Thursday, July 28, 2011
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Who is leading this reconnaissance ride the day before Roubaix?
rik van hooydawg posted the correct answer
Tomac became my hero at the 1994 Redlands Classic when he went from being in the laughing group with me on Oak Glen to making the final break the last day on the circuit race. This dude was one of those rare guys who was a born champion. I understand his son is now a champion moto cross racer.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Who is this Race Leader and why is she with him?
Vladislav Bobrik and Miss USSR.
Anonymous posted the correct answer.
Bonus Trivia- The Russians were very excited to have Bobrik in the leaders jersey at the 1990 Tour De Trump so they flew Miss USSR out to "hang out" with him during the race. He bagged a stage win in Paris Nice and I think he won Giro di Lombardia in 94. Masi made the Russians those really cool "flying purple people eater" frames.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Olive and I found this baby at 6800' in Lakes Basin. We knew this was the one once we placed it on flat ground. We were inspired by Franco's cobble. We will polish it with a wire brush and shalac not our tongue like Ballerini.
Although, anyone who can ride Andrei Tchmil, Museeuw, Ekimov, Vanderaerden, Yates, Sciandri, Van Hooydonck, Tafi, Bauer, Ducloss-Lassalle, and Zanini off their wheel and solo into Roubaix has the right to do just about what ever they want with that cobble in my book. That chase group rivals Lance's chase group in the 93' Worlds.
Monday, July 18, 2011
"Did Leopard Trek steal your SW kit design?" Ben Jacques-Maynes
"I overhauled my bike last night at midnight" BC
“This ride is over” The Gren
“I think this one goes through” Jake Hess
“Dave- you are only hurting your friends” Doug E. Fresh
"I rode to Yosemite the first year without breakfast" BC
"I just let the bike decide the route" Fitz
"I brought some duct tape and a bottle of Ether" AC
“This train is leaving” Apple
“That was Bru-tal with Cheese!” Mike Moore
“I let my legs do the talking, but no one can hear me from the back” Eric Richter
"There ain't nothing Giant about that bike" Gren referring to AC's Giant TCR frame
"seamless" Mike Moore
“You have never been closer to the end of this ride as you are right now” The Gren
"Yea,....... I don't think this is that kind of ride dude" Kev McGill
“I have to keep rolling” The Gren
“I think I did this ride when I was 14” Jake Hess
“Supless group!” Apple
“Oh my god, this is amazing!!!” Cory Caletti
“It wasn’t that bad, was it” Dave Reid
“Yippe Ki Yea" The Gren
“I could always push him if he gets any worse” Dave Reid
“I’m just going to do a little interval,… oh yea- where did I leave that gap?” Dave Reid
“Best boogie ever, yea!” Doug E. Fresh
“That was the coolest thing I have ever seen” Brent Marks
"sickest helmet on planet earth" Doug E. Fresh
"Jake, does this ride finish with cookies also?" Jay Dichary
“I was so shot out that I was weaving a rug in the road” Brent Marks
“What the F___ did you do to Gren, he is pedaling octagons back there" Brent Marks
"I was so chipped on that ride I had to pedal with my ass cheeks" Jake Hess
Sunday, July 17, 2011
On our way back from the Sierra Buttes we stopped by to visit my friend and former teammate Trent Klasna in Cool, Ca. The last time I saw Trent was at the San Francisco Grande Prix when he chipped Lance on the last lap. Lance and George knew he was the strongest rider that day.
When I raced with Trent in 94' he was hyper focused on obtaining his goal of landing a pro contract. He not only obtained his goal, but this big Flahute (cycling bad-ass) won just about every major race in the United States. It was not just his cycling talent that caught folks attention it was his infectious attitude and the fact that he was a consummate joker. He is not doing any riding these days, as a matter of fact he has not peddled a bike since his final race in the SF Grand Prix in September of 2005.
Over the last few years his focus has been on farming. From the moment you step foot on his farm, you can tell that he still has that contagious energy. During our two hour visit, he had a dozen or so customers and friends stop by to check on the status of his vegetables especially his tomatoes which he said, "are running a little late this year". One guy stopped by just to see if he needed any parts for his tractor taken into town. The community of Cool has obviously claimed him as their own.
