Thursday, June 21, 2007

Been released.

I will no longer be riding for Lincoln Industries/Lemond in any capacity because despite the perception that LI/Lemond is a road team because of the road frame provision, the policy is to require the LI/Lemond kit no matter which discipline the rider participates in. Of course, this means that riders wishing to do 'cross, mtb, or have a TT bike, must provide their own.

Being chronically short on cash but willing to work hard and race, Rob Pennell, Badger Cycles, offered me a custom MTB bike and 'cross bike to wear the kit. I thought so long as I raced well and a lot on the road, meeting the required number of races for LP, that it would be OK to wear the Badger kit in the other disciplines. This led to some conflict and I am now free to seek other road sponsorship opportunities.

While inconvenient and certainly not planned, it's probably for the best and it may give me a chance to ride with a women's team yet this season. I don't know how this stuff works and perhaps changing things up mid-season isn't feasible, but since I was already riding alone, I'm used to it and will use the rest of the season to become a better racer and hopefully hook up with a women's team for '08.


VeloCC said...

You know my opinion already! Everything happens for a reason and you deserver the best!!!!

bryan said...

released as in 'no more road stuff' or released as in 'road for LI/L and everything else for Badger?'

I'm not good at reading between the lines.

Cornbread said...


oldmanandhisbike said...

What? Wow.
You are welcome to use my Super U/Laurent Fignon costume if you like.
This is a bummer to hear. Good luck with the rest of your season and if you can, come up here and race this fall (see my blog)!

sydney_b said...

OK, I've edited. Should be clear now.

Marc said...

You're out there encouraging and promoting the sport of "bike racing". All your sponsors are/are going to get there share of publicity. Not being able to ride mtb races under Badger Cycles is really F-------! stupid. Ultimately were all in this to build up cycling as a sport because we are so dam passionate about it. I guess not for some of us in this sport.

I don't see one person or another making such a huge impact on this sport. It's more about the masses. Riding around here in the early 80's i would go for weeks without seeing a person on a bike. That was around Omaha with a bigger population base. Now I go out and if I dont see a person on a bike I wonder "what's up?" Usually it's the weather. I think it's because one person then the next and so on participate and it spreads and spreads. We got to keep this going forward and not backward by letting things like this happen.

You've raced your share on the road and you'll do your share off road. One more negative outcome for the locally cycling scene.

mtb05girl said...

I agree with Marc - that's really stupid. I know several people who race for one team on the road and have a different cross/mountain team. Ah well, their loss right?? :) Good luck with whatever team your headed to next!

munsoned said...

Hey Syd, all I gotta say is, Doh! I'll miss having my breakaway (off the back) buddy for long road races. I can sorta understand both sides of this situation since it does have to do with money placed in marketing. The bike shops and LI gave our team money to promote them which doesn't happen when we don't wear our jerseys with their name on them. However, I would think that spreading the marketing love around would be nice to everyone. But I guess that's why we signed a contract at the beginning of the season - no spreading marketing love for us.

This sport is crazy expensive and it's tough to balance your needs/wants of equipment with available budget. I'm in a lot of debt because of this fact, hence my lack of traveling alot to races.

I wish you well in your pursuit of cycling prowess, no matter what team you land on. Doesn't Badger do road bikes too? You could be their main spokesperson in the midwest. Heck, you might even get a team built up large enough like Indy Fabs did.

You doing Ponca this weekend? I'll be there and any time I see you on the course I'll be singing, "A badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, MUSHROOM, MUSHROOM!!"

Anonymous said...

What do you think about joining Team Kaos?

bryan said...

Ohhhhh ... OK, I'm with it now. released as in, well ... released.

It seems very nitpicky to make a big deal out of a different kit for the MTB/cross stuff. I see the LI/L point, but I think it's unnecessary. It's not like the trees can place a metal-forging order with LI, and it's not like MTB fans are going to go check out the new Lemond Tete de Course.

It's too bad conflicts like this happen. But I wish you the best -- things are going to work out fine.

Morgan's right. Check out Kaos. Please?

