Thursday, June 30, 2011

Steel Wül Trivia

Question: What was the original title of the academy award winning movie 'Breaking Away'

Answer: 'The Eagle from Nap Town'

AC called in the correct answer. We watched this so many times in the 80's, we felt like it was filmed for us. My most memorable day on a bike happened to be in Bloomington, Indiana at the National Road Race. The course was held at Brown County Park (scenes from the film) and the Feds found a very steep col for us. Me and David Bly launched a suicide break early on and the field experienced some serious attrition in the August heat. We could hear the chase group on the final lap changing gears at the bottom of the 'wall' and they simply ran out of road. California brought home a couple of medals that day. I experienced my first drug test that afternoon and Heath Sandal was next to me answering questions with the feds. I was shocked at how many vitamins and supplements he had to disclose. My paperwork indicated an occasional vitamin c and Gatorade.

click to play movie trailer
Breaking Away

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Steel Wül Trivia

Bridgestone Cycles made an aluminum bike in the early 90's called the RADAC. What does RADAC stand for?

Answer: Research And Development Adhesive Cement

Kev McGill emailed the only answer which happened to be correct. I remember picking up his sub-20lb 55cm RADAC over 20 years ago and thinking is was insanely light compared to my columbus chromor Bottechia. Tom Sullivan & George (Bohemian Bike Shop) told us what it stood for and I think Kev's descending was a little more conservative that day.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Peaceful Livin'

I came home this evening after a couple of long shifts to find Jess and
Olive hanging out in the backyard. They really wanted to show me this
runner-bean that was climbing its way up this amazing spider web. I
walked around the corner of our side yard and this is what I saw. My
eyes immediately focused in on the peace sign and I was able to pop a
couple of rounds off with the old IPhone. Our backyard is Olive's
sanctuary and evidently the resident garden spider was feeling the same
way. Grey Kitty was soaking up the last few sun rays of the day and did
not seem to be impressed with our Wüleur Web of Peace. I wanted to
memorialize this with rain forecasted for tomorrow and Wednesday. This
was a nice reminder for me to slow down and enjoy both work and play.
Joe Dominguez said, "make a living not a dying". It appears as if this
spider has something to say or is just seamlessly catching his calories
and messing with us at the same time. Sign me up!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A visit to the Rapha store in Wüleur style

Steel Wüleur Sean Co did a hop skip and a pedal from the east bay to get us the low down on Rapha's SF digs.

On any given weekend morning in San Francisco there are dozens of cyclists meeting up at the Golden Gate Bridge, Philz Coffee, Zeitgeist and other popular spots. Centered as a temporary hub of cycling culture is the Rapha Cycle Club located 10 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge in the Marina. The "store" exterior is adored with larger than life size pictures of riders and minimal Rapha garments highlighted with the diffuse bay light. The club offers itself as a meet-up for riders departing for rides to Mt. Tam and beyond. Generous indoor bike parking with each rear wheel holder labeled with the name of famous grand tour climbs and excellent coffee and treats await the rider. Cycling memorabilia juxtaposed with minimal Rapha displays
dress the walls which gave me plenty to gaze at while sitting at the central table sipping my cappuccino.

I tried to explain to my brother what Rapha was and could only explain it was similar to free skiers or surfing's soul riders, with nods to the tradition and heritage cycling has to offer. Is it cleaver marketing where the wary and overstimulated consumer is tired of product information but responds well to positive emotion or a true love for the sport? Probably a bit of both but they generally offered a place to celebrate road culture and I was happy to enjoy the vibe. I would have loved to touch the $200 jerseys but we had our own ride to
get to.


Steel Wül Trivia

Who is this little bad ass?

Answer: Daren Baker

Kit posted the correct answer (along with a few other names). Kit......who are you? We owe you a Steel Wület Ride Pocket. Please email us your home address.

Bonus Trivia:
When Tim Petty won the American dream (US Olympic Trials 92'), he was approached by the USCF to give his position up to Daren Baker who was absolutely flying at the time. The urban legend was that Tim was to meet Daren at an airport terminal and sign his way off the team. Tim stuck to his guns and had a solid race in Barcelona. Lance evidently was upset that he did not forfeit his position. Tim was as tough as nails. Rumor has it that he popped into the Spokesman recently.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Steel Wül Trivia


Who is this cyclist?

