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Poll: What's your career field and do you have time to cycle(59 posts)

Poll: What's your career field and do you have time to cyclesuperdog
Dec 1, 2003 10:32 PM
... as much as you would like?

I'm asking this question for two reasons. First, when I'm out during the day I see many regular cyclists and I wonder what types of jobs these people have that allow them to ride in the middle of the day.

Second, I'm frustrated because my job interferes with my ability to get out and ride on a regular basis. As a Unix System Administrator, I have to work a lot of overtime, mostly from home, so I can't train on a regular basis anymore. That pretty well put a stop to racing.

As my training time keeps decreasing, I'm wondering if there really is a job that allows you to hold a career and continue to ride and train. Are the two mutually exclusive?
re: Poll: What's your career field and do you have time to cycleBarton
Dec 2, 2003 5:23 AM
Real Estate agent. Work a lot on weekends, so don't ride as much as I would like.
re: Poll: What's your career field and do you have time to cycleMShaw
Dec 2, 2003 9:53 AM
I'm in the Mortgage and Financial Fields, so I know what you mean. People thing because we're self-employed that we have all the time in the world to ride, but it just ain't true!

Yes, my schedule is more flexible than most, BUT I'm tied to a desk during business hours the same as any of y'all.

I have an understanding boss though. He's going to let me go for a 2 hour lunch ride today while I SHOULD be working. I'll have to stay a little late to make up.

Software Developerwitcomb
Dec 2, 2003 5:44 AM
My hours are pretty flexible and deadlines are pretty liberal. So, If I want to work say 10 hours one day I can then work 6 the next and be out on my bike just after noon. Sadly, it is winter and there isn't a chance of that anymore.

During the summer I have a rule, if it is sunny outside I'm out by 3 at the latest, if it is raining I could careless I stick around till 5. I also start early in the morning so leaving around 1 is fine and I can get a great ride in before dinner on open roads.

My company also has many riders, so Wednesday nights we go mountain biking, Thrusday nights we go road riding. It works out very well, when it is summer that is.
Currently an LBS mechanic. <i>Not much riding if you work at a bike store! -nm</i>Tig
Dec 2, 2003 6:52 AM
Hey Tig. Are you up for a ride on Dec13th?Dave Hickey
Dec 2, 2003 6:57 AM
It's travel hockey season so I'll be in your area on Dec13-14. How about our annual fixie/ss ride on Dec13th? I'll talk to T-Doc. Any other Houston area riders are welcome.
I work EVERY dang Saturday. Will be off Sunday though.Tig
Dec 2, 2003 7:05 AM
I have to work at 10 AM on Saturdays, so I usually just do a quick 7 AM to 8:30 AM ride. Sunday morning is open.
Let me check the game scheduleDave Hickey
Dec 2, 2003 7:17 AM
I don't know what times the games are on Sunday. We'll work in some riding time.
Hey Tig. Are you up for a ride on Dec13th?52-16SS
Dec 2, 2003 9:04 AM
Post a message when you figure out a date and time. I may join you if possible.

Great, We'll let you know nmDave Hickey
Dec 2, 2003 10:11 AM
rmutual funds...when the market closes, I'm on the bike!!(nm)ignazio
Dec 2, 2003 6:56 AM
Typical office cube job...biknben
Dec 2, 2003 7:20 AM
I'm a draftsman at a Structural Eng. firm. With under 20 employees, things are pretty flexible. My hours vary but office hours are 9-5. I don't do much overtime and, if needed, I can do it from home.

