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Tuesday, June 1, 2004
Updated: June 8, 10:57 AM ET
Riders For Hire

By Alyssa Roenigk

Ahhh, summertime. Sunshine, beaches, swimming pools and ... manual labor. You can't enjoy the fun stuff without a summer job to pay for it all. Before they were pros, these guys learned the same summer lesson.

On this Tuesday morning wakeup call, we give three hard working athletes a much needed break and ask ...

What's the worst summer job you ever had?

Mike Metzger
Mike Metzger, MTX, Huntington Beach, CA

Working construction with my dad. I worked on and off with him for years, starting when I was six. I'd rather be doing artwork or something creative than digging with a shovel. Digging with a shovel sucks.

That's what dads like to see kids do. My dad likes to see everyone dig with a shovel. He just stands around laughing.

I would never work construction ever again. My advice, if you're trying to make some money to have fun, don't make dad mad, 'cause he's just going to make you work harder.

I made six bucks an hour back then, and I guess I thought that was good money. One year, I saved up and bought a Redline bicycle.

Ryan Nyquist
Ryan Nyquist, BMX, Greenville, NC

Sweeping and raking up the back lot of the Jiffy Market of Los Gatos. I grew up in Northern California, so we had some hot summers and standing in the middle of a hot gravel parking lot for hours wasn't exactly my idea of summer vacation.

My job was to rake up all the trash, bottles, cigarette butts, and whatever else was left behind by the partiers. There was a restaurant neighboring Jiffy Market, and it was also my responsibility to pick up after them.

Sometimes the whole job took very little time at all, but other times it seemed like the mess never ended. Anything from vomit to dog poop to half eaten sardines to crusty old underwear awaited me in that back lot. After a year or two, I got a job working in the Jiffy Market and that was a lot better, but I'll never forget the things I had to rake up in the back lot.

John Parker
John Parker, BMX, Gilbert, AZ

It started when I was eight and didn't end 'til I was 19. My dad was a general contractor, and his three sons were general laborers. From grading and concrete to window cleaning, I had a lot of miserable lessons in house building.

We were the first ones to show up in the morning and the last ones to leave and we got the worst jobs. One summer, my friend wanted to work. We were digging under a house to build a storage room and you couldn't even stand up straight. He lasted two days.

The worst summer was working in the Bakersfield valley. We'd get up at 4:00 a.m in Paso Robles, drive two hours and work all day. I remember doing stucco work one week. It was my first time and no one said I should wear gloves. By the end of the day, I had a blistering sun burn and had worn a hole through my knuckles from scraping cement out of a bucket all day.