When the opportunity came along to be the first ever Elite and Developmental cycling team sponsored by a cannabis company, I jumped at the chance. Given the tenuous relationship between drugs and sport – especially cycling – I was drawn to the opportunity to bridge the gap between stigma and reality. Getting a job in the sales department at Grown Rogue didn’t hurt in getting the ear of the company’s owner to pitch the idea to him, so I couldn’t resist this unique and exciting opportunity.
It’s dangerous and risky to partner with a cannabis company, just like the sport of cycling itself. As the owner and captain of the team, I know the rules around drugs are sticky. I also know my riders who choose to use cannabis will do so responsibly. I have seen so many athletes struggle with recovery and recuperation with synthetic aids over my career, both as a racer and a manager. Painkillers. Ibuprofen and other analgesics that are harmful to the organs. I know of the healing properties of cannabis, and to get a chance to bring a team to OBRA (Oregon Bicycle Racing Association) that showcased both the legality and the restorative properties of cannabis was too exciting a prospect to pass up. It’s refreshing to see new sponsors stepping into the sport of cycling that in recent years wouldn’t have been able to.
Photo Credit: Jose Sandoval