When people ask me about the core values of BEAT Cycling Club, there are a few that stand out for me personally. One of them is accessibility.
“But Theo, isn’t that obvious? You’re in cycling. It’s one of the sports in which the athletes are the most accessible of all.” I can almost hear you say this out loud. And you’re right. It is.
But how far does this so-called easy access to riders and teams go these days? At bigger races, there are VIP villages where you a need a special pass to enter the team zone. How many riders really take time out for the fans? Have you ever been invited to celebrate a victory with a team? At the team hotel?
I personally know riders who dread the idea of having to come out of the team bus to have their picture taken with the fans. Who simply hate handing out autographs. Some are convinced that taking five or 10 minutes for their fans will ruin their race.
In the next post, I’ll be discussing what the “BEAT factor” means to me. One thing I can already tell you is this: a rider who doesn’t understand that he is a rider by the grace of the public should not come knocking on our door. Of course, your private life shouldn’t be an open book to the entire world, but being there for the people who support you, from time to time, is part of your job.
Professional sports are part of the entertainment business. And the entertainment doesn’t stop at the finish line of the race. So yes, I am already looking forward to fans joining the team for Twitter rides, training camps, fan days, or victory celebrations at or near the team hotel. I can already picture an extra team truck where we can host fans at the start of the races, just like I can’t wait for our online club platform to be up and running so we can open a direct line between fans, riders and staff.
What do you think? Do you like the idea? Or how you would like accessibility to be implemented? Let me know. I can’t promise we’ll be able to make your wildest dreams come true, but we certainly are willing to listen and see what we can do!