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The Hell Known As Work!!!(31 posts)

The Hell Known As Work!!!BigLeadOutGuy
Nov 28, 2001 3:55 PM
What does everyone do for work? It seems that most cyclists have nice cushy suit and tie jobs. I on the other hand am just scraping by working construction till I can finally put my many years of education into use. I need a nice job so I can afford to buy all my bikes dammit!!!
Are there any poor miserable grunts out there like me? =)
Stay stoked!! =)
re: The Hell Known As Work!!!DINOSAUR
Nov 28, 2001 4:39 PM
Retirement is about as good as life gets....everyday is like the movie "Groundhog Day". Especially during the summer months when basically all I do is ride, clean my bike and lay around. I was a grunt, now I'm in grunt heaven...(snort, snort)
re: The Hell Known As Work!!!I AM
Nov 28, 2001 11:38 PM
I work for the General (Motors) I still don't quite know what
I was thinking the day I put in that application. I tell the kid's that I'm going to hell when I leave for work it gets a
laugh. The money's good but the work is sure hard on the body,
I've got way too many aches and pains for my age especially in
my joints.
Oh well no use complaining I just keep thinking 12 more years
and I'll have the same problems as Dinosaur.
Cool, me too!4bykn
Nov 29, 2001 11:24 AM
Not GM, I work for Mitsubishi building cars. The work ain't glamorous, but the pay and benefits are damned good. I never got the education to work at a desk, but I make enough to put me solidly in middle class, and able to afford a decent bike, support a family, etc.

Just curious, what do you do at GM? I work in the body shop at Mitsu, welding odd looking bits of steel together that then combine to make a car. I spent my first 5 1/2 years on the assembly line installing heaters, brutal work. Body shop is dirtier, hotter, noisier, but much easier on human body.
Cool, me too!I AM
Nov 29, 2001 11:43 AM
I work in the bodyshop as well and have for 18 years, must love
the heat,smell and noise. When I first started we used to swing
around on huge spotwelders all day, brutal work but a slower pace. Now I load parts into a jig and robots do all the welding
it's a lot lighter but the speed you have to work at is 3 times
as fast and there is only about 1/4 the people there used to be in the bodyshop.
They are constantly adding work and eliminating jobs and it seems everytime I get a half decent job they either add work or eliminate it. You need 25 years to get your a$$ an a lift truck
and I figure by the time I have that it will take 30.
I just keep thinking only 12 to go!
Blue Collar v. White Collar v. Retired Old Farts.Sintesi
Nov 29, 2001 7:01 AM
Cycling does seem to be a bastion for Engineers, Lawyers, Docs and financial analysts doesn't it? What gives? Is it just the fact that they can afford all the toys? Or is there a road cycling psyche? Road cycling does have true elitist stink. Retirees make a lot of sense to me because they have all the time and cycling is good on the knees (as well as the soul). But it's a good question:

Why so many professionals and so few grunts?

Blue Collar v. White Collar v. Retired Old Farts.Me Dot Org
Nov 29, 2001 9:52 AM
In Europe, cycling viewed much more as a blue-collar sport.

I've always suspected that if a significant percentage of Americans had to rely on bicycles for personal transportation, it would lose some of its chi-chi patina.

Soccer (er, football) is played in some of the poorest countries in the world. However, for decades it was ignored by the masses of Americans, and was the game of elite private schools.

