Career cold start suggestions


1 µW
Oct 24, 2022
Hello Spherians, I have always wanted to ride my bicycle more and drive less. Renewable and sustainable technology is something I have followed and adopted with conviction that there were superior alternatives to fossil fuels. I owned a car but would still ride a bike to work whenever I could whenever possible. Not because I had anything to prove or promote it just seemed like the obvious choice even in the late 80's as a college student in Santa Cruz doing handyman jobs to pay rent once my tools were on-site I rode my bike and saved gas funds for surf trips outside of town. I continued to do that working hardhard hat jobs in SF in the 90's whenever it was possible. Riding past people sitting in traffic and not having to worry about metermaids, thieves or bridge tolls was just bonus reward for wanting to ride.

Right before Covid struck I sold my huge Tundra as my back finally quit and I was rehabing chronic L4/L5 pain. No amount of pain relief seemed to work and I could not at times. It was sobering but I could ride. In fact, it was the only things besides my PT and senior yoga classes that brought relief. Lockdown happened right both my bikes were run to the raw metal so I began to learn basic bike mechanics and eventually reached a level a competence. I kind of ignored ebikes until now because I dont think they are unimportant. One of my best friends uses electric assist hand pedaling after he was run over cycling so the value of assist for the disabled or anyone who needs it seems self-evident. As a daily rider on commute paths though I see some pretty dangerous trends but that is another discussion.

By chance i watched one Grin's recent YT vids on regenerative braking. I have worn many hats over the years including selling Prius for Toyota so I was always puzzled by the lack of systems using electric motors wasting potential power coasting and braking. I live in the SF bay area where hills rule and flats are shorts and far betweeen. Now I am considering sending resumes and making cold calls to various ebike shops. I am also very keen on potentially doing sailboat conversions as I have worked on boats and was an avid sailor for years. I was a contractor for 30 years and still have clients who may want to (and can afford to) adopt a greener, quiet and exhaust free way to get in and out of the harbor as some marinas have longer channels than others. This may even be a more lucrative potential market than bikes in areas where sailboats are as common as yachts. Eventually, I may return to contracting but for now I would like to be an apprentice and earn while I learn. I enjoy reading manuals and being humble and teachable as part of a professional outfit as opposed to a self-taught freelancer.

I have a couple leads from meeting folks. It also seems like the challenges or necessity of maitenance, replacement and upgrading of modular battery systems is a whole new burgeoning field unto itself. Reports from NYC Fire Dept. on fires related to ebikes used heavily for restaraunt and other delivery services indicates how reliant the majority of the public may be in adopting best practices and service. The technology, the demand and the correspondent maitenance are growing and even in the bay area it feels like there is some catching up to do. The one local ebike shop caters to well-heeled clients which is fine but real growth and wider adoption has other outside factors limiting growth like terrible drivers, no real bike safety initiatives and rampant theft rings.

So where should I start? I am ready to be a great employee and see if my true believer interest in these applied technologies might become a new career path now that I am relatively abled bodied. I was selling BMWs for a while but even the greenest of car manufacturers seemed annoyed I took train and rode into work on my bike. The northern bay area is full of comanies in related fields but I wanted to test the waters here and get free advice. Or warnings, jokes, whatever. I aim to be a proficient bicycle mechanic someday but Shimano like Toyota isnt quite the pillar of eco salvation I might have hoped and to be honest there is alot about the bicycle industry that I think could be better about getting more people out of their cars and riding bikes or other "last mile" mobility solutions. Boat owners have always been flush but that too, like any contracting, is rife with peril so working within an established, reputable business is most attractive to me.

Thanks to anyone who read my text wall.


100 W
Jan 7, 2019
In my experience, businesses are mostly interested in making money first (especially small business where cashflow is a constant struggle for survival)

If you have 30 years of contracting experience, you probably know a bit about the ins and outs of being in business; things like managing staff, projects, suppliers, ordering systems, accounts, credit, inventory, logistics, debtors, bad payers etc.

that kind of experience is gold to a new business just starting out or expanding rapidly as they are fresh meat and the water is full of sharks unfortunately.

If you can summarise your experience on those lines, as well as your skills "on the tools", you should have a compelling resume that you can take to a business you like the look of- one that tweaks your new interest.

you might not end up doing exactly what you want but it would be close!


100 W
Aug 5, 2020
All I can say is I was in your shoes a few years ago when I made my decision, no background in that sector and now I am working for a major EV company. I started an associates' in engineering technology, began building EVs at home, started a business that ended up losing money but looks great on paper and taught me a lot, through school I got turned onto an internship in a different part of the EV industry, got hired by that company, quit school, worked that for a year, got creative to get a required certification at the same time and now I'm where I really wanted to be all along, working on EVs. Winding road.

The industry is brand new, there are no established paths, only career paths that run close enough so motivated people can jump over. At least in my experience. Choose something and good luck!