The world of cycling is a vast one indeed. In china alone, there are over 450 million cyclists, making it one of the most popular forms of self-powered transport in the world. There is a huge range of jobs that you can take up if you are a cyclists, or if you are into cycling as a hobby.
In Europe, the bicycle industry is booming. Over half a million people across the continent are employed in the cycling sector. Although many of them don’t actually work on bicycles, they do work in cycling related jobs, such as manufacture and retail.
The jobs available for a cyclist
When it comes to jobs that you can do using your bike, there are quite a few. Some of these are quite normal, while others border on the strangest jobs ever. One common factor links all the jobs out there in the world today that involve bicycles though: they are among the most interesting ever.
While automakers and the other large manufacturing operations definitely have their own allure, there is something about working with or on bicycles that only a true cycling enthusiast can ever hope to understand. You can be sure that you won’t ever find it tedious when you work in the field that you are truly passionate about.
30 cycling jobs you should know about
Indeed, some of the jobs involving biking out there are so strange that it is hard not to be amused by them, but they are definitely worth taking a look at. Without further ado, here is a comprehensive list of the 30 most interesting cycling jobs, or jobs involving bicycles, ever.
1 – Bicycle Taxidermist
Nope, you heard that right the first time. A bicycle taxidermist is a real profession. If you have been a cyclist all your life, there is probably an old, broken down bike that you loved since the moment your feet touched the pedals.
This is a given when it comes to bicycles. Your first bike will always be your first love. Of course, no amount of loving care and repair will be able to slow down the aging of the parts of this old bike of yours. Replacing the parts will mean taking away the originality of the bike, and then it isn’t the one you loved anymore.
Instead of this, you could go to a bicycle taxidermist. This strange person takes the parts of that old bicycle that you love and will preserve them in such a way that they can be mounted on a plaque. Rather like a hunting trophy, such as a deer or moose head, when you think about it.
While it may not seem believable, this job actually does exist. After all, who doesn’t love working with old bicycles? Every once in a while there might even be a real gem that pops up in the store, such as the Trek Butterfly Bike (there is absolutely no chance of this happening in reality, so keep your elbow pads on).
2 – Bike Messenger/Bike Courier
This is definitely one of the most common cycling jobs in the city. Bike messengers are a common sight in places like capital cities around the world, where the delivery of important packages in a certain time frame would simply take too long in a car.
Unlike a big, bulky vehicle, the cyclist can nip through traffic like a hot knife through butter, and will be just as smooth in delivering a package. This job does come with a lot of dangers and pitfalls though, because it is usually concerned with the delivery of high value packages within a certain time frame.
Should someone find out about the package that is being transported, you could likely be killed for it. While this doesn’t usually happen outside Hollywood, it actually could be a possibility when you are a bike messenger in the big city.
There is a more real threat than this of course. Bike messengers ride lightweight road bikes so that they can emphasize on speed. The high speeds at which they travel around the city make them far more vulnerable to accidents with bigger automobiles.
As you may know, there is little to no chance of a cyclist surviving a collision with a car at high speeds. This means that the job is quite literally a life or death scenario, and it doesn’t even pay that well. A lot of people do this because it is one of the most adrenaline filled jobs one can do in the city. However, the fact remains that cycle couriers are a dying breed in the world of internet and ADSL.
3 – Fleet Technician for Zipcar
Zipcar is a very unique car sharing company. It is an alternative to the usual car rental deal that goes down nearly everywhere in the world. The company is a car club of sorts where its users share cars with each other, and rent the cars for very short periods of time.
When a Zipcar vehicle breaks down they have a fleet of technicians ready to go forth and help repair the car. The difference? The technicians ride bicycles. Instead of going there in cars like the typical car repair company or breakdown service, they bike there instead.
This is a method of making the company greener, by making its riders use bikes instead. In addition to this, it allows for the technicians to get to broken down cars even if there is a large traffic jam in the area of the breakdown. This makes for faster service as well.
The best part is that if the car has a fault that cannot be permanently fixed on the spot, the tech can just mount the bike onto the back of the car and drive it to the nearest repair station. A Zipcar Fleet Tech definitely has an interesting job as part of the QRT (quick response team).
4 – Biker Advertising
This is a growing trend in the world. It is a very green method of advertising companies and products, as well as catching more eyes and turning more heads than a typical billboard would.
Companies such as Biking Billboards attach their mini billboards to the backs of riders for hire, who then cycle around town all day with the billboards in tow. This attracts a lot of attention because of how unique the profession is.
