Friday, September 30, 2011

Santa Cruz Olympic Trivia!

Name 4 Santa Cruz County cyclists who represented the US in road cycling at the Olympics.

George Koenig - 1960 Rome
Rob Parsons - 1968 Mexico City RR
Freddy Markham - 1976 Montreal
Andy Paulin - 1988 Seoul TTT

Congrats to Dave Reid for the correct answer!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Steel Wül Trivia

Question: What former TdF American racer was also a successful high school wrestler?

Answer: Kevin Livingston

Kevin was known for his near perfect pedal stroke and tireless efforts in the big mountains. He traded in cauliflower ear for saddle sores in high school.

Apple posted the correct answer.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Best Bonk Boogie Ever!

We know that everyone who has enjoyed the sport of cycling has bonked at one point or another and maybe some folks did not even know what was going on at the time. A true Bonk will take even the strongest riders out of commission and leave them dreaming of cereal infused with Starburst.

Wikipedia defines bonking as: general weakness, fatigue, and manifestations of hypoglycemia, such as dizziness and even hallucinations. This dangerous condition will not be relieved by brief periods of rest.

My all time worst bonk session came just after one of my all time greatest Hazel Del moments. It was 1990 and I made the attrition split on 'the del' with Brent Marks, Brian Marks, Daryl Price, Hal Worthington, Shane Kleopfer, Greg Shapleigh, and I think Danny Sullivan, Kev Mcgill and Colin Brant. Needless to say, this group was putting a lot of power to the pedals and I was simply following wheels as best I could.

We rolled into Corralitos and I was feeling really really really good almost too good, so good in fact I turned down an opportunity to get food and water from the market. Who needed the calories when you were feeling like this? Brent Marks Cat-1 super flahute rallied us all to do the canyon with him.

We hit the first section of climbing on the canyon and I was surprising myself with how much energy I had. It was like I could do no wrong on the bike. It was a good thing that I did not have any food, water and money with me because those were useless items to someone who felt so strong on the bike. I knew what I was doing, I was almost road riding and racing for two years now and no one was going to drop this 16 year old today.

This was a true statement until we hit Dove Ln which begins the first bumpy gravely steeper section of the climb (you all know the section I am talking about). At this point it was as if someone turned out the lights on me and I went from dreams of the TdF to dreams of eating 25 snicker bars at once wrapped in a peanut butter powerbar and dipped in Nuttela and washing it all down with a root beer from Togos (because they had crushed ice).

I went off the back so fast that they sent Kev Mcgill back to check on me. I did not even have to say a word to him as he knew exactly what was going on the minute he laid eyes on me. I don't think he knew just how bad I was. It started off like any bonk with the occasional visual disturbance, complete lack of power to the pedals, thoughts of vulnerability, and the insane fixation on sugar.

I somehow ended up at Casalegnos market and Brent Marks flips me a 5 spot. It was like I just won the freaking lottery. You are so hyper-focused on food that literally nothing else matters in your life at the moment. Someone could have said, "hey, can I have your Bottechia?" I would have gladly given it up for a coke and said, "sure".

In those days you could buy 5 snickers bars for 5 bucks and walk out with some change in your pocket and that's exactly what I did. Brent was trying not to laugh at me as I downed 3 of them right there. It must have looked like I dislocated my jaw and simply swallowed them. When your bonked this bad you are actually concentrating on the next ten items that you plan to eat not what your eating at the moment. I was dreaming of my moms pumpkin pie, chicken soup with bastina, and spaghetti. Brent said his pleasantries and then set off on Laural Glen to do some "interval work". I got the perfunctory invite to join him, however knowing that I was practically incapable of holding a conversation he rolled without the Jakester on this one.

The snickers barely got me back to 142 Via Medici (it was ugly) and I clicked clacked my way up to the kitchen and started to eat anything I could get my hands on. I was still so bonked that I started worrying if this feeling was ever going to go away. Your jaw starts to hurt after a while because your chewing and ingesting so many calories that the messages to the brain to stop eating are so slow that they don't connect until way after the sufficient amount of food has entered the body.

The glucose started pumping through the body and I was feeling a little more human again. It is amazing how the mind will block out pain and suffering because I was starting to think about what climb I was going to do that week after school with Kev and AC. When ever someone asks you for some food on a ride, give it to them for crying out loud. Otherwise you might end up babysitting what is equivalent to an infant. I had to do that for Bob Simpson and Ian Carver (same ride).

For the record:
The second worst Bonk session of my life snuck up on me while skim boarding (3 miles N, 3 miles S) with Julian Secon and Jordan Brownly at Camp St. Francis. I was dreaming of cereal with Starbursts.