LoupGarou said...

That sucks. Though I don't think you will have a hard time finding a team, you are a hot commodity in the womens arena. Keep up the hard work and don't let this get to you. How many cat 2 women out there do road, mtb, and cyclocross and excell at it? You are the only animal I know of. :)

3p0 said...

Their loss,

wear the jersy you like, promote the sport like you always do,

and the folks who made the desisions to say no to you... well,
pass them and don't look back.

I look forward to riding my new white badger in my black mw team kit... the fun of being on the monkey wrench crew...

team derbys before bike races...

VeloCC said...

It's their loss and I say that coming from the the MTB side of the sport and not knowing that much yet about road biking but "SYDNEY BROWN" is a name EVERYBODY knows and so far you connected her with LP. It didn't matter if she rode a MTB race for Rob. EVERYBODY knew, she is a KILLER on the road and she was riding for the "blue team"....
This happened just in time for me to find out, what LP thinks about MTB...
Marc is right, it is sad to see people working against the growth of the sport.
And in Sydney's case, where she is racing pretty much every weekend. And if I remember right, so far 90 % of them on the R O A D!!!!

We all know how expensive our sport is and I think everyone would like to get help. If the rider shows potential and someone offers help, you gotta take it!
And I am sure that there will be a team for you Syd.
One that you can actually race with:)

nicol said...

I was thinking the same as Christine. Surprises me with all the publicity you have given cycling and all your success that they wouldn't make an exception for you. But, I am new to all this and I don't know all the ins and outs to the situation.

Good luck this weekend! That Badger is very pretty, btw. :)

sydney_b said...

Thank you all for your support. And, I have to thank LP as well. Marc and Mike got me set up on my first competition grade road bike and the club affiliation sure helped make it more affordable to get 'kitted out.' I learned a lot and look forward to continuing to support the sport regardless of sponsorship. And that's what's really important to me.

I want to do well and I'll ride hard for whoever invests in me, but ultimately, I hope new riders, especially women, get some confirmation that if they set their mind to it, they can achieve their own athletic goals.

Happy spinnin'!

Chris said...

Sounds like a dumb decision by LP on my part. You are up and coming on the women road scene. You should try to get a ride with a team like Advil-Chapstik as a guest rider for the rest of the season.

Cornbread said...

Wow, that's crazy stuff. Stuff situation for all parties involved.

All you got to do is keep pedalin' Syd.

Danielle said...

Ouch. I know a lot of women racers who ride in different jerseys for road/mountain.

Oh well. Now you can get on a pro women's team and have other teammates to race with. It will be better in the long run.

Have fun mountain biking this weekend :-)

Peter said...


I didn't read all the comments, but all I'd like to add is this...


MOD said...

Interesting read...stuff I've all heard before. After 25+ years of racing, all I can say is sometimes being "sponsored" isn't all it's cracked up to be. Sometimes you have to ride what you're told to ride. Personally, I would have liked to see you stick it out 'til the end of the season. Hopefully we'll see you at more off-road events. Good luck with Badger, they seem like a good group of folks.

Marc said...

Peter, Read all the posts. You got nothing better to do, kid.

As a member of LI we're told to use discretion about public comments. This has nothing to due with Lincoln Industries or any of the sponsors. Hell, I'm one of the sponsors on the jersey. This has everything to due with a poor decision. I'm the last guy to tell to keep my mouth shut. I use discretion in certain matters but this isn't the time. The girl wanted to use her mountain bike and badger kit. Sure USCF rules say you must be released to race on another team or club. Why wouldn't you do it? If the excuse is "it's not benefiting our sponsor" that's a bunch of crap. Everyone knows Syd and who she races for.

Her schedule calls for nearly 1000 hrs of training and racing this year. People at the YMCA walk up to her in spin class and begin to talk. I mean, this is crazy the amount of publicity a bike racer like her throws out into this area. Not to let her race mtn bikes for badger is freaking nuts.

