Rule Five Racing Team Launch

Rule Five Racing Team Launch

From Christopher Santos

All funds to go to race fees, travel, lodging, team kits, community outreach and cycling advocacy projects, and other fees associated with running an amateur cycling team. We gladly accept donations of any amount.

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Recent Updates

Update #12

about 1 month ago

We are in the final countdown of the campaign. The kits are getting their final iteration with sponsor logos meaning we are no longer able to take on new sponsors and have them be represented on the 2018 kits. However, we have just a little bit of time left for a few donations to come through, and we are so freaking close to our goal. Please get anyone you know to hop on this train and help us out whether it is $5 or even $1. Share this with your peeps and see if they can spare a few bucks.

Again, thank you so much for all the continued support.

More Info

In January of 2018 I founded Rule Five Racing with a friend of mine in order to help highlight the talent that exists within the cycling community of Lafayette and West Lafayette, Indiana. In addition to that we wanted to help strengthen the community as a whole, leading me to reach out and become selected to be a member of the Bike & Pedestrian Advisory Committee of the City of Lafayette. Most teams reach out to sponsors in the Fall prior to the next race season, and in turn those sponsors set their budgets before the New Year. Unfortunately we had not decided to make a cycling team until after that. Not only did that give us a late start on the logistical side including branding and laying the foundation for a well-run and successful team, it also meant by the time we were in a position to reach out to potential sponsors they had already allocated their money dedicated to sponsorships to other teams. This has left us scrambling for funding. We have a few amazing sponsors who have provided the financial backing of which they are capable, but we need more to be able to do this right. We aren't just a group of guys who want to ride in the same kits. We bring a level of professionalism and dedication to each race and want to use our success to draw attention to our sponsors (who we refer to as partners), our local cycling community, and to cycling as a fun sport and social activity. Since our inception we have podiumed at every single race we have attended, even sweeping the podium in one instance. We have been recognized by our peers as strong competitors who have the strongest chemistry as a team, and who enhance the cycling experience with our on and off-the-bike charisma. 

Here is some proof of our early season success, which we will continue to deliver throughout the season as we strive for greatness, spending every day overcoming the person we were yesterday in cycling and also our every day lives.

From our Team Mission Statement:

We are cyclists based in Indiana whose origins span across continents. As a team we focus on road races and criteriums, but have members who also race cyclocross, gravel, and XC. We believe the true merit of a cyclist is his or her grit, hardmanship, confidence and power, camaraderie, and even to some extent, modern cavalry spirit. Quoting The Velominati Rules, we are “a special club of riders who, on the morning of a big ride, pull back the curtain to check the weather and, upon seeing rain falling from the skies, allow a wry smile to spread across their face.” We love the hard work, and nothing stops us from having fun on our bikes. 

Rule Five Racing is a truly cohesive threat on the course. We bring a level of professionalism to amateur racing that is sometimes lacking in it. We own our successes and failures together as a team, and we make no excuses for either. When it is too cold or too wet outside to ride, Rule Five still rides. When it’s too early and you are too tired, Rule Five still rides. When it’s getting late and you’ve had a long day at work, Rule Five still rides. We don’t wait for ideal conditions; we make every condition ideal. This is an attitude that transcends cycling for us. Rule #5 is our way of life. We don’t shy away from challenges on nor off the bike just because they are hard. We do the right thing, whether that is lifting up ourselves, our teammates, or our community, because it is the right thing to do, and in spite of its difficulty. As a result, our competition fears and respects us, and our peers look up to us.

We do not fit the “roadie” mold, and we seek to destroy the elitist paradigm within the road cycling community. We don’t improve ourselves to be better than others; we improve ourselves to be better than our previous selves. We seek to nurture a passion for cycling in anyone who shows interest regardless of skill, knowledge, experience, age, upbringing, etc. We know that in order to improve the community for all cyclists, we must be willing to shed our egos and be accessible and welcoming. We show that all it takes to be a cyclist is to have fun when you ride your bike. When we show up at cafes, restaurants, stores, or events people see us as approachable and rad whether we arrive kitted up on our steeds or in normal clothes and on foot. It’s not hard to be respectful and respectable while also being badass. We use our recognizability and earned respect to get people excited about riding bikes and to improve the community view of cycling as a whole. Our communities, cycling and otherwise, are valuable have helped us tremendously. We think it is important to return the favor. We work hard to elevate our communities, and we do so with style and panache.

We are Rule Five Racing, and we are the raddest dudes on the road.

Thank you for your support.

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Christopher Santos posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #12

We are in the final countdown of the campaign. The kits are getting their final iteration with sponsor logos meaning we are no longer able to take on new sponsors and have them be represented on the 2018 kits. However, we have just a little bit of time left for a few donations to come through, and we are so freaking close to our goal. Please get anyone you know to hop on this train and help us out whether it is $5 or even $1. Share this with your peeps and see if they can spare a few bucks.

