Thursday, December 29, 2011

Saturday Ride Steel Wül Trivia

Who is the guy in the blue hat and glasses cheering on the Grey Hound during the Prologue of the 85' Coors Classic?

James Holmes - old school Santa Cruz Saturday ride dude. He is cheering on Carmel native Jonathan "Jock" Boyer who was the first American to pedal in the TdF in 1981. Boyer was also the first vegetarian to race the Tdf and was famous amongst his teammates for lugging around suitcases full of nuts and fruit. He was 12th in the TdF in 83' and won the Coors Classic in 80'.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Move over Eddy here comes Caletti

I am making room for my SW Caletti
and must let go of my 86' Eddy

I will let it go to a good home indeed
As long as they can appreciate this steed

In the SW lounge there are only 6 hooks
This one must go despite it's good looks

It has less miles than Fitz's 911
As you know the geometry is from heaven

It comes equipped with Eddy's fork crown
One look at it will convert any frown

Some argue its from Ugo De Rosa's factory
I could care less, as it ads to the history

If you register now, you can ride it in L'Eroica
And maybe never return to America........

For Sale: $1250 -
57cm 1986 Eddy Merckx Professional, SM Regal saddle, Harry build wheels on record hubs, nitto bar & stem, record 10 cranks & brakes. I have the entire original super record drive train, modolo brakes, record headset, & seat post included. The frame is all original and in great condition.
contact -

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Neighborhood buddies and no TV = a healthy you and me

When is the last time that you rode your bike just for the sake of riding it? I am not talking about a coffee spin or a UC loop, I mean pedaling up and down the street or driveway simply because it is there. My daughter is teaching me the art of spontaneous play as she and her buds have life all figured out - they play and socialize in the moment allowing for complete enjoyment to unfold right in front of them without all the adult sponsored hangups that we somehow feel obligated to. I understand that everyone needs to make a living but, "making a dying" is something that I am not interested in.

I have been focused recently on simplifying (making a living) what I would consider a fairly minimal lifestyle. I ditched the I-phone the other day after shushing my daughter in her own house while I was texting someone whom I felt obligated to immediately reply to. I sold our second car after it sat for 3 years between oil changes and still did not meet the minimum mileage. When the guy bought my truck I felt like I should have paid him a few grand knowing what it takes to upkeep and insure the damn thing, not the other way around. I have not missed these two items once and as a matter a fact, I feel that I spend more time relaxed than before. And contrary to popular belief, folks can still get a hold of me.

The older I get and the more I read about big business the less confident I am in the whole technology (advertisement) world. Both technology and advertisement machines have grown into one big seamless entity that has everyone fooled into the fact that planned obsolescence is normal and even worse - unavoidable. Did you know that every I-phone you see represents over a $1,000 a year in fees. I find it ludicrous that some yahoo creates a "need" and we are to blindly jump on board and take the financial ride only to be forced to get off and jump on the next "upgraded" train which also has a finite shelf life. Did you know that there are over 20,000 apps that are targeted for children under 2 available from I-tunes. Two year olds needs laps not apps.

We have been Television free at Steel Wül HQ for 10 years ($7,500. savings) or (5 Caletti's) and I have not only lost my appetite for it, but I can't seem to make it through a commercial without feeling repulsed by the content. Don't get me wrong we enjoy renting DVD's, (from Sammy @ East Cliff) but at this point I would never drop a penny towards television.

Below is one of the 20K games targeted at our toddlers. The American academy of pediatrics is stunned with the fact that toddlers can negotiate a smart phone game but can't wipe themselves. Why is it that I am picturing a Jabba the Hut looking engineer that hasn't seen the light of day who designed these girls? Don't get Mama Wüleur started with the way these girls are portrayed.

I say that we look to the neighborhood kids for inspiration and jump off this "train" and get back to basics - cycling, playing, gardening, and exploring. Our folks never came home with their noses buried in "smart" phones nor did they have the distraction of computers. These items are only tools, so I challenge you to place them in the tool drawer only to be pulled out when needed.

For the record:
I got my hair cut this evening at Rick's on 41st and there were three kids that got their hair cut before me and they all had to be pacified with their moms "smart" phone in order to sit through the hair cut. One of the moms told me that it works like a charm with her son everywhere they go. All I have to say to that is OMG SCCPS! - Someone Call Child Protective Services.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Steel Wül Podium Trivia!

photo provided by Brent Marks

Who are these guys?

Center is Boy Roy Knickman (Paso Robles City Firefighter)
Our left is Mark Whitehead.
Our right is Norm Gall

Friday, December 16, 2011

Steel Wül Lighthouse Trivia

Question: Who are these guys?

