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Old 09-21-12, 07:36 AM   #1
staehpj1 
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Retirement

I am coming up on retirement in the relatively near future. The remaining time in my current career is counted in months at this time.

Those of you who have retired, other than actually touring have you done other touring related stuff? I'd be interested in other's experience with things like:
  • Part time retail jobs at REI or other outdoor activity centered retailer
  • Volunteer work with an outdoor or environmental theme
  • Trip leading for a company or other organization
  • Trip leading for trips where you recruit your own customers possibly including pre-trip classes or other planning assistance
  • Small scale gear business either reselling commercial products or your own custom ones
  • Other? Feel free to list and discuss whatever you think is appropriate to the topic

BTW, For the services proposed, feel free to comment on what you think folks might value in that regard.
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Old 09-21-12, 08:27 AM   #2
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My retirement date is a couple of years away, but I'm also planning for my life post work. So I've volunteered a couple of times with a local charity that fixes up old bikes and ships them to S. America and Africa. I'll do more of that and also do the Northern Tier and other longer rides.......I also plan to do some non-bike related work at local theatres.
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Old 09-21-12, 08:37 AM   #3
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I retired in January this year as it turns out I am really good at it but to answer your question. I help out at my LBS doing repair and building bikes when they get behind. I took the ACA leadership training course this year and was recommended by my advisor to lead tours so hopefully I will get the opportunity in 2013. I am also working out the final details of starting my own small scale touring company. Last but not least I am working with a friend of mine running his timing company equipment. S2 Timing is the company and we provide race management and timing services for running and walking events. So that's what retirement looks like for me, I am having the time of my life, it's so much better than corporate life.
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Old 09-21-12, 01:22 PM   #4
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I'm a day a week at the LBS.. busy summer is done, now..
they picked up several part-timers for tourist season.
ill still do Saturdays with the Mgr, thru winter..

fortunately there is a medical shuttle to the VA
hospitals . to keep what sight I have left after Glaucoma kicked-in.
65 next month.. VA meds wont get shipped anywhere but registered Home address
so Im travel done.

Play Music at a Tavern Jam , weekly..

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-21-12 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 09-21-12, 01:48 PM   #5
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Not so much touring related, but:

I'm on a volunteer trail building crew that's mostly run by and for mountain bikers.

I helped build the recently completed Arizona Trail, 800 miles from Mexico to Utah, which is also built as a bike trail. I helped give a seminar about it at an REI store.

I'm working on a community bike rack program.

I'm lots more active in the long distance hiking community, but there's quite a bit of crossover between the hiking and bike touring worlds.

Some people are better at retirement than others. Some, like me, can't figure out how we got anything done when we used to work. Work really puts a dent in your day.
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Old 09-21-12, 01:59 PM   #6
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I retired early 18 months ago. I've done a couple of epic tours and spent a lot of time on the bike. I've also started volunteering at, and acting as a trustee of, this local charity that reclaims unwanted or abandoned bikes and either cannibalizes them for parts or refurbishes them for sale or donation. It's a rewarding way to spend one's time.

Don't underestimate the challenges of retirement, though. I'm not short of interests, or of internal resources, but moving from an environment in which one's days are structured according to externally-imposed demands, to one in which one can basically do as one likes, is interesting. I'm also taking a course in undergraduate Mathematics and learning Spanish. I find I need the challenge if I am to avoid subsiding into old fartism.
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Old 09-21-12, 05:23 PM   #7
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I just retired last week at age 57. Decided life is too short to work in IT any longer and I wanted to get out before my health turns bad. The past couple of years have been really rough on me with aging parents and loss, and constant travel and technology change on the job. Ugh.. my priority right now is to slow down, get back in shape and drop 10-15 pounds this winter... then think about what comes next. I'm tentatively planning to spend a few weeks in Arizona mountain biking and a month in Costa Rica helping out a friend who has a restoration project going on her finca (farm) in the cloud forest. Other than that no plans, in fact I kind of want to get away from schedules, deadlines and (especially) technology for awhile.

Eventually I will probably migrate into some sort of project management oppportunity, either real estate or renewables, both of which interest me and which I have dabbled in previously. When I travel around I'm always looking for ideas and opportunities to invest or participate directly in interesting projects. For example, there are many opportunities for small-scale sustainable development in Central America. But first things first - I figure we have a couple weeks of decent weather left before it gets wet and cold here in the Pacific Northwest so I'm headed south for a 10 day tour, leaving tomorrow. Hopefully that will clear out some of the remaining stress....

PS. That Arizona Trail looks really interesting, Andrew. Great project - I bookmarked it. Need to sample that one for sure...

