For local New York content, please visit NY Velocity.
INTERVIEWS

Tony Pechenik

Thu, 08/28/2008 - 8:54am by alex

Tony Pechenik is passionate about philanthropy and cycling, his Foundation cycling team is a natural extension of both his interests. But, aside from all the exaggerated gossip, exactly what the “Foundation” is or how it works has been a bit of a mystery to us so we asked Tony to explain and clear up some misconceptions:

 

Foundation is born

Inson Wood and I started Foundation because our friends had a general feeling that cycling had to more give back to the community. Ric Wolfe and Earl Osborne joined our leadership a couple years later and along with our sponsors helped us realize our dream, a competitive team that gave back. The team began one cold morning doing laps on River road with Inson Wood. In an endorphic epiphany we decided we would start a team called Foundation, and that we would require the riders to contribute to charity, and buy their own uniforms. The proceeds from sponsorships and the uniforms would help fund charities and develop local riders. We made two other rules, no mandatory meetings and no mandatory racing. We wanted people on the team who were competitive and interested in racing, the idea was contribute to the team and give back and you belong.

At first other competitive riders laughed at our "concept", but the first year we raised over $10,000 for charities while Inson and his A team were on the podium many times. The second year we started attracting and developing more local riders. Igor Misicki and Alexandro Guzman had strong results for us and at times we were leading the club in points. Tom Auth won the club championship race a few years ago, so the team has always been quite competitive. We are all proud that the real place we have won is that in the past 5-6 years we have raised over one million dollars for charities between our sponsors and our members. These charities include Juvenile Diabetes, Alzheimer's, Transportation Alternatives, the CRCA, the Central Park Conservancy, and the Sakonnet development team.

"We do not pay our riders bonuses"

Our 2008 team has brought us a lot of notoriety. Igor won the spring series, Lisban won many local races including both the CRCA Club Race and Time Trial Championships and placed in the Top of many Pro Field NRC Races. We had numerous Masters Time Trial podiums, almost every racer has a podium. As an organization we have seen our efforts pay off, the riders that graduated to other teams wanted to come back. They really like the atmosphere of the team, there was no pressure and they could ride for themselves. So we accepted our "teams challenge" and the team and sponsors stepped up with an equipment and race fees package. We want to be clear that we do not pay our riders bonuses. They win because of their talent and drive, we are very proud of our team. We want to help local riders, we could do more but we want to strike a balance, we want to help amateur racing but our charities come first, our charitable budget is significantly bigger than our rider development budget. This year we were also proud to support Sakonnet, Matt Koshara and Basil Moutsopoulos have done a great job. We have a goal of helping to get riders into the the pros, we helped Igor Misicki, Todd Herriot and Will Riffelmacher turn pro, we encouraged Adam Alexander to ride for Sakonnet and our riders to try and ride for Empire if there was a better opportunity. We are also proud of the guys who started with us that formed Jonathan Adler, they have really developed a great team in the past few years.

Everybody Owns the Park! (
the New York magazine article on sharing the park with runners Rollerbladers and peds)

The article exaggerated problems and presented statements out of context, I just had to laugh at it. It was just inflammatory journalism that painted a completely erroneous view of what is really going on in "Our Park". I'm joking, the park is for everyone. Millions of people use this park every year in harmony, families and tourists enjoy the park along side of the athletes. As cyclists we tend to embrace our right to race, the 100 years of cycling history and our modern heroes such as George Hincapie who came up racing in this park. As a cyclist I can tell you I am in awe of the runners, I love and own a dog; the vast majority of cyclists feel the same way. The quotes and references to specific events that occurred in the park were out of context and character for cyclists and the other groups that were named and involved. Whenever you get hundreds of thousands of people together you are going to have unfortunate occurances. What the article should have said is "Everyone Owns the Park!" The park is diverse and a safe haven for New Yorkers to enjoy their leisure and sports activities.

The competitive cycling community needs to work on other groups' perception of us. We can help by respecting other's space, not yelling at others, respecting the no night ride rule in the spring, asking fast and perceived dangerous riders to slow down, and by training in smaller groups. Raising money or volunteering for charities as a cyclist will also help bridge this gap.

