Looking across to the snow capped alpine mountains seen from the back seat of a motorcycle

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Riding A Motorcycle For A Living

Blog Date - 30 March 2018

There was a young gentleman asking about the sort of jobs that involve riding a motorcycle. The 2 most obvious answers are courier and motorcycle instructor. I've done both of these - but would I recommend other keen motorcyclists to do the same?


I thought despatching would be the solution to all my woes, the future, my means to becoming wealthy and lots of fun. Being told on a cold Friday afternoon that you have to ride to Manchester Airport to collect 8 letters that need to be delivered to the Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire and Yorkshire area before you can call it a day is not fun. 

Oban harbour on a cold wet and windy early evening in winter
Imagine riding for 6 hours solid on a day like this for a few quid.

To do something for a living, day in day out, is to spoil it. I used to look forward to ride-outs on a Tuesday evening with the club but after 145 miles of town riding during the day the last thing I wanted to do was take on an 80 mile blast to Blackpool and back. Riding at the weekend stopped being something I looked forward to and became just like being at work. 

During this time I'd become a Sunday morning motorcycle instructor, doing CBTs primarily. Happenstance lead to me being offered a full time role and as I was tired of being lost, cold, wet and mile weary I jumped at the chance. Right out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Rather than being lost, cold, wet and mile weary on my own I became lost, cold, wet and mile weary with other people who were struggling to ride a motorcycle. My days became an endless loop of "Don't forget your lifesaver...cancel your indicator...turn left at the traffic lights..."

Sharon when she was a learner next to her bike with "L" plates in the rain
A soggy learner (Sharon) enjoying the Highland weather.

After 5 or 6 years earning a living on two wheels I had a minor crash that prevented me from riding for 3 months. In that time I came to accept I'd lost the passion for riding. Within a couple of months I started my - ahem - "career" in IT.

We are all uniquely different. There are personalities out there who thrive and flourish working as a courier. There are people out there who revel in the satisfaction and challenge of turning a novice into a motorcyclist and preparing them for the world on two wheels. 

I enjoyed my time doing both of these jobs. I learnt a great deal about myself, about motorcycling and about people. I also learnt that for myself motorcycling for a living really took the pleasure out of motorcycling. I admire and greatly respect those that do it and more importantly stick at it, neither job is an easy job. Alas it wasn't the job for me though.

Once I stopped riding motorcycles for a living I started to enjoy it once again. More recently - once I stopped trying to be fast I started to enjoy my motorcycling even more. 

Ren stands by his CB500X on a country lane in South Wales
I'm happy exploring back roads and chilling out in the countryside.

If you'd like to sponsor this website contact ren@bikesandtravels.com

Reader's Comments

Pocketpete said :-
Hmm all is not green and pastures new on the motorbike job front.

Rode police bikes same problem. Cold and wet or hot and sweaty. Carrying loads of gear. Issuing ticket getting hated by the public....

So are there any good motor bike jobs... clearly not...

It's a pity.. maybe running blood to hospitals might be ok well only if your a vampire.
30/3/2018 7:11:23 PM UTC
Borsuk said :-
I think a lot of people who turn a hobby or passion into their career tend later in life to regret it for the simple fact that what they used to do for fun they now have to do whether they want to or not. And as with you it destroys their enjoyment of their passion.
I was never a 9-5 type person and wanted to travel for free so I joined the merchant navy (the family "business" to be honest, though it was my 3rd choice of career)and have stuck with it for nearly forty years now. But my hobbies never had anything to do with sailing, unlike a lot of my colleagues. I did a bit of white water canoeing but my main enjoyment was shooting, rock climbing, hill walking and pot holing. Other than a ferry you won't get me near a boat.

If I had become a professional climbing instructor or similar I would probably have hated it within a few years. I hate my job as it is but it doesn't interfere with my enjoyment of my hobbies when I am at home. Breaking bits of myself over the years and advancing age has restricted what I can do but I have added new enjoyments to the list, biking being one of them.

30/3/2018 11:36:41 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
It's odd how we romanticise some jobs. I thought life on the ocean waves would be all girl in every port and heroic adventures. I guess it's hard work, long hours and a bed that never stays still.

It's a question of who you are Pocketpete. I figure there's plenty of couriers, instructors, mechanics and perhaps coppers who love their motorcycling related jobs.
31/3/2018 6:25:59 PM UTC
Susan alker said :-
The thing I like about Ren is he's tells it like it is even after a bike accident he still rides and enjoys his motorcycling and has lots of knowledge I admire him a great deal and he is a down to earth guy and been on many adventures .his posts are interesting to read x
9/4/2018 6:40:35 AM UTC

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