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Anika's inspiring tale of life as a cycling piano tuner in another thread got me to wondering if there are similar stories in our midst...

Who here manages to do a "mobile" job, e.g. visting homes or businesses primarily by bike?

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Great question.  I think it should be a category during the Bike To Work Week Challenge.  

I don't do it often anymore, but I was do real estate full time by bike.  It was challenging but thrilling and always coordinating outfit, esp rain gear.  

No looking for parking or being late due to traffic.  Sometimes I do buyer real estate tours by bike too which yields some interesting comments from the listing agent who meets us.  Their comments vary depending on the weather from "that's a great idea" to " are you sure you are the buyer and agent?"

I know Lee Diamond does a lot of his real estate work by bike and there are several dog walkers on here. Grid had a write up a while back about two guys who'd started a window washing business by bike.

You mean other than messengers or potbelly? 

I had a job for several months in the loop using only my bike unless it's pouring rain all day (which happens how often?) and even then the newly reopened lowers will get you most places drier and slightly warmer.

Now unless you need to transport supplies,materials related to your job (which then makes your personal vehicle a work vehicle) I wouldn't, and there are very large bags *Chrome store* (waterproof) Panniers... all available for your biking needs.

We also have car sharing for those times you NEED a car.

Parking in the loop is difficult time consuming (delivery wise) and  $6.50 per hour for meters.

But Julie you can run the slight risk of being late with the rare street closures,flats other mechanical problems as well as a few Metra crossings, but yes all in all a bike in rush hour is faster than a car A to B.

#preachingtothechoir

I got a flat once and luckily had left an extra 30 minutes to spare so it worked.  I always gave cabs as an option.  I'm short so my bike fits in cab trunks or worse case I planned to lock it up and come back later for it.  

It's the beauty of having so many options to get around in our city.

Mike Zumwalt said:

You mean other than messengers or potbelly? 

I had a job for several months in the loop using only my bike unless it's pouring rain all day (which happens how often?) and even then the newly reopened lowers will get you most places drier and slightly warmer.

Now unless you need to transport supplies,materials related to your job (which then makes your personal vehicle a work vehicle) I wouldn't, and there are very large bags *Chrome store* (waterproof) Panniers... all available for your biking needs.

We also have car sharing for those times you NEED a car.

Parking in the loop is difficult time consuming (delivery wise) and  $6.50 per hour for meters.

But Julie you can run the slight risk of being late with the rare street closures,flats other mechanical problems as well as a few Metra crossings, but yes all in all a bike in rush hour is faster than a car A to B.

#preachingtothechoir

In Boston, I know a few sign language interpreters who bike to assignments.

I'm a dog walker. I'm pretty much outside all afternoon regardless of the weather. I probably drive to work once every two or three weeks. The whole work day is pretty cruddy when I drive. It takes longer to do it by car, and by 2:30 I usually wish I hadn't driven because I travel through a few school zones right at dismissal time. If you think that sucks on a bike, it's worse in a car. 

Not so incidentally, and hopefully this is not too self-serving for this forum: my daily dog walking schedule is not as full as I want it to be. My goal is to have 2 new regular (meaning daily) clients by April 15th. If you know anyone who needs a dog walker in Logan Square, West Town, Wicker Park or Bucktown, I'd love a referral. If you (or your friend) needs more info, please message me here. Thank you. 

I used to, now I'm wondering how I managed.  I go around to estate sales and buy books.  A few years ago I managed to fit what I found in a milk crate on the back of the bike.  Now I often fill up multiple large tote bags and sometimes buy hundreds of pounds in a single day.  After the day is done I often rack up 100 miles since the sales I go to are spread out of the entire metro area.

Wow. That's no small feat. I know people who've done public transportation to estate sales and say that it's pretty dreadful, especially if you're the type who want to be in the queue before 6 am. 

Jared said:

I used to, now I'm wondering how I managed.  I go around to estate sales and buy books.  A few years ago I managed to fit what I found in a milk crate on the back of the bike.  Now I often fill up multiple large tote bags and sometimes buy hundreds of pounds in a single day.  After the day is done I often rack up 100 miles since the sales I go to are spread out of the entire metro area.

A couple of years ago, I spent a few months interviewing residents of Skokie, Morton Grove and Evanston for the Decennial Census. I rode my bike, laptop bag over my shoulder, and locked up at the end of the block where I was working. Then I'd walk door to door conducting my interviews before riding out of the area. I don't think most people knew I was cycling unless they saw me ride up.
Like Holly I'm a dog walker and do it all by bike (some cta). I agree with Holly, much easier than a car.

Unfortunanely I'm spread out waaayyy too far in all directions. I service Lakeview, Roscoe Village, Old Irving, Jefferson Park, and Edgewater.

Holly, next time I get a referral in your area I'll be send it your way.

Paul--haven't seen you in a long time. You ARE spread out, indeed! That must be trying at times.  

I also go to Old Irving, but only for one walk and it's typically at the end of the day. I can't or won't drop them because they're my best friends and I love them and their dogs!  Some days, I think it's the bane of my existence.  Once I'm about a half mile into the ride, I feel fine with it. 

Unless you're maxed-out, I'd be happy to send business your way, too. I am pretty busy, but I still seem to have some room in the day and would greatly appreciate referrals. Puppies are welcome. I have morning time as well as afternoons. 



A.K.A Paul said:

Like Holly I'm a dog walker and do it all by bike (some cta). I agree with Holly, much easier than a car.

Unfortunanely I'm spread out waaayyy too far in all directions. I service Lakeview, Roscoe Village, Old Irving, Jefferson Park, and Edgewater.

Holly, next time I get a referral in your area I'll be send it your way.
Hats off to the dog walkers. I am always glad on cold days to have an hour to warm up in overheated houses before heading out to my next appointment.

As I said in another thread, I am a piano tuner. The technical title is really piano technician but no one ever seems to know what that is. I have owned my own business for a little over 10 years now but this is the first full year I have been trying to do work by bike. I started biking more regularly a few years ago when I needed to travel 1 1/2 miles to my daughters school 4 times every day. It was a ridiculous amount of driving and just not necessary. Plus with all the one ways it is faster by bike.

Unfortunately, I don't work solely by bike since my service area spans north to Gurnee and west past Elgin. But my not quite 10 year old car hit 350,000 miles this year and I've had enough of driving allure time. So, I've committed to riding for all city appointments as well as most north shore. I have done some biking in Schaumburg too which is ok but I'm finding out that the more suburban an area, the less bike friendly it is. Right now, I bike about 100 miles a week on 2 or 3 different days. So long as we don't get snow, I should be able to keep it up all winter.

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