Again, thank you so much for all the continued support.

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Christopher Santos posted a new update:
2 months ago

Update #11

We got the kit design v. 1.0 back from Vie13 and it looks great. There are a few minor changes that will be made to it and I have confidence that after we get v. 2.0 back we will be able to submit and place the sponsors' logos for the final version. At the point we submit the logos our fundraising campaign will be complete. We are almost ready and I can't wait to lift up the community and represent all of those who helped lift us up. We are all a part of this process. We are all working together to create progress and growth. Thank you so much. With only a few days (anticipated) until we are there we could use all of the help you can provide in the final push. Please share our campaign with everyone you know. Even just one share can generate enough attention to reach our goal.

We spend tons of money on things that don't truly enhance our lives nor the lives of others. This is an opportunity for people to contribute to the growth of a whole community including children who are the future of cycling. Though you are donating to Rule Five Racing, we are using that to help provide the community with a defined vehicle of positive change. Help us help our community. You all rock! Let's do this!

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Christopher Santos posted a new update:
2 months ago

Update #10

We've got some updates!

First one is that our podium king, Mason, and his awesome sauce boss, Nora, got engaged! You guys have no idea how stoked we are about this. They are literally the raddest couple we know, and as individuals they are righteous AF! Congratulate them if you get the chance. There is a long heart-felt post about them on our Instagram (@r5racing) which has also been shared to our Facebook. If you want to know a little more about them and what makes this truly one of the most exciting engagements ever then head on over to read what the team has to say about them.

Second one is we found out why it has been hard to get ahold of the owner our clothing sponsor. He was struck by an unfortunate series of events in life where he had to travel back to Australia after losing a loved one, after which he was hit by a car leading to multiple broken bones, and then coming home to find out one of his friends who happened to be one of his designers left the company without warning. Gary is the most passionate and positive person I have ever met in the cycling community and industry, and my heart goes out to him. When I met him at CABDA earlier this year I was struck by his charisma, passion for his company and product, and dedication to forward progress. I came back from Chicago knowing who we want to make our kits, and Vie 13 is that company. Our phone calls are on average around an hour long as we go on mutual rants about how stoked we are about helping the community move forward in a positive, inclusive, and uplifting way. Even though Gary's personality is a strong motivator, we wouldn't have chosen Vie 13 to make our kits if it wasn't for their vastly superior product and the fact that they are trying to push the industry forward and keep cyclists safer, more comfortable, faster, and cooler looking. Please make sure to send him well wishes if you get the chance, and if you are in the market for custom apparel for groups or events make sure to reach out to Vie 13 Kustom Apparel on Facebook or on their website.

The third one is that after finally hearing back from Gary, it sounds like our kits will have a base design finished shortly after which we will evaluate any changes we might want to make, work on logo placement for sponsors, get them approved and printed, plop our muscular cycling booties into those super rad space age chamois-filled pieces of glory and righteousness, and send them to the top of the podium.

We still haven't quite met our budget goal, but we are so close! Thank you for all the contributions thus far, both big and bigger (I say that because even a $5 contribution is so appreciated). It's the last few days to share our fundraising campaign and to help us in the hunt for more amazing donors. It literally only takes 25 people donating $35 to reach our goal. Full funding of all the benefits promised to our members might be out of sight, but funding of necessary benefits and community outreach programs is totally within reach! It's the final kilometer and you are all the best lead-out train! Let's make it a podium finish!

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Christopher Santos posted a new update:
2 months ago

Update #9

So a lot has happened in the last week.

Kiel raced and finished the Dirty Kanza 200 in the top 45%. Just finishing that race is a feat of its own. The terrain is super challenging, there's always tons of heat and wind, it always rains right before or during it making it super sloppy, and then there's the fact that even the race winner spent almost 11 hours in the saddle, and he's a legit pro. The fact that Kiel finished a 200 + mile gravel race that attracts a huge list of very strong professional cyclists in the top 45% is simply incredible. He burned over 10,000 calories during the race, and I think that earns him a slice of cake or two.

Mark and Mason raced Cobb Park and finished 9th and 1st respectively. They raced really well together, and in the end got the top podium and another top 10. That continues our flawless podium record at every road race we have attended. It might not go on forever, but we are definitely riding this one out as long as we can (pun intended).