Please share your worst or best bonk story with us.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Want to live a longer healthier life? Pedal with friends.

True to Steel Wül Credo these Brits from 1955 believe that "the variety in the group enhances the variety in the landscape- we go cycling for pleasure not penance." This resonates well with us as we love sharing the open road and food with our fellow Wüleurs. Was that Dougie E. Fresh's Grandpa downing those biscuits and Guinness and Mama Wüleur is claiming that was her Grandma in the "cute coral cardigan and scarf"? Simply trade in the nickers for a chamois, the Carradice bags for a saddle bag, the Simplex for Campy, Guinness for Root Beer, and voila' - you have a Steel Wül Cobble Classic or Yosemite Boogie! My blood pressure dropped and I added 3 years to my life the first time I watched this video. My favorite thing about the Brits is that when they have a good idea they simply act on it and don't worry about the litigious outcome.

click below to play video!!
Cyclists' Special - part two
Cyclists' Special

Friday, September 23, 2011

Attention 'Bucket' Brigaders: Go to Flahute Factor 4

Mountain Larry Hibbard and Don Myrah circa 1992.

Larry - "You don't need no stinking cross bike and how many push-ups can you do Myrah?"

These folks battled it out for more than a decade at the state and national cross scene. I understand that Don has made quite the comeback these days. Larry has never let his BMI get over 3%. Is it possible that Larry actually looks younger now than he did 20 years ago?

photo by Kevin McGillicuddy LLC

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Santa Cruz Steel Wül Trivia Please!

Who's jersey is this?

Santa Cruz's very own 'Lighthouse' Larry Morrin

Congrats to Doug E. Fresh who posted the correct answer.

Bonus Trivia:
Tim Neenan founded Lighthouse Cycles (custom frames builder) in Santa Cruz in 1975. He also designed the first production road bike and Mt. Bike for Mike Sinynard of Specialized Bicycles. The first Stumpjumper is in the Smithsonian and has his signature on it. Tim build Lighthouse Larry multiple frames in the 1980's hence the nickname. Rob Parsons was also on a Lighthouse until Wheelsmith gave him a Merlin Ti Classic in 1993. Tim "the rocket" Neenan is still riding and building frames in San Ynez, Ca. You know you make good stuff when Maynard Hershon rides your bikes.

We have a bottle of Bargetto Pinot Grigio for Doug and Jenny. Stay tuned for more geocash gifting and sponsored Steel Wül Trivia. Jim Gentes to sponsor the next SW trivia.

Lighthouse Lug work

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Solo escape Steel Wül style

Steel Wüleur Brad Shelton is obviously enjoying his new Caletti SW adventure bike. Be careful Brad, as I know the knucklehead Firemen that protect that stretch of highway and sometimes they take extra long "safety" naps in their astronaut chairs around noon. They have also been known to take in stray cycle tourists during dynamic weather conditions and offer up some of the best crockpot stews known to man.

Enjoy the open road!

Steel Wül trailer by Big Star Productions

click below to play video

'Steel Wül video'

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Attitude of Gratitute

This beautiful handmade coffee table was a gift to us from Jed Wilson (wood work and resin) and John Caletti (metal work). It is truly one of a kind. Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen. I always wanted a Caletti frame so technically the metal frame was build by John. Jackie snapped a pic as it was presented to us. Please note that they had to employ my brother in law Josh Coleman who played in the Rose Bowl for Fresno State to help carry the damn thing. Josh will be getting a phone call from us when it is ready to be moved. The campy cogs are 23 and 25 so I don't know if they are trying to tell me something or if those are the only ones that Dave Reid is wearing out these days (while in the big ring of course). We will recall upon this table for inspiration during our late night Steel Wül strategy meetings with Apple. Could the next Cobble Classic be the same mileage as there are pebbles?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

And the cat came back..........

Officially ending the Cobble Classic season Grey Kitty returned after vacating the premises a couple of days prior to all the festivities. Jess thinks it was the sewing machine that signaled to grey- leave for calmer ground. I'm pretty sure that once he saw the first pallet of Nutela he did what any cat would do and found a transitional family. He is back and clammed his usual 5th step from the top. With a simple twist of the neck, he can see all the action in the front and back yard.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

2011 Cobble Classic - Thank you support staff!

Some Thoughts From Mama Wuleur:

This morning I went for a walk to clear some of the wine from my head and thoughts of the 4th annual C.C. ran through my mind. I received so many "thank yous" in the morning before the ride and during the party and really, in reply to all those I wanted to say right back - no, thank you for being just crazy and fun enough to want to take part in this event. I feel like the luckiest person alive to have such community of both friends and family who want to gather at our home, seriously enjoy time together and to make this life extraordinary, rich and soulful.

