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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 05-19-06, 07:40 AM   #1
astrx
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other fixie professions

so i loved fixed gear bikes. i've had 2 conversions and 2 track bikes and havent ridden something with gears in about 4 years or so. i was a messenger in philly in the late 90s, i was a messer last winter in DC, id love to work with bikes, but i know thats not for me.

so what other professions are there? im a school teacher right now, which means i have the summer off, im considering switching careers to something bike related, but i dont know what. I was thinking maybe go to UBI or the yamaguchi framebuilding school and build up a small frame building business, maybe by a sewing machine and work on some bike specific, non-spandork clothing. i dont know. what is out there?

how many of you guys have bike related jobs or even side jobs to pick up some extra bucks?
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Old 05-19-06, 07:50 AM   #2
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dunno much about bike jobs, but if you start building frames, and they're reasonably priced, i'll buy one. you still in dc?
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Old 05-19-06, 08:08 AM   #3
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If you start a frame-building business, you'd better be set on making less than a school teacher and have a dedicated niche and a strong business plan. If you feel you can survive in the tight framebuilding market as more than just a "bro-deal" business, you've got more dedication than most of us.
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Old 05-19-06, 08:15 AM   #4
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You could work in a shop as a mechanic if you have the skill. Sort of bike related and not as risky as starting up a framebuilding business.
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Old 05-19-06, 08:32 AM   #5
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yeah im relly interested in going out on my own and starting something of my own. i cant work in a shop, i cant work for anyone anymore and i need my own hours. since the age of 15 ive had 22 different jobs, and ive hated almost everyone of them. i love bikes, but hated being a messer, at least 50 percent of the time.

i make 40k as a teacher, if i made half that i would be happy. i mean i would gladly take a huge paycut working for myself making my own hours, not being a slave to this bell.

framebuilding just seemed like something i could do, that was related to bikes, and something that would be a sort of artisan thing which im into. but again, i dont know what else is out there. i gotta degree from MIT so im not completely stupid, i feel like i could pick up skills, i just dont know what is out there.
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Old 05-19-06, 08:45 AM   #6
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You can always do Bike advocacy and outreach.... being that your a teacher it would be an easy transition.... I went from art teacher to doing safety out reach to kids and now I do Community Organizing around Bicycling and health issues here in Chicago.... jobs are few and far between but i'd check with your local bike org. and see what they're doing. the plus of the job is I get to ride my bike every where.
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Old 05-19-06, 09:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astrx
yeah im relly interested in going out on my own and starting something of my own. i cant work in a shop, i cant work for anyone anymore and i need my own hours. since the age of 15 ive had 22 different jobs, and ive hated almost everyone of them. i love bikes, but hated being a messer, at least 50 percent of the time.

i make 40k as a teacher, if i made half that i would be happy. i mean i would gladly take a huge paycut working for myself making my own hours, not being a slave to this bell.

framebuilding just seemed like something i could do, that was related to bikes, and something that would be a sort of artisan thing which im into. but again, i dont know what else is out there. i gotta degree from MIT so im not completely stupid, i feel like i could pick up skills, i just dont know what is out there.
Dude you make 40K a year and have summers off. Let me know where to apply when you quit

A lot of teachers do side jobs in the summer I know you work your ass of during the year but you can also work on weekends. I work a regular 40 hour job and build guitars on the side. After trying to do the guitar thing for real I got sick of depending on my GF and eating beans and rice. But I still do it on the side and its a nice 10K or so extra a year. Seems to me like you could do something like that at least at first.
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Old 05-19-06, 10:49 AM   #8
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Astrx: It sounds like you are telling MY life story. I taught for 4 years, and didn't like it as well.
The kids aren't doing their homework: your fault.
The kids aren't behaving: your fault.
Test scores: your fault.
They can't read: your fault.
More and more work every year. Not worth it.

I wait tables now, work 30 hours a week, and take home as much as I did teaching, no health insurance, but my wife takes care of that for me through her job. Just find something you like.
waiting tables has the same frenetic/ ADD aspect as teaching, but...
If you don't like your customers, you don't have to see them tomorrow.
If they feel they get bad service, you don't have to talk with their parents for an hour
The president isn't passing "No Drink left Behind" acts
And........no paperwork.

