Author Topic: getting work while pedaling across the USA  (Read 5553 times)

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Offline bicyclerider

getting work while pedaling across the USA
« on: May 10, 2010, 11:04:47 am »
Everyone
I'm pedaling across the usa and would like to work with habitat for humanity and would like to pedal to diffirent locations and work. I don't have much money however I have a tent and camping gear. I'm currently sitting in a motel resting in Phoenix. Could anyone email me or send a contact link for me to start working to help others.
I went to the habitat for humanity website and still after 3 weeks on the road they haven't replied
Thank you
Jean Andre Vallery
www.2453.net
Jean Andre Vallery
Jacumba, California

Offline Westinghouse

Re: getting work while pedaling across the USA
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2010, 03:48:53 pm »
Your question is a perfectly reasonable one, but how does this pertain to cycling? I mean, the way it looks there is nothing in the world that does not pertain to cycling as long as you happen to be riding a bicycle when you are doing it. Employment is employment whether you are traveling by car, bike, motorcycle, truck, boat, airplane or any other way, and has nothing to do with the way you transport yourself. Sounds like you need an employment counselor. There are people who come here asking for medical advice because they ride bikes too, and I do not see the connection between cycling and these other matters except they ride or say they will be riding bikes. Doctors answer questions about complex medical issues. Employment specialists can tell you about work. If they will not even answer you, do you really want to work for them?

Offline rvklassen

Re: getting work while pedaling across the USA
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2010, 03:56:50 pm »
Habitat for Humanity is really an umbrella organization for a plethora of local chapters.  It's the local chapters that do most of the real work, and some of them are active while others, not so much. 

The trick is to figure out where they are actually working and get the contact information for that location.  And then of course there's the question of how well connected to the world of email they are - these are people too, with the same variability in email responsiveness that you'll see in any non-technological field.

In Phoenix, it is

http://www.habitatcaz.org/

Offline bicyclerider

Re: getting work while pedaling across the USA
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2010, 10:53:49 pm »
Westinghouse thank you for your advise. Pedaling long distance doesn't require a employment counselor.
I only asked because there is always a positive approach to pedaling 50 or so miles in a day. If I roll into a town and find work because I asked on this forum great! I'm not going to stop asking.

rvklasson thanks for the reply. I send a email to the Phoenix chapter yesterday and was told that there needs to be a orientation before allowing people to volunteer. May orientations are filled up until June. So I should be in New Mexico or Texas by then. I'll check other larger cities that are in my path. I have a positive attitute and will continue to look for habitat for humanity or any other work.
Jean Andre Vallery
Jacumba, California

Offline rvklassen

Re: getting work while pedaling across the USA
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2010, 03:09:08 pm »
I send a email to the Phoenix chapter yesterday and was told that there needs to be a orientation before allowing people to volunteer.
Wow.  I just spent two days with the Harrisonburg VA chapter working on a house.  No orientation, nothing. It helped that I showed up with a tool belt, not particularly devoid of experience.  Still.  I guess it varies from place to place.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: getting work while pedaling across the USA
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2010, 03:34:32 pm »
Most towns and cities have day labor organizations that may go by various names such as Labor Finders, Handy Andy, Labor Source, Manpower, or Labor Pool. These may not satisfy the altruistic impulses, but they can mean a cool $60.00 by day's end when HH are not available. As for myself, when I bike tour I tour. I go for the ride, nothing else.

Offline trades

Re: getting work while pedaling across the USA
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2010, 04:26:46 pm »
I'm pedaling across the usa and would like to work with habitat for humanity and would like to pedal to different locations and work. I don't have much money however I have a tent and camping gear. I'm currently sitting in a motel resting in Phoenix. Could anyone email me or send a contact link for me to start working to help others.

Your question is a perfectly reasonable one, but how does this pertain to cycling? I mean, the way it looks there is nothing in the world that does not pertain to cycling as long as you happen to be riding a bicycle when you are doing it.


I'm new to this forum and this is my first post so...

This question may not be directly related to cycling but it is a perfectly legitimate one.  While most people doing bike tours are doing just that, touring.  There are a number of people, myself included, that are using bicycling as a means to a greater end (and have some fun in the process).