Thankfully, the office is an old house and still has showers. I've done nearly 4k miles of commuting this year.
Chemical Engineer + wife + kids + bike= full lifeContinental
Dec 2, 2003 7:21 AM
I'd like to ride about 10 hrs per week, but I'd rather see my kids play sports, spend good time with my wife, and I like my job and work hard at it, so I ride or work out about 6 hrs per week. There are times when work gets very intense and consumes all of my time, close to 100 hrs per week for several weeks in a row far away from home. Obviously there's no riding then.
Medical technologist. I'm one of those people.KG 361
Dec 2, 2003 7:37 AM
I work 330 pm to 12 midnight, so my riding is done during the morning/early afternoon hrs. Great in that it allows me to ride regardless of daylight savings time or no, but bad in that I ride almost exclusively by myself.
I'm a lucky SOB...Tom C
Dec 2, 2003 7:58 AM
stay at home dad, financially secure with my my daughter ready to start college next year. No time complaints. No complaints of any kind.
Never enough timeDropped
Dec 2, 2003 8:01 AM
I'm a lawyer and father of two small kids. I also have other time consuming and expensive hobies. So, not nearly enough time to ride. I don't think I'll ever have sufficient time to ride.
Air Force...ride bunches, but alonespookyload
Dec 2, 2003 8:11 AM
I am an instructor loadmaster in Special Operations. I am stationed at Kirtland AFB in New Mexico which is a great training environment. I fly nights so I basically have every day from wake till around 3:00 to ride. My kids are in school then, and the wife is at work, so the day is mine. I land at 2:00 AM, so I usually grab 7 hours of sleep and hit the road by 10:30. After a couple of hours, I am home in time to clean the house a little and get ready for work. In the summer I don't have to leave until 5:00 so everything just gets pushed back. The only problem is when I ride, everyone else is at work, so I always ride alone.
Air Force First Sergeant ... riding is hit & missGemini Jim
Dec 2, 2003 12:12 PM
My duty hours are in constant flex, so I sneak in a few rides when I can. However, most recent rides have been with the kids through the farming & vineyard areas.
Air Force PMEL Lab Chieftorquecal
Dec 2, 2003 4:16 PM
Stationed at Holloman AFB NM. Great riding environment, little bit warmer winter than Kirtland AFB. Schedule usually flexible enough for me to get a ride in around lunchtime three and sometimes four times a week. Weekends usually free for riding whenever.
professional cube jockeyJS Haiku Shop
Dec 2, 2003 8:16 AM
my business card says "network engineer".

daily i'll do anything from software installs to report writing to db maintenance to server admin to web development, or whatever.

I get to the office early, skip lunch, and leave early enough to ride for an hour in daylight during the dark months. also work from home frequently at night and on weekends, and the boss lets me leave early--1:1.

i'm fortunate in that i live very close to home and close to jr.'s daycare, my parking and office are highly secured, the facility is nice, and i have a company-provided gym in the building.

as far as a direct relationship between job type and riding time, i'd guess it's more associated with environment or one's supervisor. mostly.
Isn't it great to live close to home? (nm)53T
Dec 2, 2003 8:45 AM
10 mi RT vs 60 mi RT + $500/yr parking = $3500+/yr savings...JS Haiku Shop
Dec 2, 2003 9:00 AM
plus just think, i'd be a homicidal maniac by now if i was still working downtown and living in the 'burbs. i'd had enough of people eating cereal from a bowl, putting on makeup, and talking on the phone whilst driving 75 mph and steering with their left knee.

when moving to this job, i did the math and came back to around $3500 saved in gas, parking, and auto maintenance, by living so close to home. that, plus i spent about 25 hours per year commuting, not to mention the work-necessary out of town drives between 120 and 350 miles each.

i've been out of town once in 3 years at my current job, and it was on a plane.
So you live close to work as well? (nm)53T
Dec 2, 2003 11:21 AM
my proofreading skills must really suck nmJS Haiku Shop
Dec 2, 2003 12:03 PM
Never enough time, but it's more the combination of infants indjg
Dec 2, 2003 8:26 AM
the house and a busy job than the job itself. And I've known folks who juggled all kinds of things better than I juggle my commitments.

Presently a biotech lawyer in a large law firm--mucho hours. Formerly a college (university) prof--worked a fair bit there too, but I had more flexibility in my schedule and fewer family commitments and I was much more fit than I am now.

Oh yeah, one six year old and a pair of twenty month old twins--wouldn't trade 'em for anything.

The fact is, I do ride regularly, if not nearly as much as I'd like, and I do have SOME free time, even if it doesn't always seem that way. Even at this stage of life, I think that I could make time to work my way back toward racing fitness if I were really super focused about it and desperate to do it. Others have done it.
I ride a desk during the weekday, 9 to 5giro_man
Dec 2, 2003 8:28 AM
and plan on retiring in a year, possibly in two. I expect to be one of those cyclists that you see out during the day time.

