In the last two months, since starting this blog, The Merckx Project has become more and more my primary focus. It has developed from nothing more than a thought about something that might be cool to try, to now being a fully concerted effort at doing something big. But to achieve my goal of experiencing an attempt at the hour record, I need to develop and execute a plan.
A few weeks ago when I took the Intro course at the Major Taylor Velodrome, it marked an official step that showed an intent to see through my attempt and experience of the hour record. Last week, I began another step when created the first draft of a template for a sponsorship proposal letter. I'll eventually use this template to write the proposals I will make to the companies I hope will sponsor myself and the project. As I currently am not contributing to the family income, this is obviously a pretty important step if I want to be able to see this to its completion. I will need the sponsors, most of those that I am targeting are either involved in cycling or are a part of the diabetes community, to not only support myself for the next year, but to help cover the expenses that this project necessitates. Expenses like the cost of the bike I will use for the attempt, spare equipment for the bike, a set of custom jerseys for the project, and velodrome usage, officiant, sanctioning, & licensing fees.
In order to make a compelling case to my potential sponsors, I will need to have a plan of action. The plan right now is still in development, but what I have so far has already had to change a few times. When I initially started this project, I had wanted to use it to generate data for diabetes research. Unfortunately, after discussing it with my doctor, the realization was made that there really isn't much use for what would be uncontrolled data from a single subject. That led me to adapt and find a way to keep the diabetes angle within the project by sharing those experiences in the blog.
Now I am at the point of taking stock in where I am at in terms of my ability on the bike (no where near where I want to be) and working to establish a timeline to follow to get me to the point where I want to be to make a legitimate ride for the hour attempt. I am beginning to make important and necessary contacts. I am developing a list of various types of sponsors to target. I am researching other "amateurs" such as myself who have made an attempt at the hour. In addition to, of course, my normal responsibilities as a stay at home dad. And training on the bike.
It all boils down to me still building the foundation for it all. It also makes me realize that there will be a lot of work involved off of the bike to be successful.