He made us feel welcome and took time out of his day to explain what the farm was all about. He said that farming is way harder than cycling and that this time of year he has to get up in the middle of the night to water certain plants. His dedication to the farm rivals his former profession.
Olive never met a weed that she did not like to pull so Trent put us to work pulling weeds and Olive thought it was the greatest job in the world. He no longer talks about cycling and races he now talks about soil, water, air temperature, GMO foods, eating locally and community based services. He said that he was simply "making it up as I go" however, he was explaining to us chapter and verse details on all the processes of the farm.
I love to see former cycling stars who have made that crucial transition back into a healthy civilian life. Trent has made that transition and I think his humble attitude has everything to do with it. This is a guy who raced in the World Road Race Championships and is now happy to share his farm with a 7 year old.
On our way out of town we stopped by the local Volero Gas Station for some water and chewing gum. A guy named Bill was working the counter and asked where we were headed we told him that we were just at the 49er Farm and he said, "Oh are you friends with Trent? You know he won't sign autographs anymore". He told us that everyone in Cool knows Trent and that he welcomes visitors to the farm as long as you, "don't step on his rows!". He has carved out another cool niche for himself and we plan on visiting again - maybe we can even get him on a bike and not the Chinese one that is leaning against a tree rusting away at his farm (that was a souvenir he brought back from the Tour of China).
For the record- Trent invented the original supertuck
Thanks again Trent aka T-Bone & TMFK
Saturday, July 16, 2011
We met Mark and Donna Norstad and their kids at Salmon Lake this past week. They are the owner operators of Paragon Machine Works in Richmond, Ca. Their shop provides high-end steel and titanium parts for bicycle frame building. Within minutes, Mark and I were able to complete the six degrees of Santa Cruz frame builders. Once they found each other, our daughters were attached at the hips while fishing, hiking, swimming, and smoreing. These folks were incredibly kind to us and our extended family and as a fan of Ti and steel, they get the Steel Wül approval!
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
If you're not watching, or up to speed, can you call yourself a cyclist? No matter how you slice it, The TDF is the biggest, most historic and beautiful sporting event there is, and must be honored. Sans doping, investigation and all that shit, the majesty of this event still reigns. A sport for hardmen, an event that creates heroes. Get on board and enjoy the ride.
Below is a link to a good source for coverage if you don't have access to the Versus shitshow with Tweedledee and Tweedledumb next to an embarrassed Bob Roll and all the stinking commercials. Thank god for Phil & Paul:
Monday, July 11, 2011
Participating in the "Death Ride", has always been one one of those things I think I should do, but never made the whole-hearted effort to commit, register and plan a year in advance to "actually" do. However, at an impromptu gathering for former colleague, Matt Potter's bday at The Spokesman several weeks ago, per some casual dialogue about it, an invitation was extended - shit, I guess I'm riding the Death Ride. Wade guaranteed a slot in true "shoot-from-the-hip" fashion.
The week+ leading up to the event, my workload was heavy. I did not even get my head around it until 3:30 on the Thursday I left for The Sierras. Packed quick, got all my ducks in a row and headed out. Stayed at mom's in Murphy's Thursday night and headed towards Markleeville on Friday. Drove up Hwy. 4, over Ebbet's Pass - which gave good beta on road conditions - kinda beat up after heavy winter. Was still a fair amount of snow up high, but less then I expected. Always a beautiful drive.
Going into this, I was less concerned about the ride, figured some consistent big days in The Coastal Range and riding background would get me through, but more on logistics, and where I would spend the night prior. This was all new to me, and figured it would kinda of a shitshow with 3,000+ other participants converging on little Markleeville.
Got to registration, went through the protocol with my 2nd hand entry and all was clean. Upon walking out, I inquired to a young volunteer about some beta on camping, and what happened next was unforeseeable. He said "you can stay at our house if you want." What, you're kidding, right? "No, we let a group of people stay with us every year. Make yourself at home, here's the address."
