I have been in architecture for 15 years, mostly working for HUGE corporations (SOM, HOK, NBBJ, etc). Sitting in front of a computer for all those years had me wondering if this was it. I rediscovered working with my hands by building bikes a few years ago. That passion turned into a shop, then a bigger shop (www.718c.com,), and now the #1 custom bike shop in NYC (New York magazine, 2011)
Most architects have a left/right brain duality that caused them to pursue the profession. I have that story, but always felt that it just took too long. Right now, I am working on a 2 billion dollar (yes, billion with a "b:" ) hospital that will be finished in 2019.
Bikes, to me, represented all that I love about architecture (design, technology), with the immediacy of building and the satisfaction of working with ones hands. Bikes are great for the environment, reduce congestion and elevate fitness levels. All things that got me into architecture to begin with.
My architecture job could be outsourced (and it essentially is when I "work from home"); there is no replacement for the skill in my hands. "You cant hammer a nail over the internet" (Crawford, "Shop Class as Soulcraft")...people who work with their hands ultimately have the MOST control over they destiny, as it can never be taken away.
So, I continue down this dual path....working in a nice office in Manhattan during the day, and repairing to my shop in Gowanus Brooklyn to get dirty.