Sunday, June 23, 2013

Endangered Species: Great Service...I know right?

We have been thinking a lot lately about service and more importantly good old fashioned quality service. Everyone has been demotivated before after experiencing poor service or even worse, no service. When Mama WÜleur and I bused tables together at Palapas in the early 90's, we were constantly reminded by one Garin Gates that folks were more likely to share a bad experience with 10 people and pass on a fabulous experience to only 2. SW headquarters would like to share a few outstanding local businesses via the inter-web. These folks and related businesses motivate me to go that extra mile when its my turn to "serve".

General Feed & Seed 

These folks have absolutely set the bar regarding friendly attitudes. When Olive and I make the right hand turn into their parking lot and see the iconic barn, we always feel more relaxed knowing that we are about to visit our own little version of a county fair. Oh yea...and their chicken feed is quite affordable, however, beware of their Breyer Horse collection if you have a 9 year old daughter as it is quite impressive. 

Spokesman Bicycles - Harry Gurney
If you own a road bike that is more expensive or more important to you than your motor vehicle, than I hope for your sake that you are dropping your rig off at the Spokesman so you can experience what it is like to pick up your bike after a Harry-build. There is an  indescribable quality to his legendary work. I have heard folkloric tales of his bike magic from other mechanics. His bar wrap alone is worth at least 5 watts because it's absolute perfection and you feel obligated to ride just a little bit better.

Not to brag or anything, but we are one of the last members of East Cliff Video who are still in the elusive  "movie club". This club was formed on the eve of the NetFlicks (destroyer of local video stores) phenomenon. Not having any form of television, we do visit ECV enough to never have to show our ID or present a card. The folks are very helpful when it comes to screening content for those 9 year old sleep overs and they found a movie for us that was filmed in Corsica (hard to come by). All the employees seem to dig their job and over the years we have seen them come and go and some return. Come on out of video store retirement and pedal on down to your local store. Sammy's videos have only been on a plane once. 

This family run business was recommended to me by a buddy in 1995 and I will never go anywhere else. I love the way you just pull up to the parking spaces in front and one of the brothers (usually) meets you before you even make it into the office. When they ask me what I want, I simply say, "tell me what I need". After they look at our vehicle they typically say, "well you don't need anything fancy, that's for sure". Its been years since we have been there and I was getting tired of using the floor pump on our slow leak the other day, so Mama WÜleur swung on by and the boys fixed the front left tire for a few bucks and sent her on her way with a recommendation to replace 2 if we were going to do any long distance driving, thank god we don't do that.

Who is your favorite provider of service? 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

1979 was a good year for Detto's, TA, Suntour &...

Pflueger Medalist reels. If Pflueger made a crank set I am pretty sure that I would put one on my tangerine orange 49' Schwinn DX. I have a feeling that Grant Peterson probably pedals around with a couple of Pflueger fly reels in his bags. This 18 dollar baby showed up on the doorstep only needing a little Phil Wood lube and some novice fisherman love. It reminds me of a trusty Suntour bar end shifter - leaves you wondering what roads or rivers it has seen. I have to find a reason to pedal around with this thing in my mussete bag.

For the record: I think Paul Willerton would appreciate this photo

The Full Wilder - Ball Mauler June 22nd

Join the Ball Mauler crew as they serve up a plate of spaghetti trail criss crossing every boogie in Wilder. Make sure to say hello to Sunny in the maintenance yard. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Geospatial Data Visualization or I spy for the FBI

The Edward Snowden issue was absolutely perfect for Google to slide off the radar screen. Ever seen the Google car with all the hardware strapped to the roof? Well, their little stunt they pulled with Keyhole Inc (now owned by Google) cost them 7 Million in settlements. They realized that those little cameras were able to capture endless amounts of Wi-Fi information from all of us. To celebrate all the spying that is going on we busted out our 1986 Untouchables Dance Party LP - side 2, song 2...enjoy.

For the record: I never saw the Untouchables at the Catalyst in June of 89' but I did stop and listen to them from Pacific Avenue with AC & Kev McGill on our grey and white Bridgestone MB-1's with Ritchey vector force tires, Nitto seat posts, and coski forks.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sir Silky's boogie report of Gibraltar

Hi Jaker,

While you were away, I had the opportunity to support a tandem dealer of ours with a demo weekend in Ventura. Having scouted this area previously, I had my minds-eye focused squarely on an ascent of Gibraltar. I first heard about this climb back in '92 while swapping routes/rides with the collegiate team from UCSB. I allocated just enough time Friday to get this guy done. I sniffed around online and discovered a winding, hilly approach through the foothills; tons of twists, turns, up and downs. I think I racked up 2k in 'ele prior to hitting the foot of the beast! I hunkered down, found the comfortable cookie and spun for well over an hour. I shot a photo of my Garmin; it took me 2.5 hours to cover 24 miles! Indeed, turns out those 2.5 hours were about 6k in vert gain. Sweet satisfaction. I shot some snaps with the "right tool for the job" at the summit, spun around, and slid downhill. The views East were particularly stunning.

Looking forward to pedaling with you soon.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Steel WÜl Trivia - "Remember the Alamo"

Question: Who are these two junior racers and what boogie did they just finish?

Answer: Kevin Livingston and Jan Neal.

Hint: They both eventually turned pro and one of them road the TdF many times.He also pedaled with Postal, Cofidas, Telekom, Saturn, Spirit of St Luis. The other one road for Saturn and was hit by a car in the Tour of Mexico with Clark Sheehan and was evidently a SF bike messenger at one point.

We fought our own battle that day in the sweltering heat not unlike Davy Crockett at the Alamo. Hincapie finished that day only wearing a chamois. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Corisca in 26 months, can you hear me now?

Steel WÜl pulled off a recon mission to Corsica to inspect the first three stages of the 2013 TdF. I hope those sprinters have been doing their climbing homework because the stage that cuts through Corte is going to split the field like a Corsican knife through wild boar sausage. Here is how we did it:

Step 1 - cultivate a disliking for AT&T
Step 2 - realize that AT&T will survive without your $125 per month 
Step 3 - pick your jaw up off the floor after you realize that 125 x 12 = $1500
Step 4 - discover that Air France will get you to Corsica for $1100 from SFO
Step 5 - complete the math equation: no cell phone bill + 26 months = 3 tickets to Corsica
Step 6 - find a large glass jar to collect monies (preferably a Martinelli cider jar)
Step 7 - live 26 months...stress free sans cell phones
Step 8 - be willing to sleep in a 350 year old stone cabin with an outdoor kitchen and shower
Bonus Step - provide emergency medicine to an unconscious passenger in seat 44B at 36,000' above Reykjavik Iceland and receive one extra cup of orange juice, a free headset, and two small packages of "cakes". Oh yea...and two complimentary round trip tickets on Air France. 

view from cottage

below cottage




Spelunca Bridge

Stage 3 of the TdF

6000 year old Megaliths

Corsican boar sausage

For the record: Greg Shapleigh's former Corsican teammate was correct - Corsica does have better roads, mountains, climate, beaches, food, mountaineering, cycling, and scenery. We will return in 26 months to entertain this idea- GR20 .