Career wise, I work in the government sector and my background is economics.
Nursing informatics, never enough time to ridewspokes
Dec 2, 2003 8:28 AM
I work in nursing informatics with occasional trips to work in ER or oncology on occasion when needed. Overall, there is never enough time to ride. The job interferes. I describe myself as a full time cyclist working full time as a nurse to support my habit. I work 7-3:30 no weekends or holidays so that is good. with the daylight gone early though, I have to really jam home to get a bike ride or XC ski by headlamp in the winter...My girlfriend is a vet assistant...I am still looking for one with big bucks to support me...

Any woman takers? I already have my own home and life...just need you to support me now...
I didn't think so...
Network administratorc722061
Dec 2, 2003 8:51 AM
I was just like you, worked a lot of hours and did not have enought time to ride. It's a trade off. I finally figured out what my priority is and spend more time riding.
VP of investment firmPaulCL
Dec 2, 2003 8:59 AM
Essentially, I run my own business within the framework of my firm. As long as I produce, nobody cares when I'm here or not here. My previous 'boss' and new 'boss' are both cyclists and runners so they understand.

During the nice weather, I ride every Sunday AM from about 6am to noon. Every Wednesday morning from 6am to 8:30 then get to the office by 9:30. I took every single Friday afternoon off from the first of May to the end of October except for two rainy days. This allowed me to get in 150-180 miles per week and gave me my best mileage year ever at 4000 miles+.

Do I want to ride more?? Yes. Can I? Yes. Can I and maintain my income and marriage?? No. Should I ride more? No. I take a few weekends and one weeklong riding trip per year.


P.S. My wife refers to my job as the highest paid parttime job in the world. Once your business is established, she's right. The first 5 years sucked. OK, 2000,01, 02 sucked too!
IT Mgr, mostly ride as much as I liketerry b
Dec 2, 2003 9:01 AM
and like you, I have a lot of long days that extend into after hours work during crises (along side all my UNIX, Win and VMS admins.)

However, kids are grown and gone, and my wife teaches horseback riding (on weekends) so I get to ride as much as I like on Saturday and Sunday. And, because I was smart enough to buy a house close to work, I can be home in 10 minutes which means I can ride 1-2 hours after work in the summer (assuming no on-call issues arise.)

Key elements - supportive SO, no children, close to work. They add up to riding pretty much whenever I want to.
Attorney with wife and kidsvindicator
Dec 2, 2003 9:01 AM
so, no, I don't get to ride as much as I'd like. It's commuting by bike that saves my bacon. Without it, my weekday riding would be severely impacted. Weekend rides are hit when work gets busy and by family schedules, but I can usually find time to get them in.
Professional Traveler...Mike Prince
Dec 2, 2003 9:06 AM
Actually a Project Manager for a supply chain/technology implementation consulting firm. Bottom line, I'm usually on the road from Monday morning till Thursday or Friday nights. Also lots of weekends away from home, especially this year. Also, most of my projects require air travel, which makes taking a bike nearly impossible.

My current project is good in the sense that I get to work at home on Fridays - usually this means a "lunchtime" ride that is up to 3 hours. Also due to a super-understanding spouse I do a group ride most Sundays (3-4 hours) and occasionally can sneak out for a early (dawn) Saturday ride for a couple of hours.

However, with twins who are now 7 (going on 20) flexibility is a key. If I miss a weekend ride, I don't sweat it because the family is much more important.

This year I had a spare bike I kept at my hotel - an old bike in pristine condition that I got for a song on ebay. Did LOTS of riding away from home till some 16 year old moron plowed into me in Mom's car and totaled the bike (fortunately not me) in July. So this year my mileage is probably around 3,500.

If I worked closer to home I would find a way to commute. In 2001 I lived in the UK (same job, minimal travel) and got in nearly 7,000 miles - probably 4k+ were commuting miles.

Anyway, I've learned that the key is to ride smart if you can't ride lots. That means most of my rides have a purpose rather than just getting in miles. By doing this I've been able to ride well with all of those mileage junkies out there (as long as it's under 100 miles :)).

