Fulfillment in Cycling and Service
Guy East is as homegrown to Indianapolis as Zipp Speed Weaponry. East was born in 1987, Zipp founded in 1988. As a bike-racing Hoosier kid, he treasured his first pair of Zipp wheels. He started racing at the age of 11 and soon learned the speed and tactics of racing at Major Taylor Velodrome. He dreamed of racing for the U.S. National Team and in the Tour de France.
Through his teenage years and into his early 20s, he traveled the globe racing on the road and track for the USA Cycling Development Team. He’d go on to race for Trek-Livestrong in 2009 and Kelly Benefit Strategies in 2010. Yet having joined the professional peloton, he began to ask himself tough questions – Is this it? Is this what I want to do? He was especially troubled by the extreme poverty he saw while competing in Mexico and the Philippines.
At the end of the 2010 season, East left pro road racing to focus on serving the poor and studying Spanish. Yet his passion of cycling, especially track racing, burned. East then developed a vision to combine service and cycling, and that plan is now becoming a reality – East competes in professional Six Day velodrome races with Daniel Holloway as part of the True.Home-More Than Sport America’s 6-Day Team. For service, East lives in Tijuana and working with nonprofit groups Homes of Hope and More Than Sport organizes trips for elite and professional athletes to come to Mexico to build homes for families in need. The homes are roughly 330 square feet with two or three rooms and can be built in two days. The athletes need no construction experience to take part.
Pro road racers, Olympic track cyclists, triathletes, rowers, track and field athletes and even Olympic gymnastics gold medalist Shawn Johnson are among those who took part in East’s first two home builds (Road Bike Action story on first build). A third home build is planned for January with athletes and staff from the USA Cycling U-23 Development Team.
Zipp provides East with 808 Firecrest Track Tubular wheelsets and a Zipp 900 disc. Nathan Schickel, a Zipp product manager who volunteers at Major Taylor Velodrome, also helps motorpace East in training sessions on the track. We caught up with East while he was home in Indianapolis for the holidays:
These builds provide a home for a family in need. What do you hope the athletes get out of it?
When did you first ride Zipp wheels?
Describe the pace and intensity of Six Day racing for us? What drew you to this form of racing?
You started riding and racing at a young age. You stepped away from racing and have come back using the bike to give your work deeper meaning. What does the bike mean to you?
East’s next race is Zesdaagse van Rotterdam (Six Days of Rotterdam) Jan. 2-7.
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