In the beginning the name was a joke.
But the idea of the team is no joke. Mike Heenan and friends around the country set about creating a team to race bikes because, simply, they love to ride bikes. Heenan, head of the service department at Crankdaddy’s Bicycle Works shop in Milwaukee, realized his biggest supporters were the people around him: his wife, his five-year-old dynamo superfan daughter Mabel, his bosses at Crankdaddy’s who give him the time to race cross in the fall, and friends that supported him win or lose in his pursuit of cross perfection.
So we ride to publicly thank those who support us. Cliché, yes, but we could not ride as much as we do without them. It's not really about the "Wife" in MWI, although most of our riders are married and bow down in gratitude to their supportive wives, it's about all those who help make riding possible, even if it's only to listen to the stories.
MWI has riders in Milwaukee, Missouri, and Kansas. We're a small team, but we make an impact where ever we go.
There's an attitude: not quite "urban," not angry, not beer-drinking stupidity. Not to be all about winning. More of a "we love to ride our bikes, and we're going to do things a little differently."
The jackalope: "I felt like we needed some kind of mascot for the team, and I got obsessed by jackolopes," Mike explains. "It's a creature that doesn't really exist, it's mythical, folklorish. And I thought it was kind of funny."
There's some connection there, and if you get it, you get the idea behind the team.
And in the end, MWI is about cyclocross. We all ride our bikes all the time: road, mountain, commute, fixed gears. But we live for fall.
We love the poetic beauty of cross, the cold, mud, snow, rain. We love the camaraderie of the cowbell-ringing crazies who drink Pabst and heckle the riders as they run up steep hills, the craziness of riding our bikes on grass, picking them up to carry over barriers, trying to turn on off-camber slides on steep, muddy hills.
We're willing to drive all over the country to race our brains out for 45 minutes, puke in a bucket, then cheer the pros.
MWI is all about fun, enjoying the ride while it happens, telling stories when it ends.
We like it that way.