Thursday, April 26, 2012

Eric Breukink - Incognito Mosquito of the 88' Giro

When someone mentions the 88' Giro d'italia Andy Hampsten and the Gavia Pass naturally come to mind. I don't want to take anything away from his historic win that year, but Andy was chasing Eric Breukink (Dutch Diesel) that epic day on the Gavia and never did catch him in that snow storm. We have to give credit where credit is due, so congratulations Eric - only 24 years late!

 Headwind translates to Mountain Pass in Dutch

Steel WÜl Trivia

What cartoon character met Andy at the airport on his return trip to Colorado?

Pink Panther

Mt El Sombroso - Bronack even cringes at the name

It is high time we sit on top of El Sombroso with road tires, and this time I need some company to bonk with.
SOMBROSO is an acronym for:
Slightly Obsessed Man Bummed Raisins Off Sarratoga Officer.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Steel WÜL Trivia - cycling marketing madness

Name the cycling companies who use the following terms:

A. "Dynamic Node Action" - San Marcos

B. "Changing the Future" - Willier

C. "Experience the Stability" VP

D. "Best Bike in the World" - Cannondale

E. "Ride Stronger, Faster, Safer, Better" Bicycling magazine book

F. "Multi Material Molding" - Elite Sior Evo

Peter Flanders is either going through our recycling been or has a main frame computer in his shop.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

BMC - Swiss for one size fits all - or does it?

One look at Ballan's Roubaix bike and all I could think of was this:

BMC - How tall are you Alessandro?

Alessandro Ballan - 6' 3"

BMC - Cool, we have a 54cm for you in stock

Allesandro - I don't know, I usually ride a 59 top tube

BMC - No its OK, we chronically underside everyone these days, you will see

Allesandro - OK, but my wingspan is 6'5" though

BMC - Yea that's what we figured, so we ordered a 16cm stem for you just for Roubaix

Allesandro - What if the funky steering makes me overshoot a turn late in the race?

BMC - Let us worry about that, you just keep selling those 54's and 56's for us

Allesandro - OK, but when I was on Lampre and won the World Road Race I was on a 58

BMC - Lampre is not paying your salary at the moment

Allesandro - True that paisano, just try not to make it look like this is my first rodeo because it looks like you are doing everything known to man to separate my saddle and bars.

It is not just a coincidence that his saddle is slammed all the way back. That was as close as it was going to get.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mama WÜleur is offering a new evening Yoga class at Pleasure Point Yoga

Beginning this week Mama W. will be teaching Thursday evenings at 5:30-7:00pm at her home studio- Pleasure Point Yoga. This class will be fun, smooth flowing Vinyasa-style Yoga. Room for beginners as well as seasoned practitioners to explore.

For this first Thursday class (April 19th) bring a friend for free if you say the super secret password - Shiva, but for all you cyclists lets go with - Chamios..... say it that is, don't show up in one. Seriously, this is a great opportunity for cyclists to improve flexibility and focus.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Steel WÜl Trivia - california cycling icons

What cycling business operated out of the top floor of this building?

Velo Promo

Robert 'Bob' Leibold & Norm Gall founded Velo Promo in 1978. Leibold went on to run the company after Norm's departure and during the 80's they operated out of the building in the photo. Velo Promo has been a main stay in the California racing scene for almost 4 decades. Bob has seen countless junior racers go on into the professional ranks who grew up doing his races for example, Chad Gerlach, Chris McGovern, Justin Morgan, Mike Sayers, Adam Speigh, LeMond, Damon Kluck, Daryl Price, ect....

Kev McGill would drive us to the Velo Promo building to hand register for our races every Friday after school during the racing season. We would forge our parents signatures every time!

A few years ago I showed up in the morning to register for the California Firefighter Olympics road race in Livermore and Bob blew my cover and announced to the field of Firemen that I had been doing his USCF races for years and that they should mark me in the race. Thanks Bob.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Richard Hencke - It's not too late for you to pedal!

This is a response to Richard Hencke's Opinion article "Cycling advocates have lost credibility" from Santa Cruz Sentinel Sunday, April 15th.

Richard claims that the local cycling community is directly responsible for the deteriorating condition of his feet due to the fact that he has been forced to run and not ride his bike. He blames local cyclists for the inadequate roads in the county. He thinks that cyclists have been obstructing any and all road repairs in an effort to force folks out of their cars and on to their bikes. He states, "I would dearly love to ride my bicycle, but am unwilling to risk major trauma to do so and we are forced to pollute the environment and waste gasoline while being stuck in avoidable traffic jams".

As an emergency room physician you would think that he would be more familiar with the stats on vehicle related trauma vs bicycle related trauma. I can understand how this would seem backwards to him considering he works at a Hospital without a trauma center therefore most all trauma cases he could see are immediately flown out from the scene of the accident in an air ambulance to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center or Stanford. In 2009 there were 45,000 injuries to cyclists in the US and 2,400,000 injuries to motorists. Cyclists make up 1.8% of all road related injuries.

