Author Topic: Doing it for a living?  (Read 6416 times)

Doing it for a living?
« on: October 06, 2008, 02:51:55 pm »
Considering a career changesoon (possibly enforced).

One (of many) possible avenue is to train to become a full time cycle instructor.

Just putting out tentative feelers as to the practicality of this?

First up, would I like it:

Be my own boss - yep, great.
Flexible hours - no probs.
Working with real people - wonderful.
Teaching: done diferent types of teaching in the pst and liked it.
Fulfilment: yep souns like what I would achieve would be very satisfying.
Get to ride my bike too!

Could I do it?  That's the question:
Well, I've been cycling for years, both urban and country, commuting and pleasure, so a good amountof experience of cycling in different environments.
As said before, I've some experience of teaching adults (but not children).
Also experience of leading club rides, organising events, cycle campaigning.
And would obviously do the instructor training.

Could I make a living out of it? the other important question!
I don't need that much to live off - say £14000 would mean living in comort but would I expect to make that?  Could probably survive on £11000.
Would I get enough business? I live in a large city but it's not a city known for cycling.
There is another trained instructor in my part of the city but as he also runs a club and a shop he hardly devotes any time to training.

All opinions and advice welcomed! 
Is my head in the clouds or is it posible to mke a go of this sort of thing?
If I were to become qualified would I make enough from this to live off and what time commitment would I hve to make? Also, does the work tend to be seasonal - ie much more custom as the wheather gets better?
Thanks

Basil

  • Um....err......oh bugger!
  • Help me!
Re: Doing it for a living?
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2008, 03:09:40 pm »
I don't need that much to live off - say £14000 would mean living in comort but would I expect to make that?  Could probably survive on £11000.

Hmm,
How many sessions would you need to sell to achieve that?

Quote from: Kim
And remember that friends who organise things on Facebook aren't proper friends anyway.

Re: Doing it for a living?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2008, 03:17:17 pm »
I don't need that much to live off - say £14000 would mean living in comort but would I expect to make that?  Could probably survive on £11000.

Hmm,
How many sessions would you need to sell to achieve that?



That's what I'm wondering!


Re: Doing it for a living?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2008, 03:35:24 pm »
Do a business plan. Work out your required income, your likely expenses, your likely income (needs field research). See whether the figures add up.

Would local authorities, businesses, other bodies be interested? This other instructor? Could you approach him & suggest you do the training and he gets referrals for spares and repairs?

Otherwise, would it work part-time in tandem with another part-time job? Or start like that and build up.

Re: Doing it for a living?
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2008, 03:40:27 pm »
What's the average going rate for an hour of cycle instruction?  If you're self-employed, there are allowable expenses.

Re: Doing it for a living?
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2008, 09:29:44 pm »
The CTUK rate is £30/hour for a qualified instructor.

I did the CTUK instructor course (with CTC bursary funding) a year ago. There were about ten of us on the course and one managed to get fully qualified within about a month. (The course provisionally qualifies you, you then have to go and get some training time in as an assistant instructor, then, when you're ready, you are assessed in a real session that you are giving.)

I didn't hear subsequently hear if any of the others managed to complete the qualification. (I certainly haven't.)

I know that one of those on the course was really struggling to find assistant instructor work, and he had gone the whole 'change my life' hog. (Ex-city boy, found a Dawes Galaxy and cycled to southern Spain by himself - a Damascene conversion.)

If you apply yourself and are willing to travel, and are good at chatting up likely lead instrcutors, there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to be fully qualified a month after taking the course. But you ought to be sure that you can do all of this before taking a leap into the unknown.


Rust never sleeps

Re: Doing it for a living?
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2008, 09:41:08 pm »
There are some of the supposedly 'national' training providers who are snapping up the Cycling England funding granted to local authorities.
At least one of these is training instructors 'on-the-job'.

I'm not sure how this fits in with the original ideas of high quality training though.


Re: Doing it for a living?
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2008, 09:49:10 pm »
I'm clearly biased, but my recommendation would be to get trained by one of the only four agencies in the country thathave been certified to train instructors to the National Standards.

CTUK is one, and I think the others are in Manchester, York and, err ..... somewhere else (Bristol possibly ?)

Sorry, that's not much help. I'll see if I can dig the names of the other three out.
Rust never sleeps

Re: Doing it for a living?
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2008, 10:12:01 pm »
I would go along completely with what hatler says but pick the training provider very carefully.

