Tuesdays with Dirty: I did it

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I finally did the one thing I have been talking about for years. I quit my job to ride bikes and travel. Since I have been with DC, I have gotten a lot of emails and comments about how I don’t work and it must be nice to be a trust fund kid. Truth of the matter, I actually worked quite a bit. So much so, that it has cost me a few girlfriends over the years and I missed out on countless good times. When it comes down to it, I just don’t sleep very much. Lots of overnight drives and gallons upon gallons of coffee are what get my trips done. It probably wasn’t the most healthy way, but it was the only way I knew how.

I was fine with that lifestyle for the better part of a decade. Then bones started breaking when I used to bounce. Then a close friend, younger than me, got diagnosed with cancer and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Maybe it’s an early mid-life crisis, maybe I’ve just gone a little crazy. But for the past eight months I have gone into work and said “What the fuck am I doing?” every day. All I want to do is ride mountain bikes in as many places as possible. Taste different dirt, see the big views, meet amazing people and gather the stories that come as a result. So I said “fuck it” and I quit.

When the time came, I searched the internet for “letters of resignation” and just copied one into an email to my bosses. Bland and to the point, it was ideal for the sterile corporate environment I was leaving. I actually didn’t mind my job, being a chemist is pretty fun at times. I also recognize that this career has afforded me the lifestyle I now have and I didn’t want my exit to be like a scene from half baked. So I bit my tongue and went with a generic resignation. But there were a few things I wanted to say. Below is the unedited version of what my resignation letter should have said.

To whom it may concern,

I’m out. I quit. It’s not because I don’t like you, I think you are alright. I just don’t see this working out in the long run. It’s not you, it’s me.

I think what it comes down to is that I’m tired. I’m tired of wasting my time making other people rich. I’m tired of listening to a guy wearing $500 shoes and $400 pants stand at the front of the room, explain why we aren’t getting raises yet again this year. I’m tired of people around me being proud that they don’t have passports or bragging about having hand injuries because they played too many video games. I’m tired of hand sanitizer stations in the hallway and cubicles, oh the cubicles. More like coffins filled with the pasty un-dead, working away all of the daylight hours only to emerge in the darkness to have a few hours of living before they do it all again. I’m tired of the lines painted on the parking lot telling me how to get to my car safely, and the boyscout taddle-tales that scold me for not using them. I’ve had it with the snide, condescending comments about getting old and not having a wife and kids yet. But who is going to take care of me when I get old you say? Me, just like I have all the years leading up to now.

So it’s with this letter that I say goodbye. Don’t bother calling, I’m booked for the next six months. There is a lot of world to see and a lot of trail to ride. I’m going to do my best to see all of it.

Life is finite. Don’t waste time. See ya down the trail.

Best wishes,


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About dirty biker

I am a fan of singletrack, singlespeeds, single women and single malt. Currently in Carbondale, CO Follow on Instagram @dirty_biker

32 Replies to “Tuesdays with Dirty: I did it”

  1. Pingback: Tuesdays with Dirty: I did it | PEDAL CANTON


    oh wait I’m a stay at home parent. Lucky you DIrty. I’ll just have to wait for my job to out grow me.

  3. Good for you Dirty! I’ve always been underemployed, which means I have lots of time, but not lots of money. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I scrimp and save and appreciate my many adventures. I love it, and I know you will too! Enjoy freedom and all the open trails! And see you on the road! :)

  4. I love ya man. I’ll be your girlfriend and your nurse. Just please buy me girl bibs thst actually line up with my nipples!

  5. There is an ebb and flow to my work. Electrician if you haven’t guessed.

    And I love my work. Don’t always love the job, but I love the work that I do.

    So here I am about a year out from retirement. I want to ride more, but I can’t see me not ever working again in this trade that has given me so much.

    So here’s my plan. Come next year, I’ll officially retire. But thios outfit I’m working for actually appreciates me and treats me quite well. Ant the money ain’t half bad.

    So I’ll do a project or two every year. Probably use most of the money from that for improvements to The House of Joe.

    Which won’t take that much time. So I’ll finally be able to get my ride on in epic fashion. “Best of both worlds” sort of thing is what I’m shootinmg for.

    Dirty, I’m happy for you. The gypsy lifestyle isn’t for me; I’ve got it too good here at The Manor. But following a dream-I think that’s something everyone can relate to.

    You should definitely ride the C&O. And when you get to mile 124, send up a flare. I’ll load you up with good home cooking and pull a cork.

    “Fair winds and following seas”.

  6. You are my hero. Maybe one day I will get my balls in a sack and do the same. Good luck!!? .. I can’t wait to see your future pictures and read your stories.

  7. Well played either way. I’m happy for you!!! Those fucking tattle-tale Boy Scouts suck with all those safety reminders!!! Drink beer and have fun man!