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Old 09-21-12, 05:29 PM   #8
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These posts confirm a theory I have about our generation and retirement. I firmly believe we will enjoy far more success in our retirement years than we ever did while working. But my definition of success does not necessarily mean there's a lot of money involved it's more personal satisfaction.
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Old 09-21-12, 05:44 PM   #9
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Absolutely. I have achieved far more satisfaction from the things I've done when not "traditionally employed"... and hope to do more of the same whether it pays off financially or not. But of course our needs change as we get older and transition through the different phases of life.
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Old 09-21-12, 05:51 PM   #10
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I retired 13 years ago. I make bike frames, but I don't sell them due to liability reasons, and the fact I spend the summer sailing. I'd like to do something that put my many skills to some use, but it would interfere too much with my lifestyle, like owning a cat.
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Old 09-21-12, 10:14 PM   #11
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Pete,
start a bike touring company and I'm all in!
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Old 09-22-12, 06:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post

  • Part time retail jobs at REI or other outdoor activity centered retailer
  • Volunteer work with an outdoor or environmental theme
  • Trip leading for a company or other organization
  • Trip leading for trips where you recruit your own customers possibly including pre-trip classes or other planning assistance
  • Small scale gear business either reselling commercial products or your own custom ones
  • Other? Feel free to list and discuss whatever you think is appropriate to the topic
Have done none of these things, been retired for 2.5 years. Some people get bored eaiser than others, I rarely get bored. But I have traveled a lot that I did not have time to do before. Am averaging being on a variety of trips about 8 weeks a year.

I thought that I would probably get a part time job at REI to avoid boredom, but found that I just do not need to do that to fill my time. On one of the bike tours I did in Europe, there was a former attorney that now has a part time job selling camping gear at REI. They rate highly as an employee friendly employer and they have an absurdly great discount on their travel for employees.

I know retirees or have retired friends that: volunteer for a charity that fixes bikes for the poor; have their own bike touring company; work as a guide for a bike touring organization; etc. Every option you list has been done.

I used to work for a state department of natural resources, thus I worked with a lot of outdoor oriented people. Several years ago some of the people that retired from there started up a group of retirees that go biking every Thursday on the local bike trails in summer and they bowl on Thursdays in winter. While this does not have the social benefit of volunteering, it does help keep some of these retirees active. Typical bike ride is 20 to 30 miles with lunch at a nice place in the middle. They have about 8 or 10 standard routes to things different each week. (I often ride to the starting point, thus I usually get about a 40 mile ride.) This year a subgroup of that group has added Tuesdays to the bike rides. A typical Thursday ride gets 12 to 15 riders, Tuesdays are usually 4 to 8. (I bike usually once a week with them but I do not bowl in winter.) You could start up a biking group of retirees that do the bike thing to keep active and use that to enjoy a social event each week.
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Old 09-22-12, 08:27 AM   #13
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Pete,
start a bike touring company and I'm all in!
I am considering it. Not sure if I will get serious enough to follow through or not.
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Old 09-22-12, 08:28 AM   #14
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Thanks to all for responding. It helps to have an idea what others have done.
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Old 09-22-12, 12:02 PM   #15
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I retired early 18 months ago. I've done a couple of epic tours and spent a lot of time on the bike. I've also started volunteering at, and acting as a trustee of, this local charity that reclaims unwanted or abandoned bikes and either cannibalizes them for parts or refurbishes them for sale or donation. It's a rewarding way to spend one's time.

Don't underestimate the challenges of retirement, though. I'm not short of interests, or of internal resources, but moving from an environment in which one's days are structured according to externally-imposed demands, to one in which one can basically do as one likes, is interesting. I'm also taking a course in undergraduate Mathematics and learning Spanish. I find I need the challenge if I am to avoid subsiding into old fartism.
I'll be retiring to either North Yorks or Durham in a few years so I'll have to pick your brain.
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Old 09-22-12, 01:08 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
I'm a day a week at the LBS.. busy summer is done, now..
they picked up several part-timers for tourist season.
ill still do Saturdays with the Mgr, thru winter..

fortunately there is a medical shuttle to the VA
hospitals . to keep what sight I have left after Glaucoma kicked-in.
65 next month.. VA meds wont get shipped anywhere but registered Home address
so Im travel done.

Play Music at a Tavern Jam , weekly..
Thanks for posting this, fietsbob. It helps put into context your posting style, I hope you don't mind me saying that.

Also, I suppose it highlights the fact that if we are keen cycle tourists, we should take whatever opportunities to do it, because we just can't be sure we can keep doing it the older we get.

Great also to see that the universal language, music, remains a big part of your life, too.