Go figure.
Blue Collar v. White Collar v. Retired Old Farts.I AM
Nov 29, 2001 11:40 PM
Owner of my lbs was telling me that there will be less expensive or closer to entry level bikes for 2002. In Canada
I don't think that you could get on a road bike for less than
$1000 so that automatically excludes a lot of people from the
sport, but now that it is becoming more popular they have decided to make more affordable bikes.
I was wondering if a certain Texan that was raised by a single
lower middle class mom has anything to do with this?
Irony! Lance is lower middle class and. . .Sintesi
Nov 30, 2001 6:08 AM
never went to college. One of the greatest cyclists in American history comes from humble origins. Good point.
Blue Collar v. White Collar v. Retired Old Farts.Jon
Nov 29, 2001 9:53 AM
I think you already hit the nail on the head. Image. Money. Culturally, the grunts are more
into traditional North American team sports, too.
Blue Collar v. White Collar v. Retired Old Farts.DINOSAUR
Nov 29, 2001 10:10 AM
Probably because white collar workers use cycling as exercise and a way to keep fit. Blue collar workers keep in shape by the work they perform, they don't have to worry about keeping in shape. I'd like to have a dime for everytime I've heard a blue collar worker say to me "want some exercise? Do this"...while they are doing some type of physical work. Come to think of it, the majority of my cycling club are retired engineers, lawyers, doctors, dentists, teachers, with a couple of retired cops and firemen thrown in...I've also learned that age is just a number and it doens't mean a hill of beans when it comes to any type of exercise. Most people just use it for an excuse to quit (done that, been there)..
Another factor is that bikes have become so expensive few can afford this hobby. It cost a small fortune just to get started out. My Klein cost more than our first new car we purchased back in 1969. I hate to say this, but it's become a rich man's sport in the U.S.
The Truth from a Retired Old...Cop! (nm)Jon
Nov 29, 2001 1:09 PM
...Revolution Grunt!!...Take down the white collars!!!BigLeadOutGuy
Nov 29, 2001 3:50 PM
I thought I was the only guy carrying around bricks and lumber up 3 stories all day to make ends meet!!! The only thing thats bad about being a grunt is that sometimes by the end of the day I am so tired and beat up I cant even think of riding.
Score one for the grunt!!!

with the price of bikes these days thou, it does make sense that its more of a white collar sport here in the U.S.
I mean I am going to have to demolition alot of houses to pay for my new trek 5500 =( BUt it will be worth every bruse and all the sweat and blood I will spill!
Seen the movie "Office Space"?Erik W
Nov 29, 2001 4:02 PM
This will give you a hilarious look into the world of suit and tie type jobs. If you haven't seen this movie, I HIGHLY recommend it.
I don't buy it...TJeanloz
Nov 30, 2001 8:43 AM
I live in a decidely blue-collar part of the world. There is a pretty decent community of cyclists- but most are students or the few professionals around. A lot of people claim that cycling's downfall is its expense. I will argue that this is not true. Money is not what is keeping the 'working class' off of bicycles.

Most everybody has a toy that they indulge themselves in, for us it's bicycles, but for a lot of people it's snowmobiles, fishing boats, restored corvettes etc. We try to say that the working class can't afford cycling- but they have snowmobiles, ATV's and RV's parked at their houses- those make a C40 look cheap.

The difference, I believe, is that cycling is hard. After sitting in the office for 10 hours, it's nice to get out and ride. If you're working hard all day, it would probably be nice to go out on the fishing boat for a few hours at night. It's a question of balance- we do physically hard things in our spare time, constuction workers (et. al) do physically easy things.
Gotta agree with you theremr_spin
Nov 30, 2001 10:28 AM
In a general sense, I can easily see how those who do physical labor all day would gravitate towards more sedentary recreation. I'm sure there are plenty of exceptions, of course, but I wonder if there are any truly competitive cyclists out there who come from physical jobs like construction. I'm not talking about guys who just race. Anyone can do that. I'm talking about guys who race and win regularly.

But don't discount how draining office work is. Some days my job wipes me out, and I just want to do nothing when I get home. And some days I am so stressed out I have to ride really hard to burn it off.

In the end, work, be it blue-collar or white-collar, just sucks! I've got a couple of jerseys from the Lance Armstrong Foundation that say "Live to Ride." That's the dream for me. It's definitely not "Live to Work."
Gotta agree with you thereTJeanloz
Nov 30, 2001 11:34 AM
Ludo Dierckxsens, a pro for Lampre, was a plumber until he was 30 or so; when he decided to be a pro bike racer.