Answer: Edwig Van Hooydonck -3 time winner of Flanders

Peter Flanders set an unofficial Steel Wül record and posted the correct answer in 19 mins. Also, that was me and my family that yelled hello to you at the 5 mile house today. It looks like I might have to come up with some harder ones.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Favorite Climb: Fremont Peak

This shot was taken from the observatory on top of Fremont Peak looking toward the Gabilan Range.

This is one of my favorite climbs because when you set out to do it, you have committed to riding all day with your posse. The last time I rode this mountain Mike Moore had me on the ropes so bad, I was praying for a flat. I have a story to share about this particular Mountain.

12 years ago this guy named Dave Reid called me up to do a long ride with him. He was really starting to get into the cycling thing and had some serious fitness. As a matter of fact he was laying down the foundation for his nick name as it was (Super Dave). I recently got the riding bug again and had been doing a little secret training myself. We set out to do San Juan Grade however, when I jokingly pointed out the right hand turn for Fremont and said, "we could always do Fremont Peak" he unfortunately said, "Yes,........where does that go?". I told him that it was about 12 miles long and packed quite the punch. What did I just get myself into? I immediately did an all systems check on my legs (remember Dave Scott) and luckily had a few calories left in my pockets. Its amazing how fast one innocent little suggestion can turn into an hour of pain cave riding.

We settled into our groove (freaking fast) right out of the shoot and I found myself glued to his rear wheel. My plan was simple - stay with him as long as humanly possible. The climb undulates for a few miles to the south and then turns west which starts the actual climb. I was feeling comfortable and found myself thinking that I might do ok as long as he did not pin it over the steep sections.

About three quarters of the way up Dave had me suffering so bad that I would have lost contact with the smallest acceleration. Like any decent ex-racer, I would like to think that I was hiding my pain fairly well. At that very moment, Dave looks over his shoulder and asks, "how much longer to the top?". You have no idea how sweet those words were to hear. It was like he just served up some silky smooth chocolate. My inner voice was saying, "Oh really, someone else on this mountain has some chipped armor." I could not resist this golden opportunity and I accelerated opening a gap that was never to be closed. Little did he know that he could have dropped me so bad minutes ago. This was a dirty Jedi move but he had me suffering so bad I felt I had no choice. If he knew the route, I would have been dropped like a bad habit.

This story is timely as Super Dave and Tyson are about to tackle an Ironman in the morning. I am assuming they know the course so some knucklehead can't play mind games on them.

VIVA Super Dave!

For the record: we did find a 9 year old boy at the top of Fremont Peak who's parents accidentally left him there. That made for a long day as we waited for them to drive back from their house in Prunedale. I will tell the full story sometime.

"I got your back Cuz!"

Photo by Charlie Stevens ( Mama Wuleur's big bother )

Olivia Jane, Ana Bella Jane, Emile Rose, and Luca are all first cousins and they ran pit crew for Bella's BMX race in Santa Clara. Bella would be the one in full Fox BMX kit with SPD shoes. She showed those valley boys how a Santa Cruz mini wüluer gets down by taking the overall win with braids and all. Congrats to Bella!

Summer riding is here at last!

I am so grateful to have such an amazing group of Wüleurs to ride with.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

National Champion Steel Wüleur- Megan McQuaid

Megan is the former U23 US National Time Trial Champion. Having done a few TT's myself, it is safe to say that she earned those stripes! We are honored to have a Wüleur sporting the Red and Blue. The Time Trial is the race of truth and the strongest will always win. Merckx said that the World Hour Record was the most difficult effort he ever did and that is saying a lot when you see the look on his face when he was getting dropped on Monte Carpena by Fuentes in 73'.

Phil Anderson the Father of Innovation

Phil Anderson was the first cyclist to use STI in the European Peloton. He often fell into the shadows of LeMond, however Shimano and Oakley relied heavily on him during the early 80's for product feedback. He donned the yellow jersey in 1981 for a few days. His career overlapped youngsters like George, Lance, Boonen, and Zabriske.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Local Steel Wül Trivia Please!