Living in Scotts Valley and car commuting to Santa Cruz he is willingly putting his life on the line everyday. I have been cutting folks out of mangled cars and loading them into air ambulances on a monthly bases since 1994 and have only been to a handful of bicycle related injuries in 18 years of public service.

He referenced Zayante road as an awful road for cyclists. This is a classic example day-lighting the difference between the art of cycling and the science of cycling and no one is to blame. I would not change a thing about E. or W. Zayante roads just like he would not change a thing about his morning commute on Hwy 17. For example, when negotiating the tight shoulder on lower Zayante one must pull over at times and allow the pockets of traffic to simply zip by. This allows you to take a moment and safely sip on some water or chat with your buds. There is an ebb and flow to traffic that one must be aware of. You will come across the occasional knucklehead, however the majority of folks are just like you and I - wanting to do the right thing.

Richard needs to know that not all cyclists are "extreme" and if he is willing to give up an afternoon of forced "brush dragging" or a stair-master workout, I am willing to point out some amazing roads that are absolutely sans-traffic. There might be a bump here and some gravel there and a dirt section thrown in for good measure, but that is what makes this county the greatest mixed cycling canvas in the world. My 8 year old asked me why he doesn't ride at Wilder Ranch or Nisene Marks. I told her that someday....... I think he will.

As most of you have noticed the "squeaky wheels" in our communities predominantly view these types of situations in black and white which is too bad because the only way to put this complicated puzzle together is to operate in the proverbial "grey" which will allow us to go outside of the box, share more information, decrease cost, increase inter-agency cooperation, and enjoy the moment.

(Health benefits of cycling outweigh the risks by British Medical Association)

"The gain of 'life years' through improved fitness among regular cyclists, and thus their increased longevity exceeds the loss of 'life years' in cycle fatalities. (British Medical Association, 1992) An analysis based on the life expectancy of each cyclist killed in road accidents using actuarial data, and the increased longevity of those engaging in exercise regimes several times a week compared with those leading relatively sedentary lives, has shown that, even in the current cycle hostile environment, the benefits in terms of life years gained, outweigh life years lost in cycling fatalities by a factor of around 20 to 1." -- Mayer Hillman, Senior Fellow Emeritus, Policy Studies Institute, and British Medical Association researcher (7, 8)

For the record:

I am very proud of the $65,000 that I have paid in property taxes over the years knowing that the 30th & 7th ave projects received a chunck of those funds.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

'Ball Mauler' Episode I - Empire Ridge Strikes Back

Hey Jake,

We had a couple of Steel Wulers on the Ball Mauler ride today - moi and Brad Shelton. I ended up spending the whole day riding with Jim Langley which was an absolute joy. He told stories the entire way up Jamison and Alba while I was gasping for breath. And they were some absolutely amazing stories. After Felton/Empire, as we were finally heading down Empire to go home, Jim says "I'm doing Smith Grade." Jim has had the idea in his head for years of riding Empire and all the major connecting climbs to it, and all that was left was Smith Grade. I was cooked, but apparently sufficiently delirious that I agreed to do it with him.

Ended up with about 90 miles and 12,600 feet of climbing. It wasn't pretty and it was a slow grind for me but it was quite a tour de force of climbing:

Peter Thomsen and Zach Brown are super nice guys, both very strong riders. I think you would like them a great deal.

Thanks for forwarding the ride info. Please don't ever do that again. :-)


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Excursionists - at their finest , May 8th 1955

If this doesn't make you want to sling a SW mussete bag and get out on the open roads of our amazing state, then I don't know what will. Enjoy!

Monday, April 9, 2012

I'm going up to country and ain't coming back no mo

The Regal takes yet another Roubaix...

There are a lot of saddles out there to choose from, but there is only one that was designed for men to comfortably raise their arms skyward in the Roubaix Velodrome. It would be sac religious for Boonen to pedal on anything else. There are some large cycling companies out there that can't stand the fact that pros still ride this bad boy so they recover it only accentuating the natural shape.

There are 5 things you can see from space: Great Wall of China, Southern California Fires, The Luxor, The Nile, and a Regal in the TdF. I know a fellow at Giro who has been setting Strava records like there going out of style on top of a Regal with steel rails!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Steel WÜL Trivia - the ghost

Name this American cycling icon.

Rob Parsons - 5 time winner of Nevada City Classic, 2 time National Road Champ, Pan Am Games Silver Medalist, 1968 Olympian and the only guy I know who raced against Sir Eddy.

Peter Flanders and Daniel Green - without hesitation.

For the record:

On our way back from the Redlands Bicycle Classic in the early 90's Rob pulled the van into the community of Canada and we visited with his mother. His father retired as the Deputy Fire Chief of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. He told me that he would catch rides from his dad's buddies in the fire engine as a kid.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

March showers brings....... fresh legs- we think

Santa Cruz peddlers are not used to riding 60 miles before hitting the daily climb. Henrietta Peak is framed off in the distance waiting patiently for our arrival.

