Jobs in the Saddle: Unique Ways to Make Money While Biking

July 21, 2017

Jobs in the Saddle: Unique Ways to Make Money While Biking

As urban centers become more packed, bicycles more technologically savvy, and massive events more sporadic, many people are turning from cars to bikes for their professional activities. On a personal level, there are many reasons to consider a job in the saddle. Maybe you’ve recently moved to a new city and are looking to explore. Maybe you’d like a bit of extra cash for traveling. Or, maybe you’re just looking for a way to keep fit and make money for it. Whether you’re trying to use modern goods delivery for your products, or are looking for a new source of income, this list of bicycle jobs will inspire!

Goods Delivery Services

Bicycle porter jobs are becoming increasingly prevalent in packed cities, especially those with positive attitudes toward start-up businesses and creative responses to traffic. New bicycle goods delivery companies carry anything from flowers to cat food. Clever groups like California-based Cowgirl Bike Courier offer print distribution and legal services in addition to more mundane pick-up/ delivery rides. In clogged urban traffic, bicycle porters winding through traffic jams arrive earlier than any vehicle could. Upon delivery, porters and companies alike express a better client connection. After all, receiving a bundle of flowers from a girl in a helmet is delightful, no? Many companies supply porters with bikes and insurance. Paired with the right all-weather clothing, this job becomes a ride in the park.

Bicycle Patrol Officer or Emergency First Responder

According to representatives of the International Police Mountain Bike Association, “Improved community relations, cost savings, faster officer response times and environmental benefits are just some of the reasons [organizations] are putting their public safety officers on bikes.” Whether navigating pedestrian-only metropolitan alleys or scaling rocky trails in mountain peaks, bicycle cops are often first of the scene. This is especially important in an age when mass, indignant rallies are incited with a single tweet. In fact, the greatest value of bicycle response teams is their laid-back image. Cops on bikes transition well between acting as service and enforcement professionals, are less intimidating than vehicle-clad cops and are closer to the people. The International Police Mountain Bike Association provides existing officers and hopeful responders with training and information. See details here:

Food Bike Operator

As the food truck craze normalizes, food bicycles emerge as the next hipster foodie fodder. For a good reason! When food trucks cost thousands for licenses, permits, outfitting, and parking rights, food bikes are a more cost-effective and low-risk way to feed hungry clients in unique situations. Bike outfitters like Icicle Tricycles offer ready-made bicycles with refrigeration facilities that help small business operators get their company rolling. And still, articles like this BBC story detail quirky bike food carts engineered by chefs and creatives. From taco to tea, tricycles to unicycles, beer kegs to baked goods, the road is wide open for bike foodies!

Child Transport Services

In conjunction with the advent of tricked-out food bikes, so have family-friendly bikes received a creative overhaul. Nihola Trikes and Metrofiets and are “bucket bike” family bicycle suppliers. These companies outfit sturdy three-wheeled machines with comfy buckets for kids sit in. The bicycles respond to a serious demand in busy cities, where parents struggle to get kids to school safely and smartly. Parents spend thousands on private taxis, small commuter vans loaded with children, or navigate the complicated public bus system. Riding public vans and buses is dangerous: without realizing, children easily run blindly across the road in front of a bus before oncoming traffic can see them. And, if an issue occurs while in-transit, the driver may not be able to respond. Not only does cycling children to school solve all aforementioned issues, but it also saves massive costs. The child delivery bicycle service is born! While it’s difficult to find specific companies that provide this service, the market is ripe for entrepreneurs. Why not take your babysitting service on wheels?

Parkinson’s Cycling Coach

Beginning in a groundbreaking study by the Radiological Society of North America in 2012, cycling on stationary bikes are proven to reduce the effects of Parkinson’s Disease. Interestingly, there are two important factors: The bike must be stationary, and the cyclist must ride faster than their comfort level. The studies show that certain regions of the brain dealing with movement “connect more effectively” during and after the spin class. Participants displayed 20-30% improvements in motor movement. Cycling instructors, medical professionals, and psychologists are now training at organizations like the American Council on Exercise to become Parkinson’s Cycling Coaches. With the right prerequisites, it is possible to train and certify for these programs online.

Bicycle Tour Guide

While biking around sunny islands is a common travel opportunity, more tour guides are using electric bikes and smart all-weather cycling gear to lead unique tours across any terrain in any country. Electric bikes allow riders of all ages to adjust their effort levels, making difficult completely accessible. Tour operators have the opportunity to pause a ride when a certain folkloric story, geological question, or item of popular gossip crops up. Bicycle tour operators love their ability to safely navigate traffic and terrain, get more personal with their clients, and change the course of a tour if an opportunity (or challenge) arises. Want to learn more about becoming a bicycle tour guide? Job Monkey offers an explanation of the process in this guide.

Bicycle Security Patrol

Patrolling empty industrial compounds and large business estates by noisy, rickety truck is a thing of the past. Now patrol officers are using bicycles to cover multi-building companies with grace. In the unfortunate event that a criminal might enter a compound, security cyclists better surprise and defend against the intruder. Patrol officers enjoy the fact that bicycles present the same physical benefits as walking with added versatility. For more information on bike patrol training and liability, visit this page of the International Police Mountain Bike Association.

Bicycle Teacher

Governments worldwide recognize the impact of a bike-friendly community. Their cities are cleaner, residents healthier, streets less clogged, and neighbors more friendly. So many local Departments of Transportation are creating and supporting bicycle training organizations for all ages. Two examples are the Smart Cycling Program by the League of American Cyclists and UK Department of Transportation’s Bikeability program, specializing in teaching adults how to ride.  Most UK-based organizations require the National Standard Instructor course (NSI) to become a professional trainer.  Other regions have different requirements; it is best to analyze the local area’s rules before teaching.

Still, Can’t Find What You’re Looking For?

From Indeed to LinkedIn, there are much more jobs in the saddle to be found. One of the best places to look for jobs specific to the bike industry is (aptly) titled Bicycle Industry Jobs. Browse their listings for a taste of the variety of unique positions available. Or, maybe you’ve done an odd bicycle job not shown in this article? We would love to hear about it! Comment directly on this blog, share your experience on our Facebook page or show us a picture on our Instagram. Happy riding!  

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