Who was the first Santa Cruz County cyclist to use Shimano 8sp STI (prototype)?

Jim Gentes

Steel Wüleur Apple posts the correct answer. What color Steel Wület do you prefer?

First Sighting:
I might have to go to a third party judge (Hugh F.) on this, however, I do remember seeing this person pull up to the Thursday night ride with some very nontraditional shifters on his bike (STI). Kev, AC and I were deep into our Pre-Tuesday / Thursday ride preparations (15c piggy cookies, orange juice & last minute homework) when we heard this individual shifting his gears around the corner. It sounded like something was broken. I immediately chalked it up to a "gimmick" and questioned who is that lazy that requires the shifters on the bars. I remember Chris Shapu and Lighthouse Larry commenting on the fact that they were proud that their bikes finally had down tube shifters not stem mounted shifters and that aero levers rule.

These were the days when Roskopp was skating the Blue Monster in Tahoe with the original Lance (Mountain). I just bought my lugged Team Fuji from the Dutchman equipped with 7sp Suntour Sprint and arraya aero wheels. Kev was rocking his blue Bottechia with Campy, and AC was on his trusty Club Fuji with Suntour Cyclone and 6sp index Ultegra (Bell V-I pro helmet in backpack).

Friday, June 17, 2011

I'll take Steel Wül Trivia for a Ride Pocket!

What former California Pro has 4 College Degrees including a Ph.D.?

John MicKinley

Dr. Mickinley is a professor of theological studies at Biola University. The last time I saw him was at the Santa Cruz Crit in the mid 90's when he was racing for Paul Mitchel / Spago and he had that sweet Rossin. His biggest win was the Gastown Grand Prix in BC.

Jedi Wilson sleuthed yet another clue for the correct answer

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dreams, the Milk Race, & the NBA

The Buggles saw the writing on the wall in 1979 with their one hit wonder 'Video Killed the Radio Star'. The Radio Star video was the first music video to air on MTV USA at 1201 am on August 1st 1981. That was an absolute game changer for the music world. I would like to think that Trevor Horn of the Buggles had another hit folded up in one of his leather jackets in the early 90's that went like this, 'The NBA Killed the Milk Race". The Milk Race was a famous British all amateur stage race where countless cyclist gracefully launched their pro careers (or not).

When the NBA began lobbying for the "dream team" in 1991, that was the beginning of the end for the all Amateur Olympics and stage races. Events like the Milk Race and pre-pro Olympics gave the young amateurs the opportunity to train, ride, and race like a professional and rise to the occasion without racing anyone of them. What I am getting at here is that not every racer wanted to be a "pro". Is that blasphemy to the contemporary racing model?

I can remember sitting with Andrew and Kev and talking about "trying" out for the (amateur) Olympic team and at the same time flipping through our endless stacks of Winning Magazines that showcased all the European Professionals. Looking back we were fortunate to have that separation which allowed us to dream big or small (take your choice). As it turns out, it was a good thing we all stayed in school. There is only one Tim Petty just ask Shapleigh and the other marked men at the Olympic Trials.

Santa Cruz's own Andy Paulin found himself on the podium at the 1985 Milk Race. I have placed a call to Andy to get his view on the transformation from all amatuer to professional. Please enjoy this all amateur version of the Milk Race. I watched it five times and its funny I can't find any chain ring marks on their calves or fans that seem disappointed in these amateurs abilities. Although at the very end, the young Russian amateur World Road Champion goes rubber side up after hitting a cameraman. Even though it is just the "amateur" rainbow jersey, it obviously still carries a little weight.

The Milk Race


Click on picture to play video

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Steel Wüleur Chris Grenier- Father of the Yosemite Ride

The Gren as we call him is truly one in a million. This is a guy who never met a man he did not like (well,... there might be one out there). He has that rare ability to speak from the heart with utter conviction to anyone anywhere at anytime. Here is a story that proves it.