Met up with Spokesman crew at registration and got there itinerary. Headed to this address, and sure enough, I was taken in by the Jackson household: John, Kim, Mason and Cole. These were the most generous and authentically nice people I have ever met. They take in a somewhat normal crew and straglers every year. $40 bucks gets you all meals, a bathroom and shower to use and heaps of downhome hospitality. Though a little awkward, I felt blessed to have fallen on such good luck. Made everything much smoother. I can't tell you how much I was moved by these people. If the world was full of folks such as this, it would be a better place.
So, I quickly learned if you leave after 5:ooam, you are starting later than most. Some start before 4:00am for christ's sake! But, the targeted time was 5:30 - hoping to connect with Spokesman crew, and you have to have lights if starting in the dark. Was having no part of that. Got out at approx. 5:40am - daybreak. And the ride was on. For those not familiar with The Death Ride, the official start is at Turtle Rock - a couple mile outside of Markleeville. The route meanders out of Markleevile, and starts up 1st pass, Monitor Pass, over the top, down the backside, then back over. The rout then heads to Ebbett's Pass (the gem of the ride), up and over into Hermit Valley and back over. Then back through Markleevile, out to Carson Pass, then back to Turtle Rock/Markleevile. Approx. 129 miles and 15,000+ of stiff climbing - Alpine style. They don't cal it the "Tour of the California Alps" for nothing. I jumped in in town, avoiding chilly descent down from Turtle Rock.
It was a trip to see thousands of riders out here, totally surreal. All shapes, sizes. abilities, etc. became evident right away. How are some of these folks going to do this? This is an event that showcases all the colors of cycling: good, bad, overdressed, bad fit, bad form, good nature, over-equipped, under-equipped, and on. But, everyone out there should be applauded - it's a big day on the bike.
So I settled into my own tempo and pace. I had no aspirations, just enjoy it and take in all in. Though, one is always driven by some sort of vanity. I soon realized, I am stronger than most out here. Gave some internal satisfaction that all the miles in the saddle have put me in a certain place with my cycling, and that gave me motivation.
Actually, per veteran beta, I had not planned on doing the whole thing. The word was, doing Carson Pass meant dealing with the road open to cars, wind, possible weather, and fatigue. I had ridden Monitor and Ebbett's smoothly, having passed 100's of riders and only being passed once. Felt pretty pleased by this, especially pushing the bigger gears - have only ever purposed a standard double, and 39-12 got me through. Came back into Markleeville and was ready to call it a day. But, a little bird told me. "you gotta do the whole thing the 1st time out." So yeah, I continued on. Mind you, the addition of Carson Pass is 1/3 of the ride. All I can say is I'm glad I decided to do the whole thing, though I was cursing Carson, a very long slog out of Woodford's to the pass. 16ish miles at 4-10mph at this point. The scenery made up for the suffering - The Hope Valley was completely alive. One pedal stroke at a time. I thought the pass would never come. But, it did with a cold ice cream waiting.
At he end of the day, this was was deeply satisfying and solidified what matters in life. Challenge yourself, exercise your passions and appreciate the generosity of good-natured people. The support and volunteers were amazing. This event is the biggest day of the year for this area and locals show it.
Thanks Death Ride for a better day than most. This Steel Wüleur is grateful. And yes, sick descents! 50+ mph bliss! Not for the nervous with 100's ascending simultaneously!
And, just to cap things off, pedalled around Lake Tahoe today - another classic. Mix it up!
Santa Cruz to Petaluma 135 miles.
This was one of the best days I have ever had on a bike! Super Dave Reid organized the route and Brandon and Michele Bredo graciously hosted the Stag weekend at their amazing working ranch / farm in Petalulma. Once we made the final ascent to the Bredo Ranchet, it was like going back in time one hundred years with all the organic farming and ranch activity.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
The Gren took possession of his Caletti built SW Team Frame. This was a collaborative venture between Steel Wül partners Caletti, ImageTribe, & the Gren. All I have to say is I want one! John builds these steads with the utmost precision. When Chris was explaining what he was looking for on the initial visit to the Caletti factory, John did a lot of listening and you got the impression that not a single word slipped by unnoticed.
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Who are these two knuckleheads and who were they racing for?
Marty Jemison & Chad Gerlach racing for Montgomery Bell
Sean posted the correct answer.
Both of these guys had world class speed. Marty clawed his way into a 9 man break at Roubaix late in the race.