Sunday, November 28, 2010

Searching for sun on a Sunday morning

It is so great to pedal with folks who are all on the same page when it comes to group rides. Thank you to Super Dave, Taylor T., Doug E. Fresh, Cory & John Caletti, Apple, & Tyson. That was a seamless 4+ hour winter ride. Congrats to Tyson for passing the California Bar exam! Can we put you on a retainer as Chief Steel Wül counsel?

Ride rating: 2 points for fence hopping, 2 points for views, 2 points for conversations, 1 point for weather, 2 points for style. Total- 9 points

Photo / inspiration by Andrew Kell / Location: Manresa State Beach

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Attention: Lonely Roads

Dear Lonely Road,

Are you feeling left out? Are cyclists simply "avoiding" you for no good reason? Never had a Peleton gracefully negotiate your pot holes? Have you been deemed "unsafe" for road cycling? Well look no further my unappreciated gravely friend.

The Steel Wül Cycle Club is a non-bias group of cyclists who are actively seeking out new roads to pedal their steeds over. We will ride just about any road surface that resembles a road or even a "former" road. We have opened up our application process to San Mateo, Santa Cruz, San Benito, Santa Clara, and Monterey Counties. We will be reviewing the applications and selecting the roads under the following criteria: length, gravel texture, scenery, incline, decline, foliage, barbwire fence (mandatory), unique sign postings ("no trespassing" or "rough road" encouraged), any road prefaced with "old" or "stage", small creek crossings acceptable, and any road that makes you feel like your "getting away" with something and or allows you to relax and forget just about everything.

So if you feel like you have what it takes to be placed on the Steel Wül ride calendar, submit your completed application and return it to Steel Wül CC Headquarters, Santa Cruz, Ca.

Jake Hess
Founder, Steel Wül Cycle Club
ph: 831.239.4004

The Calleti's 'Winter Wonderland'

Awesome fun!
Cory and I have been up to Big Basin a couple times lately. Last week
on the road bikes, we re-traced the Steel Wul epic as far as China
Grade. It was fun to see the SW markings on the pavement going up Lodge
Road. Park HQ was a ghost town (Wed.), so it got me thinking, now's the
time to get on the trails! Our ride that day continued up N. Escape,
onto 236 to 9. That top section of descending 236 to 9 is crazy fun, it
had been a while and I had forgotten how good that is. Then back down 9
and the alternates into town.

Thanksgiving Jeff B. took us on a killer ride back into Big Basin. We
all were on cross bikes, took Pipeline, across and onto W Zayante, then
an alternate to Quail Hollow. From W. Zayante we made a Left and
climbed up Moon Meadow, go over a chain across the road, onto a new
road, then a right at the stop sign, climb, descend and we're back at
that corner where we all blew through 2 stop signs and the cop passed
us to ticket a truck! On up 9, 236, and at the golf course Left, up
through the neighborhood a bit then climbed up a road that
disintegrated into dirt for a ways, top out, down Little Basin to 236,
into the park - C O L D !!

Now the really sweet stuff > Gazos creek for a ways, a left somewhere,
stop at a sunny spot where the trees get small, left again, left onto a
fantastic singletrack, across some sandstone, back into the woods and
along an amazing little creek to the waterfall. Some hikers gave us
dark chocolate!! Onto the fire road out to the coast. .... Umm... it's
1:30 PM, we're still in Basin and we've got people coming over for
Thanksgiving at 4 PM!!?... Hwy 1 was warmer and clear, slight tail wind
for a while, and we got home at 3:10. Epic! Can't wait to do it again.

John Caletti

Ann Wilson's new mussete bag

Congrats to Ann Wilson for winning 'Steel Wul you find it' #1!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Vincent Giacomo Carroll aka VGC

You may have heard of the late VDB who stormed to multiple Vlaanderen wins on the Col de Bosberg, well I would like to introduce you to VGC. With a name like his, you're born to win races. Look out wanabe fixies this little guy not only rolls without brakes and gears, but he's sans cranks and slayed it on the Steel Wül 'Kids Cobble'. For the record, his neighborhood is also the secret training grounds for the Nevada City Classic.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Jim Gentes - GIRO Master Mind

Here is a shot of Jim celebrating his first National Cyclocross Championship. If memory serves me correctly, he said he crashed and or flatted and had to chase from almost dead last. He is famous for asking questions like, "How do you plan on winning today". While racing the 1991 Casper Classic, Jim and I piled our gear into a our rental car and drove off to stage 4 only to realize half way there that we were in someone else's rental car. The hair dyer, purse and female products were a dead giveaway. With conviction, we kept saying "this has to be our car,.... right?". We returned it to the hotel parking lot and found our rental and in true Gentes fashion, we left the other one on the opposite side of the Hotel lot. For the record, Jim won that Stage.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

AC aka Andrew Carroll

Don't let this consummate joker fool you, he is a decorated racer and when given an inch will take a kilometer. His low center of gravity has often left "extreme" mt. bikers in his wake (while pedaling his MB-1 equiped with child seat). He points to his elbows when questioned about suspension. Your looking at the 1991 Central Coast Cyclocross Champion. This hardman shouldered a lugged Bridgestone MB-2 to an overall series victory. Be careful not to wet your chamois when witnessing his antics while "messing" with someone.