Chris always wanted to ride to Yosemite so on his 50th birthday (2006) he decided it was time. I got the phone call invite and was hooked on the idea. He promised Jess and I one night at the Ahwanhnee so it did not take much convincing on our part. The story takes place on Old Priest Grade so I have to preface you with the fact that this was not our intended route. Those of you that have ridden it know why. On the morning of day 2 while kited up in chamois we ate our powdered eggs, sugar cereal, and hotel sausage at the Holiday Inn in Turlock, we got the news that Highway 140 was closed due to a rock slide and Highway 120 via Groveland and Old Priest Grade was our only choice to enter the Valley.
As we approached Old Priest later in the day, I quickly recognized it as the up hill time trial coarse from the 1992 Gold Nugget Stage Race (check record books for GC winner). New Priest Grade was under construction so we were forced to tackle the old beast with temperatures in the high 90's. This climb makes Alba look like Larkin Valley. As we began our accent, Chris commented on the jugs of water in the lower turnouts. I told him that the urban legend was that CHP officers place those jugs for overheated vehicles on the 20 percent grade. We quickly settled in to our own rhythms and slowly lost view of each other. It felt like I was by myself for hours. About half way up the grade an old silver back CHP officer stopped me and asked, "son, what do you think your doing?". I told him, "I am riding to Yosemite". He said, "you folks are nuts, do you know how dangerous these roads are?". I told him we had to reroute due to the slide. Just before he drove off shaking his head at me, I asked him if he could check on my brother in law (Chris). I settled back in to the climb and forgot all about the Chippy. About 20 minuets later, the officer rolls up next to me rolls down his passenger window and said,"hey your brother in law is doing just fine, he does have a small cut to this elbow and knee but he is ok". I thanked him for going the extra mile for us and just before he drove away he said, "oh yea,..... your brother in law told me to pass a message along to you,...... he said to go fuck yourself!". I said, "copy that traffic Sir,and thanks again". He said, "no problem, there is food and water at the top." I knew right there that Chris was not just surviving this climb he was actually riding it.

For those of you who know Chris Grenier it is not hard to picture how that conversation went between them. Chris probably had a huge grin on his face and was loving life. I can practically hear him say, "hey chippy do me a favor....." Chris has this amazing ability to defuse anybody.

And thus was born the Grenier Yosemite Invitational ride - 6 years and counting. Needless to say we have not ridden Old Priest Grade since.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Steel Wül Trivia

Question: Who was the first person to accidentally shoot Greg LeMond?

Answer: Bernard Hinault

Congrats to Steel Wüluer Kev McGil for sending in the correct answer.

Bonus Trivia:
When LeMond signed on to Renault in 1980 (pre-La Vie Clarie) the Director (Cyrille Guimard) and Hinault wanted to see LeMond in his own environment so they flew out to Reno, NV to check him out. The three of them went quail hunting adjacent to the LeMond's property and when Hinault heard some rustling in the bushes, he began to shoot like a madman and one of the stray bullets ricocheted off a tree and hit LeMond just below the eye. This is not to be confused with the turkey hunting accident that happened in 1987 where LeMond was accidentally shot in the back with a 12 gauge shot gun by his brother-in-law and was airlifted to UC Davis after an air ambulance happened to hear some emergency radio traffic regarding a gun shot wound coming from some hunters.

Super Bonus Trivia:
When my wife Jess (Art History Major) saw the La Vie Claire jersey for the first time she said, "oh my god, that looks just like a Mondrian painting!" and Kev McGill said, "that's because it is!"

Peit Mondrian painting

Team La Vie Claire Kit designed by the Italian company Benetton (first synthetic kit in peleton)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Tom Cuthbertson

Jim Langley photo

I could not post a trivia question about Cory Cuthbertson without featuring / honoring his father - the late great Tom Cuthbertson. Tom and Danny Nall were the fathers of California Cyclocross and of course Tom authored 'Anybodies bike book'. I only pedaled with Tom a few times, however I do have a story to share about him that reminds us how passionate about cycling he was and how humble and encouraging he was towards other humans.

