from inside prison. A CDCR official listened to and approved the audio for this story prior to broadcast.

Support Uncuffed: Text UNCUFFED to 44-321 and choose an amount to donate.

Email KALW's Uncuffed editors.

Write to the Uncuffed producers at Solano State Prison:
Level 3 Education / Media Lab 
P.O. Box 4000
Vacaville, CA 95696-4000


Crosscurrents From The Producers Of Uncuffed
Joe Kirk paroled in 2020, after serving 5 years. The one thing that kept Joe going in prison was the memory of his grandparents' farm on the outskirts of Peoria, Illinois.