  8. Great call. Just like they tell those sports kids “you can always get that college degree later”, you can always go back to work if needed. Until then, do what they hell you want to do and don’t look back until you have to.

  9. I’m looking forward to vicariously living threw you. ..even more now than I already had. ..now get your ass to the east coast so we can ride some more.

    Good on ya brother! Happy trails

  10. Come to think of it, you have time now to watch my kids so I can ride.

    If you come ’round to Pee Yay we should at least attend a “yoga class”.

  11. Pingback: Tuesdays with Soiled: I did it | Posts

  12. I was one of the posters years ago who questioned if you were a trust fund kid. I couldn’t figure out how anyone could travel and have so much fun unless their mommy and daddy were rich. But now I understand. You’re a chemist so thats means you cook meth, right?

    I used to travel a lot when I worked in a hospital before they cut vacation from 7 weeks a year down to 2. So I quit, sold all my stuff and retired to travel but I soon ran outta money. Back to the chain gang.

    Good luck kid. No more luxuries. And find another job willya. Meth is a very bad drug. Why dontcha cure cancer or something?

  13. Now there’s some inspiration! Rock it Dirty, I cant’t wait to read your adventures.

  14. Ah haint as good at this as Dirty, but when I lost my job in the recession, I didn’t go back. Nowadays, I mostly just ride and ski while I’m still young enough to do so with middling ability. A cautionary note: some of my friends, you know, ‘conservatives’— think I’m lazy, even though I’m a better capitalist than any of them, since I scrape by on dividends and capital gains, rather than selling my days away as a wage slave.

    I have been extremely LUCKY in my life.

    Just back from the Midwest; bagged a bunch of mileage on rail trails west of the Twin Cities, and spent a couple days sampling some flippin’ schweet singletrack up around Cable/Seeley in northern Wisconsin. THESE ARE THE GOOD OLD DAY. Rubber side down, brothers and sisters; see you out there.

  15. I knew this was coming, good to see it in print! So awesome, good for you!!

    Not sure if I can say the same for me, but having just signed the paperwork to buy the building I’ll run the shop out of, I think I’m doing it right (11+ years of rent, fuck making the landlord money anymore….)

    Play hard, play long, and don’t be a stranger back east, sounds like a few others feel the same way!

  16. …the most dangerous risk of all

    the risk of not doing what you want

    on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.

    Cheers to you and happy trails!!!!!

  17. First of all, congratulations to doing exactly what you want in life. I’m glad you went for it.

    For me, I’m kind of on the other end of this. I’ve been married now for three years and my wife is a great person. For the entire time she’s known me, I’ve been in graduate school working on my Ph.D. It was fun at first, then I hit the dread ABD stage and I couldn’t make progress. In hindsight, I realize it was because:
    a) the market is tough for my degree
    b) you have to be willing to move anywhere
    About those:
    a) it’s tough in many fields
    b) moving isn’t an option, my wife is an only child and we’re close to her parents. She wouldn’t move, I wouldn’t live apart.

    So, I was struggling along, not wanting to finish because of a mental block. Another Ph.D. doing short order cooking? Argh.

    I landed a full-time job this year and 6 months in I’m loving in. Not in my field at all, but I enjoy the work. It could very well become a decent career. The upsides: I ride my bike to work, I’ll make as much or more as I would using my Ph.D…and I don’t use it at all. PLUS, I loved learning, writing, researching, not the academic world. PLUS, being a professor these days is trying to keep you fucking students from watching porn in lectures. Fuck that, I’m not a cop.

    So here I am, six months into a job, three years into a marriage, and two months into owning a very nice house in a great location. I just went on a two week vacation with my wife and dogs and returned in a serious state of malaise. Is this it? Vacations, work, etc?

    I think I’m feeling this because for 4 years not finishing my dissertation has partly been about not growing up. Cycling a fuckload and partying a lot. It was fun, don’t get me wrong.

    But, I also don’t mind the routine I’m in and life is good. I just think my mind/body are getting used to being mid-life settled dude and not party animal dude. I used to live like each day was my last. Now I realize I can still have fun tomorrow, so I should go to bed when I’m tired and good and drunk.

    Not condemning anyone’s choices on how to live (unless it’s as an angry motorist who buzzes cyclists). Just thought I’d chime in. Instead of quitting, I’m happy to have a job and some steady income. Holy fuck, this is the first time in years I just buy what I want at the LBS. It feels awesome. I can also buy whatever beer I want, not the cheapest.

    Happy trails, everyone. Definitely realizing there is no one way to live life.

    As Randy wisely said, “I’m just want to live in this trailer park, mow lawns, and get stoned.” Good on ya, Bobandy!