Share this

Comments

Add a comment
no gnews is good gnewz.
By: Gary Gnu
Sat, 02/18/2012 - 5:24pm

no gnews is good gnewz.

totally clueless
By: Guillaume O-Ring
Sat, 02/18/2012 - 4:17pm

Now i know why Foundation exists , the money behind it is totally clueless.

if they knew what I knew they would shut it down yesterday.

his blood profile was pro as
By: Remigio Dry Lube
Sat, 02/18/2012 - 3:31pm

his blood profile was pro as SHIT

who cares.
By: Alexandre Neck
Sat, 02/18/2012 - 11:51am

who cares.

More about Tony.
By: Martin Sealant
Sat, 02/18/2012 - 10:40am

I would like to learn more about Tony and specifically what his management style was, whether he ever created a foundation legally and any other insights. Was this "his" team or was he just a part of a team?

Igor Misicki
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 11/20/2008 - 3:38pm

Was Igor Misicki ever a pro?

Tony
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 11/13/2008 - 7:24pm

Tony eats cornflakes.

either your idiot name
By: Wheelsucker
Fri, 09/12/2008 - 11:23am

either your idiot name calling needs an upgrade or you should downgrade yourself to kindergarten, be a man and make your words mean something.... Tony is doing a great job, thank you!

This Interview
By: Wheelsucker
Wed, 09/10/2008 - 5:14pm

Sometimes it's better to let people think you are an idiot than to open your mouth and remove all doubt...

Tod herriott
By: Wheelsucker
Tue, 09/09/2008 - 1:22pm

Didnt Tod adn tony ride in the park at the same time? they road togeter!

to: "bunch"
By: Wheelsucker
Tue, 09/09/2008 - 12:19pm

You should work for Fox with your broken bs sniffer. Foundation team is solid with plenty of good guys, what other team does anything even close to this? Many of the other 20 subteams (with some exceptions) do very little aside from racing. Plus they're one of few that organize morning training rides. Every sub-team should have team training like they do...

Just read this and wanted to
By: WillR
Tue, 09/09/2008 - 1:17am

Just read this and wanted to state clearly that I have never been "pro." On another note, Foundation was the first team I raced for and they were very supportive.

If any of you are in the bay area with a bike, shoot me an email. The riding is tough to beat out here.

-Will

willriff@yahoo.com

What a bunch of BS
By: Wheelsucker
Sat, 09/06/2008 - 4:32pm

"These charities include Juvenile Diabetes, Alzheimer's, Transportation Alternatives, the CRCA, the Central Park Conservancy, and the Sakonnet development team."

First of all, the CRCA is not a charity. Second, how come they've never acknowledged any donations from Foundation? What a bunch of BS.

bonuses
Tue, 09/02/2008 - 8:54am

How can you say you don't provide riders bonuses when your riders brag about getting bonuses for wins? That seems a bit strange. people generally don't make that kind of shit up.

"he thinks except is the
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 08/28/2008 - 11:56pm

"he thinks except is the same as accept... I hate him"

hahaha!

to* risky
By: Toni
Thu, 08/28/2008 - 3:10pm

This is a funny thread. The hospital joke was great.

As I was reading the interview, I knew it was going to get flamed. This won't encourage other teams do interviews. I am too afraid to use my real name on this simple post because I don't want to get ripped for a spelling mistake by some guy who doesnt use his name and then sees me at races and thinks to himself "that guy is such an idiot, he used there instead of their" or "he thinks except is the same as accept... I hate him". I just can't take the risk.

* meant to write "too"

Foundation guy
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 08/28/2008 - 3:03pm

What are you with the Daily News. This is not an investigative report. The point is that the team works towards a common goal of raising money and we support each others charities. There is no central pool of $$$.

Oh, wait a sec, we did give out all those signing bonuses at the beginning of the season.

Charity
By: Foundation guy
Thu, 08/28/2008 - 2:42pm

It takes a real (anonymous) man to poke holes in a group that promotes charitable giving. You guys are pathetic.

Stop all the anon trash talk and go ride your bike.

was there any corn
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 08/28/2008 - 2:33pm

was there any corn identified in the deucage?