Personally, I'm planning an open-ended tour around the country.  The main purpose of my tour is to help as many people as possible, whether it is volunteering at a soup kitchen or helping an old lady mow her grass.  If things go well, I want to create a charity around this concept.

I have been thinking about ways to finance my journey as well.  I own a computer service and am running a friend's tree service ATM as well.  By the time I pay off all my debts I will be left with very little money to begin my journey.  Therefore I've been looking for ways to finance my journey en route.

Here are some of the ideas I've had so far.  The key, I think, is to concentrate on what you are good at.

1.)  The suggestion of using day labor services is a pretty good one if you'll be in a city for a little while.

2.)  If you're riding through more affluent areas, you can knock on doors and ask if they have any work that you can do for a few dollars.  Such as; mowing the lawn, washing their cars, washing windows, cleaning gutters, fixing things, planting flowers, etc.

3.)  You can stop at churches and let them know what you are doing.  They might have some busy work for you to do for a few dollars.

4.)  I plan on offering free computer tutoring lessons at retirement homes.  While I will not be charging for these lessons, I will accept donations to keep my journey going.  You could do something similar.

5.)  I used to pass out flyers for my businesses (I drove around and put them in the newspaper boxes, not mailboxes because that's illegal).  You can go to local businesses (restaurants and other small businesses) and offer to deliver flyers for them for a small fee.  I plan on eventually placing a blog address on each flyer to steer people toward my blog and future charity.

6.)  If you are truly doing this for charity, you can solicit donations.  Walking around a mall or busy street or going door to door with a small can would work.  There was a kid that went around with a can, asking for 1 penny to pay for his college education.  Within a short period of time he was able to pay for his entire education.  Just be very candid with people and explain, to anyone who will listen, exactly what you are trying to do.

7.)  Walk into local small businesses and explain what you are trying to do.  Ask them if they have any extra work that you can do for $20 or whatever you need.  To avoid getting taken advantage of you should put a limit on the time that you are willing to work.  For example, I would be willing to give a company a maximum of 4 hours of work for $20.  You can change either of these numbers to reflect what you need, say, $50 for 8 hours of work or something like that.

8.)  I thought about doing tree pruning to finance my journey.  I'm still on the fence about it, because I'd have to carry a harness, rope and hand saw, which is a lot of weight.  But 1 job can equal hundreds of dollars and would finance a few weeks of biking.  I do, however, plan on doing some computer work along the way (which is also pretty high paying), but getting people to trust someone on a bike with no ties to the community, is going to be tough.
If you have a skill set that requires little equipment (or equipment you can rent) you can do something similar.

9.)  If you volunteer at charitable organizations you can ask the people you are volunteering with if they know of anything you can do to make some money.

10.)  Use sites like craigslist and advertise that you will be in the area and are willing to do odd jobs for cash.

11.)  Contact some of the nation-wide temp services and see if they would have anything that would suit your needs.  It seems like you may be staying in a city for a while to work with H4H so you may be able to pickup temp work for a few weeks.


I plan on leaving on a $20 bike I bought from Goodwill, with nothing but what I can fit in a backpack, a pop tent (the ones that you can setup in under 3 seconds), a check card and a little cash.  I plan on camping out virtually every night and surviving on what I can get off the land (with the occasional trip to a fast food dollar menu :).  I think I can survive off about $20/day give or take.

I won't be cycling exclusively, I imagine my bike will break and I'll have to do some hiking until I can find another used bike.  I also plan to do some travel by raft, train or other means, but probably 90%+ by bike.

Your needs will, obviously, be a little different than mine, but you can probably adapt them to help in your situation.  Please let me know if you have thought of other ideas.

Jack Trades

Offline Gordgray

Re: getting work while pedaling across the USA
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2010, 01:35:36 pm »
Your question is a perfectly reasonable one, but how does this pertain to cycling? I mean, the way it looks there is nothing in the world that does not pertain to cycling as long as you happen to be riding a bicycle when you are doing it. Employment is employment whether you are traveling by car, bike, motorcycle, truck, boat, airplane or any other way, and has nothing to do with the way you transport yourself. Sounds like you need an employment counselor. There are people who come here asking for medical advice because they ride bikes too, and I do not see the connection between cycling and these other matters except they ride or say they will be riding bikes. Doctors answer questions about complex medical issues. Employment specialists can tell you about work. If they will not even answer you, do you really want to work for them?


