Other than a lucky few, becoming employed as a professional cyclist is a dream that will never come to fruition. But, if you're willing to give up your day job for all things bicycles, there may still be hope.Depending on your definition of awesomeness, these seven jobs may be just what you're looking for—just make sure money isn't a top priority.
Bike Messenger1 of 8
Dangerous, yes—but there are only a few jobs that will actually pay you to pedal a bicycle, and this is one of them. So, if you're an adrenaline junky looking for a way to zip through city traffic in order to get away from your cubicle, this job may be for you.
Pay varies, but most courier companies pay either by the hour or by the number of packages delivered. If you're fit and motivated, $20 per hour isn't out of the question.
Bike Mechanic2 of 8
If you really love tinkering with your bike, you'll have plenty of job options as a mechanic. While hanging around a bike shop is definitely at the top of our cool list, the median annual salary nationally for mechanics is lower than $30K. If that doesn't cut it, bike assemblers at bike factories like Specialized or professional mechanics for pro-tour teams might make it worth your while.
Bike Tour Guide3 of 8
Traveling to exotic locations, leading a pack of cyclists up a tough climb and getting paid for it—sounds great, right? Maybe. To snag a job as a tour guide with a company like Trek Travel or Backroads, you'll need to be more than just physically fit and willing to travel.
The ideal candidate will be outgoing and have in-depth knowledge of the history, culture and language of a particular area where you'll guide tours. Performing bike maintenance might be required on the fly during rides, and some companies may even require you to be on call to guests for 24-hour periods to ensure safety and comfort. But that's a small price to pay for the opportunity to ride in Spain, Italy and France for a few weeks, isn't it?
Tour companies typically pay $100 to $150 per day, plus your living expenses during the tour.
Editor4 of 8
These jobs are hard to come by, but if you're one of those post-grad English majors (who also happens to be in love with bicycles) twiddling your thumbs wondering what to do with your life, hit up your favorite publications for job opportunities. You just may find a way to ride and write about all your bike adventures.
You'll likely have to start from the bottom as an editorial assistant or associate editor, if you're lucky. If you're having trouble breaking through, try pitching a few ideas for articles to different cycling websites and magazines. Freelancing can be a great way to build contacts and might even land you a full-time gig as an editor some day.
Start a Website/Blog5 of 8
If you've got something to say that's different from what's already out there, creating a website or blog may be the way to go. While there are plenty of examples of bad blogs that won't earn you a living, the good examples are out there, too—and some make good money. The Radavist is one that comes to mind. If it works, you'll be working for yourself—which is the best of both worlds.
Race Director6 of 8
Putting on your own bike race would definitely be cool, wouldn't it? This job is a tough one, but if you've got a certain set of skills and a good idea for a race, the profits could be substantial. The Honolulu Marathon, for instance, made $6.2 million in revenue in 2011, and the race director pulled in just under $300K. While these numbers are staggering for a one-day event, keep in mind that it is one of the most popular races on the planet, and there is a LOT that goes into this level of organization and planning. Still sounds pretty cool though, doesn't it?
Own a Bicycle Taxi7 of 8
How many times have you said, "I wish I could ride my bike all day!" Owning and operating your own bike taxi will provide this exact opportunity, and you'll make more than you might think. To do the job, you'll need to be in great shape, a good communicator and know your way around a city. That's about it. Startup costs average between $2K and $4K for equipment, permits and liability insurance, but a one-person fare-only cab can yield up to $62K a year—which is more than some pro cyclists pull in.