I have been on two cycling "teams" in my life. I use the term team loosely as most of the "teams" I have been on are more like clubs. Or a crew of friends on a mission to bring the funk to all things on two wheels. This cycling life has been a wild ride I will say that. It all got started out in Norcal in the late '80s early '90s when I got a job at a regional rag called California Bicyclist. It was like joining a cult. I started in the art department and worked my way up to editor. It transformed my life. From that point on 99% of my friends were bikers. I somehow found my way on one of the coolest builders in NorCals teams. Still not sure how I tricked them into letting me on the Sycip team. Mostly I think it was because Jeremy Sycip and I just were really good friends. I had some amazing times on Sycip. The first two years home in Boston I rode for Sycip. It was pretty rad racing in New England for a Norcal frame builder. I guess that red kit stood out or once again I made a good impression on the cool kids because somehow I snuck onto HUP United. I remember meeting Zac Daab at Providence Nationals. Next thing I knew I am one of the boys in blue. Bizarre how life works.
While on HUP I have made some amazing friends. Best crew I have ever been a part of. In the ten (has it seriously been 10 years?) years I have been on HUP, I have had some incredible times on the bike. Rapha Gentleman's rides have gone amazingly well and epically bad. The Ronde de Rosey was born. We helped grow the women's team from 2 riders to 10 and a female DS of HUP NECX. We helped launch a lot of brands. We helped build this community we call the #NECX. HUP taught me what a team is about and what a community is all about. Zero drama, ride for your teammates, be there for people no matter what, be inclusive, no whining, live large, be nice and don't be a dick. I came to New England sort of fast and kind of hungry and with a chip on my shoulder. Twelve years later I am slow, my dad bod is legit but I am way happier than when I moved here and count myself as one of the luckiest people on the planet to have so many amazing friends, a healthy and happy family and the biker life.
So when two of my best friends in the #NECX told me they were forming a new team and asked if I wanted to be a part of it I didn't even hesitate. Pete Smith of Mad Alchemy and Mike Zanconato are two of the coolest guys in the industry. Both have had such an impact on my life. Both have supported all my crazy shenanigans no matter what. And if you know me you know how off the wall I can get. This past year Pete moved home to New England after living in Colorado for a bit. It was so nice to reconnect with Pete and his family. The new team came together as a mash up of the Zank team and Pete's crew. With a few familiar faces in for good measure. It really is a group of tight friends first. All the riders are super strong, experienced and are just awesome people. I have known most of them for a very long time. The Zank crew are like brothers to me obviously. I am like their older really slow brother but you get the idea. I am so stoked to be a part of this team!
The new team is called Mad Alchemy Zanconato. The focus is on adventure. Road, mountain, gravel and of course cyclocross. Single speeds will be a huge part of this team. The Zank SSCX series is really where it all came together. We have some amazing sponsors in: Mad Alchemy, Zanconato Custom Cycles, Jakes Ice Cream, Tip Drip Lube, Selection Naturel, Craft USA, Challenge Tires, and Lazer Sport. The team consists of Pete Smith, Mike Zanconato, Keith Burgoyne, Lesli Cohen, Erik Saunders, Jason Howes, Liz Lukowski, Matt Mollo, Matt Myette, Roni Vetter, Peter Bradshaw, Ryan LaRocque, Scott Rosenthal, and myself.
For an idea of the types of races and rides we will be doing check out Carl's calendar. It really is the most amazing resource for all the great rides in New England and its environs. For now I just want to leave you with the thoughts that I have loved my time on Sycip and HUP and owe both those teams everything. Without them I would not have lived this amazing biker life. I will always be a part of HUP. My blood runs with HUP bleu. I will still be lurking around the Death Star. But I am also really excited about this new chapter. I am counting down the days to the Ronde de Rosey and the first chance to ride with this new crew and fly our new team colors. Until then follow our rad adventures on Instagram at Madalchemyzank.