How does one become a bike mechanic? And is it a reasonable goal for a 50+ corporate dropout?
Here's the deal. My career field has been decimated by the economic storms of late, especially here in Michigan. Being in my early 50s and not having the wolf at the door I've pretty much written off work in the field, or anything like it. I am casting about for, basically, a job that doesn't suck too bad and will just get me out of the house and supplement our income (my wife is a retired teacher with a decent pension and some investment income). Relocating is not an option, alas.
My "qualifications" for becoming a bike mechanic are a pretty good mechanical aptitude, good learning ability (last year I taught myself enough electronics to build some very good amps and speakers nearly from scratch) and previous experience in sign and display fabrication in various materials. I have done most of the maintenance on all bikes I've owned. And of course, being a cyclist myself. So, although it's a long shot, if I could work even part time at a LBS it might be a nice way to spend the last 10 years or so of working life.
My last job was part time at a chain hardware store. That was enough to sour me on retail. And they're out of business now.
This is only one possibilty of many, mind.
Of course, being unemployed has given me lots of time to ride! But if I want more bike stuff I'd have to steal it. And I am not temperamentally or experientially suited to a life of crime.
BTW, I only know of Sydney by what has been said here, having joined BFN fairly recently. If he were still with us I suspect I'd get an earfull!