Gone Riding, Be Back In The Fall

Some people laughed when I tell them about how I got a raise, and then stopped working in the motorcycle industry a few days later. Some people also laughed when I told them I got offered a job at another company that I didn’t even apply to. Unfortunately this post isn’t very funny, so you should probably stop reading it.

Long story short, I’m not going to go to work anymore, I’m just going to ride my motorcycles instead.

It all started with the post How The Motorcycle Industry Works (and Why You Should Never, Ever, Work In It). Just like that, a little over two years of working in the motorcycle industry came to a rear tire raising halt.

Within weeks, I went to an interview for a job I didn’t apply to at the company my best friend works at. As motorcyclists we tend be believers of the “practice makes perfect” theorem, and venturers of interesting looking roads. What’s the harm in going in for an interview? I got to play dress up and had a great time in the interview!

A few days later the Vice President of the company I interviewed for emailed me directly about a different and more interesting position. This second interview lasted a full hour and I thought it went quite well. Yesterday they offered me the job! It’s a good position at a great company, but I’m not very interested. Spring is finally here after a long winter. As a motorcyclist, there’s no better time to be job-free. I declined.

I’m generally responsible with money and hardworking. I bought my first Harley-Davidson, graduated from university, worked my first year in my career in the motorcycle industry, and purchased my first home by the time I was 23 years old.

Five days after moving in, my father passed away after a long battle with brain cancer. Later that month, my girlfriend of five years and I parted ways. I was hurt badly. I felt reckless, and emotionally indestructible. In reality, once the initial pain subsided, the bruise left me even more sensitive.

I had already decided that to me, success meant living a life that no one person could destroy. I needed to put myself in a position where I was mentally sound, emotionally independent, and financially strong.

Mentally, I had to understand and accept that I no longer had a father figure and would have to build myself into the man he would want me to be. Emotionally, I maintained a degree of distance and an honesty policy with women, they were worth more than I could offer them and I made that clear. Financially, I had money coming in from my job, my part time bartending gig, and the ads on YouMotorcycle.

I worked over hours, was available on weekends, and found new innovativions for my company. I knew that 70% of my income was coming from my full time motorcycle industry job and that didn’t leave me feeling financially strong. I saved up and made no long term investments because I saw more value in liquidity. I began networking and found I had three contacts who worked as headhunters for professional recruitment agencies, one a former university business class partner, one a former tutor, and one a former lover. Good to know.

By the time the motorcycle industry and I broke up, I had most of a year’s salary in cash in the bank and some good contacts. I picked up an extra shift at the bar and in the first two weeks I managed to make $600 from bartending and $400 from signing sponsors for YouMotorcycle and bikerMetric. Not bad for two twenty-two hour work weeks, split between a bar I love working at and my Ikea kitchen table at 24 years old.

Today while I was reading the job contract in my email I received a message from a close friend who has been living in a purple minivan driving across Australia for the past six months. My dog was laying down in the sun on the balcony. Is anyone else jealous of a dog and a guy living in a purple minivan?

I’ll be 25 soon. At this point in my life I have as much youth and as little responsibility and expenses as I’ll ever have again. If there was ever a time to get away from it all and just ride, now is definitely it. The plan all along was to make myself ready for anything. I think I’ve done well.

It’s been a difficult past few years. I’ve worked hard and I’m still working. I’m not going to continue my career this spring or summer. I’m going to make the most of the money I’ve been squirelling away and take my chance to play hard. I’m still young enough, single enough, childless enough, and with an affordable enough mortgage that I can afford to do this.

I’m going to enjoy life for a while.

If you need me, I’ve gone riding, I’ll be back in the fall.

Please leave a comment.

Adrian S.