Sydney is an exceptional promoter of bike racing and bikes. She gets her name in the paper with pictures , this blog is visited by 100's if not thousands of people, where ever she goes strangers walk up to her and ask her about bike racing, I could go on and on. I think there were 2 others on this team, they have nothing to do with this comment, Mike & Craig, who saw someone who wanted to race a bike. We put our efforts together to make that happen.

I knew it was good for this team and this sport. I want respect for this sport like golf gets. I want people to give me a wide berth when passing me on the highway. I want people to get out and commute. I don't need to go on and on. Sydney promotes the cycling community is what I see. Damn, this was good for this team. She'll go on with another team and that's a fact to continue to promote cycling.

Dad said...

Sydney, some of your troubles are genetic...competitiveness, being a bit of an adrenaline junkie (one race won't last forever, next?), and an independent sort. That's the way you were raised. Sorry 'bout that. *L*

Ironically, all of us to a lesser or greater degree fail to consider the optimistic choice -- Let me count my blessings, then let me weigh those against my complaint.

This single attribute is the bane of most corporations, professional organizations, and ultimately clubs and similar groups.

Before you were born the PRCA controlled the membership as to where and under whose sanctions we could compete. Under such stringent regs the troops were kept in line and the money was minimal from sponsorship. Ultimately the membership challenged the regs in court as monopolistic, won and suddenly we were free to enter wherever we could afford the entry fees. Result...Pro-rodeo today has grown, membership, money and sponsorship is huge and it will only get better because big prizes attract athletes and sponsors like honey attracts flies...a win-win situation for everyone involved--contestants, sponsor(s), promotors, tack shops, animal breeders, truck sales, trailer sales, cafes, hotels, motels, Western Wear stores and the list goes on.

I've never heard you but praise LP for all that they were doing for you in your RR'ing. I am confident that they were getting their money's worth and more. I'm sorry for both of you that someone couldn't think beyond the moment.

Just remember that a flexed muscle with a little trauma grows and produces...those without atrophy.

Ride hard tomorrow and enjoy life as it comes...count your many blessings before whine time always.

Shim said...

I rode for Benson Bike Club on the Mountain Bike and High Gear on the road for two years. At the time I was primarily doing Mountain Bike stuff, but wanted to race with a team on the road, which BBC didn't really have. Neither party had a problem with it, and while things have developed in a differnt direction since then I remain friends with the people who supported me at BBC. Some things just arent worth having anomousity over.

I am sure things will work out for you.

Anne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anne said...

Syd, Bummed to read about the narrow view the team had. It's about sponsor press, good will for the sport and spreading the love of cycling. You've been doing it. In a positive manner.

The need for them to make a big deal out of racing mtb in Badger kit is unfortunate. They are loosing a killer road rider. Rather than helping support you in your other disciplines they cut you off?

USCF Release? A LOT of pros race for whatever sponsorship they can scrape together for CX that has nothing to do with their road season. None of them are getting booted off their road team.

Stay the course, speak well of all,continue to take the hight road and things will work out.


Peter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter said...

Marc, wtf are you talking about? I don't know if you're directing that at me, BUT I feel the same way you feel about the matter.

Sydney, best of luck. Get whatever you can to help you go the furthest you can go.

MG said...

syd, i concur 100-percent with what anne said in her comments.

you're never going to have trouble finding sponsors because you're personable, passionate and most importantly, fast.

whatever road team you end up riding for will be lucky to have your services.

it was great hanging out with you and the boys this weekend. congrats on another great win.


Anonymous said...

Marc, Lincoln in the 80's was nothing but bicycles. Deluxe, Pedalers, Cycle Works, Lincoln Schwinn, and Freewheelin' sold them by the thousands. Campus bike racks were full of Bassos, Faggins, Colnagos, Merckx, Bianchis, etc. and the road rides were huge. Maybe with Omaha being a bigger city is was harder to get out to the open roads from centrally located points. Or maybe it's just that Omaha is full of people with money and jobs while Lincoln is full of students and underemployed folk. There were some really killer riders back then. Ha-Jo, Dave Czech, etc.