During the 1991 Pope Valley Road Race I found myself in a suicide break with Steve Mieleke and a few other folks and Cory was in the main field chasing. As our break diminished to just three riders, Tom came out of nowhere in his van and started yelling, "go Santa Cruz, go Santa Cruz!" He did not know my name but he recognized me from my bike and kit as a Santa Cruz kid. He was offering me food and water as if I was his own son. The riders in the break started asking, "who here is from Santa Cruz?". I was at that dreaded point where I would have been happy to settle for 3rd or 4th to just have the suffering stop. As we approached the final climb to the finish, the break was starting to implode and sure enough there is Tom now on foot running next to me yelling, "go Santa Cruz, go Santa Cruz, you got this". Had Tom not been there yelling for me and encouraging me with that huge grin, I would never have hung in there to contest the win. For the record, I did take the win and Cory and Tom were so stoked for me. It was a cool feeling to win, but I will always remember that amazing moment of pure camaraderie and love the Cuthbertson's showed for me. It was as if one of them won the race. I learned a lot that day and it had nothing to do with cycling.

Thanks Cory and Tom

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Steel Wül Trivia for 300 Please!

What Santa Cruz native shared the podium with Bobby Julich at a National Cyclocross Championship?

Answer: Cory Cuthbertson

Peter Flanders posted the first correct answer.

At the 1990 Cross Nationals in Washington state, Cory had to bump up 1 age group that year and raced with the 17 /18's (Julich group). He had the race of his life and when it was all said and done he climbed his way on the podium with Julich. Tom Cuthbertson had to slowly thaw out Cory's hands and toes. He was on a fillet brazed Bontrager with toe clips & straps, non-aero levers, and friction shifters.

A custom SW ride pocket goes to the first correct answer!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Steel Wüleur Profile # 4 - Dicharry

Full Name - Jay Malcolm Dicharry
DOB- 5-25-75
Height - 5' 7"
Weight - 156
Occupation - Biomechanical assessment of cyclists and runners at UVA PT, MS
Bike - Gunner sport long reach (Jack Browns!)
Strengths - I am not awful at anything
Other Interests - mt. biking, skiing, surfing, and trying to ride a unicycle

SWCC - As an East Coast Hardman what is your perception of California cyclists and is it true that you could tell that Potter was an East Coast guy just from seeing him pedal?

Jay - (laughing) West Coasters are pretty and East Coasters are scruffy. Yes to Potter, some people ride the bike and Potter man-handles his machine.

SWCC - How many Steel Wül Cobble Classics have you done and what was your favorite route?

Jay - 3 cobbles to date and by far and above the 14 miles of blissful dirt decent of the 2010 addition!

SWCC - There are rumors that your were an All-American swimmer at LSU any truth to that?

Jay - Yes,..I am an American and I was a swimmer.

SWCC - I understand that a former USPS racer almost overdosed on your mother's jumbalya in New Orleans is that true and is the recipe available to the public or is it under lock and key?

Jay - It is true and he was trying to add training weight and the recipe is available to the inner-sanctum with SW membership cards.

SWCC - Do you have plans to ever do another Ironman? What was your bike split?

Jay - No! and 5:02

SWCC - What is our roll with the Steel Wül Cycle Club?

Jay - I am the story teller.

SWCC - What is your greatest accomplishment?

Jay - Top 10 at Giro d' Ville - the greatest underground race ever told that no one knows about. Viva

SWCC - Greatest inspiration on two wheels?

Jay - Paul Bushi - who measures his wattage on how far his drool drains from his mouth.

SWCC - What is your favorite cycling quote?

Jay - Easy,.. Boonen at Roubaix - "At first I thought all the other riders had flat fires and then I realized I was that much stronger".

SWCC - Describe a perfect day for Jay Dicharry in Santa Cruz County.