Actually, he slogged for years as an amatuer racer, but was well known as a good plumber in Ghent...
another factor...DINOSAUR
Nov 30, 2001 10:36 AM
Might be time. Most blue collared guys that I know are carpenters and electricians. Their time is not their own. Most work like dogs and the work is seasonal. When they are working it requires putting in long hours and weekends. Maybe it's work interfering with cycling.
On the money end a lot of it has to do with marketing. A smart shopper who is good with his hands can ride with the best of them. If I didn't participate in cycling forums and didn't subscribe to cycling magazines I'd be fat dumb and happy and never give another bike a second thought. I get so many cycling catalogs through the mail that I think of some of them as the cycling answer to Playboy Magazine.
A lot of it also has to do with the geographic area of where you live. Lots of professional folks in the Sacramento Valley region. Maybe the blue collared workers (such as myself) would rather ride by themselfs and stay away from the some of the snobbery that infests itself in the local clubs..someone mention Lance Armstrong, he's a blue collared guy and look where he's at...
I'll have to disagree!BigLeadOutGuy
Nov 30, 2001 4:42 PM
I am working class and Im scraping by...I am working to pay off my school loans with no end in sight...just about the only thing I own is my 11 year old pickup truck...2 surfboards and a couple of bikes.
but if you think about it cycling really isnt all that expensive...if you buy a bike for 3000 it will last a long long time. either way...its worth every penny.

I see your point about working hard than resting easy...but there there are some if us (like me) who work hard and play even harder =)
I don't buy it...false dichotomies-yes you're right, but...Sintesi
Nov 30, 2001 7:22 PM
I think there is a corellation between college educations and cycling in America. Pros, whatever their career tracks would have been, skip higher education or you will lose out in those ranks. True blue collar types (me) are an exception in my cycling experience. How does one notice this sport or lifestyle in the first place? There is an outsider element to it. I agree there really isn't a true split (road cycling wise) between the classes rich or poor but there is something to notice here. I see a pride in the sport that doesn't exist in others. I think there is an individual mentality to road cycling that is attractive to intelligent accomplished (or not perhaps - you choose) people. No denigration here, but mountain biking always seems more inviting and inclusive. Men showing up wearing a dress is OKAY! Single speed? Let's race!

Road cycling (and this can be a beautiful thing) is rarefied.
Interesting discusssion ...tarwheel
Nov 30, 2001 10:54 AM
When I was younger and didn't have much money, my main sport was long-distance running. I could get by with decent pair of running shoes, some shorts and socks. I had a 12-speed then and enjoyed riding it, but couldn't really afford to get into the sport big time. Now that I'm older, I can more easily afford the cycling gear and a better bike, plus my body can no longer take the wear-and-tear imposed by running. I totally agree that cycling is an expensive sport, though. You can get by with a decent used bike, but you still have to spend money on much more equipment and gear than you do for sports like running and swimming. Think of all the stuff you "need" to buy if you're really into cycling -- a decent saddle (stock ones are never worth a shit), at least several pairs of cycling shorts and jerseys, expensive shoes, clipless pedals, bike racks for cars, cycle computer, lights if you ride at night, etc.. To top that all off, you have to buy new tires every few months if you ride any significant mileage -- and a pair of good bike tires can cost as much as a pair of running shoes.

BTW, I have a desk job. I write for a living, but don't make big bucks. My wife is a public school teacher. I used to run back when I did more manual labor, but I agree that a desk job is more conducive to exercising in your time off. However, I see lots of manual laborers who are overweight and could use more excerise.
you hit the nail on the head!BigLeadOutGuy
Nov 30, 2001 4:49 PM
you are so right about manual laborers being fat!!! almost every construction worker I know is overweight! i think they go home and just eat 100 donuts for dinner every night!
oh man, i thought i was the only one who noticed that!
You judging by the site?muncher
Nov 30, 2001 11:02 AM
Don't know about the USA, but over here it's a big mix out on the road - on this site I guess the difference is that manual workers don't have a computer handy to sneak posts onto all day when they are at work, therefore there appears to be less of them involved?
re: The Hell Known As Work!!!BigLeadOutGuy
Nov 30, 2001 4:53 PM
well its nice to know that we all have the some things is common!!
1-work stinks
2-we love to cycle