Obviously my memories of the day have very little to do the actual bike ride as my day is spent more behind the scenes getting the house ready for the festivities while I wait for news of the riders to trickle in - always pleased to hear everyone is safe, that the rest stops are going smoothly and that there is indeed sun shining somewhere in our county.

What makes it all worth it for me are the beautiful little moments throughout the day; Olive laying her clothes out the night before so she will be ready extra fast to help upon rising; Jake with a big smile on his face as folks roll up; My heart-to-heart with Stevil about living each day to its fullest because crap, we won't be young forever; Ryan literally laying on his back in my gutter after the ride saying "oh god this feels sooooo good;" Talking shop (shopping, weddings, various health matters and plotting Anthro trips) with my girls Sarah, Ann and Whitney in the kitchen while drinking wine; Everything about the Carroll family because I love them so, Jaden and her ice cream cone; The late night session with Mike, Sarah, Doug and Jake at the dining room table after everyone else had gone home and finally falling asleep dead-dog-tired listening to Jake read emails out loud that were already coming in from all of you.

Thank you and see you all next year for another Cobble Classic!

Stay tuned for Cobble Classic Photos and Video as they become available.

Jay Dichary's Pre-Cap of the Cobble Classic.

Ladies & Gentlemen, it is killing me being on the wrong side of the continent this weekend. While I am bummed, my absence guarantees that Andrew Carroll finishes one place higher in the KOM. In lieu of a not-quite smooth east coast riding style, I leave my fellow riders with the following re-cap of the 2011 edition of Steel Wül Cobble classic………

The light in the bedroom was soft. A trace of morning fog leaked into the window, and brushed across his brow. He awoke by the sound of his heart rate monitor alarm (set of course to signal when resting HR drops below 42), and turned his head to give a kiss to his podium girl (Megger) lying beside him.

He jumped out of bed, and donned his bibs, and spun down the spiral staircase. Chris had cooked up his morning breakfast burritos for his power assault, and made an extra for IL director, and Mike Moore –he figured he could call back the favor for a pull later in the day. Lesser riders take note of his experience!

Chris opened the door to his garage, and was taken aback by the sight of Caletti Steel Wül #1. It was sought over and hand-built specifically for this ride. The tubes were matched to his body. The geometry was tweaked. The welds were perfect. It glistened. It was beautiful. It was his pride. It was his joy. It was his fault he did not build it up in time…….

Chris opened the garage door, slipped on his shoes, mounted his shiny “Eight” bicycle, and spun away from the house toward Santa Fe Ct. His breathing was calm. His cadence relaxed. He arrived at HQ and saw other riders buzzing about. Elegant chariots of steel, titanium, and carbon were racked in line, poised for a day of powerful riding. The sole exception was a bike emblazoned with the name “Moore” on the top tube – so light it was literally floating above the bike rack like a balloon in the sky.

Riders sipped coffee as they watched the future take hold of their steeds. The kid’s race was about to begin. Peter DePolo was fresh back from the wind tunnel. New aerobars and a rear disk graced his BMX cruiser. Olive abandoned her bike this year in favor of a pony named “Lug.” The Carroll boys were balancing in their track stands making a mockery of their competition’s handling skills. The gun fired, and the kids fired off. The SRAM power meter affixed to one kid’s bike registered a full 62 watts. One lap of a lifetime. A man answering to Bruyneel was spotted deep in the 4th row of the crowd looking for future talent……the future can ride my friends……

Il Director had just gotten off duty that morning and was updating the blog that he had woke up, and put his shoes on. He walked outside and then updated the blog. He took a sip of morning coffee and was about to blog again, but his phone rang. It was Doug-E-fresh. Fresh wanted “to get the scoop on the boogie” and know who to size up. Jake simply said, mark T. Tolleson. The founders of Steel Wül ride as one. Jake then proceeded to blog about this phone call. Next, il director gave the welcome and the announcements. Gren’s attention faded as Jake spoke in front of the map. His eyes dilated. His mouth salivated. His attention focused. Nothing else in the world mattered - save for the red KOM arrow on the map. He scoffed the thought of elites taking his glory. The day was his, and his alone.

Following the speech, Mike Moore pulled his bike out of the clouds in which it had floated, although all 80 lbs of him couldn’t quite pull it back to earth. It simply hovered about the ground as the whir of the campy drive trains pulled out in formation down the road, and up to the ride of the year.

