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John Peckham - Teammate and Friend

John Peckham 1975-2006

Black-and-white image of John E. Peckham

Photo © Chris Norris,

John Peckham was a member of the Webcor/Alto Velo Elite cycling team. More important than his racing, John was a great teammate who had an easy going manner and was enthusiastic about everything he did. John had a strong presence, and a clear confidence despite being very soft spoken. John's incredible talent, infectious smile, easy demeanor, and positive attitude were impossible to miss on or off the bike.

Words cannot express the loss we all feel and what John meant to those he came in contact with. John will be missed greatly by family, friends, teammates, and the cycling community.

John touched many people's lives. They have also left their stories and thoughts about John on The Mercury News guestbook for John.

John E. Peckham Coaching Scholarship Program

NOTE: In 2016, the board of directors decided to re-evaluate the coaching scholarships. A new program will be rolled out in 2017. 

From 2005 to 2015, Alto Velo Racing Club, has awarded season-long coaching scholarships to Alto Velo athletes of all ability levels who want to bring their racing to the next level under the guidance of coach Dan Smith of SportVelo.

As part of this experience, Coach Dan helps the athletes set season goals, provides detailed daily training schedules to help achieve those goals, and provides feedback on training and racing throughout the season. The athletes in turn provide weekly training reports and race reports to the club email list and are expected to contribute to the club through volunteering.

Applications for scholarships were requested in September-October of each year with an announcement to the club email list. Applications are judged by committee based on 1) commitment to racing, 2) commitment to Alto Velo, and 3) Coachability. 

John E. Peckham, a valued Alto Velo member, was among the recipients of this scholarship in its inaugural year. He was progressing well in his training and racing when his life was cut short in a terrible tragedy. In his memory, Mary Ann Parker, John's mother, donated a generous grant through which the scholarships were funded.


Recipient History


  • Greg Bollella: A Masters racer focused on improving in Time Trials and Criteriums
  • Jorge Pont: A cat 4 racer with the AV Elite Racing Team


  • Niklas Barreto: A cat 4 racer with the AV Elite Racing Team with an eye towards hilly road races who wants to upgrade and improve his training and racing.
  • Anthony Jawad: A cat 4 racer with the AV Elite Racing Team who is excited to improve his race results and help the team.


  • Gerald Sylvester: A cat 4 racer with the Alto Velo Development Team who wants to upgrade to cat 3.
  • David Keefe: A long time racer coming back after a few years away from the sport.


  • Magnus Gille: A cat 4 racer with the Alto Velo Development Team who wants to upgrade to cat 3.
  • Ivan Tarasov: A new cat 5 racer who wants to learn how to race and train better.


  • Barrett Ausman: A longtime club member and active Cat 4 racer with some notable results over the years. Barrett plans to upgrade to Cat 3 in the coming season while pursuing an active NorCal racing schedule in 2011. Barrett also plans to help organize the Cat 4 team in the coming season.
  • Ryan Gibson: A newer racer that upgraded to Cat 4 in 2010, Ryan wants to learn better and more efficient training techniques in his pursuit of race results and possibly an upgrade to Cat 3 in 2011.
  • Jane Wolcott: A member of the Alto Velo Bridge Team and Cat 2 racer. Jane is fairly new to bike racing but had some great success and quickly upgraded from Cat 4 to Cat 2 in 2010. In 2011, Jane plans to upgrade to Cat 1, improve overall, and compete at a high level as a member of the A/V Bridge Team.


  • Mary Ellen Allen: Masters racer with a TT and track focus. She has national and district track championship titles to her credit and is aiming for a rainbow jersey in the 2k pursuit in 2011!
  • Richard Allen: Husband of Mary Ellen with a similar racing focus on track and time trialing. He is the district pursuit champion (individual and team) for 2009 in his age group. Richard's goals for 2010 were to improve his time trialing as well as to achieve results at masters track districts, nationals, and worlds.
  • James Allen: James is a masters racer returning to the sport after an extended break to build his career and family. James has an extensive background in road cycling, having raced and trained with some of the pioneers in American cycling in the '80's. For 2010, James was a Cat 4 on the road, was looking forward to a full season of racing, and hoped to upgrade to Cat 3 by season's end.
  • Mike Grundmann: At the start of 2010, Mike was a Cat 3 road cyclist with a desire to learn how to train effectively while balancing life's other demands. He has had many strong finishes in tough road races like Pescadero and Mt. Hamilton. In 2010, he continued to score results and upgraded to Cat 2 by season's end.
  • James Porter: Going into 2010, James was a recently upgraded Cat 3 masters racer that has been racing for the past 3 seasons. 2009 was a breakout year for him with several top 5's in some tough 35+ Cat 4 races. In 2010, his goal was to be competitive in the 35+ 1/2/3 and Cat 3 categories.



