What sponsorship means and why we choose Bike Index

One of the most excellent things about cyclocross is that you can create your own team, race at the UCI level, and call yourselves pros. It’s nice to have some results to back up your ‘pro’ designation, but unlike road, UCI racing isn’t restricted to just UCI teams.

The other most legitimately excellent thing about this setup is that you can bring on partners of your choosing. This is really most excellent for a couple of reasons:

  1. YOU CHOOSE these partners
  2. It’s really easy to post about them on social media because you actually use, enjoy, and benefit from their product.

Cyclocross provides many opportunities for autonomy. You can build your own team. You don’t have to manage others. You don’t race with teammates (and even when you do you don’t necessarily work together). The ability to pick your sponsors or partners is no exception. The goal of doing this is two-fold:

  1. You get to promote a group or product that you really like and want to see succeed
  2. Through social media and race results you bring attention to the product you are promoting. This garners more attention for you from the followers of the product, but also brings new users to the product you are endorsing.

While we are all still working on those elusive sponsorships from La Croix and Oakley, we’ve come together with a bunch of crazy benevolent people who believe in us and who want to see cyclocross grow in the U.S. Our cyclocross goals for the season mirror the goals of the folks who have worked for years to develop the best products in their fields.

Take CarboRocket, the ride fuel we would disintegrate without (and that tastes amazing). The Pony Shop, our title sponsor who has been promoting cyclocross for all ages throughout the midwest for years. And DeFeet socks, which are made right here where we live in North Carolina, and as @bicyclepubes notes, will put anything on a sock.

I suppose pubes is another sponsor dream. We would love to see your custom art on our kit. That would be so tukt.

But the hero of this day, and one we want to thrive, is Bike Index.

If you’ve ever had a bike stolen, you know it is the.worst.thing.ever. You may also be intrigued to know that a not insubstantial number of these stolen bikes are recovered, but police have no way of reuniting them with their owners because most bicycle owners have not registered their bikes. You may also also be intrigued to know that many bikes are stolen and carted off to another city for sale. When they are recovered elsewhere, local police have an exceptionally slimmer chance of recovering the bike because they have no idea where the bike is from, and no way to randomly access another city’s bicycle registry.

Derby City Cup
A beautiful Cannondale that might get stolen because, I mean, look at that fork. (Ethan Glading).

Bike Index solves all of these problems, and many more that you might not ever even have thought could be barriers to recovering your stolen bike. Chicagoland people have been seeing me promote Bike Index on Facebook a lot recently because I personally know 3 or 4 people whose bikes have been stolen in the past few months. Bike theft is everywhere. No one you know is safe. For a majority of cyclists, their bike will get stolen at some point, and a surprising number of people don’t realize that the Bike Index solution exists.

Of course, we would advocate that you register your bike on Bike Index before it is stolen, but the site provides a platform for you to register your stolen bike. You record essential information about the bike: serial number, make, model, color, and some photos, and voila – in a few minutes, you have a virtual proof of ownership that follows you no matter where you and your bike go. In addition, anytime someone sees a suspicious bike, they can search bikes matching the description in their area. If they find a stolen bike with that match listed on Bike Index, they can contact the owner through Bike Index’s secure platform, expediting the recovery process and bypassing formal and time-consuming recovery channels. In some instances, bikes have been found and recovered before the owners even knew the bike was stolen.

The method is so simple that really it’s amazing that it has taken so long for someone to build it. And it was built, and is managed by, real cyclists who use their bikes each and every day, and who are strong supporters of all things bikes, i.e. cyclocross (I might be one of them).

Bike Index is important for cyclocross because: you’re going to have a lot of really expensive bikes that you are often required to return at the end of the season. If they get stolen and you can’t get them back, then you can’t return them. And those bikes cost money that, let’s face it, a lot of pro cyclists don’t have.

But Bike Index is more than a bunch of API that keeps your race bikes cozy. It’s a group of folks who just want to see people have every opportunity to get out and ride, without fear of losing their main method of transportation or their race whip. And we wanted to work with them to show everyone that even elite cyclocross racers should to register their bikes!

Through our team, we can provide Bike Index expansion into a facet of cycling that isn’t right at their fingertips. We get to provide a new platform by which Bike Index sees the cycling universe, and that’s what good sponsorship is really all about.

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