Rick Earle, Burnaby's deputy city manager, is putting down the city reports and contracts after 30 years, and getting on his motorcycle.
Earle, who started working on the city's budgets in the finance department in January 1982, retired on May 24 and soon, he'll be riding to the Four Corners in the Southwestern U.S. with four friends.
"I'll be doing a lot of traveling," he says of his retirement.
Earle has always owned dirt bikes, he says, and began riding touring bikes about five years ago.
He traveled down to Las Vegas last May, keeping mostly to the side roads, and loved it, he says.
The trip to the Four Corners - the quadripoint between Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah - is the first he is taking after retiring, but there are others he's planning, such as a trip to the Maritimes with his wife in the fall.
"Thirty years is a long time," Earle says of his career. "There are things I want to do while I'm still mobile."
Earle worked at Burnaby General Hospital, and then General Electric, after graduating from Simon Fraser University with a bachelor's degree in economics and commerce and becoming a certified general accountant.
He applied for a job with the city when he found out General Electric planned to transfer him to either Toronto or Cleveland.
"It was a one-way ticket," he said of the transfer.
Earle took the city job, thinking it would be a brief stint before he returned to the private sector.
"When I started, I thought I'd work here for five years," he said. "I thought that a public service job didn't look good on a resume."
But he found the work interesting, and stayed on, becoming director of finance in 1992.
The variety of the work was compelling, Earle says, as he learned about everything from the city libraries to the water system.
"I do know a lot about sewage," he says, laughing.
"When you're in finance you get to touch on all of those things," Earle explains. "Everything needs money to run."
Working at city hall has meant collaborating with people who are passionate about what they do, he says.
"You're always dealing with constructive conflict," Earle says, adding that if there's no conflict in an organization it usually means the staff doesn't care about their jobs.
In 2010, Earle moved into the position of deputy city manager, sharing the job with Chad Turpin.
Earle was considering retiring at the time when Mayor Derek Corrigan offered him the job.
Earle handles the fire department and Burnaby RCMP, while Turpin takes care of "everything else," he says.
Most recently, Earle has been working on organizing civil staffing at the Burnaby RCMP.
He is busy wrapping up his work with the city, he said on May 16, riding that fine line of seeing some projects through while letting go and delegating others, and completing his last week at city hall.