Working within cycling

by Dread66   March 21, 2013  

Hi all,

I was made redundant after 24 years of being an administrator at the end of last year and, after fruitlessly looking for a similar role, have now decided I would like to pursue a career change to hopefully find a job I enjoy doing (yep, I know it's a long shot!).

Over the past 3-4 years I've been steadily getting more and more into cycling, out every day on my old shed of a bike and watching all the latest action on TV, so I'm now thinking about a job that involves cycling in some way.

Over the past 6 months I've completed a bike maintenance course but can't really see myself being a mechanic full time. Hopefully I can draw on your expertise on how to go about looking for opportunities, what jobs are available and how you get to hear about them.

I constantly look at the CTC and Sustrans websites for their vacancies but nothing much comes up on there. I've just signed up to help out arranging a local sponsored charity cycle event which I'm sure will be fun but that's only once a year. I've also signed up to train as a Sky Ride Team Leader but again that's only four or five events a year.

If anybody has any ideas I'd love to hear them!

Thanks in advance for your help and advice.

Cheers
Dave

6 user comments

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+1 on that 25years for me (not a one-upmanship thing). I would love to get into the industry, even as a spanner monkey or frame builder as I have a mechanical background, but as yet the response’s I have received have only ever been “No” or “Not yet”. I am not disheartened and will keep going at it but any insider info would always nice.

cidermart's picture

posted by cidermart [464 posts]
21st March 2013 - 11:46

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I used to work in motor racing as a fitter for a tyre company.
This involved extensive UK and world travel to circuits throughout the year.
My only qualification at the time was an HGV license.
Not sure how tyre companies work within bike racing but it could be a good avenue to look into becuase if it's like motor racing you get to attend many different types of racing not just e.g. formula 1 if you are a F1 team fitter.

The other option is of course working as something for a bike racing team.

posted by bike_food [93 posts]
21st March 2013 - 13:43

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Something that strikes me about cycling is the number of smaller outfits. Most of the bike shops are independents, I've just seen a bike fitter who is a one-man band, in the past I've seen a sports therapist that was a two-person family business. So I guess I'm saying that employment with a company is maybe less likely.

However, I think there is definitely space in the market to make yourself a go-to person. Maybe learn about bike fitting? Train in sports massage? Breakdown recovery? How about advertising yourself as a cost-effective support vehicle for group rides? Charge, for example, 10 people a tenner each to be at pre-determined points on a big ride with drinks/spares/food etc. Combine several of these skills to maintain a rider profile for each customer that documents their spec, position, kit preferences, riding style, routes etc, then charge a monthly subscription fee to keep them riding happily in the knowledge they can turn to you for help/advice/maintenance/massage etc.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3193 posts]
21st March 2013 - 15:27

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you could try looking at www.bikebiz.com it is the bike trade magazine, there is a job section on the site.

posted by duzza [45 posts]
21st March 2013 - 22:26

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Given that I still am unable to ride due to injury (yes, still! for those that know me) this is something I keep thinking on.

I'd love to be involved with cycling right now.

Ideal world choice would be my own bike company. I have the name, model range, etc all in my head already!

posted by Super Domestique [1600 posts]
22nd March 2013 - 14:48

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How about operating a bike wash? The local shop charges £15. Providing you do a lube and shine job I'm sure you could pick up work. Our club has at least 20 out on a Saturday, increasing to 30 or 40 in spring, road and mountain bike. A sound garage, a farm barn or an outhouse behind commercial premises would do as a base.
You build up clientele as you go along. Custom would come from word of mouth testimonials. I know there's a recession on but I see plenty of big cars with Thule racks and two grand bikes on them parked outside the shop. The club's full of professional business people too, most of them accustomed to spending a fortune on gear and likely to be comfortable with spending £15 a week for a bespoke service. All they would ask is that the bike's clean and ready for the following weekend's cycle.

posted by Eyebrox [12 posts]
23rd March 2013 - 0:34

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