Q-and-A: The heroic acts of Jimmy John’s delivery guys

Sammy Caiola, Reporter

You’ve seen them zipping between cars in Evanston traffic. You’ve seen them jogging up the steps to Kresge with helmets on and sandwiches in hand. But how much do you really know about the knights in shining spandex we call Jimmy John’s delivery guys?

Rain or sun, these cyclists deliver Wildcats the 8 inches of mayo-slathered baguette they need to get through the day. And believe it or not, one of them could be sitting next to you in lecture before jumping into uniform and returning to duty, Peter Parker-style. The Current sat down with Bienen senior Alex Cheatham to discuss his double life as a member of the JJ’s team.

The Current: So what’s the deal with the bikes? Do they make sure you can ride one before they give you the job?

Alex Cheatham: Some guys start seriously biking when they get the job, but I’m on the road racing team for Northwestern, so I basically saw this job as getting paid to train and paid to eat. We’re pretty fast here.

The Current: How fast can you bike?

AC: Around here for short distances, I average about 22-24 miles an hour. It helps that we can go through stop signs and lights. We pretty much have the run of the place.

The Current: What’s your craziest delivery story?

AC: Once I get called to a classroom, and I walk in, and it’s this humongous room. So I walk into the middle and say hi. It was the instructor, and they were debating how fast the order would take. And they figured out it takes longer to order than it does to be delivered, when you get to a certain number of sandwiches.

The Current: How much did you like your job in this week’s weather?

AC: Normally when it rains, we get more orders. I still have plastic bags on under these shoes. And I went through two pairs of shoes yesterday. That monsoon that hit? We had like 10 inches of rain to bike through. I actually got blown off my bike (Sunday) night by the wind.

The Current: Is that spandex uncomfortable?

AC: I’m used to walking around in one-piece lycra skin suits, so this is baggy to me. It’s second nature.

The Current: What’s your favorite JJ’s sub, and what would you create if you could make a new JJ’s sandwich?

AC: My favorite one is probably the Italian Night Club. The one I normally get is the Turkey Tom. … We were talking about creating gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with banana options or bacon. We couldn’t actually do it, but we were musing.

The Current: How into sandwiches were you before this job?

AC: Me and sub sandwiches were just made for each other. I would eat a sub sandwich twice a day everyday if I could — which I have, at times.

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