However there are now over a dozen and not all keep to the same methods or high principles of delivering the instructor training and some have watered it right down to be very questionable.
Be aware that some instructors have also reported to have had difficulty with the follow up mentoring from some of the providers.
The full list is here:
Cycle Training

Be aware too that you will need to jump through a lot of bureaucratic hoops if you wish to deliver Cycling England's Bikeability brand.
Not all instructors do, or find it necessary.

All that said it is a very enjoyable occupation with some terrific experiences. With some lateral thinking the opportunities are quite wide ranging.

I've been training nearly five years and whilst it is very seasonal, last year ran over 2000 trainee sessions. That was already beaten by May this year.
Even so, financially it is not that rewarding.

FWIW I can fully recommend LifeCycle in Bristol.



FatBloke

  • I come from a land up over!
Re: Doing it for a living?
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2008, 10:24:37 pm »
Don't forget the relentless CRB checks, some of which you may have to fund yourself!  :-\
This isn't just a thousand to one shot. This is a professional blood sport. It can happen to you. And it can happen again.

woollypigs

  • Mr Peli
    • woollypigs
Re: Doing it for a living?
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2008, 10:26:01 pm »
Yes Hatler you are right the last one is in Bristol, I'm sure that you can find it on CTC's website.

I have talked to a few people and they all say that individuals is not were you make the money. You make your money when you get a "contract" with a council, as then you are funded by them to do the schools(where the money is), individuals, Dr. Bikes etc. And getting that tenure with a council when you are a one man band is hard work, I saw the paperwork and I gave up.

I didn't try hard to drum up business for the first year, but it is hard work especially when nearly all councils in Greater London are giving out lessons for free or at £5-8 for 4 to unlimited hours.

So try to get a gig with your local council or company that is doing the training for the councils, that was what I did.

And you are right it is great fun and a top job, especially when a child you have trained for the last 4 Mondays come up and give you a hug and says thanks for the lessons, which happened today :)
#bollockstobrexit

Re: Doing it for a living?
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2008, 10:35:55 pm »
especially when a child you have trained for the last 4 Mondays come up and give you a hug and says thanks for the lessons, which happened today :)

That's nice  :thumbsup:

Re: Doing it for a living?
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2008, 10:38:51 pm »
What Woolly didn't tell you is that he has become two things he always vowed he wouldn't:

1) A teacher
2) Strict!

 ;)


woollypigs

  • Mr Peli
    • woollypigs
Re: Doing it for a living?
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2008, 10:41:48 pm »
What Woolly didn't tell you is that he has become two things he always vowed he wouldn't:

1) A teacher
2) Strict!

 ;)



But I have become something I always dreamt  of becoming ...




... a professional cyclist :)
#bollockstobrexit

Re: Doing it for a living?
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2008, 10:45:02 pm »
 ;D

Re: Doing it for a living?
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2008, 01:09:52 pm »
When I did Cycling Proficiency in 1979 we were given a little booklet called "Skilful Cycling".

I was very disappointed to find it contained no mention whatsoever of no-hands riding or wheelies.
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Doing it for a living?
« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2008, 06:17:05 pm »
When I did my cycling proficiency in, er, 1968(?), there were far too many turned up at the first session - so they grouped us all according to age and sent the youngest ones away home on their bikes...

woollypigs

  • Mr Peli
    • woollypigs
Re: Doing it for a living?
« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2008, 06:19:26 pm »
When I did my cycling proficiency in, er, 1968(?), there were far too many turned up at the first session - so they grouped us all according to age and sent the youngest ones away home on their bikes...
Why not they arrived on their bikes didn't they :)
#bollockstobrexit

Re: Doing it for a living?
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2008, 06:31:40 pm »
When I did my cycling proficiency in, er, 1968(?), there were far too many turned up at the first session - so they grouped us all according to age and sent the youngest ones away home on their bikes...
Why not they arrived on their bikes didn't they :)

Not necessarily, when I did my Cycling Proficiency, sometime between the two dates above (;)), I wasn't allowed to cycle there on the road, so I used to push my bike down the lane to the practice area in the park.  I was only allowed to cycle home on the last occasion, after I had passed. :thumbsup:
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

woollypigs

  • Mr Peli
    • woollypigs
Re: Doing it for a living?
« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2008, 06:47:06 pm »
When we did ours in Denmark everyone had already cycled to school. And the last drill/test we had was to go out on a 2 mile loop on our own, where at 4-5 places on route was someone hidden checking up on us. And if we got the pass ok from all the secret posts we had passed. But with or without the diploma/cycling license we could still ride where ever we wanted.

I failed mine ,,, twice  :( The first one was because I had just moved to the area and did not know where to go when the instructor was telling us the route. The second time I was bored and just played around too how much I could get away with.
#bollockstobrexit