These advertisers can ride out either on their own, or in convoys. When an entire convoy of cyclists ride past with billboards in tow, you are not going to be able to do anything except stare, rub your eyes, and then stare some more.
5 – Bike Fishing
It doesn’t get any stranger than this. While this job doesn’t actually involve riding a bike, it is definitely one of the most alternative cycle-related jobs anywhere.
Over 15000 bikes are thrown into the canals of Amsterdam here every year. Nobody knows why it happens, it just does. While most of the bikes that are thrown away are pretty normal, cheap bikes, it seems like a complete waste of a good investment.
However, it isn’t a loss for everyone involved. There is a group of people who are paid to patrol the canals in their barges, with a crane attached to the back of the barge. What they do all day is hunt for bicycles in the canal with the crane.
The whole ordeal feels like an arcade game, and with good reason. The crane is basically a giant claw that is dipped into the murky waters in the hopes of snagging a bike to be recycled for scrap metal. Bike fishermen definitely have quite the interesting job.
Photo by Plate 3 Photography
6 – Mobile Laundry Bikers
Think you’ve seen it all? Think again. These people are some of the most innovative cyclists out there. With all the buzz about cleaning the climate, there is a lot of pressure on things like mobile laundromats to cease and desist with their gas guzzling vans.
The solution? Bicycles. These mobile laundry companies usually work best in cities, and make use of cyclists on cargo bikes. These people go on their rounds collecting dirty laundry from their many customers’ homes.
After collection, the bikers ride back to their base, the laundry or dry cleaning service, where the magic happens. When this is done, the tagged, clean laundry is taken back to the owners by the cyclists, who collect payment. This is one of the greenest solutions to the dilemma that is faced by people torn between the climate and their smelly socks.
7 – Elderflower Harvester
As far as cycling jobs go, this is one of the rarest. You won’t be able to do this just anywhere in the world. In the French Alps though, this is a pretty big profession when it is the season of the elderflower.
The flower’s nectar is distilled to make some fine liqueur, known all over the world as St. Germain, after the town where it is made. The elderflowers are handpicked by cyclists on cargo bikes who are paid according to the weight of the flowers that they bring back.
Of course, this is only a seasonal job. However, it is definitely one of the most refreshing professions out there. Going up to the chilly, crispy air of the Alps ever morning to pick flowers for a living? Definitely a job I would want to be doing.
8 – Bicycle Movers
The Swedish company Movebybike focuses on using bike trailers and cargo bikes to move furniture o and from homes that are a short distance away.
This is perfect for people moving from location to location within the city, because bikes are able to take by-roads and shortcuts that a normal moving van couldn’t. This makes them perfect when time is of the essence.
In addition to being the fastest option to move homes in the traffic of the big city and urban areas, these methods of bike moving are popular because they are greener. This is perfect in areas of high pollution like the densely packed urban areas of the city.
9 – Traveling Liquor Sales
It is illegal to drink and drive. Is it illegal to ride and sell drink though? This was probably what ran through the minds of the founders of this innovative job, which involves traveling around towns and cities selling liquor to the residents who ask for it.
The Traveling Gin Company was created by two likeminded individuals who wanted to create a popup cocktail stand for its customers. They serve straight up gin and tonics as well as many other straight drinks.
All you have to do is contact them when you are at a party, and if they have a bike bar near your location the company will send one out to cater to you and to your friends. Much safer than riding around looking for liquor, don’t you think?
10 – Bike Tour Guide
This is a job for any biker with free time on their hands. If you know your local area really well, along with all the nearest spots to eat and drink, then you should totally sign up to be a bike tour guide.
What these individuals do is they take their bikes out in order to lead a party of tourists around their city or town, showing them sights that only a local would know. You aren’t even supposed to show them the main attractions. They just want to see what local life is like.
If you like tourists, you can also go for working in a bike rental. It’s not as bad as it might seem, so I guess the only problem might be that the pay isn’t fantastic. But that’s unfortunately not only a problem for the tourist related jobs. Most jobs in cycling aren’t paid that well 🙁
11 – Ambulance cycle teams
St. Johns Ambulance is one of the first to implement cyclists as part of their quick response team. This elite group of individuals are usually the first on the scene when there is an emergency involving a lot of congestion.
For example, a crash on a highway would result in a massive traffic jam. Even with the siren on, an ambulance van would take about an hour to get to the location. The cycle teams are able to reach the patient long before this.
They fully utilize the ability of bicycles to weave in and out of traffic in order to circumvent even the worst blockages, so that treatment can be delivered on time. In addition to being a pretty exciting job, you also get a very special bonus: you save lives.