Onto the campaign stuff. I have edited our budget and eliminated some of the things we are going to provide our team. That cut costs a good amount, and in talking to them, even though it was a bummer, they were all very understanding. We also had another sponsor come through and two other donations in person (thank you Aunt Eppie and Uncle Jim, and thank you Carmen). That being said, I added a few more days since we still haven't gotten our final designs back and adjusted the goal. We are now only $900 away from our updated goal. We can do it. Please share this with everyone you know. It only takes 45 people donating $20 to reach our goal. If everyone shares our campaign, how hard do you think it will really be to find 45 people willing to spend $20?

Thank you for your continued support. We are almost there!

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Christopher Santos posted a new update:
3 months ago

Update #8

Our very own Kiel Lester will be riding the infamous Dirty Kanza 200 in a few short hours. He has taken over the Rule Five Racing Instagram while there to give a unique inside perspective on the race. Head over to @r5racing to check it out.

You can also follow his progress at:
https://www.athlinks.com/event/174195/results/event/656425/course/1047707/bib/582?1527824393432

He is bib # 582.

Thanks for the continued support. Cheer on Kiel. Last year he had a DNF in the race as he got caught in a storm that rendered his bike essentially unrideable. This year he intends to redeem himself.

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Christopher Santos posted a new update:
3 months ago

Update #6

Yesterday I led a 100-mile Memorial Day ride with the other three members of Rule Five Racing that were available to ride. It was a hot one FOR SURE. Doug, a super rad Marine veteran who is active in the local cycling community and joined us for this ride, shared a picture where his peak temperature showed 115°F, and it got so hot that the tarmac melted onto our tires. It was a real suffefest, and somehow that felt like it showed a deeper appreciation for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their loved ones and their country. I've attached a picture of the group we had into Logansport. We had one other guy with us who had to turn back a little earlier so he could make it back in time for his family obligations.

I had some of the guys on the ride ask how the fundraising is going, and I would say thanks to everyone's help so far, it has been going well, but we aren't there yet. Thank you for your continued support. With your help and generosity we will be able to be a fully funded team and active members in improving our community. Like, share, and donate.

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Christopher Santos posted a new update:
3 months ago

Update #7

Yesterday I led a 100-mile Memorial Day ride with the other three members of Rule Five Racing that were available to ride. It was a hot one FOR SURE. Doug, a super rad Marine veteran who is active in the local cycling community and joined us for this ride, shared a picture where his peak temperature showed 115°F, and it got so hot that the tarmac melted onto our tires. It was a real suffefest, and somehow that felt like it showed a deeper appreciation for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their loved ones and their country. I've attached a picture of the group we had into Logansport. We had one other guy with us who had to turn back a little earlier so he could make it back in time for his family obligations.

I had some of the guys on the ride ask how the fundraising is going, and I would say thanks to everyone's help so far, it has been going well, but we aren't there yet. Thank you for your continued support. With your help and generosity we will be able to be a fully funded team and active members in improving our community. Like, share, and donate.

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Christopher Santos posted a new update:
3 months ago

Update #5

Thank you to everyone who helped us reach $1,000. You rock!

This week I attended the first meeting of the Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee where I got to meet the passionate membership with whom we will work to improve the community. I'm looking forward to what we will be able to bring to the future of Lafayette.

I have gotten a lot of people telling me that they would like to help but are concerned with how little time they have to do so. I still have not received the design of our kits from our clothing sponsor (in great deal because I mistakenly thought I emailed them the design a while ago when I had not) and I want to clarify that we won't end the campaign until the moment we need to make the payment to them to have everything printed.

So keep it up! We can make it! We can fully fund Rule Five Racing, and in return Rule Five Racing can show people that Lafayette is a great place to be a cyclist and also help create a community that backs that up!

Tomorrow we will be riding through the VA campus and slow rolling through their cemetery on a 100-mile Memorial Day ride in order to pay our respects to all those who died while serving. I'm hoping for a good turn-out. All available Rule Five Racing members will be out on their bikes helping to safely lead this ride.

I wanted to include a good picture, but I couldn't find a relevant enough of one, and all of the ones I liked would be goofy without context. Next time.

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Christopher Santos posted a new update:
3 months ago

Update #4

Hey everyone. We have one week left. Here is an update on everything that has happened in the last few days since the last update.

The team split up between Fat & Skinny Tire Fest and Weekend at White Lake Stage Race. Mason took first in the Fat & Skinny Road Race, and Trevor and I worked with Jason to deliver him to a third place overall for the General Classification for the whole stage race, and he placed second in the time trial.

I also helped with the first of many Stand Nights for the women of the WRCC where there are different topics all having to do with empowering women in cycling and strengthening the community. This week the incredible women of the WRCC asked me to help give a presentation on how to properly fix a flat tire out on the road and I gladly agreed to do so. It was a blast and seeing these rad and passionate cyclists picking up new skills was mega rewarding, and having Molly Birt, board member of the WRCC, publicly thank me and my buddy, Bruce, for spending our evening teaching methods and not mansplaining was validating and reassuring that I am being part of the solution. Rule Five Racing is trying to work with as many people and organizations as possible to close the gender gap in cycling and to make our community more inclusive, and we look forward to being a part of more events like this.

