Yahoo's Purple Pedal Pushers

Layoff-fattened profits apparently enough to fund two-wheeled racing team

Monday, Dec 21, 2009  |  Updated 4:30 PM PDT
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Yahoo's Purple Pedal Pushers

Richard Masoner

A new Yahoo-sponsored cycling team is optimistic it can win lots of races next year, even as their corporate sponsor is looking more and more like Silicon Valley's biggest loser.

If you were one of the thousands laid off by Yahoo in the last year, don't bother working on your resume or engineering skills to get your job back.

Instead, you might try squeezing into some lycra and breaking in a new bicycle saddle.

While unemployment in Silicon Valley is still in the double digits, there are now opportunities to race with Yahoo's new cycling team, according to CycleNews.

After presenting Yahoo management with the results of an online poll showing that Valley techies love them some bicycles, former professional cyclist Kevin Klein managed to wrangle corporate sponsorship from the Sunnyvale-based company.

To promote the team, which Klein is optimistic will dominate races around California next year and win a large fan following, it will send updates to Twitter and Facebook -- the very same sites that left Yahoo sucking wind in the race for social networking supremacy which Team Purple was in an early position to win.

While TechCrunch worries that the company might give up and "outsource the sponsorship to Facebook or Bing," more likely Yahoo executives will decide that they're no longer in the business of riding bicycles, replace Klein with a NASCAR pitboss, and start trying to compete on their bikes against Dodge and Toyota.

Photo by Richard Masoner.

Jackson West loves cycling as much as the next person, but has to admit that this quest seems quixotic.

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