Jay - Oh man,....ah... ok a perfect day,.....thats easy - wake up in the fog run down to Capitola on a low tide to the Cement Ship run back for a burrito at Chil-Out then grab my mt bike and some cookies from Dharmas ride to Buzzards do two loops of Demo descend back to town and surf 38th until dinner followed by Michoacan and a bon-fire on the beach. Thats living the dream man!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

"The Buffalo"

Tim "the buffalo" Noakes was captured here making some history as the first racer to crest the Filmore St. climb on lap # 1 at the first annual San Francisco Grand Prix (September 9th , 2oo1). I think Hincapie won that year with a little help from Armstrong. Tim took home the coveted sprint cobble at the 2010 Steel Wül Cobble Classic. As you can see from the photos, his nickname is appropriate. I am going to go out on a limb and assume that must be a daunting feeling looking over your shoulder and seeing Eki, Klasna, Lance, Horner and the boys chasing you down like predator to prey. Tim,.....we look forward to sitting on your wheel soon!

Steel Wül you find it #5 discovered

The Wilson's did it again. The hint was Red Beans (Creek) and Rice. Good eye folks, the Gren showed me this little amphitheater. I must have ridden passed it a couple hundred times and never looked off to the left when riding over the Bean Creek Bridge. Thanks for hunting and hopefully it was a good excuse to get out of the office!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

30th Ave Rubbish Hunting and More

Here at Steel Wül Headquarters (aka Hess House, aka Grey Cat Farm) we are located near the RR tracks where they cross 30th avenue. Almost daily for 7 years we have crossed the tracks when running, walking and riding our way into the big wide world. Most locals know that the tracks are not just tracks but the future site of the Rail Trail. This follows suit with what other communities have done around the country- transforming the ill kept, little used, ideally located rail lines into user-friendly, multi-use transportation corridors for urban communities.

Knowing that this transformation takes lots of time (and patience, see below) we thought that we would take it upon ourselves to sponsor our little stretch of tracks and pick up trash from time to time. Our latest clean up took place on Memorial Day. Olive and I hit it hard for about an hour and cleaned up 4 bags full of garbage. If you are ever interested in helping us with trash collecting, let us know (we sport SW jersey). In the meantime we will be keeping you updated on Rail Trail info as it becomes available thanks to Steel Wüleur Cory Caletti.

Jess... aka Mama Wüleur

The folks at the Regional Transportation Commission are planning a big
celebration to commemorate the purchase of the 32 mile rail line from
Union Pacific on Saturday, September 10th. This community wide
celebration will see a historic train make its way from Watsonville to
Wilder Ranch with numerous stops along the way for neighborhood parties,
bands, presentations from public officials and other festivities. The
family oriented event will provide train rides from the West side to
Wilder Ranch with a bike car available to haul bikes for those wishing
to ride back.

The purchase of the rail line has huge implications for our county
because we'll start seeing some recreational rail service next year from
the West side to Wilder Ranch and beyond. The big news for cyclists is
that the RTC has long planned for a bicycle and pedestrian path adjacent
to the rail line. Dubbed the "rail trail" by the community, the official
title for the project is the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail
Network. While the title is a mouthful, it points to the fact that the
project is much broader in its scope. A Master Plan will look at rail
right of way as the spine of a bicycle/pedestrian multi-use trail but
also to the street network for spur trails to connect the main artery
trail to other destinations like schools, commercial areas, transit
stops, parks and the like. You can read more about the trail project

Stay tuned for community meetings scheduled for later this summer where
public input will be solicited. If you have any questions, Steel Wuler
Cory Caletti is the project manager of this fantastic project and she'd
love to talk to you about what's in the works or about anything bike

Cory Caletti
Senior Transportation Planner/Bicycle Coordinator
Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission
phone: (831) 460-3201 / fax: (831) 460-3215

Steel Wül Trivia for 200 please!

Question: What TdF rider had the first illegal bike based on weight? What was significant about his bike and who deemed it illegal?

OK, this one stumped a few folks who know their history, here is the story

Leblanc of the TdF wanted to congratulate Jalabert after winning a mountain stage and he happened to pick up the Frenchman's bike while sharing in his glory and in doing so his jaw dropped as he flung the custom machine in the air with ease. Leblanc was mind boggled while holding JaJa's 14 lbs climbing bike with 26" wheels. It was at that very moment that Leblanc decided that was too dangerous and a minimum bike limit was necessary. If you remember, Claudio would use a "mountain stage" bike for the accents and ditch it for his "descending" bike.