Steel Wül Matriarch

Great Grandmother Cathrine Mancini DePolo (Matriarch of the Peloton). It
is not a coincidence that she is dressed in red white and green. She is 100% Italian (just ask her) and did some epic cooking in her day. As kids we would beg her to make her famous bastina dish. She enjoyed introducing us to all the classic films of her day.

Student & Master

This is moments before the 1992 National Road Race in Bloomington,
Indiana. Rob meticulously cleaned my bike the night before and told me
that he eliminated any "mechanical" problems therefore I could
concentrate on "racing". To this day I think I was simply an extension
of his will. For the record those were the sickest Harry built wheels
(Mavic GP4's with Continental Sprinter tubulars) and the stem was
brazed by Monty Worthington. If memory serves me correctly the cosmic
bottle of half coca cola half water on the last lap was from my dad.

Monday, November 15, 2010

'A Living Legend'

I caught up with my former cycling coach Rob Parsons today on a 2 hour spin in the sun. We talked about life, Porsche speedsters, family, firefighting, motor pacing, and of course American Road Racing. I asked lots of questions about his racing career which reads like an odyssey including 5 Tour of Nevada City Classic wins, 2 National Road Titles and the 68 Olympics. On Steel Wül rides we often fantasize of racing along side of Eddy Merckx himself, Rob is the only guy I know of who actually has. It was nostalgic for me to see the Team Wheelsmith Jersey and of course his signature tubular Vittoria corsa CX tires. He taught me how to train and race but more importantly in his quiet unassuming way taught me to believe.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hardman of Hollister - Paul Willerton

Does anyone recognize this Hollister Haybailer? Hint- he road Fremont Peak more than anyone in California. He also had a historic crash in the Midi Libre and ultimately helped Gilbert Duclos Lassalle win with stitches in the gut.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Steel Wül Member Profile : Kev McGill

SWCC: How long have you been a member of the Steel Wül Cycle Club?

Kev: oooh... officially I became a member of Steel Wül the morning of September 19th 2010 at 0730 in the morning. And I will die a member.

SWCC: How many years have you been cycling?

Kev: Gosh..counting BMX bikes? I would old is my sister? lets see...1976 so 34 years.

SWCC: What was your all time favorite bike that you have owned?

Kev: oooh...that is a tough one! This might take a minute. The Pogliaghi! I had lighter bikes and flashier bikes, but this baby was just the best all rounder.

SWCC: What is your favorite post ride ensemble?

Kev: Thats a good question... ugg boots, one hundred percent cotton flannel pajamas from the Guinness Brewery and a Patagonia fleece top.

SWCC: Who is your favorite tour rider and why?

Kev: Greg Lemond, because he is American and he won- thats what your supposed to do and won consistently- he was a Californian and local boy.

SWCC: Have you ever won a Road Race?

Kev: I have! I won the Sweet Water Road Race in Nevada, USA

SWCC: What is your favorite Steel Wül moment?

Kev: That is a tough one too,...thats like choosing your children, how do you do that? I would have to say....ok this is my answer, Its tough to decide between Andrew Carroll riding up as Dave Stoller and when we rolled up to the first rest stop at the Fire Station and saw Eva run up to Jay (Dichary) yelling "daddy, daddy". or the after Party- ......I would go with the Party.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Grey Cat Junior Farmers Club

Olive & Clary offering the evening cycle-commuters a healthy snack. Apples - 10 for a buck! Fresh Oregano - 3 for a buck! Dad getting heckled by every fire engine company that drives by - Priceless!!

Sneak a Peak of San Benito County

Looking east from the intersection of Old Hernandez Rd X San Benito Lateral.
Be prepared for two small river crossings once we access the Fruseta Ranch (25c tyre!)
No need to get on a Jet Plane to Italy when you have access to this.

Monday, November 1, 2010


YES, YES, YES! They pulled it off! What a great uplift for the Bay Area. Ok, back to riding bikes. Whew.

Olive & Big Mama sharing the road

Olive showing off her supple spin - dropping mama like a bad habit! Pure genetics baby! we have to build a Steel Wül Development Team built around this lil' Ripsnorter?

Before We Were Even a Thought

How far we've come from yesteryear.