• Interview: Phil Mooney, Raleigh Rockstar

    by  • February 10, 2011 • interviews, norcal scene • 8 Comments

    chopper_baby.jpgPhilip Mooney, former UCDavis GradMonster and recent Yahooligan, made the leap to the Euro-scene in 2011 and now rides for the incredibly stylish, yet suavely retro Team Raleigh.

    Raleigh bikes have one helluva history – kicking most of the modern era on to wheels with classic models like the Chopper, Burner, and Grifter.  Raleigh bikes were the shit back in the day … bikes made for fun, cruising, and casually flipping awesome haircuts in the wind.

    And now the nostalgic soft spot that jellied for decades in my belly has been diamond coated into hard-core brand loyalty by Raleigh’s return to pro cycling and showcasing some of Norcal’s biggest talent.

    Phil Mooney joined the bubbly Mammoth Ryan Parnes on a fantastical journey to Britain and beyond as neo-professionals in the demanding, yet exhilarating career as bike racer.  We caught up with Mooney during Raleigh’s team camp in Mallorca.  Enjoy the ride.


    Norcalcyclingnews:
    Hello Mr Mooney ~ let’s begin with the trite, but necessary question of how you got your start in cycling. 

    Mooney:
    moonster.jpgI started cycling when I was a freshman in college at DePauw University in Greencastle, IN.  Strangely enough, cycling is fairly popular at this small school in Indiana.  I guess the students just like going out and being harassed by the friendly midwest folks that try to run you off the road while chucking beer bottles at you.  The school offered a winter term course taught by the cycling coach called the Science of Cycling, in which we learned a bit about training, racing, and famous racers.

    Most importantly, we all would have to bring in a trainer and ride for an hour a day while watching old race videos (keep in mind this is happening in Indiana during January) and do some fitness tests at the beginning and end of the course.  Since I didn’t have a bike of my own, I walked down to the gym in my baller shorts and tennis shoes and lugged up a spin bike to the classroom every morning.  Pretty glamorous, I know.  When that course ended, I decided I loved cycling and bought my very first Scattante.  I started off doing the collegiate cycling thing with the school’s team and kept it going from there.  When I moved to CA for grad school at UC Davis, I really started training and racing quite a bit.
    .

    Norcalcyclingnews:
    Ah so, another product of not paying attention in college.  We all understand.  Now, how did the Team Raleigh contract come about?

    Mooney:
    I knew about Team Raleigh and heard they were looking for an American rider from 4 different people throughout the year. I got in contact with the management (Cherie and Eddie, they’re awesome) through Jamie Sparling, my Canadian teammate. It all came together at the end of the year while I was at the Tour of Tobago. I was pretty convinced I’d be riding for a domestic team, but the Raleigh deal that came through with a chance to race in Europe was pretty unreal, so I jumped at it right away. It helps that two great friends (Ryan and Jamie) were joining the squad as well.

    raleighers.jpg

    Norcalcyclingnews:
    Speaking of your 2010 season, aside from no longer being required to wear that hideous white and purple monstrosity of a Yahoo kit, what are the highlights for you coming off that year?

    Mooney:
    I regularly finished in the top 3 of all the sprint finishes on the DBC (Davis Bike Club) Tuesday and Thursday night race-rides.  That was sweet.   I already miss riding with those guys.

    I could also go out training with either Tyler Dibble or Chris Stastny and make them suffer on a regular basis. There’s not much in the world better than that, especially cause they both whine so much when they’re hurting.  And I once beat Parnes in a town line sprint… although I’m not sure he was aware that I was sprinting.

    The final, and the coolest, highlight of all was spending a couple months training in the winter with Ronnie and Pete Lenzi.  Just getting up the final climb to get back home to the Chateau di Lenzi is a feat in itself… and I did that every day!
    .

    Norcalcyclingnews:
    Ok, 2010 sounded pretty sweet … and again, you’re out of those fugly Yahoo kits ~ so, what about your plans for 2011?

    Mooney:
    My first race of the season is a UCI 1.2 in the Netherlands on Feb 26th.  It’s a race that I’ve never heard of, can’t pronounce, and will likely be the most difficult race I’ve done in my life.  It’s called the Star van Zwolle, or something like that.  After that, it’s pretty much just full gas the rest of the year.  The races are split between domestic races (The Premier Calendar road races and Tour Series crits, the equivalent of NRC racing in the States) and international UCI races throughout Europe.  I’ll be heading to North America for a good block of racing too. The Tour de Beauce, Boise Twilight, Cascade, Tour de Nez, and Tour of Elk Grove.  The season ends with the Tour of Britain, a race I’m particularly looking forward to. The race I’m not looking forward to… The Tour of the Pyrenees.  That sounds like a lot of riding uphill to me.
    .

