Monday, February 27, 2012

Steel Wül Trivia - Le Blaireau


How many times did Hinault race Roubaix before his 1981 victory and what did he say after he won?


He did Roubaix only once (won it) and claimed it was a stupid race and vowed to never do it again.

Old School Steel Wuleur Kev McGill emailed the correct answer.

You can say want you want about Hinault but there is absolutely no arguing he was / is the hardest man in cycling history. The only contemporary TdF contender who could come close to winning Roubaix is Cadel. The Moser group thought they had it made in the shade when Hinault crashed. All that did was add a little fuel to his fire and took all the pressure off him.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Steel Wül Math - Italian wool - $13.47 Chinese wool - $180.00

I have been looking for a pair of wool knickers for quite a while and I am delighted to say that the 13 dollar and 47 cent Italian military knickers that showed up today are amazing! They are 100% wool, double lined in the seat, and have four deep pockets. It was worth skipping out on a couple cups of coffee and a pastry to pay for them. There are a couple of cycling companies out there that offer similar versions (one version made in China) for $180.

A work buddy turned me on to the Sportsman's Guide for great wool products. He knows a thing or two about the elements considering he is a 29 year veteran CDF Fire Captain who runs Inmate Fire Fighters in Lassen County.

Check out Sportsman's Guide for wool t-shirts, sweaters and pants. The majority of the wool items are from western Europe military surplus. Did I mention they are brand new and perfect for commuting, hiking, gardening, walking, lounging, camping, tennis, soccer, tide pooling, yoga, tandem riding, climbing, BBQing, chicken coupe cleaning, frisbee, blackberry hunting, graffiti removal, and Blogging. Make sure to get a pair before Grant Peterson finds out about them as he would thoroughly enjoy them on a S24 hour-over-nighter on top of Mt. Diablo (summer or winter).

Steel Wül math problem #1.

If you had 180 dollars to spend on a pair of wool knickers and the knickers cost 13 dollars and 47 cents how many bags of chicken feed (20lbs bag) could you buy at 8 dollars a bag with the money left over?

Steel Wül math problem #2
If for some bizarre reason you were thinking about spending 180 dollars on a pair of Chinese knickers that cost 180 dollars, how many empty bags of chicken feed could you purchase with the money left over?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Steel Wül Trivia - "checking the pine tar"

Who was the first Junior male to cross the finish line at the 1995 US National Cyclocross Championships?

Damon Kluck

Monty Worthington of Worthington Cycles posted the correct answer.

For the record:

Damon won the race by a large margin and just like George Brett he had an official take his weapon of choice only to charge him with using an "illegal" gear ratio for a junior rider. At the time, a junior could only pedal a gear that had a 94" roll out or less. The irony of the situation was that this only would have been an advantage on a open road downhill sprint. In reality he was probably at a disadvantage given the fact that it was snowing in Mass that year and they basically ran with their bikes. Knowing Damon he probably just shrugged his shoulders and moved on. Realizing that this was a ridicules rule the USCF abolished it later that year and never granted Damon his National Title. The awards ceremony must have been a little anticlimactic for Tim Johnson however, he has made up for it with at least a half a dozen National Titles since then.

Friday, February 17, 2012

In good hands - Caletti Cycles

I snuck in a buck and some change on Saturday with the usual suspects and was blown away with the new ride. I would not change a damn thing. I love the look on folks faces when they pick it up and do a double take. Its amazing what an artist can do with modern steel. Thanks again John.

After seeing my finished SW Caletti for some reason I immediately thought of the 5 "S's" refereed to when inspecting a fine tuned wildland fire tool (Pulaski & McLeod)

1. Straight - as an arrow (no curves here)
2. Strong - need I even ask
3. Secure - like a blanket
4. Smooth - as silk
5. Sharp - looking (thanks Apple)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mr. Money Mustache- keeping us on our bikes!

When I was 18 my dad gave me the ultimate gift -one that keeps on giving, a copy of "Your money or your life" by Joe Dominguez (RIP) and Vicky Robin. His timing could not have been better as the "knowledge thinking" revolution had reared its ugly head in the late 80's. My last year of high school I witnessed the decommission of auto shop, wood shop, electronics, small engine repair, and ROP programs as these silly blue collar trades according to school administrators just simply did not have a place in our soon to be computer dominated world. Boy were they dead wrong just ask Mathew Crawford PhD and author of "Shop Class as Soul Craft". You can't outsource a broken water heater or head gasket just ask my high school buddy (no formal education) who bangs down 6 figures doing water heaters on the weekends. He would get a kick out of the fact that his daily rate always had a comma in it. You could argue that he is the new "knowledge thinker".

Little did my dad know that the infamous "knowledge thinkers" would eventually become the "cubical warriors" of the 90's and 2000's who directly contributed to the American bubble. Do you remember the days of all the 22 year old college grads who went by the term "consultant". When I was 22 I might have been able to consult for a lost inmate firefighter on the fire line but that's about it.

