Mountain Biker Taylor Zaden, who goes by the Instagram handle TaylWhipZ, was dismayed last week when he found out mountain biking provided him with zero net salary after meeting with an income tax preparer.
“I told the tax guy I was a professional mountain biker, but it turns out I actually lost money after buying all of my gear at cost,” said Zaden. “I don’t know much about taxes, but it seems like I should be getting paid if I have sponsors and 368 Instagram followers.”
Sources close to Zaden say he’s been referring to himself as an influencer, and even a professional when speaking to girls. However, his tax preparer disagrees.
“Taylor is actually paying companies to wear their gear and use their products, then helping them promote it all for free,” said Lady Liberty Tax Accountant Chuck Nektie. “As an accounting expert, I can’t say anyone is really winning on this deal since he only has 368 followers.”
Zaden says he’s accepted several offers to exchange discounted gear for photo and video uploads on Instagram, deals he claims make him a sponsored rider. However, when contacted, Zaden’s so-called sponsors said sponsored riders receive payment or at least free products.
Meanwhile, Zaden says he’s proud to represent his sponsors and happy to post shots of his knee pads instead of photos of his mom’s birthday party and the birth of his twin daughters.
“I’m contractually obligated to post at least one photo per day of my knee pads, gloves, jersey, sunglasses, shoes and company logos,” said Zaden. “I even post photos of gear I don’t wear, like elbow pads and a neck brace.”
Of Zaden’s 368 followers, just 12 mountain bike. When reached for comment, the 12 were unaware they were following anyone named Taylor Zaden.