12 – Police bike team
This is something you may have seen in and around busy city streets and parks. Instead of having to be stuck in traffic on patrol, police officers are being issued with bicycles for their beat.
The bicycles are sometimes electric, but usually man-powered. They are used for a wide variety of reasons, with one of the biggest being that police officers on bikes promote the image that the local government is going green with law enforcement as well.
These bikes are usually mountain bikes, and are made especially for law enforcement by the companies such as Trek, Cannondale and Specialized. They have mounted halogen and LED lights, both as headlights and the standard flashing police lights.
Police cyclists receive very specialized training in defensive riding, and usually have a required 10 hours to 4 days of training based on location and requirements. This is a very exciting job to take on, because who doesn’t want to combine law enforcement and cycling?
13 – Cycle Liaison Officer, Dublin
This is a job that any cycling enthusiast HAS to check out. As Dublin’s Liaison Officer or “Cycling Czar”, you will be involved in doing everything possible to make the city a safer place for cyclists.
In a world fraught with dangers for urban cyclists, this is a job that will allow you to do a lot of good for bikers everywhere. In addition to this, the 43,000 euros per year pay is a very cool addition to a great cycling job.
The elected official will be able to work with everything in the city of Dublin’s transport system, including road authorities, trains, and bus networks. You will be able to coordinate efforts to make the city a safer place for everybody.
14 – Cycle Barista
Do you have a passion for anything and everything related to coffee? Do you also have a thing for hopping on your bike at random and cycling all over the big city? If so, this is the perfect job for you! A cycle barista is someone who literally cycles around town in a mobile coffee shop!
This is usually a tricycle, with specially built assembly on the front that is basically a small counter with coffee brewing implements. What better way to cheer up all those lonely commuters on their way to work on a Monday morning than to cycle up to them with the best cappuccinos?
The job pays about 17,000 GBP a year, and is currently in operation along the famous Wales Coast Path. It is a chilly avenue indeed, so there are going to be a lot of people craving a hot beverage. If you feel like you won’t have the energy, think again. You will be riding a trike full of COFFEE, after all.
15 – Indoor cycling instructor
Indoor cycling is becoming quite popular as a means of staying fit without having to go through the risks associated with cycling outdoors. It is a sport that involves some pretty hardcore exercise.
Because there isn’t an environmental factor that causes speed to fluctuate, this has to be done under instruction. This is where the position of indoor cycling instructor comes in. The goal is to deliver an indoor cycling workout that is just as grueling, if not more so, than the same outside.
You will be responsible for goading everyone under your instruction to cycle faster and to push themselves as much as possible. You will also be responsible for training people to take over your position, or to have careers in the field of indoor cycling.
It is a pretty fun job, and one that is very interesting for the fitness expert and cycling enthusiast. The earning of about $18,000 a year for 5 classes a week is a perfect way to earn money while having fun in this job.
16 – Cycling Tour Photographer
If you have a love of bikes and gorgeous vistas, this is probably the position you have been dreaming of. As a crew member of a cycling tour team, you are going to have to take pictures on cross-country and international bike tours.
You will also be involved in keeping the morale of the people in the tour up, and keep them motivated by backing the tour host up in their tasks. For every photograph captured on the tour, there are going to be some pretty great memories ingrained in them.
17 – Part Time Bike Builder
This is the perfect opportunity for anyone who is just out of high school or taking a gap year, and wants to get to doing something mechanical. It is a fun job that involves dedicating a little bit of time every week to building bicycles from the ground up.
The pay may not be the best, but it is definitely one of the most interesting jobs out there. Who doesn’t want to be able to create some gorgeous machines for people to ride on? The experience you gain could help you build your own bike in the future.
18 – Bike Paper Route
This is a job that has been around for decades. Back in the day, it was one of the most popular bike jobs for kids aged 10 and up looking for a quick buck. Now, it is still quite common in small neighborhoods.
While the internet has definitely reduced the number of jobs in print media, getting on bike and delivering the newspaper every morning is a job that will leave you nostalgic for the old days. It is definitely a summer job everyone needs to look at.
19 – Outdoor Cycling Coach
This is a position that is open at velodromes or professional standard bike tracks around the country. It involves the coaching of beginners, and indeed people of all skill levels, in the art of riding a bike professionally.
This includes teaching them about mountain biking and even BMX stunt biking. As you can imagine, this is one of the more fun jobs out there for cyclists. In addition to being able to laugh at the ridiculous stunt failures that happen, you will be able to develop your own skills.