I guess it doesnt matter what kind of job we have...when we take off our work clothes and put on our jerseys...were all cyclists!
thats sounds pretty corny eh?
sorry...ill shut up now =)
re: Cycling Demographics!Bi-psyclist
Nov 30, 2001 8:37 PM
A lot of cyclists in the Toronto area are Italian heritage. They follow the demographic of their community which is pretty diversified - professionals, construction trades, the grocery business, teachers. The economics don't have that much to do with it. They love to ride and they like the community of cycling. There is also a big South American and European contingent. Among the WASPS the professionals are definately over represented. Any market researcher will tell you that their is a large cluster of fitness consious educated urban professionals- a lot of them ride.
Dec 2, 2001 5:18 PM
so whos dreading work tomorrow as much as i am?
back to demolition at 7am!
cant beat that!!
stay stoked =)
Can't stand offices and tiespeloton
Dec 3, 2001 4:05 PM
I don't know what people would classify my profession as, being a coach. I guess it depends on the day, if I'm in staff meetings, or doing hands on physical work to get the course ready for the athletes. I can tell you this much though. I hate office work, and I hate ties.

I'm probably over-educated, and am getting pretty proud of some of the things on my resume too. I'm in grad school now, and am only able to coach part time versus my usual full time job. I had been doing some office work part time to make ends meet but just couldn't do it. I had to quit. I can't imagine for myself anything more tedious and less rewarding than what I was doing in that cubicle. I had begun to think that the only reason I wore a tie was so that I would have something to hang myself with from the pipes in the bathroom if the boredom and politics got to me. I would really rather work with a shovel or my hands. There is something honest about it that I can respect. I guess when I get out of school though, I can go back to doing what I love full time. Even if I don't know what kind of job the world might perceive it as.
Its gotta be the tie!!BigLeadOutGuy
Dec 4, 2001 5:03 PM
that is so funny dude!
wearing a tie so you can hang yourself on the pipes in the bathroom! hahaha
thats too funny!
I think i find it funny cause I was in the same situation...I was working for adecco...yes like in the lotto-adecco team, and it was just not so much needless to say i wasnt there very was just like that movie office space...and yes, I did get that memo!
re: The Hell Known As Work!!!I Love Shimano
Dec 4, 2001 10:33 PM
We all wouldn't be complaining if we all worked as pro cyclists am I right? Those guys are so damn lucky, they have the best job in the world. They get the best equipment for free, get free massages, get to be in the greatest races, get to ride all day long, and they get paid to get all these!

I currently work at a desk all day long, making reports/presentations/proposals/costing sheets blablahblah. Basically, I do a lot of boring sh$t in the office. I go to various cycling messageboards to while away the time (unless I am staring at my female co-worker's @$$). Work really sucks big time, and if I had my way, I would've skipped college and spent 4 full years deidicated to training on the bike. By the time I reached 20-22 years old, I would prbably have been good enough to race (domestically, at least).

Work to live, don't live to work!
I suspect it's very hard workDog
Dec 5, 2001 6:37 AM
Ever watch those guys race in 45 degree rain? They get stiff, sore, exhausted, and must day in and day out push it to the limit under sometimes miserable conditions. They train all winter.

If you've raced much, you know how miserable it can be. While the joy of doing well helps to overshadow the pain and suffering, there are lots of riders who do not win nor share in the joy. They are simply out there doing a very, very difficult job. If you think working in construction is hard (been there), think about pushing yourself to the physical, mental, and emotional limits day in and day out in miserable conditions. Got to be tough. I'd bet it's not nearly as glamorous as it might seem. I guess it's sort of like being a race car driver, without the motor to do all the work for you.

It would end up being workBigLeadOutGuy
Dec 5, 2001 3:06 PM
I would imagine that anything you are obligated to do you would end up hating in the long run. it seems like it would be awesome to be a pro cyclist but i bet when your traveling aroudn the world every month and training and riding your gut eventually sucks!
and just for the work isnt all that bad...And as far as gutting it out and pushing yourself beyond your limits give an NFL mini-camp tryout a whirl...if that isnt physically demanding I dunno what is =)