D I R E C T O R S
Mad Dog Media
THE AMERICAN CYCLO-CROSS FOUNDATIONdistributed $4,500 earlier this year to Dale Knapp, Rachel Lloyd and Alan Obye to help them cover the costs of their trip to the 2001 world cyclo-cross championships Feb. 3-4 in Tabor, Czech Republic.
That's the only reason the ACF is here. In 2000, we distributed more than $4,500 in donations from cyclo-cross supporters like you to the athletes who either represented the United States at the world cyclo-cross championships in the Netherlands, or took it upon themselves to cross the Big Pond before world's and race in the belly of the beast, including Alan, Johnny Sundt, Jed Sheckler, Jen Dial, Carmen Richardson, Alex Candelario, Emily Thorne and Justin Thompson. Tim Johnson received a money order, too; though he unexpectedly found himself acting as a volunteer rather than a competitor, several riders have told us how invaluable Tim was in preparing them for their events.
Also that fall, at the request of what then was called the Junior Development Cycling Foundation, the ACF awarded a scholarship to Barry Wicks, a promising Oregon junior who needed a little help getting to the U.S. Cyclo-cross National Championships in San Francisco. In 2001, however, the ACF decided to limit its support to those racers who qualified for the world's team, but could not afford to make the trip to Tabor.
We don't spend millions. Nevertheless, the riders we supported with your money -- competitors and alternates alike -- wrote to say, "Thanks a ton!" to those of you who ponied up your hard-earned cash to help them pay their expenses. Here's what Rachel had to say as she left for the Continent:
To American Cyclo-cross Foundation donors,
I would like to thank every person who donated funds to the American Cyclo-cross Foundation. I am so excited (and have gotten to the point where I can hardly keep myself from jumping up and down when I think about it because I'm leaving tomorrow) to be going to Europe to race in the cyclo-cross world championships.
This will be my first world-championship event of any kind. Receiving this funding shows me all the people who are behind me (and the rest of the national team) and it is you very people that I will be racing for while I am in Europe. To know that this trip is happening, for me, largely because of your donations, displays the depth of support for cyclo-cross in America.
My training has been going well. I did a small practice race on Sunday, Jan. 21, to get back in suffer mode. It hurt, but it was that good hurt that all 'crossers know so well. I will be flying out of San Francisco at 7 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, to arrive in Zurich the next day. We will all race in Wetzicon, Switzerland, next weekend (Jan. 28), and then head to the Czech Republic to prepare for world's. The elite women's race will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 3. I'll send in my review of the race/trip when I return.
Thanks again for all the support,
About the ACF
The American Cyclo-cross Foundation was created on Feb. 8, 1999, after Tim Johnson and Matt Kelly won bronze and gold at the Cyclo-cross World Championships in Poprad, Slovakia -- America's first-ever medals at a cyclo-cross world's.
The ACF had its genesis in a suggestion from Danny Callen, who thought it unfortunate that the U.S. cyclo-cross team had to spend its own money to take its place on that starting grid halfway across the world.
"I think it's kinda sad that the U.S. cyclo-cross riders have to support themselves and foot the bill to get to the world's every year," he wrote in a post to the Usenet newsgroup rec.bicycles.racing. "I also think it's quite ballsy for the guys who do support themselves and make the trip...it shows their love and dedication to the sport. So ... I had this crazy idea that we ought to take up some kind of collection and distribute it to the guys over there."
After Callen posted his note, offers of support began pouring in. Cyclo-cross addict Patrick O'Grady of Mad Dog Media asked Charles Pelkey of VeloNews if he'd be willing to act as a middleman, shuttling donations from well-wishers to athletes; Pelkey suggested creating an informal group which could work to see that American teams were supported.
The result is the American Cyclo-cross Foundation. Board members include Callen, O'Grady, Pelkey, random juggernaut Mike Ferrentino of Bike magazine, marketer Chris Zigmont, Lyle Fulkerson of the Kiron Group, SBS-Redline's Tim Rutledge and 1999 U23 bronze medalist Johnson, who volunteered to act as rider-representative.
The ACF is not an alternative cyclo-cross federation; it is designed simply to raise money to help American cyclo-crossers with the staggering costs of elite-level competition. Donors have included ACF board member Lyle Fulkerson's SuperCup Series ($1,000), Marten and Merrill Hoekstra's Get Outside Bike and Trail in Ridgewood, N.J. ($1,000), the Pennsylvania Cycling Association ($600), RockShox ($400), and $1,500 from two anonymous donors.
This year, Lyle, Mavic Idea Guy Chris Zigmont and some other friends of American cyclo-cross calling themselves the Woolly Mammoth Society raised some coin for the cause during the nationals/SuperCup weekend in Baltimore. And the fine folks over at CycloCrossWorld are helping us collect your donations, too ... please show your appreciation by doing business with them.
The all-powerful Zig, who will once again be lending a hand with the 2002 world's team, also will be helping the ACF achieve its long-sought, oft-delayed non-profit status sometime soon (we hope). Still, as of right now, donations are NOT tax-deductible. The good news is, we take no "administrative expenses" from the fund ... all proceeds go directly to racers.
If ours is a mission youcan support, send checks or money orders (no cash, please) to the American Cyclo-cross Foundation, account number 103-555-5, Colorado Mountain Bank, 1000 Main Street, Westcliffe, CO 81252. Be sure to include the ACF's account number on your check. If you prefer donating online, go to www.paypal.com, click on "Send Money," and follow the instructions. You'll need the ACF's e-mail address, which is email@example.com.