The blur of black, white, and baby blue rolled through scents SC - eucalyptus, strawberry fields, and some funny smelling smoke coming from the side of the road. While Peter took a flyer, the peloton rode tight. Although Heart rates were low, Spirits were high. There was talk of families, parties, and “emergency preparedness training” getting ready for the ride. Cory Coletti asked if the rumor was true. Word is that Dave Reid carried last year’s shellacked Steel Wul cobble trophy over in the plane, and kept it in his jersey pocket as he conquered Pars Brest Paris. The man on the lugged steel Rock Lobster chuckled under the laughing cow cheese he was chewing. Dave said - well that’s only part true. I didn’t just do PBP, I did Santa Cruz-NYC-then swam across the Atlantic pulling my bike behind me in a life raft, then rode paris-brest-paris, and then swam back, then back to NYC, and this time took the southern route across the states back to SC. All the while with the cobble in his jersey pocket. Keeping it close reminded him of his fellow riders. Gren overheard this spectacle and took solace in Dave’s lack of preparation. He figured Dave left his best performance somewhere between Paris and the Mississippi River. Check one off the list.

Onward toward the climb they spun. Appleton was in a fluster. He had just climbed Zyante 8 days before, and was concerned that the timing of his pro-taper would affect his form. Chris told him to stop talking that his excessive panting would waste energy he’d need for the summit punch. Craig was talking up his new carbon fiber wonder-machine with eyes smiling wide…..but Chris noted he’d have no mental or physical advantage today as his new bike was not ready to play. Ryan was wishing this ride was on Sunday so he could get in one more “emergency training Saturday ride” before the deadline. The calendar was against him. Dan Perry was a newbie to this sort of endeavor. He shaved his legs like a cyclist, but did this standout swimmer have anything more in common with the men on wheels? Hess is strong, but may be over trained from making too many messenger bags during his taper phase last week. Andrew’s taper was strong – it began about 5 years ago. But has he actually ridden since last year? The Buffalo was out grazing in the fields- not present in the peloton. Trouget appeared confident, his 120 mi sufferfest would dwarf this ascent…wouldn’t it? Would experience on Liege-Baston-Liege, TofC and Crit Internationale come in handy for Tolleson? Or would experience take over? Just how would the ex-pro talent of the Steel Wül peloton play out on today’s climb?

Gren sized up his rivals, and dismissed them one by one. The day was his. He reached for the smooth campy carbon lever and produced 2 melodic precision ratchets. His 150-pound frame rose off the saddle. His cadence accelerated. Under cloak of redwoods, his effort was matched. With him was Moore, Appleton, Fresh, Hess, Coletti, Coppi, Tolleson, Reid, Merckx, and Hinault. Legends riding with legends. This felt right. There was a calm in the pain that was pleasing to the Gren. He played smart and sucked a wheel behind Fresh. Around the switchback, he and Hess rocketed up towards Merckx. Hess would have stayed up there but was falling back as he was blogging about it. Appleton dropped back as well to blog about Jake’s blog post. Gren ‘s SRAM was reading 880 sustained watts. Nutella-tinged sweat poured down his face. He bolted past Merckx. Past Reid. Checked Tolleson off the list. It was mono-E-mono Hinault and Gren. Gren remembered Bernard’s legacy “ripping the legs off of lesser men”. Today would be the day that Hinault lost his legs. Gren rose up for one last burst. Focused. Powerful. Now sprinting! Working the bars! Working the pedals! Working his soul! Chris takes the summit finish by a rim width!!! He rips his jersey off, points up to the sky and ROARS out GREN WUL is MINE he screams!.... I mean Steel Wül.....I mean - what the....I have my chamios on inside out? Chris notices he's still in his garage. – Day dreaming yet again. He changes his shorts mounts his steed, and roll off into the morning fog to ride with friends, ride for spirit, and ride for life.

To the riders of Steel Wülwe salute you!

Dave Reid -Lugged RockLobster
Jake Hess
Taylor Tollsen
Mike Moore
Chris Appleton

Eric Horton
Jake Hess
Ryan Barret
Taylor Tolleson
Mike Moore

Dave- "Liege Bastogne Liege huh,... with those little things?"

Thursday, September 8, 2011

2011 COBBLE CLASSIC - It's Upon Us

Wüleurs, we look forward to "Reveling in the Cycle Life" with you all this Saturday. Thanks in advance for your participation and to all those who help make this epic event so special and possible. Tip: best approach for the KOM, just tell yourself you're lucky to be here. See you there.

