4 Ways Your Bicycle Could Help You Earn Extra Income

by Guest

This guest post is by Kyle Taylor who is a personal finance blogger that blogs about weird ways to make money at The Penny Hoarder. Connect on Facebook or join the newsletter and get his “5 Wackiest Ways to Make Extra Money.”

 Do you have a bicycle? If so, you have not only a mode of transportation but a means to boost your bottom line. Essentially, you can combine a love of fitness with a passion for making money all by pedaling your bike around town!


Here are some easy ways to turn your bicycle into a profit-making machine:

1.   Become a bike courier. A perennial favorite in big cities with very minimal barriers to entry, becoming a bike courier could be a very lucrative way to bring in additional income. The key to success in this niche industry is figuring out the inefficiencies that lie within current courier operations, identifying solutions for those problems, and networking with businesses that would benefit from this knowledge. While this is an attractive option to young, urban city-dwellers, it could also become a successful business venture in smaller towns were services are centrally located or within a short distance of each other. Communication and networking is paramount with making this option a success, so be ready to work hard to make your name known!

2.   Become a tour leader. Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera, the streets of Paris. Could you see yourself leading a group of tourists through these places as a tour guide? What about if your tour was based on riding bicycles through these areas? If you have knowledge of the regulations, culture, and navigation of various cities and regions, put that knowledge – and your bicycle – to work for you. Not only will you be able to travel to exotic locations for free, but you’ll be able to make an income doing something you love with other people who are excited to see a new land. The key to success with this venture is teaming up with an established bicycle rental shop in order to avoid costly outlays in capital. Woo them with your unique route plans and prepare to take the world by storm.

3.   Deliver meals. Make yourself the ultimate delivery person by teaming up with local restaurants to deliver their tasty delights to office workers who can’t get away from their desks for lunch. Once you’ve established yourself in the restaurant arena, branch out to personal contacts who may want to hire you for their lunch delivery five days per week. Potential bonuses could include a free meal! Potential opportunities for expansion include pizza, weekend, and evening deliveries.

4.   Be the AAA of bicyclists. Let’s say you were training for your first triathlon. Imagine heading out for a long training ride and remembering – halfway through when you get a flat tire – that you accidentally left your spare tubes at home. What if you could call someone to come out, meet you, and fix your bicycle so you could continue on your way, much like American Automobile Association (AAA) does for stranded motorists? If you have a bicycle, a bit of repair know-how, and a small assortment of tools/products on your back, you could become a hot commodity in your community’s contingency of bicycle enthusiasts.

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Jai Catalano April 23, 2012 at 8:03 am

2 reasons I don’t have a bike. Kid 1 and kid 2.

I would be great as a tour leader by the way.

bob May 6, 2012 at 10:42 am

Kids are no reason to give up the bike. I take my20 month old everywhere in a bike. From the grocery store to day care.

ImpulseSave April 23, 2012 at 11:04 am

Some very creative ideas, indeed. Many of these would work quite well in Cambridge. It’s a pretty bike-friendly area, and I could see a tour business doing well. You could go between the river, local sights, and end up at some delicious sandwich shop. Not bad!

Frugal Portland April 23, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Bicycles scare me. I’m living in one of the most bike friendly cities in the country and I really wish I could get the courage to buy a bike, but I’m a little afraid of dying.

Charlotte@EverythingFinance April 23, 2012 at 5:55 pm

Here in Houston, riding a bike would be very hazardous to your health, except maybe in some of the suburbs. With our heat and humidity you would really have to be in good shape to bike here. At least it’s pretty flat.

Little House April 24, 2012 at 6:47 am

Bicycles are close to my heart and I love these ideas! I’ve often thought about the bicycle tour idea. Take a small group on a bike tour near a favorite hangout like the beach or a quaint town and show visitors the sights. Yet, I love the AAA of bikes idea! What a concept!

Small Business Loans April 24, 2012 at 7:17 am

I am excited to add this website to my faves. I think I will subscribe to the blog feed too.

Paul @ The Frugal Toad April 25, 2012 at 6:05 am

Great ideas when the weather permits. Here in Phoenix the summers are on the warm side and it can be dangerous to be out during the day. It would be great to retire to Martha’s Vineyard and lead bike tours in the Summer!

Jerry April 29, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Those are very creative ideas. You could also just bike to work, if possible. It’s insurance for the environment and leads to more green in your wallet, as well!

Tony May 1, 2012 at 5:04 am

There is a lot nore to becoming a courier than having a bike. Between insurance (and you generally need a lot, including liability, cargo, and in some states, occupational/workman’s comp) and advertising, starting a courier business is not something one goes into lightly.

In fact, every one of these suggestions requires quite a bit of investment. Titling this as “ways to make ‘extra’ income” is very deceiving, as the time and financial committment are all a lot larger than something one does in their spare time.

And I won’t even get into the self-employment taxes…

Darrell @ Debt and Buried May 1, 2012 at 6:53 am

In NYC the marijuana delivery business is booming. http://journalism.nyu.edu/publishing/archives/livewire/archived/new_york_mariju_1/

Just sayin’…..

Shawanda @ You Have More Than You Think May 3, 2012 at 7:58 am

Very cool ideas. You want catch me on a bike, but since I live in the metro DC area, I can see myself performing walking tours.

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