Who wouldn’t want to ride bikes for a living. Cycling as a job isn’t isolated to trained professional riders making money winning races. Cycling can be a rewarding career in other aspects as well. If you love cycling you can do it as a job. The main thing to keep in mind is that you’re doing it because you love it and money isn’t at the top of your list of why you’re doing it. But when you’re doing something you love, it’s always worth it.
Cycling as a Job – Bike Messenger
Remember “Premium Rush,” an awesome movie depicting a devil-may-care cyclist careening through traffic? Well it’s not just in the movies. If you’re an adrenaline junky who likes to race through traffic (who doesn’t) the bike messenger position might be right for you. A bike messenger basically delivers parcels, correspondence, or unknown packages faster than cars in big cities.
Traits of The Messenger
Not just any bike will do for city delivery service. Be prepared to drop between $500 and $1000 on a single-speed, which is what most good bike messengers prefer, but that’s up to you. Single-speed bikes are tricky to get used to, but they’re fast. You’d better be able to fix your own bike too. Generally speaking, if you can’t fix your bike, you shouldn’t be a bike messenger.
Companies vary per wages, but most pay on an hourly basis, the number of packages delivered, or both together. The everyday bike messenger brings home about $20 per hour give or take.
Benefits and Brotherhood
It stands to reason that you probably won’t get health insurance, considering the risky nature of your cycling job. Despite that though, messengers love their jobs because they spend their time riding. Messengers are a band of brothers and sisters who ride together, hang out in bike shops together, and drink together. Don’t apply for it unless you love it.
Cycling as a Job – Bike Server
Maybe you’ve been served with a lawsuit at some point in your life but hopefully you haven’t had the pleasure of someone knocking at your door, making niceties to you and then shoving legal documents in your face. Some lawyers have taken advantage of the cyclist’s unpretentious attitude and stealth delivery by assigning them the job of bicycle legal server. Bicycle servers are hard to ignore, can track down defendants, and can get the job done when legal documents need to be served. The pay for a legal server depends on the company, but they usually per serve which might be as high as $50 or more.
Cycling as a Job – Bike Mechanic
A bike mechanic is the most likely job for a cyclist who loves bikes. If you spend time in your own garage tinkering with your own bikes, why not make a career out of it. As a bike mechanic you will eat and breathe bikes working on them the majority of your day. Some of the bigger bike shops have test tracks where they make sure the bike is in good working order, so you get to ride just about every day. Some shops allow you to take out their rental bikes as well as give you discounts on gear.
Bike Mechanic Pay
Don’t expect to make over about $30k a year as a bike mechanic, and that’s in a well-oiled big bike shop where bikes come in all year round. That’s the big benefit of mechanic in a big shop — you get a regular paycheck. If you’re really serious about working with bikes, there’s always the big bike companies like Specialized that need cyclist and cycling enthusiasts.
Cycling as a Job – Bicycle Guide
Travel to exotic locations, lead other cyclist down trails, city suburbs or even on long distance, overnight tours. The bicycle tour guide is one dream job. The ideal candidate for a bike tour guide is willing to travel, is physically fit, and knowledgeable about his or her surroundings. Bike maintenance should also be high on the list, because tourists don’t typically have the know how to fix things like flats and replace broken cables. It’s possible to average about $100 to upwards of $500 or more per day and if you’re a really good guide showing well-to-do tourists how and where to ride, the tips could be even higher.
Cycling as a Job – Event Management
Why not put on your own race or charity ride. This is a difficult one to get into, but if you’re good at planning, lots of red tape here, and have the diverse skill set of knowing the in’s and out’s of racing as well as being business savvy, yo can be a successful event planner. There’s money to be made in race and charity ride organizing if you can get a good location, theme, and the proper approvals.
Cycling as a Job – Bike Taxi
Bike taxis have been a mainstay worldwide for many years. It’s because they’re efficient. It might take some effort, but placing a small cart or enclosure on a trailer can give you a shot at being a bike taxi. But there is some red tape. Big cities may require clearance. Wages depend on area and your own requirements , ie. you’re the boss. Know your city, and all it’s short cuts, get liability insurance and permits, and start picking up rides.
Cycling as a Job – Billboard
Advertising billboards are everywhere. Why not get paid to ride in circles through your city’s downtown. Biking Billboards is an advertising agency that uses bicycles to get their billboards in front of more eyes. This job is relatively unknown by many consumers and businesses. If you’re interested in becoming a cycling billboard, try pitching it to forward-thinking businesses in your area.
If you love to ride your bike there are a lot of ways you can do cycling as a job other than riding professionally. The bottom line is you love bikes and if you are willing to do it for the passion and not the money then maybe cycling as a job in one of these professions can be your next gig. If cycling is your job but different than one of the ones listed here, let us know in the comments below and we can pass it along to others who might be interested in that same thing.