June 16, 2014

by Kristin Butcher

Tick. Tick. Tick. It’s the second hour of a conference call that will only result in more conference calls. The second hand on the clock tortures you with its dawdling pace. Somewhere between the words ?truth-tested? and ?corporate pow-wow,? your thoughts drift away from the cubicle-gray surroundings into a daydream filled with gentle ticks of spinning hubs and air whooshing just past your ears. ?If only,? you wonder, ?I got paid to ride my bike.?

Those who dream about a bike-based day job might be surprised to know that making a living (or, at least, some semblance of one) riding isn’t limited to elite pro racers and street-hardened messengers. Here are five jobs where the office chair is a saddle:

Skills instructor

Image: Betti AllRide

Pro rider and Beti AllRide Clinic lead instructor Lindsey Voreis built a career creating confidence in others. Being a full-time instructor comes with a serious travel schedule, which is why the back of Lindsey’s sprinter van has a bed big enough for both her and her dog. In addition to attending numerous events, Lindsey teaches around 40 mountain bike clinics each year and spent 250 days on the bike last year. Combining a passion for teaching with a love of riding comes with a lot of side benefits. ?The people, the trails, the bikes, the camaraderie, the power between people riding together and helping each other. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced,? says Lindsey.

Professional Ride Guide

Image: Flickr

Guides for big operations like Western Spirit and Big Mountain Bike Adventures offer so much more than knowledgeable wheels to follow. They take care of logistics, set up camp and cook tasty backcountry meals. They know the best places to stop for lunch and where to find the panoramic view you?ll still be talking about decades later. They fix bikes and people, too. While the job title is ?ride guide,? they are really the purveyors of adventure.

PeopleForBikes Events Crews

Our two-person teams spread the love of bicycling by attending fun and inclusive events, sharing advocacy knowledge and experiencing the riding challenges and successes first hand in communities across the country. You probably won?t see ?itinerant bicycling advocate? at the local career fair, but if you?re one of the lucky few who land this job, you?ll get to spend half the year spinning your wheels on roads from the plains to the mountains.

Bike Industry Lackey

Image: Flickr

Sure, you?ll still spend your fair share of time staring at spreadsheets and sitting on conference calls, but there is much to be said for working with people who don’t look at you screwy for spending more on your bike than your car and who understand you?re attending a meeting in spandex because you forgot your pants at home (note: they?ll still make fun of you, but they?ll understand).


Image: Photobucket

No, really. In bicycle-friendly Boulder, CO, Pedal to Properties lets buyers check out new neighborhoods in the best way possible?by bike. But being a Boulder-based realtor isn’t the only way to combine what you do with what you love. Handymen, IT support and even bike mechanics are making house calls on wheels and enjoying the benefits that come when the company car is a bike.

Bicycle Security Guards

Image: Flickr

Places like zoos, amusement parks and airports employ security personnel on bikes to cover large areas quickly. Training and background checks may be required, but you get a shiny badge and the ability to clock in, grab a bike and ride on. 

Kristin Butcher is a freelance writer based out of Boulder, Colorado, she spends her time writing about people, the outdoors and, of course, bikes. You can read her column, Butcher Paper, in BIKE Magazine.

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