"Your money or your life" quickly became the defacto bible amongst my buddies and girlfriend(Mama Wuleur). It questioned your relationship with money. In other words, how much do you actually need versus how much you think you need, are you willing to trade your life energy hours getting more of it, and how many life energy hours do you even have left. We still quote mantras from that book when faced with marketing madness or buying blindness.

Mr. Money Mustache "financial freedom through badassity" has picked up where "your money or your life" has left off and has taken financial independence to a new level of frugality. You may ask, what does this have to do with cycling? The question should be, how did I ever find time to pedal before I cut out all the fluff (TV, car payments, ect..) out of my life? He will help you negotiate through the brainwashing we all have been exposed to regarding marketing and money.

Did I mention Mr. Money Mustache is an avid cyclist? Below is a little sample of what he is all about. This is a little piece written by his 3o year old retired buddy called 'The Marginal Utility of Money'. We are all on this spinning rock for one reason or another - I say we get together and take control of how we doll out the life hours.

Marginal Utility of Money
1. It forces you to realize that there’s a diminishing return in earning money.

Many people assume more money is always better, and they allow the potential for more money to be a carrot on a stick. They just keep pursuing it, never pausing to reflect on what they’re really after. It starts out with working a few hours of overtime, then 80 hours a week including weekend. Then they’re telling you how to dress. Next thing you know you’re 80 pounds overweight, divorced, and watching the news alone in the Marriot Suite’s at 6am on a Thursday, getting ready for a big sales pitch.

But once you recognize the marginal utility of money, and compare that to the marginal utility of your time, you can consciously decide to turn down money in order to gain more time – thereby regaining control of your life.

Check out MMM

For the record:
My highest earning year to date was also my worst cycling year on the books! And I have absolutly no idea where that money went. I am still waiting for Mathew Cole Scott to interview me for the question of the week in the Good Times so I can state my occupation as an unemployed bicycle racer currently working as a Battalion Chief.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Custom Calfee Dragonfly - Lugged Madness

This is a shot of Jed Wilson's custom D-fly handmade in Watsonville, Ca. Calfee can custom make just about anything you want including paint jobs. This trick buildup has tons of Enve components and electronic shifting, it would require lead fishing weights if one wanted to race it in a UCI race.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Golden Chiropractic - she's got your back so you can boogie

After decades of cycling, I just figured that lower back pain was as normal as tire ware however, after visiting Dr. Goldi Jacques-Maynes I can pedal without that constant nag of lower back pain. I gingerly walked into her new office gaurding my lower back last friday and left there wanting to go for a long ride. Her no-nonsence / no-pressure aproach to healing was refreshihg. I can only imagine the muscular skeletal issues she faces with BJM riding 25 hours a week. It is easy to get lost in the health care world so if you are ever in the need for a very smart Chiro Doctor she is well........ golden.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

La Gazzetta Hazel Dello' Sport

Its a good thing we all have our day jobs. You throw in a couple of eastern block Euros a Shapleigh or a BJM and we all would have been in the gutter questioning why we ride in polyester with shaved legs. Regardless.... its still fun pedaling with the local speedsters. Brock looks like he belongs in a Mountain stage of the Giro. Good thing for us all that Super Dave and Dano were feeling kind on the Dell. Why did'nt someone tell me that he was filming - I would have sucked in my gut for show.

I know I am dating myself but I long for the days when Mt. Larry Hibbard would solo the Dell on his Mt bike with Daryl, Ned, the Marks brothers, Shapleigh, Kev McGil, Pat Connely, Danny Sullivan, Hunter Allen, Freddy, Andy, Ed Fuji, Shaney Shane, Colin Brant, Hall Worthington and myself in tow and not a plastic bike in the entire group.

That cat in the green kit looked damn smooth.

Video by Dave Kendall

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Steel Wül Trivia - BJM

What was Ben Jacques-Maynes first road bike?

Lugged Serotta 'Atlanta' from the Spokesman

On January 1st, 2000 we assembled a solid group of Santa Cruz folks to ride the first century of the century. I think BJM had in fact partied like it was 1999 the night before yet he showed up that brisk morning on his trusty Serotta. I am sorry it I forgot anyone but I think this was the line up that morning before we headed out to Hitchcock country.

BJM, Justin Robinson, Dave Reid, Joe Pettinger, Chris Appleton, Mike Moore, Doug E. Fresh, Jake Hess, Damon Kluck, Dave Wient, Ryan Barret, Sean Co , who am I missing.....

Nevada City Podium - BJM, Lance, Levi (and people still think Lance is 6' tall)

For the record:
my silver medal from Nevada City will be 20 years old on Fathers Day this year. I suppose that is the only thing I have in common with BJM.