    Norcalcyclingnews:
    whoa … that sounds like a lot of racing.   Obviously, that much racing in Euro-land will change you as a rider, but what about living in Britain … don’t tell us you’re starting to use Limey language like Parnes on his damn blog.

    Mooney:
    I’m just chuffed to the bollocks with the whole set up here in England.  The riding is mint.  The blokes on my team always just go out and give each other a right good bollocking on the bike.  Seriously though, I sometimes think some of my teammates from up north speak a different English language than me.  After my first ride with Liam Holohan, I told him we needed to communicate in Spanish cause I couldn’t understand a damn word of the English he was speaking.  Additionally, everything you’ve heard about British cuisine is true.  This is what they feed me for breakfast.

    mooney_cakes.jpg

    Baked beans and eggs on toast.

    Norcalcyclingnews:
    Ok, that breakfast is retarded and dooming you for some serious toilet time.  Speaking of the bathroom … we can only imagine how much hair product you’re forced to use now that you’re in Europe.  What are the dirty details?

    Mooney:
    It matters which country I’m in.  While I’m in England, I keep the Beatles mop-top going.  When I’m in Spain I have to grease up my hair and bathe in cologne before I head out on a ride.  I’m heading to the Netherlands on Monday, and I think I’ll go with some Euro spikes for that trip.

    mop_toppers.jpg

    Here’s the team. Notice the euro hairstyles.

    Norcalcyclingnews:
    Geezus … you guys have the entire continent represented with those mop tops.  Don’t tell us you’ve completely jumped the shark and have been tempted to use the term “sensations” when referring to your legs or racing form?

    Mooney:
    mallorca.jpgI’m writing to you from our training camp in Mallorca, which is top notch.   It’s pretty unreal to be descending a mountain and see the Schleck brothers riding up it as fast as I’m going down!  I’m nearing the end of the 2 week camp and I have good sensations.  I’m feeling tranquil about the upcoming season.  The only issues are that my legs are knackered from just about doubling the maximum weekly miles I’ve ever ridden and my A-B C (ass – balls connector) has seen better days!
    .

    Norcalcyclingnews:
    oh for f*ck’s sake ~ I blame Parnes for this.  Someone as blatantly American as him should have been able to defend you from the continental drift.  But speaking of two Americans abroad … since the Euros only know our country from TV and cinaflicks, have you two been typecast as Hollywoodies … Starsky and Hutch sort of thing?

    Mooney:
    Given that we’re living in the team house outside of Sherwood forest in Derbyshire, and Nottingham is the next town over, and that I love Howard Pyle’s book, “The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood”, I’d argue that Parnes and I are more like Robin Hood and Little John.

    I’m very clearly the Robin Hood in this arrangement.  You know, the brilliant hero loved by all.  Ryan is like Little John.  As everyone knows, he’s quite a sprinter on the bike.  However, most folks don’t yet realize he is also a stout yeoman.  He excels at tasks such as digging, heaving, shoving, and bouts with a cudgel.  We’re a pretty formidable duo in a race.
    .

    Norcalcyclingnews:
    Great, now you’ve got me thinking of you as Kevin Costner galloping around Europe taunting Parnes in the worst English accent ever.  Speaking of the Mammoth, just what does that monster smell like after crushing the chamois for your 6-hour training rides in the rain?

    Mooney:
    The Mammoth smells about the same before and after a 6 hour ride in the rain.

    mammoth.jpg

     Here’s a picture of him bathing in the canals that run by our house.

    - – -

    Ok, thanks for the interview Phil … and we’ll all be keen to watch how you and the Raleigh boys do this year.  Mad props to you and Parnes from the Norcal!

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    8 Responses to Interview: Phil Mooney, Raleigh Rockstar

    1. Anonymous
      February 10, 2011 at

      Wonderful interview — keep them comming!!!

    2. The Bearded Wonder
      February 10, 2011 at

      This interview is the dog’s bollocks!

    3. Dibble
      February 10, 2011 at

      The only complaining I have ever done on a training ride with P.M.T.G.* is to him about how he is going too slow.

      *Phil Mooney The Great

    4. The Mammoth
      February 10, 2011 at

      Oh, SNAP! You tell him, Dibb-star. Except over here they don’t call him P.M.T.G. they call him Bandicoot or The Ballerina. You can ask him why.

    5. FWS
      February 11, 2011 at

      Phil… We miss you too! You always brought
      a smile to all that rode with you. Even if the
      smile came after a A$$ kicking! Best Wishes and
      Good Luck.

    6. pedro
      February 11, 2011 at

      what does bullocks mean?

    7. Jono
      February 12, 2011 at

      very cool interview. Mooney and Parnes are made out of the future.

    8. February 12, 2011 at

      Kick it Rock Boy, See you at the shop when you roll by.

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