Center - Kelly Robertson
His left- Norm Gall
His right- Dave Kendal (original)

Tim Neenan (Lighthouse Cycles) was kind enough to share this photo with the SW community. Daniel Green and Brent Marks with the "Dave Kendal" call. I spend a few moments pedaling with Kelly yesterday. When he lived in Rolling Greens Estates he was kind enough to have Kevin, AC and I over to his bike shrine (garage) and showed us how to work on our steads and how to cut wool socks for arm warmers.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Selfless Act on 'Manayunk Wall' -Damon Kluck Style

As we approach the center of this holiday season (consumerism madness) I felt it would be appropriate to share a story about giving and self sacrifice. Damon only shared bits and pieces of this story while on long bike rides however, I think I gathered enough ingredients from him (and Jim Gentes) to bake up a tale that is not only true but could be a learning opportunity for us all.

In 2002 Damon landed a gig on the Saturn Cycling Team. From the outside he probably appeared as an overnight sensation to some folks however, that could not be any further from the truth. He already had a US Cyclo Cross title to his name (Tim Johnson might claim that, but we know the truth) and had been racing since he was 13 years old with Mike Pig. He even represented the US at the World Professional Road Race Championships - the last year you could race without a lid.

Damon was born to race courses like Philly (US Pro). It was here that he could use his smarts and climbing ability to make the crucial splits that quite often were simply due to attrition. He had the ability to always ride in the "sweet spot" it did not matter who was at the front, Damon always had a spot there. Folks had to earn that spot but if you had to ask how to get there you would never figure it out.

The 2002 version of the US Professional Road Race in Philly opened just like any other year with attack after attack after attack on the Manayunk Wall (most famous climb in US cycling). Teams would simply send out their goons to split the field every lap. Philly is a course where the strongest will always win. Team tactics will play a role, however, the sustained efforts and the 156 mile course offer no hiding.

Damon maneuvered himself into a very select group (11 riders) late in the race but more importantly he had his Canadian teammate Eric Wohlberg with him who had a world class sprint. It was looking good for those guys and at this point the name of the game was to get Eric to the line. I could only imagine what was being said over the radios. Remember that the first American to cross the line is the US Pro, needless to say at this point Saturn was looking for the win and the US Jersey.

On the last lap the attacks were going off from the likes of Hincapie, Vogels, Pate, and McRae and Damon found himself in a precarious situation - Wohlberg was coming off the back on the Manayunk wall. Without hesitation Damon dropped back to Wohlberg knowing that he just needed that little something extra and slung him over the top Dave Reid style (hand on butt and literally pushed him up and over the top of the Manayunk Wall).

The first time I heard this story it gave me goose bumps to think that he had the legs to do that but when Jim Gentes filled me in on the rest of the story and told me that when Damon dropped back to find Wohlberg the US Postal vehicle was at the front of the caravan and Johan Bruyneel and his crew witnesst the whole thing take place making it even that much sweeter. I don't need to tell you folks who Damon signed with later that year (US Postal Service). I love to hear stories where the good guys chalk up a 'W'. Damon was 6th that year and Wohlberg never recovered enough to unleash his sprint and was 17th.

For the record:
My brother-in-law (Josh Coleman) is the quintessential 'good guy' and I bet he has a half a dozen stories of self sacrifice when he played in the Rose Bowl for Fresno State.

Kluck on the Wall

And then there were 11

Monday, December 12, 2011

Caletti Steel Wül Team Issue #3 update

seat stays on

Dropouts welded to chainstays

Mitering for BB


Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Triplets of Belleville & the TdF

Olive and I have been butchering this song for months now, so here is the real thing- enjoy.

The Triplets of Belleville
The Triplets of Belleville


Though it is a pleasure to be back @ The Spokesman on my novel Saturdays, it's a shame to be missing Saturday Wül rides with the crew. I want to be quoted too! So, as it is, had to be an army of one today, on yes, Sunday and go to church amidst the backroads ridden so many times before. Hope to pedal alongside you all soon.

- Apple

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Saturday Boogie Quotes....

Jeff T. - "You can totally get around on this side BABY!!!!"

Dave R. - "This would be a great time for someone to take a couple of pics,....or not"

Cory - "I would say it's at least 34 or 35 degrees out"

Jake - "Dave, careful of that razor wire"

Dave R. - "You're not worried about bike weight are you?"

Jeff T. - "Whatever you're about to say - SURE!"

John C. - "There are some frames out there that just look right to me"

Dan P. - "My plan,...well it would be to get smooth"

Cory C. - "Hunger is you getting faster"

Eric H. - "He (Shapleigh) rules Strava and works 80 hours a week"

Tyson W. - "Just follow Dave and you all will do just fine"

Dan P. - "I was waiting for the attacks on Charlie, what happened?"

Jake - "You win,..ouch"

Peter F. - "I don't think the heavy stuff is going to come down for awhile"

Travis - "ha, ha, ha, ha, ha,"

Eric H. - "This section of the ride is for 2 not 10"

Brad S. - "Are you going to finish that?"

John C. - "Do fences count as gates?"