Full year scholarships:

  • James Badia started as a Cat 2 and upgraded to Cat 1(!) during his scholarship. He is a powerful sprinter and an integral member of the Alto Velo Men’s Elite Team.
  • Neil Harrington started his scholarship as Cat 3 and soon to be Cat 2 rider. He spent the year racing a lot, learning a lot and assimilating to the demands of P12 racing as a member of the Alto Velo Men’s Elite Team. A season highlight was his participation in Superweek in Illinois/Wisconsin.
  • Lauren Hecht started as a green Cat 4 and worked her way up to Cat 2 by season’s end. She is a strong all around rider who can do well in any event from technical crits to the hardest road races.
  • Kevin Susco is a masters racer (45+) who dominates most of the hilly, hard races he enters. Kevin used the scholarship to learn how to train more effectively in his pursuit of even more results.
  • Peter Tapscott is a mult-displine masters rider who likes road and track racing. Peter had a few injury setbacks during the season but somehow came back from them all and still put a great season together.

Consulting scholarships (one-time meeting with Coach Dan and a training plan based on the consultation):

  • Dan Connelly: Longtime club member and cat 3 racer. Dan used his consultation to outline a rough training program for the season.
  • Dylan Hruska: Dylan was a junior racer who used his consultation to get general advice about racing and training.


Full year scholarships:

  • Erin Dunn started the scholarship as a Cat 3 racer with some road experience and a triathlon background. She did well all season, scoring lots of results.
  • Aaron Paterson is a strong rider with a college wrestling background. During his scholarship, he raced as a cat 3 and had a lot of success.
  • Brian Peterson: As acting club president, Brian had a phenomenal season in 2007. During his scholarship, he focused on track racing and ended up with two Masters National Championship titles by season's end in the Points Race (35-39) and Madison (30+ with Steve Pelaez). He also raced at Elite Track Nationals that season.

Consulting scholarships:

  • Carola Berger is a cat 2 who used the consultation to learn how to balance a demanding work schedule and a comeback attempt after multiple injuries.
  • Daniel Black: A frequent B-ride participant, Daniel was a junior Cat 4 racer looking for advice to improve his overall training approach and racing performance.
  • Peter Dinolfo: Peter was a busy postdoc at Stanford and Cat 2 racer with the Alto Velo Men’s Elite Team. From his consultation, Peter was looking for guidance on preparing a season long training plan. He has since moved out of the area after accepting a professorship at RPI in Troy, New York.
  • Greg Gomez: At the time of his consultation, Greg was a cat 3 racer, looking for guidance on training effectively, and specifically seeking advice on strength training for cycling. Greg has since upgraded to Cat 2 and became a member of the Alto Velo Men’s Elite Team.
  • Randall Stafford: Randall was a Cat 4 racer in 2007, looking for advice to help his preparation in the 2007 World Transplant Games.
  • Kevin Susco is a masters racer (45+) who dominates most of the hilly, hard races he enters. Kevin used the scholarship to learn how to train more effectively in his pursuit of even more results.
  • Shin Umeda was a cat 3 and longtime racer who now mostly focuses on masters racing. He used his consultation to plan his coming back from hip injury. He has since upgraded to Cat 2.
  • Mike Vella is a longtime club member and Cat 3 racer. He used his consultation to help balance life as a new father with training and racing.


  • Peter Cazalet is a former professional triathlete and Olympic distance world championships participant. After a break from sport to pursue family life and his profession, he came back to cycling. Peter was a Cat 3 during his scholarship, subsequently upgraded to Cat 2, and became a valued member of the Alto Velo Men’s Elite Team.
  • Petro Hizalev is a gifted climber. He did a lot of racing in the Cat 3's and scored several results during his scholarship, mostly in the hilly hard races.
  • Rory Osbrink: During his scholarship, Rory raced with the USA Deaf Cycling Team and represented them at the World Deaf Cycling Championships, which was held in Northern California that year. He competed in three events: the Road Race (Pesky), the Time Trial (9th), and the Points Race (Final Round, Hellyer). During the year, Rory was able to move from Cat 5 to 4 on the road and from Cat 5 to 3 on the track with some solid results. Rory went on to use the knowledge gained to empower other Deaf cyclists.
  • Peggy Prendergast was relatively new to racing and used the scholarship to become an effective racer. She did well in many crits that season.


  • Ben Albracht: Cat 4 at start of scholarship, upgraded to cat 3 by the end. Won his first Cat 3 race (Winters RR)! Has since left the area to pursue a degree in Psychology at Cal Poly SLO.
  • Joe Manning: Egyptian scholar and part time bike racer, Joe used the scholarship to learn how to balance work and training and how to be a better racer.
  • Rob MacNeill started the scholarship as a new Cat 3, won a few races, won the NCNCA Cat 3 BAR competition, and upgraded to Cat 2 by season’s end. Rob went on to become a member/manager of the Alto Velo Men’s Elite Team starting in 2006 and earned a Cat 1 upgrade in 2009.
  • John Peckham was a Cat 4 at the start of the scholarship and quickly started racking up results. By 2006, John upgraded to Cat 2 and was a member of the Alto Velo Men’s Elite Team. In Septmber 2006, John was struck down by a motorist while out training, which was a huge loss for the club as well as his friends, family, and professional colleagues.