Being sponsored definitely had it's perks: some free or cheap bike parts, clothing and schwag, influence, and not to mention international fame and glory. Being sponsored raised me up from being an 'average' Joe-Schmoe rider to that of
'I look down my nose at you dirty pig-dog' status.
I WAS A SOMEBODY.
Now, I am a nobody.
Don't get me wrong, being a 'nobody' ain't that bad. It's just that I was living on a champagne and caviar, now I'm eating baked beans out of tin can.
"It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend getting a sponsorship."
Sponsorship can be a lot of work - the stress of getting to events, spreading the word about the company(s) you ride for, keeping up appearances, trimming your nose hair, doing reviews, making your rounds on the bike forums, posting on the blog, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Sponsorship is usually reserved for 'racers' who get results. I'm amazed that for the past four years that I have been sponsored or received some kind of rider support in one way or another from bike/bike part companies.
Those two words don't seem synonymous with me. A middle of the pack, sport/expert rider, who is on the hefty side of fat AND slow, who gets virtually no blog traffic . . . looking back I'm amazed. I must have fed some folks in the bike business a shined up, big ol' load of bullshit in order to get some sort of backing.
There must be some way that I can get free stuff for doing practically nothing?!?
Did I mention that I have a blog??