Zack Allison

Privateer
Mixed Terrain Cyclist

BIOGRAPHY

Hi, I’m Zack! I’ve identified as “Bike Racer” since childhood. I raced predominantly road and track through Juniors in the DC area and then into the Collegiate scene at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, working my way up through the domestic pro racing ranks on the road and track.

Through the years racing changed more and more for me into a full criterium season and then racing started to get less and less paved! As opportunities shifted, Whitney and I started Bike Sports as a racing program with a full gravel racing calendar. We also promote FoCo Fondo, a big one day gravel race in Fort Collins, Bike Sports has a bike fit studio in Fort Collins, and I’ve been coaching for Source Endurance for over 10 years.

Palmarès

San Rafael Twilight

1th Overall: 2019

Unbound

9th Overall: 2017

BWR Quadruple Crown

7th Overall: 2022

Q&A

Goal(s) for 2023:

I have a bone to pick with Unbound. Ive been top 10 and haven’t had that same luck since. I’d like to get back on the right side of luck and be able to race to the physical potential I usually show up with.

What's Your Favorite Strava Segment?

Pennock Pass East

What’s your favorite quote and where did you first hear it?

"Never Not Made It" - First uttered while doing stoopid stuff in college. Potential Smokey and the Bandit reference.

What’s the best training advice you’ve ever received and who gave it to you?

"Don’t look at something you don’t want to hit" - Susan Heffler

Not really an endurance training tip, which she also gave me many of, but a tip that has probably saved me from hitting a million things that would negatively impact my training day or race.

How did you get started in your sport?

My dad rode bikes and riding around the fast techy trail systems around the DC area I fell in love with going fast. The best way to go fast is in a race. Looking back, I can’t think of a more fun/safe way to go way faster than a safe speed dictates than on a bicycle.

There’s a ton of ways to get in trouble or spend a million dollars trying to feel like you’re going fast:


Cars - Dangerous, usually illegal or expensive.

Planes - Doesn’t feel fast, expensive.

Motorcycles - cheaper, more dangerous, usually illegal.

Bicycles - Wicked fast, dangerous enough to have fun, not necessarily expensive, generally healthy.

What’s the worst advice you’ve ever gotten?

Do it, you won't.

If you had to be shipwrecked on a deserted island, but all your human needs—such as food and water—were taken care of, what two items would you want to have with you?

Whitney and a good knife.

What’s your favorite website?

Google Maps

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Indiana Jones…. So I guess an archaeologist? Not sure that checks out. 

Have you ever been fired? If so, what did you do?

I worked at Panera for a year in college. I made it work by calling in coworker friends to cover shifts as I’d take off for stage races. I got to road nationals and had two shifts that no one was available to cover.

The manager on the phone: “So your shift is tomorrow, you’re not here and no one can cover.”

Me: “Yea that’s where I’m at, you know anyone that wants to cover?”

Manager: “No. If you no call no show we can’t work around that.”

Zack: “Well I called, but I'm not going to show.”

Manager: “OK, If you call no show you wont work here anymore.”

Zack: “I guess this is it then Karen, it’s been a good run.”

Manager: “It’s been a pleasure Zack, goodbye.”

Describe your first bike.

Mongoose BMX coaster brake. And 3 days later a blown out rear tire from ripping sick skids.

What's the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you?

I feel like my life is crazy enough, that crazy things are hard to register. I think recently, Whit and I drove into a wind storm, or perhaps the wind storm came upon us. We were hauling our home built 1967 custom camper with our 97’ F250 veggie oil converted pickup truck. We’re trying to get off I70 from the wind. Between exits the camper started flipping, rolling to the right. I jerked the wheel to the right to hope to fell the camper and landed it on it’s side on the guard rail. After grinding it on the guard rail for about 40 yards it settled. We drove the remaining 4 miles to the next exit in the shoulder. The exit being a no amenities exit on a dirt road.

We put the camper’s insides back together. It looked like a Giant picked it up and shook it around. The bikes were fine, no major damage. We got a hotel just down the road in Hays Kansas to wait out the wind. As we took off, about 4 minutes after starting to the hotel down a dirt road, I spotted a fire in the camper through the rear view mirror of the truck. I quickly stopped, told Whit to grab the dog from the truck, head to the ditch and call the fire dept. I went in to grab the bikes and whatever else I could. After getting the second of two bikes out, I couldn’t really see or breathe and felt a bitch singed so that was all I was going to get out. Time to try and get the trailer off the truck. While rushing to drop the trailer tongue off the truck hitch, the windows blew out over my head. Realizing I'm touching two propane tanks while unhitching the trailer I thought it prudent to give up and make for the ditch myself. The fire dept in Hays showed up seconds later and put out the fire without much damage to the truck. Everyone, bikes, all but the camper made it home safe.

What's your favorite movie and why?

Cool Hand Luke. Because……. Sometimes, nothin’ is a real cool hand.

If you were starring in a movie, what would your theme song be?

Hollywood nights - Bob Seger

Guilty pleasure food item?

Beer, of nearly any kind.

Guilty pleasure song?

Bat out of Hell - Meatloaf

Where is your “happy” place?

Full lean on a tire with traction of whatever type it’s designed for. At the end of the tire's ability. 

What is something that you learned from a parent or grandparent that has guided you in life?

My Grandad Robert Blinn. He would get himself into some pretty wild situations. Sometimes with grandkids. Sometimes not. He always had some luxuries that allowed him to get out of them. That space between where you’re on an adventure but it hasn't necessarily turned weird or extraordinary but you’re on an adventure and you’re confident you can finagle your way out of anything but you’re not sure what’s going to happen.

That’s the meat of life. I think when the motor blew up out of Grandad’s cheap recently purchased Bronco 2 in the middle of nowhere, and cool as a cucumber he figured out how to get us out of there I started to understand that.

Who is your greatest mentor and what did they teach you?

I don’t think I had any one mentor but I do think it’s a positive character trait of mine that I can see and learn things from a wide variety of people that I have the pleasure of interacting with.

Tell us about your pet(s).

Bosco: MY first true pet, a pit bull of massive persona. We lost him at age 12 just before the pandemic. His only flaws were my shortcomings in raising him in my youth. I’ve never seen anything before or after chasing its own tail with such commitment. Our other dog Harley, raised partially under Bosco’s reign, is a dream. Obedient with no training, aims to please, low stress. I hope she lives forever.

What word do you hate the most? What word do you love the most?

Worst: Whatever

Best: Yes

What’s your favorite smell?
Fresh Sourdough

What’s your “kryptonite”?

Also beer.

Finish this sentence: “The world would be a better place if….”

Everyone left wherever they are better than they found it.

When I’m not riding/running or otherwise crushing it in my sport, you’ll find me:

Under the hood of my old ass truck trying to make it to 1 million miles while also making it run on alternative fuels.