- Steel Wül HQ

Steel Wül stickers by Apple, aka IMAGETRIBE

These bad boys will be available to a Wüleur near you.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Moving forward by honoring the past

While enjoying 'the Del' on the Saturday ride a few Steel Wüleurs met up with Daniel Green-winner of the 1977 Mt. Hamilton Road Race (I-pro). Having done this race a few times, I can thoroughly appreciate the effort that he must have put in to pull that off. We have since welcomed him to join us on some rides. I wonder what bike he was on and what gearing those animals used in 77'. I can only imagine that it was a huge gear considering my first road bike in 87' had a 12x21 with a 52x42. If anyone could appreciate the Steel Wül mission, it would be him.

Below is a shot of his Hamilton Trophy. This rivals the Super Prestige Trophy that went to LeMond, Kelly, and Jean-Francois Bernard.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Peloton - its takes all kinds

Here are some quotes from some of our favorite racers. Its mind boggling to think of all the training rides and roads that these folks have been on over the years. I think that Hampsten summed it up the best.

"You can't get good by staying home. If you want to get fast you have to go where the fast guys are."

-Steve Larsen

"Racing isn't 'Boy, I feel great, everyone's falling over, I think I'll just ride away'. That's not it at all. If you're just not sick and your tires are full, you can't ask for anything more."
-Andy Hampsten

"On the last lap I used to feel like I was being hunted from behind. I hated that, so I've changed to thinking about the guys in from of me, no matter how bad I feel".
-Paul Willerton

"I didn't have any typical teammates. There was no particular criteria. I refused to have racers who were even rumored to be on drugs or steroids. I placed importance on spiritual and moral values. Those who are with me must posses an inner sense of the race, knowing when to fan out at the proper moment, when to control the escapes without my intervention. I hate to have to give orders."
-Eddy Merckx

"It's a love/hate relationship, and it's not until you come back that you remember how much you hate it."
-Sean Yates on the TdF

"I'm proud of what I've done in the Tour, but you have to keep your perspective. It's just a bicycle race after all."
-Miguel Indurain

"I unloaded my anger on the pavé".
-Andrea Tafi, after winning the 1999 Paris-Roubaix

"We went too far, I think. You don't enjoy cycling any more. Look at the speeds we do. The season is never-ending. You have to train so much, you have to be so skinny, if you eat a piece of cake you're overweight."
-Max Sciandri

"There are so many fads in this sport. One good way to figure out if something is a fad is if it costs a lot."
-George Mount

"Getting up at six and racing up a col from the gun is a bitch."
-Jacky Durand

"Don't buy upgrades, ride up grades."
-Steel Wüleur

"My biggest fear is that they will confuse me with another racer."
-Claudio Chiappucci

"Who am I? Where am I? Oh yes, I'm at the Tour so I should get on my bike and go. Where is my bike?
-Djamolidin Abdujaparov's first words after his historic crash in the TdF 1996

Friday, September 2, 2011

The perfect ride mix- 25 years of road race testing

All of the recent chatting about our vinyl got me thinking about ride music. How could one possibly chose a mix with so much great stuff out their? AC and Kev McGill have made some absolute doozies over the years that we have traded back and forth like some sort of drug deal. AC's typically start off with an in your face techno beat that would resonate well with a cross racer or even cross dresser and then settle into a mix of tunes that any kid from the Aptos hills would love from 1973 to 1996.

One of Kev's roles during our pre-race ritual was to let me know when it was appropriate to launch Metalica's 'trapped under ice'. Music is tricky that way, its power over your spirit and psyche must be respected at all times. I would hold up the secret mix tape and he would just look at me and say ,"No,..... its too early for that!". I figured I would listen to him considering he was the elder statesman by 24 months (he had the drivers license) and was race trained by Freddy Markham.

We would like to hear what you folks use for those long solo rides. I wonder what Mad Potter was rocking to as he weaved through our road barricades yesterday on his Colnago cross machine on a Potter solo mission to White House Canyon while we were fighting a fire in Boulder Creek. He looked great!

I scanned the vinyl and culled out my ultimate soul ride mix.

1. The Untouchables - Freak in the Street
2. Beastie Boys - Root Down
3. Pretenders - Precious
4. Romones- Freak of nature
5. Clifton Chenier - Tu Le Ton Son Ton (let the good times roll)
6. Talking Heads - Stay up late
7. Beastie Boys - Looking down the barrel of a gun
8. Peter Green & Jeremy Spencer- Mean old Firemen
9. UB40 - Present Arms
10. Johnny Cash - I have been everywhere man
11. John Mayall - Stand back baby
12. Vince Guaraldi Trio - Pebble Beach
13. Edith Piaf - Fais-moi valser
14. The Chieftains Live - The Fox Hunt
15. Michael Jackson - Wanna Be Startin Somethin
16. Steel Pulse - Steppin' out

For the record David Byrnes is an avid cyclist!