Is the glaucoma inoperable? I don't know much about it.
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Old 09-22-12, 01:38 PM   #17
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Have done none of these things, been retired for 2.5 years. Some people get bored eaiser than others, I rarely get bored. But I have traveled a lot that I did not have time to do before. Am averaging being on a variety of trips about 8 weeks a year.
Sounds familiar. I retired 4.5 years ago at 54. It did take a little adjusting initially but I took to it like a duck to water, which I knew I would. I worked hard for 15 years to make it happen (gave it no thought prior to that).

Like you, I rarely get bored. Sometimes I ponder part-time work or some such thing, but I can't get past the rigidity of most jobs. I don't want to be tied down. I want to be able to travel anywhere I want on a moment's notice, so that pretty much rules out any kind of traditional work (volunteer or otherwise) where they are going to count on my presence on a regular basis. I do dabble with eBay a little, and find that enjoyable and very flexible. I may do more in that area.

After retiring I bought 5 forested acres in Oregon with a run-down home and not much else on it, and finally escaped California. We've been slowly improving the place (new shop, renovations to the home, patios, decks, etc.). Every winter I take off with my girlfriend for warmer locales for anywhere from 3 to 6 months. We spent last winter in Phoenix, and will be in the SF Bay area this winter. During winter I switch from home renovations to mind renovations - learning piano, and Spanish - and keep riding the bike. I've done seven bike tours of varying lengths since retiring.

OP - one possible idea. My buddy is big into backpacking. Last year he attended a seminar given by a backpacking "expert" with regard to tips and techniques in lightening one's load. Possibly you could transform your experience in ultralight touring into something along that line. Tips, tricks and strategies with regard to ultralight bike tours.
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Old 09-22-12, 02:04 PM   #18
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OP - one possible idea. My buddy is big into backpacking. Last year he attended a seminar given by a backpacking "expert" with regard to tips and techniques in lightening one's load. Possibly you could transform your experience in ultralight touring into something along that line. Tips, tricks and strategies with regard to ultralight bike tours.
I have thought about that. I wonder if there is actually enough demand. The format could be expanded to general touring with portions on various styles including lighter ones.

I figure that I can stay plenty busy enough to not be bored and think I can get by financially without working. That said working a bit might be fun if it is the right job and doesn't prevent me doing a couple multi-month trips a year. I have no desire to be away more that 3 months or so at a time, so a job that allows me to be away in chunks might work out. Also If I work a bit I can put off on collecting Social Security and by taking it later get a higher benefit.
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Old 09-22-12, 07:58 PM   #19
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I got into bike touring after I retired in 2000 at 48. My fitness level was good before I started biking, but got much better after I began taking bike touring seriously. In 2004, I moved up to San Francisco, bought a quality S&S copled touring bike and hit the road, taking, at least, one 1000 mile bike tour a year.

I also became a volunteer docent at Alcatraz Island, where I went weekly for quite a while and now go every two weeks. It is like volunteering at Disneyland and gives me great stories to tell to people hosting me on the road!

Since I really like computer programming, I decided to spend my time creating a bike touring site. I've been developing it ever since. When no one added any content, I decided to add it myself and now spend time most every day checking around the Internet for links to add. It is a kind of volunteer job.

I don't really need to work, as long as I keep my expenses down, and have always worked for myself so the idea of working at a part-time job holds no attraction. I doubt I could hold down a job, anyway, as I couldn't do so when I was younger.

When I worked, I ran my own business so I am accustomed to working/being at home and have a pretty low threshold for entertainment, so while boredom happens occasionally, it doesn't happen all that often.

As for running your own touring company, I have thought about it but it seems too much like business and very little bike touring. Also, leading biking tours doesn't seem like something I'd want to do as it it likely as much about managing customer psycholoygy as it is touring logistics.
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Old 09-23-12, 12:17 AM   #20
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As an aged climber, I found this guy's posts pretty inspiring. Of course it is a bit like what did Lance Armstrong do during his 50s, climbing version, but still.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-fo...-by-Mark-Hudon

http://www.supertopo.com/tr/The-Shie...n/t10920n.html

http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Max-Jone...1/t11300n.html

http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Grape-Ra...t/t10720n.html

And holy terror...

http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Iron-Hawk-Solo/t11586n.html

If nothing else I love the way he writes up a trip report with great pics and occasional video.

Oh an another thing. A load for these guys, even solo is 250 pounds or more. I think they could cut back the gear a little, was the 24 of beer really necesarry, but between water and gear, there are limits to how light they can go when hanging out. They can go very light if they are willing to do a day trip up the whole thing.

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Old 09-23-12, 08:30 PM   #21
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I retired about two years ago at 55. I volunteer, ride, climb, hike and kayak as much as my health and required home repairs allow. If anyone is looking for some way to give back, consider volunteering for the Wounded Warrior Project. You will have more fun than the soldiers and veterns you would be helping. Google it for "how"
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