Monday, November 26, 2012

Black Friday Boogie..."can't afford not to go"

How to spend time…not “saving” money
by Peter Fitz

“Black Friday shopping is known for attracting aggressive crowds, with annual reports of assaults, shootings, and throngs of people trampling on other shoppers in an attempt to get the best deal on a product before supplies run out.”

Why “Black Friday”? It just sounds ominous to me. Isn't Thanksgiving supposed to be about reflection and giving thanks for stuff like Health, Family, Friends, Harry Built Wheels, etc.? Why would someone elect to spend their evening and in some cases entire day or weekend only to go out and gather more stuff? And risk their lives to do it!!

I decided this year to trade Tryp-to-phan for Trip-to-Lafayette. For me “Black Friday” would be spent on the bike rolling through parts of the East Bay where I grew up and grew up cycling. What an adventure. Clad in SW gear, I headed north to Lafayette where I would eventually hook up with my family. (What better carrot to have on a point-to-point ride!)

After thirteen city limits, four county lines, three major shopping malls, one major airport, seven hours pedaling, and ninety five miles later, I made it. Now with the adventure ride over, smile affixed on my face, fatigue in my legs and hunger in my belly, all I can say is “Wow…what a day”.

And to think, I survived all day without buying a: TV, tablet computer, Nike Air Jordan's  Christmas decorations, Wii, sweater, other junk I don’t need, honking at drivers, racing to find a parking spot, waiting in check-out lines, listening to parents yell at their kids, setting up camp in a food court, “saving” money buy spending it…

I love me some “Black Friday”! 


Douge E. Fresh - "yea, yea, ready Freddie"

Freddie finally met someone lighter than him - Cory Caletti

Sir Silky sitting on the front as usual 

I came across the Doug E. Fresh B-day Boogie while returning from a call in south county and little did I know they (Caletti John, Caletti Cory, Big Mike, Fresh, wonder boy Tyson, Travis, Jeff 'Guitar' Traugott, and family Bob) had the one and only Fred Rodriguez in tow. The last time I saw Freddie was at the 1991 Junior National Road Race in San Antonio Texas where Jeff Evenshine paid Freddy back for helping him win the 91' Junior Worlds Road Race on the Garden of the Gods coarse in Colorado Springs. By paying him back I mean Fred won the race and put on the Stars and Stripes for the first of many S&S ceremonies of his lengthy career. I was in the chase (laughing) group with the likes of Hincapie, Evenshine, Livingston, and Vaughters. It was so miserably hot that day we took our jerseys off and stuffed them in our bibs. While Fred was standing on the podium, I noticed the duct tape wrapped cycling shoes.

Freddie pedaled with the SW crew to Monterey where he continued on to Big Sur chasing the coast line to the south. It is amazing to think that he has gone from those humble beginnings to bagging a stage win in the Giro and 2nd at Milan San Remo! If memory serves me correct I think Cipo got him at the line? He has started his own cycle clothing line and the garments are made in California. A SW boogie invite is already in the works...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Find your 'Big Cookie' and enjoy the ride...

Hi Jaker,

Last boogie of the road trip. Rolled out of sisters place in Santa Monica up PCH into Malibu; short on time, looking for quick vert gain. 25 minutes in, recognized a name, took a ravioli and began to climb Las Flores Canyon. Wow. That guy bit right away and I found my big cookie for nearly 3 miles! Epic. I'm gonna research the climb but it is one of the stiffest 3 miles I've ridden. At the top, another ravioli onto Rambla Pacifica and up to the saddle where I grabbed these snaps. Check out Catalina island framed in the background. You can also make out downtown LA in one of the pics. Nice contrast to climbing in the desert. Anyhow, enjoy!

For the record:
If you are ever worried about bike weight - just pedal with Sir Silky and Super Dave while they drop you on their 5 + pound heavier rigs. It is all about the motor.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Last call for Caletti Kits!

click on link below to order, all are welcome! Order closes on the 19th.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Steel WÜl - Kilo-Thermo Challenge

We all know that in the racing world it is all about power to weight ratios and aerodynamics but on the home front it is all about cutting the wattage and slimming the power usage. Eddy Merckx used to say that everyone has a finite amount of energy and the finest world hour record racers could allocate that energy so well that their tanks were completely empty as they passed the finish line.Why not take on that same philosophy with home energy allocation. With the first cold front of the year passing through we decided at SW Head Quarters that it is time to initiate the first Steel WÜl Kilo-Thermo Challenge.

