Kelli Sam: Going Nowhere Fast
Six years ago I never thought I would be running a domestic U.S. Women’s pro cycling team. In all honesty, I thought I would be racing professionally myself. Things change and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’m Kelli Sam and I'm the Founder/Owner … / Manager, Director, Mechanic, Medic, Soigneur, Mom, Therapist and friend of LA Sweat. The Domestic Professional women’s crit team, the team that came on to the scene as 4 unknown riders in the most outrageous kits the racing scene had seen in years. Driving across the country in a Volkswagen Jetta wagon, packed to the brim with all of our bikes on top, hitting up every major crit series we could find in hopes to inject a bit more positivity into the women’s peloton.
'In a culture of power profiles, recovery tights and carbon bottle cage bolts, it's nice to be reminded there are still girls out there who just wanna go fast and have a blast. Because bikes are fun. Riding is fun. Racing is fun. Oh, and winning races every now and then ain't too shabby either. '
Fast forward to the 2020 season. It was shaping up to be the best season yet, all our riders returned and we had just signed Sam Schneider! And then I heard about the CoronaVirus. I had the same thought a lot of people did I’m sure - Keep calm, Carry on. I had no intention of halting team activities as we weren’t racing until mid - April. But then it started with Sea Otter, rumors of postponement started swirling but you know that's fine we can still hold team camp I thought, since it’s just us. I continued to plan and build bikes, organize rider equipment and book travel for all my riders.
Then the cancelations started happening and I took a 180 on my stance of what was actually happening in the world. My riders health and wellbeing is first and foremost, I checked in daily with their mental state and still do every day. And I started watching as more and more borders were being closed and so I knew it was time to halt all activities until further notice. And here we are, what would have been the final race of the season has passed and we have officially gone from off season and just stayed there all year long.
We just stopped time and are continuing to wait out the storm. But I knew as a small team and someone who works in the cycling industry things were changing rapidly, brands are suffering and I knew this could translate and trickle down into sponsorships and brands having to reevaluate their spending, if we aren't racing where are those funds going and how are we being seen?
We want to be a source of positivity in the peloton, whether that is in real life or virtually, so we have pivoted our goals and our approach. We are working closely with our partners to bring the riders inside your homes. Providing training tips, virtual rides, and live IG Q&A’s, encouraging fans and friends to take this time to do some good in the world. Our hope is that the more we can continue to engage with people around the world when this is all over we can jump right back into racing and being in the communities we love so much.
We are here and want to know how you are doing, so reach out to us on social, let us know what topics you want to talk about, what workouts you are interested in, or questions about racing, or really anything… we are bored.
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