If you look close enough the road is shaped like the S in the circular Appleton SW logo.

Steel WÜleurs enjoying the long approach up Lone Tree Road to Henrietta Peak. Don't be fooled by the silence, they were all chatting like school girls until I started filming.

Miles- 125
Klicks- 201.168
Wind- yes
Silky - yes, then no, then yes, then sort of, then most of us, then all of us I think
Calories - burrito, veggie burgers, coke, tacos, salt chips, snickers, beef jerky
new roads- 4
gates- 3
gravel - 3 sections
flats - 1
Temp - cold, then hot, then perfect, then I forget
pockets - manageable, then over flowing, then empty, then over flowing, except MB.
missed turns by jake- 2
miles we hid behind Tyson - 80

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pittsburgh's Dirty Dozen Ride - Steep & Cobbled

Someone asked me recently what is the steepest climb I have ever been up and my mind always goes to Old Priest Grade or Quimby. As it turns out, a reoccurring dream involving a 37% grade that I have been experiencing since January of 1994 is actually a bad memory.

It all started with a phone call in January of 1994 to my friend Rob Acciavatti (Morgantown, WVA). I was visiting the motherland (Bridgport, WVA) and the last day I was in town Rob called me back on grandma's landline and said he was enroute to pick me up for the 12th annual Dirty Dozen Ride in Pittsburgh and I better be riding at least a 39 X 23. He said that it is over 100 miles and goes up the 12 steepest climbs in Pittsburgh and most of them are cobbled. I have been to Belgium and walked the majority of the steep ones with Joe Pettinger & AC and let me tell you those don't hold a candle to the 37% grades that Pittsburgh has to offer.

I asked around and someone was able to send me the results of the Dirty Dozen Ride from 1994 and it was a trip to see the names - Joe Papp, Matt Eaton. For the record my buddy Rob won that year I suffered miserably for 2nd with Joe Papp taking third. The fact that I was born in Hershey, PA must have helped me with the locals. Next time your spinning up Glengary imagine doubling it.


The 12th Annual Dirty Dozen was held on Sunday, January 2nd. 14 riders [including 7 rookies] rode on a cold [high Temp. of 34 degrees F] and cloudy day. Winning 9 hills, West Virginia rider Rob Acciavatti led the entire way through. 10 people scored points. Matt Copcutt flatted going down Zoo Hill, and quit before the first hill. Only 4 people made it up closed, snow-covered Berryhill Rd. The rest of us walked up it. Matt Eaton didn't do Canton Ave. After Ryan McDermitt flatted on the Glenwood Bridge, Tim O'Toole gave Ryan his wheel and sat out the final hill. Steve Whalymayer did the entire ride seated. 2nd place finisher Jake Hess (of California) is no relation to Mark Hess. Thanks to Greg Bachman's wife Amy who drove support with my father Hal in the "Greenhouse". Thanks also to Diane Blackburn who drove Matt Eaton's minivan with beer.


1 Rob Acciavatti 5 4 2 5 5 4 5
2 *Jake Hess 3 5 . 4 3 3 3 4
3 Joe Papp 2 . 5 2 . 5 . .
4 Phil Rhodes . . 3 3 . . 2 3
5 Danny Chew 4 3 . . 4 . . .
6 Matt Eaton . . . . 1 . 4 2
7 *Eric Dobratz 1 2 4 . . 1 . 1
8 *Ryan McDermitt . . . . . 2 . .
9 Jay Wolkoff . 1 . 1 2 . 1 .
10 *Steve Whalymayer . . 1 . . . .
11 Mark Hess . . . . . . . .
12 *Greg Bachman . . . . . . .
13 *Steve Harouff . . . . . . . .
14 *Tim O'Toole DNF . . . . . . .

*indicates first time racer

Race organizer and cycling legend - Danny Chew has actually logged over 1 Million Miles on a bike. Google him sometime.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

David Byrnes - cyclist, musician, human, composer

You may find yourself behind the wheel of a silky Caletti and ask yourself, "Well, did I get here?"

Sunday, April 1, 2012

even physicians cram.....

It looks like I'm not the only one sneaking in some Emergency Training! I am very familiar with that signage and either way you cut the mustard regarding the route, it is "Brutal with Cheese" to quote Sir Mike Moore.

When you get to this sign you can either go straight and hope the gift shop is open at the Pinnacles for a root-beer and a snickers or you climb up and over La Gloria and get the best Tacos east of the Pajaro.

We sent this pic to our Steel WÜL Laboratory (Fitz's House) for authentication and it came back approved. He said that the skewer placement and thermal imaging radiating from the drive train indicated that this particular bicycle was in fact pedaled to its location not driven. Fitz explained that had it been driven, the bar tape would not have emitted as much heat as it did. Although the saddle came back without a heat signature and Fitz simply chalked that up to expensive chamois cream with a proprietary "cooling action".