4 Jobs for Bicyclists

If office work has become tiresome, or if you just want to be paid for being outside on your bike, then consider jobs involving cycling. There are plenty of businesses and organizations that seek bikers to deliver documents, train people on bike maintenance and lead tours.

Americorps has programs available for folks who want to empower communities with their cycling skills. Across the nation, the organization is pairing adults between the ages of 18-25 with local biking centers and non-profits to inspire populations to ride, fix and communicate together. Participation varies for each program with some being more concerned with implementing plans while others focus primarily on educating people about bike maintenance and leading rides.  However, each seeks to teach about the importance of sustainable practices, health and encourage involvement within communities.

With growing preference for more environmentally friendly vehicles, many restaurants are employing cyclists to deliver meals. Seattle’s Zaw Pizza sends riders to customers’ doorways, carrying those ready-to-bake pizzas. Jimmy John’s cyclists can be seen weaving in and out of traffic wherever the franchise has opened recently. Even coffee beans now arrive to customers via trailers touted behind Trailhead Coffee Roasters bikers in Portland, Oregon. In addition to these places, independent bicycle courier businesses such as Milwaukee’s Flavor Cycle and San Francisco’s TCB Courier are emerging to deliver orders and beverages for businesses who don’t normally deliver.

And this brings us to courier services. Senders of legal files, letters, photos and other documents often entrust bicyclists to deliver items instead of cars that just get caught in traffic with mufflers puttering and deadlines expiring. Keep in mind that in this internet age of sending information instantly somewhat lessens the need for bike messengers. However, if you are swift, steady and familiar with the city’s layout (or if you own a phone with mapping), there may be a position available for you anywhere between Seattle and New York City. Your best options for finding jobs include bicycle messenger forums, Craigslist and interacting with fellow couriers.

Enjoy working with youths and riding during the summer? Then perhaps you should consider leading bike camps throughout the warmer months. Opportunities all over the United States exist for those who can ride with people varying in ages and cultures. Portland, Oregon’s Community Cycling Center hires bike savvy summer counselors to teach kids about maintenance, sustainability and the benefits of adventuring on two wheels. Philadelphia’s Neighborhood Bike Works provides a summer bicycling camp to underprivileged youths where instructors guide campers during educational field-trips and give lessons on nutrition. YMCA hosts bike camps across the country with counselors leading children and adolescents on tours through urban areas and trails beyond the city. If interested, just check out your local community bicycle center for potential positions.