I feel your pain on the teacher think. My advice is get a dumb job that affords you lots of free time, then figure it out.
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Old 05-19-06, 12:06 PM   #9
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unless you can produce frames for less$ than china can, you wont make it! everyone wants everthing for free.
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Old 05-19-06, 12:12 PM   #10
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unless you can produce frames for less$ than china can, you wont make it! everyone wants everthing for free.
this is a joke right?
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Old 05-19-06, 12:27 PM   #11
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to be honest i dont remember hearing of any custom frameshops from china...
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Old 05-19-06, 12:47 PM   #12
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custom:

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Old 05-19-06, 12:49 PM   #13
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seriously though, it seems to me like something that you could do during the summers, and if you're lucky you might get to quit your day job some day. i suck with metal, but i've dreamt about something similar involving acoustic guitars (or beer, maybe)
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Old 05-19-06, 12:49 PM   #14
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to be honest i dont remember hearing of any custom frameshops from china...
now you have
http://www.xacd.com.cn/
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Old 05-19-06, 01:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abeyance
Astrx: It sounds like you are telling MY life story. I taught for 4 years, and didn't like it as well.
The kids aren't doing their homework: your fault.
The kids aren't behaving: your fault.
Test scores: your fault.
They can't read: your fault.
More and more work every year. Not worth it.

I wait tables now, work 30 hours a week, and take home as much as I did teaching, no health insurance, but my wife takes care of that for me through her job. Just find something you like.
waiting tables has the same frenetic/ ADD aspect as teaching, but...
If you don't like your customers, you don't have to see them tomorrow.
If they feel they get bad service, you don't have to talk with their parents for an hour
The president isn't passing "No Drink left Behind" acts
And........no paperwork.

I feel your pain on the teacher think. My advice is get a dumb job that affords you lots of free time, then figure it out.
wow, i think there should be a club for ppl who quit being teachers. like i said, i have had over a dozen jobs and none had the same level of BS as this one. 30 a week? plus you make more? thats crazy. says something about how the public/government views the value of education.

so far the options are:
go to UBi or yamaguchi and start building frames while working as a messer or something for extra income
start a little espresso cart in a hospital or something-worked for one that brought in serious cash
something bike advocacy related, but i dont know much about this besides critmass,silent ride, etc
was thinking of starting a messenger company where i only did rush deliveries. wouldnt have standard clients, just when someone wanted something in 15 minutes, they'd call me. a different business model than most companies.
i think there arent any really nice bike containers, like for ss coupling bikes etc, maybe do something with that.

who knows. anyway, too much talking not enough riding
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Old 05-19-06, 04:44 PM   #16
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my wife is a nyc teacher, every time she passes her last certification test they come out with another one, and then another to prevent teachers from getting there pensions! and it is a **** job that pays **** pay.....
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Old 05-19-06, 04:50 PM   #17
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custom:

that guy's totally gonna throw his chain.
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Old 05-19-06, 04:58 PM   #18
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Notice the lack of brakes? Hardcore.

To the OP: why take something you love, and suffer needlessly under someone thumb for it until you become bitter just thinking of bikes?
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Old 05-19-06, 05:04 PM   #19
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be a bicycle cop.
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Old 05-19-06, 05:13 PM   #20
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whata fat donut-eating pig that one is.
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Old 05-19-06, 05:19 PM   #21
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be a bicycle cop.
i love racing bike cops.
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Old 05-19-06, 05:28 PM   #22
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Eh, I say go with the bike job. Do what makes ya happy.

Heck, I'm only making abou 16,000 a year and I'm the happiest I've ever been because I love my job. Mental health > Financial.

As to what kind of bike job.. eh.. I dunno. Frame building is one of those sort of professions like software development. You spend years trying to break into the industry while you work part time at one job and spend every waking out on framebuilding to make a name for yourself. Takes a lot of dedication. But if thats cool with you, I say go for it.
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Old 05-19-06, 05:38 PM   #23
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honestly me and everyone at the bike shop are talking about this right now, you're making 40k a year, if you take a frame building class you could do frames on the side. its probably the best thing to go for. custom frames are expensive but you'd be starting with no name for yourself at first, after a while you might be able to pull 20k a year for yourself but just to insure yourself it might be best then again i'm kinda drunk so dont listen to me, just me and my coworkers opinion. go to ubi or the yamaguchi class and give it a run.
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Old 05-19-06, 06:25 PM   #24
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import fixed stuff from china / taiwan / etc. resell on ebay. work at home. get all kinds of cool gear for cheap. profit.
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Old 05-19-06, 06:32 PM   #25
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I'm also a teacher. 12 years. I love it, but I plan on retiring as soon as hit the minimum age (55) and starting another career. I've seriously considered either buying or opening a shop or taking up framebuilding. Or even starting my own bike company. I figure with 10 years to learn the trade, I might have a good chance.
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