Project Lead (Software) - ~ 100-200 mi/weekoldschool
Dec 2, 2003 9:32 AM
After 6 years (during which our 3 kids entered the fray) of hit-or-miss cycling, I made some hard choices in order to get back into cyling. With a bit of encouragement from friends (including some of your here), I started commuting about a year ago. I switched jobs recently, and haven't been able to figure out how to commute any more, but here's the weekly schedule:
1 or 2 weekdays - road ride from 6am-7:30am with one to 4 other guys - 20-30 miles
Saturday - club road ride (50 miles)
Throw in a night mountain bike ride here or there as well

Law Enforcement yes I have timeSkooter
Dec 2, 2003 9:47 AM
I work graveyard, so I am that guy you see in the late morning riding around. I also have 2 kids and all that jazz. Skoots
Retired Law Enforcement here....DINOSAUR
Dec 2, 2003 7:11 PM
I retired from the Calif Highway Patrol Dec of '98. I took up my old passion shortly afterward.

I can ride just about every single day, the only thing that stops me is the weather or if I have a flu bug (like now).

I never could exercise after working the graveyard shift. I was a runner and ran during the late afternoon/early evening when I worked graves. Cycling was more a summer thing for me.

Be careful and watch your butt....

Associate Professor...PsyDoc
Dec 2, 2003 9:59 AM
...and I get a chance to ride everyday. For example, my only class today is a night class and I put in 50 miles. Next semester, two of my classes are online and the other one is at night, so my mornings are wide open...except for the dozen or so committee meetings I have to attend.
re: Poll: What's your career field and do you have time to cyclescary slow
Dec 2, 2003 10:07 AM
IT Manager and I work right around 40 hrs per week. Pretty unheard of for the IT sector. I manage a group that has split shift. My boss let me adjust my schedule so that I come in with the early group at 7:00 and leave by 4:00. I can still get in an 1-1.5 hour ride after work. If I commute to work I can ride for almost 2 hours after work.
Letter Carrier for the Mail CompanyBloated Dog
Dec 2, 2003 10:12 AM
My Post Office has us mules on a rotating day off schedule. So along with each Sunday you may see me riding one weekday per week.
Gigilo (MW): It has it's benefits! nmpitt83
Dec 2, 2003 10:38 AM
Theaterrollo tommassi
Dec 2, 2003 10:45 AM
When I worked as a technician, running shows in the evening, I would have the daytime free - unless I was working freelance on another gig.

I had some friends a while back who worked graveyard shift for the CTA, and would sleep during the day. He'd train after work - from 3AM to 6AM!! Roads were empty, and the streets are well lit in the city!

But, for the past 12 years or so I've been in the production management end, so basically 9-5, though I'll have stretches during final rehearsals where it's 15hr days.
Personal Trainer/Fitness Inst., part time hours + kidstheBreeze
Dec 2, 2003 10:50 AM
I can more or less set my own hours, but I have constraints because of kids. After 3 PM i generally can't ride, but then I'm a morning exerciser anyway. I try to have at least two weekdays free for longer rides. Other days I can sometmes squeeze in a hour or two for a quick spin. The agreement with my husband is I ride one day on the weekend, ususally a Sunday group ride. Sat is for family stuff, occasionally that includes a short ride on the mtn bikes.

Cold weather and dark hours make riding time less flexible in winter, but then I cross train and teach indoor cycling.
Self employed as a...msmootsiemartin
Dec 2, 2003 10:57 AM
photographer and have been for 17 years. Some weeks I have no extra time and others allow me to ride often. My favorite days are the ones which I ride to the lab and take care of all of my errands (business and personal). I even deliver film to clients via the bike...they don't mind me bringing my bike into their office. Yeah, I am one of those you see out during the day. I love it (although my husband is a bit jealous!).

Real Estate AppraiserRushfan
Dec 2, 2003 11:18 AM
I have a lot of flexibility with my schedule and usually work nights and weekends to make up for riding during the day. Also, since I drive a lot to appointments (I cover four counties and typically drive 500+ miles a week), I can sometimes bring my bike with me and either ride from the office or my parent's.