Thank you for all the contributions that have come in so far and for all the continued support. We have accomplished so much in just one week, and with your help we will be able to do so much more for our team and our community. Keep getting the message out. Rule Five Racing is breaking the current cycling paradigm, improving our community, and making our sport more accessible and inclusive. A little help goes a long way.

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Christopher Santos posted a new update:
3 months ago

Update #3

Great news, everyone! I just got ahold of the owner of the company that is our clothing sponsor and he told me that we wouldn't have to put in a deposit until the kit design was finalized and ready to print. That gives us an additional four days for fundraising! If you were concerned about being able to reach people who might be able to help before our deadline we were able to push it back a little. Again, thank you for all the continued support with both the direct contributions and also helping reach out to your networks for us. You are all so rad! Keep sharing! The viral nature of the internet is an incredible thing. On behalf of all of Rule Five Racing, thank you!

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Christopher Santos posted a new update:
3 months ago

Update #2

2 days in and we are 10% of the way to our funding goal! Thank you for everyone who has provided support so far. You have been a tremendous amount of help. Please keep it up. Be proud of the support you have provided the raddest cycling team on the road and share our campaign with your friends. Shares are an unbelievably powerful tool, and if you could please take 30 seconds out of your day to share this with your networks I would appreciate it so much.

And for those who have helped:

Seriously, I can't express enough how deeply appreciative I am on a very personal level of the support you have provided. In the last 4 months I have been maxed out every day. Trying to start a team and get it up and running has proven to be a far more difficult task than I anticipated. With developing the brand, laying the logistical foundation for this year and every following years, reaching out to the cyclists I wanted on my team and making sure everyone is a good fit for each other and for the team, designing a partnership program and creating a supporting packet, organizing our team training camp, reaching out to and following up with desired sponsors, managing our team with training, racing, and bonding, creating promotional social media posts and videos, getting more involved in the local cycling community so we have a foundation set up when we officially launch...the list goes on. Add that to working part time at a bike shop which has been understaffed and has been so busy that sometimes I go through an entire 10am-7pm shift without eating or drinking anything until I get home in the evening, putting the necessary focus in my courses to ensure a successful transfer into the Multidisciplinary Engineering program at Purdue University, providing support to the Purdue Cycling Club from the outside to help nurture a passion for cycling in younger newer cyclists, working to be selected to sit on the City of Lafayette's Bike & Pedestrian Advisory Committee, trying to maintain at least a little bit of a healthy home life, and still making time to put in the minimal hours on my bike to stay fit...it's been tough. I've had pretty bad insomnia in the past, but waking up in the morning, spending every day non-stop on the go with only rare chances of sitting down to take a couple meditative deep breaths, and finally hitting the couch or bed around midnight turns out to do a pretty good job of knocking me out.

I'm sorry for the rant; I haven't had enough time to vent this out. I've had to maintain a semblance of stability, control, confidence, and ardor to help drive this forward in a way that kept my guys excited and motivated. I just want to give some context for the immeasurable amount of appreciation I have for everyone who has helped so far. My ability to provide funds to the team are limited given my low income and status as a student, and just getting the team registered with USA Cycling was a noticeable financial hit to my bank account (though not in a way that impacted my ability to pay my bills as those superseded this in my financial priorities). Again, from the bottom of my heard, thank you for all your continued support.

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Christopher Santos posted a new update:
3 months ago

Update #1

So here's the deal. I decided to form Rule Five Racing because there are strong cyclists here in Lafayette and West Lafayette, but the closest teams are in Indianapolis. However, relative to the industry we got a very late start. Sponsor budgets are usually set by November and as such we fell a little short on financial support. We've got some great sponsors already and some fantastic ones in the industry who were still down to provide some support even if they couldn't offer money for this season. But funding a team costs money. Just registering your team is $200. We are around $6,000 short of our ideal budget, and $20,000 short of our dream budget (it's called a dream for a reason). Every penny goes directly to the team and the expenses. It doesn't even touch my account. By order of priority the funding goes to 1) team kits for the 7 members that make up Rule Five Racing, 2) race registration fees, 3) reimbursement of the travel expenses for the guys who are driving the team to the races, 4) funding for community outreach and cycling advocacy projects, and 5) miscellaneous expenses that go along with running an amateur cycling team. We have a final submission date of our sponsorships of May 25th so we can get our kits printed with all of our paid sponsors on them by our targeted races, and I am hoping that I won't have to cut out some of the support I want to provide our team members.

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