As we have mentioned in recent communications, we will be taking on a site sponsor shortly. Shimano North America has agreed to underwrite a large portion of our operating costs through the end of the year. It is important that we stress that Shimano’s sponsorship does not cover all the costs of running TCI. We are still largely dependent on readers (and listeners) like you to do the work we want to do.
As a result of Shimano’s involvement, you will see and hear some changes. Shimano messages will appear on the podcasts, clearly delineated as sponsorship-related, and you will see Shimano produced content in posts. It is crucial that we make clear that we are choosing how to communicate about Shimano to you. In other words, everything we say on the podcasts will be sincere information based on our own personal experiences. The Shimano content embedded in posts will be content we’ve chosen, because we think it’s good and it overlaps with our own mission, to speak to any and everyone who likes to ride bikes.
With added sponsorship revenue, we will finally be able to fulfill more of our mission to bring you a diversity of voices, not just the views of white guys, which is what we are. Up to this stage, we have simply not had the funds to bring in those perspectives. Essentially, we’ve been doing the whole thing ourselves, and while it’s been fun, it’s not really the mission of the site to channel such a narrow viewpoint.
For some time, Padraig will have limited contributions (outside his excellent work on our podcasts) due to life commitments that are, let’s be honest, more important than this little web site. He’s still here, and he’s still key to our future. You just won’t be reading his stuff quite so much. You might have already noticed this temporary change.
We are pretty excited about this next phase of our growth. Generous subscribers helped us get this thing off the ground. Shimano’s involvement will let us get to that place where we have more and more varied content. We remain stoked as all hell about The Cycling Independent and seeing what it becomes next.
Those of you who have been with us from the beginning and who have paid for subscriptions at any level, know that we’re not here without you. We hope you’ll stay with us and share TCI content with your friends who ride bikes. Ultimately, we rise and fall with our readers’ interest, trust, and encouragement.
Please do chime in with thoughts and feelings below. We’re listening.
Robot and Padraig