During crunch time (appraising is very cyclical, right now is a down time), work gets in the way of my riding.
Semiconductor Radiation Eng....HAL9010
Dec 2, 2003 11:45 AM
Never enough time. I am in a consultant phase these days. Radiation effects in semiconductors is a bit of an odd field and sell. But it is what keeps those satellites that get you all those TV stations and cell phones working.
Unemployed 4 yrs and yet I can't find time to ride...The Walrus
Dec 2, 2003 12:06 PM
...formerly a Senior Programmer/Analyst. I notice that what should be insanely aboundant free time is gobbled up by job searching, interviewing (when I get lucky), car repairs, house repairs and day-to-day domestic stuff. I'm lucky if I can squeeze in a single ride during the week; most of the time, I'm restricted to weekends like most "normal" people.

But, dammit, today I'm gonna
i make
time for a ride--it's about 70 F, winds are calm and the sky is clear, and this'd be a primo day to do an easy out-and-back from Ventura to Ojai. I'm glad you brought up this topic...
I run a factorybimini
Dec 2, 2003 12:06 PM
I'm fortunate that we start the day early (6 AM) and end the day early at 3:30, which gives me the time to rush home and put 20-25 miles on the bike before my wife gets off work. Being the boss means I don't have to hang around the office trying to impress him. I only see my boss 4 times a year :-) as long as our numbers are good. I've got a routine going and when the weather cooperates I never miss a day. On the weekends I get up early and put in 40-80 miles well before noon.

I look forward to the bike ride and it removes all the cr@p from my head that builds up during day. I would be probably be a basket case without it. When I get really wound up at work I just pedal harder when I get home. Puts me back in a good mood for the rest of the evening.

Finding the time to race is tougher, so I go to the races that fit in with my schedule and don't plan too far ahead.
Dec 2, 2003 12:53 PM
I am an Army officer currently stationed in Germany, previously in Oklahoma and North Carolina. Aside from things like training exercises, six months in afghanistan, etc the main competitors I have for my time are my wife and son. There is no competition and that is why I have been such an avid commuter. It allows me to cycle when I otherwise would not have time, esp when it is dark when I go to work and dark when i return. I usually get in a ride or two on the weekends as well if I am not travelling. My job encourages physical fitness like few others but being a unit commander does not leave me much free time. I caveat this with I spent my last duty in Oklahoma riding everyday for one and half hours either road or mountain.
Dec 2, 2003 2:03 PM
I am a grad student in biochemistry (more Biophysics now NMR >140KDa RNA/protein) so I am flexable. I still put in at least 60hours a week but I come and go depending on the weather.
re: Poll: What's your career field and do you have time to cycleboneman
Dec 2, 2003 2:45 PM
Risk management based in London overseeing Pan-European transactions and strategies for an American based financial giant. Work hours suck and clock in around 55+ hours excluding weekends which are always touch and go. For the past two years I also had four hours of commuting each day added on. Still managed to get in 5,000 miles/year. Mostly by riding from either 6:00-7:30 or 20:30-22:00, rain or shine, during the week and trying to get in 100 miles total during the weekend.

Throw in 4 weeks of travel on business, another 20 days holiday and it all gets rather desparate. That being said, it does keep one sane and relatively fit. Your co workers think you're nuts, your clients think you don't like them anymore and your wife either is incredibly understanding or it's not going to last. Oh, and the time goes by in a flash.

Not having children is a huge advantage and one that I don't underestimate. The other wearing things are if you get stressed by your financial situation, job security or the people/organisation for whom you work. Generally if you've got the first, you don't care about the other two.

I've met a lot of people who ride at odd hours, only because I'm out there with them, and they manage to get the miles in and also train efficiently.

I regularly see guys from the Sigma Sport cycle shop commuting through Richmond Park at night. They're a pretty competitive group in the equivalent of Cat 1 in the States and all of them have full time jobs. Matt Stephens was working at Marks & Spencers, a Macy's type store in the UK, full time while riding the Pru Tour in 1999 and placing in the top 10 against guys from USPS and Rabo so it can be done.

If you have children and a job with time/stress demands, it's going to be tough. If you don't have the former, you just might be able to find the time.

