It started with members of the UCSD Cycling Team joining in on The World Famous Swami’s Saturday Ride. Always eager to be active in the local cycling community, the UCSD riders quickly fit into the group and got the attention of Stan Bergum, Swami’s advisory board member and Saturday B-ride ambassador. One thing led to another and Stan reached out to ask how Swami’s could help support the team.
Those initial conversations shed light on the challenges that collegiate teams face and eventually culminated in Swami’s becoming an official sponsor of the team. “We’ve ridden with other clubs before,” said Eli Marx-Kahn, president of the UCSD Cycling Club, “but we’ve never experienced such offers of support.”
Collegiate cycling is under appreciated compared to other sports programs with teams being typically underfunded and left to fend for themselves. It’s with financial help from individual contributors and sponsors like Swami’s that the team is able to enjoy more flexibility in how they travel and race. These needed funds give them more resources and support the ongoing needs of a traveling cycling team – even down to the basics, such as housing when they’re on the road.
Eli’s goals are to get the cycling team to a point where it can sustain itself in racing. He also has visions for further growing their involvement in community outreach to bring attention to collegiate cycling, cycling in general, and give back to the community with more philanthropic ventures.
“This is what makes the sponsorship such an ideal fit between Swami’s and the UCSD Cycling Team,” said Stan Bergum. “Swami’s is committed to developing the sport of cycling and encouraging cyclists of all levels, and we are very excited for this opportunity to help the UCSD Cycling Team with its similar mission.”
Collegiate cycling is bicycle racing organized for competition against teams from other colleges. UCSD cycling is about 60 members strong and represents one of the schools in the Western Collegiate Cycling Conference, which includes San Diego State University, Claremont College, UCD, UCB, UCLA, UCSC, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Cal Poly Pomona, Stanford, and University of Nevada, Reno. The Western Collegiate Cycling Conference competes against other conferences in the US at national events. Visit their web page for more information about the team and their events.
If you’re on the road and see a rider from the UCSD team, be sure to welcome them to the Swami’s community.