It is said that home is where the heart is. I guess that means where ever you put your heart is home. Then maybe it means if you find a home, your heart will rest there. Most likely both ideas are true.
In the midst of all the news about the admissions of “one whose name shall not be spoken” the ugly underbelly of professional cycling once again is exposed. Sure, many of us are hoping that it is an old, rotting carcass of a belly. Regardless, it is back in the news and if you are a cyclist you probably can’t escape the question, “So, what do you think of….?”
Well, that home is getting a little uncomfortable. Let me encourage you to look somewhere other than the professional ranks to put a piece of your heart. I say a piece, because if its more than a piece of your heart caught up in cycling then we may need to have another conversation.
Look around you. Notice the cyclists of all shapes and sizes getting out on two wheels. Spring is just around the corner and though the professionals start their season earlier in the warmth of Australia, local road races will pop up in cities around the country within the next month.
Why not put your heart into…
Being a racer
It is fun. It is easy to get started. It can be very addicting!
Amateur racing is a tiered system. You come into the sport at a beginner level and can work your way up from there. All you have to do is go to USA Cycling and get a racing license. With that you are official.
Of course, it helps to ride your bike and learn the ways of riding in a group. Being a member of a club is a great way to make that happen. Here in Greenville the Greenville Spinners would be glad to welcome you into cycling and if you are so inclined, into the world of racing.
Being a sponsor
Clubs don’t just happen. Amateur racing teams don’t just happen. It takes passion, sweat and money to make it happen. Even if you aren’t into the sweating it out on the bike portion of racing. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved with the sweat of hard work.
Maybe you don’t have the time to be involved, but you have some extra cash in your marketing budget. Consider putting your logo on a team kit. You’ll earn some very appreciative spokespersons for your brand!
There are also ways to be a supporting sponsor. Teams often need services that you can provide in lieu of cash. I’ve been happy to sponsor teams for the last three years by offering web services. Not only has it been fun being able to help the team, I also scored a really cool cycling kit!
Being a fan
So, you have enjoyed being a fan of the professional scene. You’re jaded. You figure they are all crooks. You could be right. You could be wrong. However, let me encourage you to look a little closer to home.
Sure, local racing isn’t perfect — certainly not as beautiful as the professional peloton. It has its share of personalities you would rather ignore. Well, ignore them. Focus on that kid with the earnest look on his face. He probably doesn’t have the best equipment, but he wants to commit.
Be his fan. The world may never know his name. He may never sit on a couch for an interview with a national talk show host. However, he is many. He is the future of cycling.