Good luck.
RN in a med/surg ICU 7PM-7AM....scrublover
Dec 2, 2003 4:58 PM
3 nights a week. Gives me four days a week to ride/play in snow/whatever. Commute is a 4 mile ride each way on work days. I can get a ride in the first day back to work, and one the first day off after my stretch on- so long as I get a nap in first. 2/3 mtb, the rest road. Though that ratio changes in winter when my trail choices become more limited due to snow.

No kids, and a girlfriend who is a non-rider, but a fanatical runner. She understands.....

This was last Friday afternoon. The girliefriend ran the trail, and the guy taking this shot was the shopdealer I had just bought that new fork from. Nice!
Anybody working in audit?neng
Dec 2, 2003 5:47 PM
Is there anybody working or has worked in the audit field? That will be my occupation in 8 or so months as a grunt, so I'm looking for some input.

I can imagine busy season is going to be dismal and I am going to gain 10 pounds or so during that time working 12+ hour days and possibly working weekends too. What about the summers when things aren't so busy? Will there be time to get on the bike?

Is it worth bringing the bike along on audit engagements? Or would I be too busy to really bother?

Just curious about the possible misery that awaits me.
Anybody working in audit?Sharkman
Dec 2, 2003 7:28 PM
CPA here for 28 years. Mostly in the tax and consulting fields, but I see what goes on with our audit bretheren. From mid-January until April 15, they are expected to work and bill 55 hours a week. Some do more. That's on top of travel time, commuting time, lunch time, etc. So your work committment during the busy season is really likely to be in the 70 hour a week range.

If you are single, you can probably still find time to ride. But taking your bike in the field might be viewed as bad form by your mates. Maybe not, it varies a lot culturally by firm.

Some CPA firms are even more demanding that the above. Our firm (Moss Adams) subscribes to a more balanced life style approach, although they still have to deal with the realities of being a CPA firm.

The rest of the year, its pretty good. Lots of flexiblity in terms of when you get your production in, allowing you to accomodate races, training rides, etc. This works well for us in the Pacific NW, becuase the weather is terrible from November to February anyway, so during that time frame I only ride outdoors on the weekends anyway.

Hope this helps

Anybody working in audit?neng
Dec 2, 2003 9:53 PM
SM, thanks for the response.

I'm curious as to how the coworkers might react to lugging a bike along. They'll probably think I'm weird. Then again some of my buddies here at college think I'm strange dressing up in spandex and wearing a helmet.

I'm going to take your advice and try staying single as long as possible. Another ten years and many miles later, I might start to think about that marriage thing.
I rode constantly in collegeSpecialTater
Dec 3, 2003 9:15 AM
then begain a career in audit, got married and the cycling went to zip for 10 years. You CAN do it, but it really depends on your busy season(s). If it was like mine, you will get to ride unexpectedly and expected rides will get cancelled. Enjoy it though. It's a great entree into some really good opportunities.
Geophysical ConsultantGeoCyclist
Dec 2, 2003 6:17 PM
I work five to six months a year, and then vacation the rest of the year. Unfortunately, when I'm working I can't cycle; as I work mostly on survey ships. So, I never get in great cycling shape. When I'm on vacation at home I cycle every day if the weather is good.
I thought there was no job available in that field :-)PeterRider
Dec 2, 2003 6:37 PM
I worked for Nasa with geophysicists 2 years ago, and thought that there were jobs almost only with NASA and USGS. And if you're lucky, in the oil industry, which pays a lot.... is it the latter that you're doing ?

Not that many jobs, but!GeoCyclist
Dec 3, 2003 1:14 AM
Yes, I have been working in the oil field service industry since 1981. I've never had a problem getting work, as a matter of fact, I usually get more work than I want. But it's really an industry where you need good contacts to make a living. Also the work is very cyclic; the oil field is always boom and bust, with exploration being the first to get cut and the last to get started. Geophysics wouldn't be my career choice in the current economy if I was just getting started.
Never enough time to ridetmotz
Dec 2, 2003 8:54 PM
Process Tech. for auto parts manufacturing company.College working on a engineering and manufacturing tech degree.Wife (A.K.A. the Boss) and 4 little ones. Now have this bright idea about starting a business.I can't remember the past time I had a vacation,sometime in the early 90's.
Accountant on flex time=all the training time I can handle :-pSpunout
Dec 3, 2003 4:32 AM