20 – Mountain Bike Trail Leader/ Adventure Specialist
This job is available to those people who go mountain biking in their leisure time. It is the perfect way to get paid to do the things that you love, all day. This job has some major requirements.
For example, you need to have some sort of qualification in the field of professional mountain biking. You will be responsible for the safety of a tour group or a group of adventurers on your trail. You need to know proper safety procedures and follow them.
21 – Canal Data Collector, Newark
This is a temporary full time position offered in Newark. You would have to cycle along the length of the canal towpath, and collect as much information as you can about all the boats that populate this path.
You will be given an app, on an iPad, in order to be able to collect the data better. It will help the city of Newark overcome things like boat license fraud and tax evasion as well as people who aren’t following the law when it comes to boating on the waterway.
22 – Cycling Tour Medic
This is a position open at a number of cycle touring companies. This is one of the most important jobs, especially when the tour happens to be one that goes across rough terrain. The medic is an essential part of the team.
You will actually have to have experience in the field of emergency medical services. There are a lot of cuts and scrapes that can occur on a bike tour. If these aren’t treated properly, there could be possible lawsuits on the horizon for the touring company. This is another reason why this job is so important.
23 – Event Mechanic
This is a pretty awesome job indeed. There are a lot of bike races happening during bike season. If you are a fan of going to races, and you have a penchant for working with bikes, then you are going to love this position.
You would be the person responsible for managing the teams of mechanics at road races and mountain biking events all over the country. This job is fun because it allows you to tinker around with bikes while meeting racing and cross country legends.
24 – Research Project Coordinator, Rutgers State University (New Jersey)
This job is for those people who want to help encourage the use of bikes by students in and around the university campus to get around instead of resorting to taxis or driving.
This job involves coordinating with the local council so that safe bike routes and other amenities for cyclists can be designed. Your main objective will be to make cycling in university more attractive by making it far safer for students. Sounds like your kind of deal? Go for it!
25 – Party Bike Tour Guide
This is a listing that is open to everyone who loves cycling and partying in equal measure. It is definitely not for the faint of heart. Party biking is a very innovative way of partying without running the risks of drunk driving.
As a party bike tour guide you will lead the tandem party bike around the city where the party route is in, and you will give tourists fun facts about local pubs, clubs and general watering holes. You will also be responsible for upholding the laws in the state or country you are in.
This is definitely a biking job that everyone who loves drinking, touring and partying should consider, as it is the perfect way to get paid and have an amazing night on a tandem bike with a group of likeminded individuals.
26 – Bicycle juice delivery
This is one of the strangest jobs out there, but hearing about it is bound to get your juices flowing. Bad puns aside, this is definitely a job that is worth considering if only because it is very interesting indeed. You’ve seen bike messengers, but JUICE delivery?
If you have a bicycle and you have some free time on your hands, apply to one of these places. You never know if you will finally have found your niche in the art of bringing juice to thirsty humans the world over.
27 – Rickshaw driver
Have you seen a rickshaw before? It is basically a massive type of cargo bike, with room for seating up to three passengers in the back. There are now opportunities open in places like Boston for jobs driving these!
Considering that you get to travel around some of the more beautiful cities in the USA and other countries, this is definitely a great job for the urban traveler/cycling enthusiast. Getting paid to travel? Count us in!
28 – Bike Share Technician
Bike sharing is an emerging way of providing commuters and enthusiasts of all ages the opportunity to share bikes with each other in order to be able to stay fit and ride green without having to spend too much money.
The technicians in these companies will be involved in maintaining the bikes in the bike sharing program. This includes responding to breakdowns anywhere in the city. Because of this you will have to have a good level of bike tinkering experience. All in all, it is a quirky way to be a bike mechanic on the go!
29 – Cycling Tour Mechanic
This is a job that is perfect for anyone who loves traveling cross country with groups of likeminded individuals. Cycle tours have become intensely popular because of them being an easy, greener way to access places like mountains and coastal areas.
As a cycle tour mechanic, you would have to help out the tour guide in their duties of leading the tour in such a way that everyone has an informative experience, while making sure that everyone has their bikes in perfect running condition.
You will be working on the go in some of the most inaccessible places on the planet, so you have to know everything there is to know about working on bikes. If you do, this is definitely the job for you.
30 – Cycling Travel Writer
If you are ready to combine the art of cycling with the ancient and hallowed art of writing, then you are the right fit for this job! Being a cycle travel writer involves riding all over your city, state or even country in order to find the best experiences.
These will then be published on various travel blogs and you will be compensated. If you are someone who has a love for traveling and different cultural and world experiences, you need to consider this as a job, because it is a combination of all these qualities and more.