I'm also new I read what bicyclerider ask an it seemed very reasonable as to your response "but how does this pertain to cycling? I mean, the way it looks there is nothing in the world that does not pertain to cycling as long as you happen to be riding a bicycle when you are doing it" I'm also planning a very long trip to see the U.S.A and I'm ridding my Bicycle so I also need to eat so hence the work. So bicyclerider thanks for posting I was looking for info to.

Offline bicyclerider

Re: getting work while pedaling across the USA
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2010, 11:54:38 am »
I made it as far as western Louisanna before running out of money. I found a job at one of those tabacco and beer stores cooking cracklins. I've been working since late june and have saved around 300$ USD and will be pedaling out of here in the middle of september. The community is very friendly and working outside in the heat has help to keep my body ready for more humid weather as I travel towards the Virgina Coast then down to Key West. So as before If anyone has day work for money or food please contact me. I'm also willing to work for anyone who needs asag driver for and direction across the states or across the usa. Clean drivers license and valid passport.
Living on the road makes apearson aware of the times we live in. the unemployment and the homeless is everywhere. Reading the grapes of wrath for now.
Jean Andre Vallery
Lifetime Member
Jean Andre Vallery
Jacumba, California

Offline pahillbillybear

Re: getting work while pedaling across the USA
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2010, 11:05:05 pm »
I agree.  Work is work.  I would check in at the local temporary employment office.  Locally we have United Talent and Manpower.  You can work for one day or longer if the job assignment calls for it. 

Offline tonythomson

Re: getting work while pedaling across the USA
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2010, 05:12:28 am »
Very interesting ideas here.  As a frequent visitor to USA and having done several long distant tours I have occasionally come across guys who are clearly homeless and carrying their world on their bike. I always try and have a chat with them and if available will stand them a meal/coffee - they seem to drift up and down the country with the weather, makes sense and live similar lives to the one described above.  However, they rarely seem to make more than a few dollars and often look rather ill. Their appearance is not one that might encourage people to give them work and I would guess wouldn't even get them past the gate in more wealthy areas. I'm never quite sure if this is a life style choice or it has been "forced" on them.  I do find it a fascinating area of cycling and in my dreams one I could relate to.  Too old and too many ties these days to contemplate that sort of life style. 

My only observation and advice would be unless you plan to live like one of these guys then make sure that you stay presentable, clean etc or you may not be offered the work you need.  Very interested to know how you get on.
Good luck.
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline bicyclerider

Re: getting work while pedaling across the USA
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2010, 05:08:32 pm »
thanks for the replies. My past history from hitch-hiking across the usa for years back in 74-76 taught me a lot about being presentable. I've also pedaled across the usa solo back in 98. My most recent hitch-hiking was October 2009. Calexico, California to Richmond, Virginia. 9 days with 2 day layover in Los Lunas, NM. Pedaling is the next level up from hitch-hiking. For those of you trying to under my questions regarding finding work while pedaling. Once your out there and your trying to budget you money for food for fuel. There comes a time that finding work is important. Remember if you haven't experienced living on the road it's a wonderful life experience that teaches a person compassion and a better understanding of oneself and others who have nothing at all. I'm a lifetime cyclist however this time I'm trying to make my life a more free flowing choice. Not a time constrained or money budgeted ride.
Regarding temp companies. that is a approach reserved for the city riders. I stay out of large cities after years of hitch-hiking or pedaling through them. The beauty is in the towns and wide open road.
Jean Andre Vallery
Adventure Cycling Lifetime Member
Jean Andre Vallery
Jacumba, California

Offline katekosar

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Re: getting work while pedaling across the USA
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2010, 11:06:20 am »
>>Your question is a perfectly reasonable one, but how does this pertain to cycling?<<

There are a multitude of questions here about lodging, food, GPS, maps, apparel  ... they don't pertain to cycling either, really.  I appreciate the question and especially the freedom to be able to ask it in an open forum such as this. 

Kate