Friday, December 9, 2011

Steel Wül Press Release- Sponsored by Caletti

On December 10th Pleasure Point Yoga Studio will open its doors to the public for a mixed level Yoga session at 4:00 pm in the El Rancho Shopping Center off Portola Drive (refreshments & DJ after). Mama Wüleur and Emily Perry (Dan The Auquaman's wife) both have classes on the new schedule. Over the last few years, Olive and I have seen many yoga books spread all over our home and witnessed various sun salutations as well as the occasional chimichanga dandasana and salami sirsasana. For years now Mama Wüleur and I have been row-sham-bowing for ride vs yoga privileges and her hard work has finally paid off. Drop into the east side for the best yoga, coffee, grocery shopping, and views.

Mama Wülers classes: Monday, Wednesday, Friday - 9am
Emily Perry's classes: Tuesday, Thursday - 9am

click to view Emily's Yoga site

Yoga Girl

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The artist & his medium - John Caletti Cycles

Here is a shot of Steel Wül Team Issue #3's tube set, drawing, and hardware- so stoked!

Measuring butt lengths to the micoliter. You got to love steel.

Vent holes in head tube

Machining the seat tube insert

Custom serial # on BB shell (HESS) - does Specialized do that?

Mitering the top tube

Welding the seat tube insert

Checking miters

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

After midnight - we're going to chug-a-lug & shout or not

I have had a rash of emergency calls after midnight recently and this quote came to me while driving home completely sleep deprived after dealing with some serious knuckleheads at o' dark 30 this morning. Clapton got it all wrong. Here is my version.

Jake's version:
"After midnight, the only good that happens after midnight comes from the people that are compensated to take care of the folks out after midnight."

Clapton's version:
After midnight, we're gonna let it all hang down.
After midnight, we're gonna chug-a-lug and shout.
We're gonna stimulate some action;
We're gonna get some satisfaction.
We're gonna find out what it is all about.
After midnight, we're gonna let it all hang down.

Legend has it that Ginger Baker talked Jack Bruce and Clapton into doing the Albert Hall reunion in 2005 and that he got them all gym memberships so they could train up for the 4+ hour shows in their 70's.
Cream - I'm So Glad

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Favorite Rider -Robert Krzyzostaniak! Whos yours?

Everyone has a favorite rider / racer for one reason or another mine happens to be Robert Krzyzostaniak and its not just because he loved the show 'married with children' or that he is the proudest American you have ever met. Robert was a polish teammate of mine who really opened my eyes to the rest of the world and what racing was truly all about - to enjoy it.

In 1989 Robert and the rest of the Polish National Cycling Team (Zamana, Wiart, Mershieski, ect.) flew into southern California for the Tour of Mexico and the airlines lost all their bikes and luggage. They were put up in a hotel while waiting for their stuff and Robert said they gathered into one of the hotel rooms and found themselves immediately saying things like, "I'm not going back are you?". They all decided that this was their opportunity to defect. One of them had a contact in Chicago (1.5 million Polish Americans in Chicago) and he made arrangements to get them all to the windy city.

Edward Borysewicz aka Eddy B was running the Subaru Montgomery cycling team in 89' and knew of the defection. Knowing that they were all world class athletes with Polish National Titles to all their names, he grabbed them all for his Subaru team. Eddy B's teams were famous for their constant ebb and flow or athletes and they all eventually found themselves scrapping for new teams. Zamana found himself on Motorola via Kelme after a stage win in the Dauphine and Robert and Kristof signed on with Wheelsmith. All of these guys had world class talent.

These folks had almost nothing to their names and when you spent time with them you realized that every tire every calorie every opportunity was looked at with utter appreciation. Robert was a blast to travel with because all he talked about was becoming an American and how fun that was going to be for him. You got the impression that it was easy for them in the county of excess and gluttony. Robert would absolutely trip on the amount food that was left on plates in restaurants as well as the insane serving sizes.

My first race with Robert was at the Cat's Hill Criterium in Los Gatos. He decided to get away solo because they were going to give away a Tag Heuer watch to the KOM that day and it was going to be worth more than the win. He stayed away all day with a huge gap until the last lap when his rear wheel imploded on him and the field zipped past him just before the line. He didn't seem to care because he already had a buyer for that watch and he probably lived off that for weeks.

He also grabbed an impressive stage win at the Cascade Classic in 94'. He was in a break with a bunch of Coors Light and other pros and his Mavic Zap electronic shifting went to shit on him only allowing for a 12 or 23 so he toughed it out in the break and won the sprint in a 39 x 12. It was surreal for me to be riding back to the hotel with this humble guy who just beat out Julich, Hincapie, Grewall, Moninger, and Engleman. He was always so stocked just be in America with all the crazy opportunity at his fingertips that winning that stage was almost inconsequential to him. On the way back to the hotel we kept telling him , "do you realize what you just did?". I remember him telling us that the effort he put out for that win in a major US pro race would have put him somewhere in the field in a Polish race.

Hanging out with Robert for those few years helped me realize the importance of appreciating opportunities we all have and more importantly to enjoy them.

For the record:
The last I have heard Robert and his family own a couple of Hotels in Colorado.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Steel Wül bumper stikers - the new crop

These three will be available with the originals for purchase soon.