Todd was a real pro. Got
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 08/28/2008 - 2:20pm

Todd was a real pro. Got 12th and pro nats.

Igor isn't pro is he? What team?

charitable mission
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 08/28/2008 - 2:18pm

inson contributes a lot to the local hospitals by causing so many crashes. i hear they're going to name a ward at mount sinai after him.

This article is a bit much
By: Wheeldonor
Thu, 08/28/2008 - 1:56pm

It seems a stretch to take credit for charitable gifts by team members that have little to do with the actual team. In 2007 I gave over $101MM* to charity.

*Includes gifts given by my employer Goldman Sachs

So Tony puts his best foot
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 08/28/2008 - 1:38pm

So Tony puts his best foot forward and ends up with it in his mouth.
Kind of sums up a lot of peoples perception of the team.
Some good people around, no better athlete or sportsman than Tom Auth and Earl has brought a ton of good riders into the club, Adam and Josh Alexander being the latest

Todd Herriot
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 08/28/2008 - 1:29pm

Who is he and why do we care?

I want more team interviews...

So If They Didn't Help
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 08/28/2008 - 1:07pm

TH become a pro maybe everything else is cleverly spun and exaggerated. Maybe they do pay winning riders...I guess that fishscale isn't that ugly after all.

This from Todd
By: Andy Shen
Thu, 08/28/2008 - 1:02pm

This from Todd Herriot:

Someone forwarded me that article. Let it be known that neither Tony nor
Foundation had ANYTHING to do with my turning professional. I did not
ride for the team nor did or do I endorse the team, it's riders or its
management.

Please make that correction.

Best,
TH

Fior de Frutta...
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 08/28/2008 - 12:47pm

is an elite-amateur team. So how is Riffelmacher a pro?

Team Questions
By: Clubber
Thu, 08/28/2008 - 12:25pm

It would be interesing to see what teams are looking for in racers:

Mengoni and Sommerville seem to be more of a crit/circuit racing teams so naturally they look for sprinters... but are they trying to do more Stage Races next year like Empire. Does Adler have plans to eventually jump to an all Cat1-2 and do NRC like Empire etc.

Adler - do they want to be the next Empire or Mengoni in terms of being the top CRCA team with all Cat2s and up?
Will Adler take a Cat4? Will they take a guy who races alot in the Cat3s but is not really breaking through with results? What about teams that focus more on track, cross and Mtn. Would Empire take a guy who does the occasional road race but kills it in Mtn and Cross?

Finally, what are the challenges faced by team captains (sponsors, budgets). Seems like new racers today expect free shit. For me, anytime I get my 20% discount at the sponsor shop and theat 1 free jersey I am getting free stuff. Beyound that is just gravey. However, I hear of guys moving to other teams for a free helmet.

Why don't you guys suggest
By: Andy Shen
Thu, 08/28/2008 - 11:36am

Why don't you guys suggest some standard questions? Team captains that are willing are welcome to submit team profiles. Anyone can upload content to the site.

Very good idea Clubber.
By: A
Thu, 08/28/2008 - 11:19am

Very good idea Clubber. Team interviews would be very interesting. Even if they gave out the same list of questions and teams just filled them out.

Interesting
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 08/28/2008 - 11:11am

Now just change the kit design and I might be interested...

Team Interviews
By: Clubber
Thu, 08/28/2008 - 10:49am

Nice interview and it would be cool if it acted as a spring board into other interviews with local teams. Adler, Mengoni, Empire. Get an idea of what the team is focusing on in terms of racers, races, and growth. Need to also get some interviews with teams that have been a success outside of CRCA. WWV, Targetraining, Toga, etc..

Tony
By: SB
Thu, 08/28/2008 - 9:52am

I'm glad he took the time to explain what he is doing with the team. I know people may not be fans of every guy on a given team but this team and its mission deserve more respect than they are given.

Post new comment

 
A cookie will maintain this name until you change it.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><img>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
You must answer the question below to proceed. You can skip this step if you log in.
Fill in the blank
Sportique
view counter

RELATED ARTICLES

view counter

JOURNALS

LATEST ARTICLES

NYC Velo
view counter
Chomper Body
view counter
Powercranks
view counter