Typical PG&E bill:

What is a Therm?
The therm (thm) is a unit of heat energy equal to 100,000 British Thermal Units (BTU). It is approximately the energy equivalent of burning 100 cubic feet of natural gas. Since (natural gas) meters measure volume and not energy content a therm factor is used by gas companies to convert the volume of gas used to its heat equivalent and thus calculate the actual energy use.The therm is about 29.3 kilowatt-hours.

What is a kilowatt?
The kilowatt hour (kWh) is a unit of energy equal to 1000 watt hours or 3.6 megajoules. The kilowatt hour is most commonly known as a billing unit of energy delivered to consumers by electric utilities.

What does this mean to us? 
If you are currently hooked to the "grid" then you are paying someone for your gas and electricity. Why not be more mindful of who delivers that energy, how it is used, and how much do we actually need. Be like Eddy - allocate your energy to perfection.

Link to home energy savings

Having lived in the same house for almost 10 years we don't have anything to compare to so here is a snap shot of our PG&E usage. I know we have room to improve. How much energy does an LP player draw?

Hess House (single family dwelling) November billing cycle
Kwh per day - 6.2
Therms per day - 0.4
Gas total charges = $12.62
Electricity total charges = $24.20
Total PG&E bill for November = $36.82

Overall Lowest Challenge:
Award to the overall lowest combined Gas & Electric bill for December billing cycle. (must email bill)

Most Improved Challenge:
Award to the most improved bill (November vs December billing cycle).

Most Energy Produced Challenge:
For the folks that produce and redistribute energy through solar radiation (December cycle).

For the record: PG&E did install a smart meter even though it is technically illegal to install them in the unincorporated areas of Santa Cruz County through the spring of 2013- viva Live Oak!

Mount Lemmon - 9,157 feet

Sir Silky enjoying his view from the top of Mt. Lemmon while at the Tour of Tuscon 

the road to the summit

Mount Lemmon (O'odhamBabad Doʼag) is the highest point in the Santa Catalina Mountains, located in the Coronado National Forest north of Tucson, ArizonaUnited States. It is 9,157 feet (2,791 m) above sea-level, and receives approximately 180 inches of snow annually. Mount Lemmon received its English name in honor of botanist Sarah Plummer Lemmon, who trekked to the top of the mountain with Native American guides by mule and foot in 1881.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Steel WÜl You Find It - art in the forrest

Jed spied this artwork from Ryder Rd 

Hint: Chase, Miles, and Ryder went for a ride, but only one of them could find their way home.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

WÜleurs on the move...

Sir Silky Mike Moore pedaling bamboo to 5500' on Mt. Lemmon (24 mile climb)

WÜleurs Linda and Brad Wiles flying the colors at the Solvang Boogie. This photo had to be taken before the ride as they look way too fresh. No wonder Tyson is so damn fast, he has an unfair advantage with this super gene pool. Get your boogie on...

in the spirit of heroes and scenery...

Monday, November 12, 2012

1. Eric Clarkson
2. Mike Moore
3. Greg Shapleigh
4. Dan Perry
5. Dan O'Connor

Sprint Champion
Ryan K. Barrett

King of the Downhill
Jeff Traugott

USADA Attacks Steel WÜl Riders citing unfair practices
By staff writer: Jay Dicharry

Velo news  has learned of a developing event on the west coast. In the Santa Cruz mountains lies a group of riders known collectively as Steel Wul. These riders have denounced their former aims on training, and deny any specific goals to achieve a place in history on the podium. They have built their national reputation on banding together for the “spirit of riding” and widely promote their “you-find-it” competitions and group rides such as this weekend’s Cobble Classic as a way to experience adventure among like minded folks who enjoy bicycles. They even run their cobble classic to align with European events, featuring prizes for KOM, Sprint, and DFL specialists within their ranks.

Evidence suggests that this group, who “rides for the sake of riding their bicycle” and is “all about the boogie” have actually been using performance enhancing strategies such as training to ensure success.
USADA chief Travis Tygart wrote in an early press release, for its summary of its claims, called “A Reasoned Decision.” “The evidence of the Steel Wul-run cobble classic scheme is overwhelming. The evidence shows beyond any doubt that these black and baby blue clad riders ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful training program that sport has ever seen.”

The USADA statement continues: “just look at the field. They may say they are all about a group ride in the mountains while enjoying great cheeses and meats, but the field is stacked beyond a doubt. You’ve got current and former triatheltes, industry insiders, and professional and national team riders – good ones too. Some of them have even stood on the podium at the Tour of California, the Firefighter Olympics, and the Davis Criterium. One of the participants George Janour, keeps his body in such fine training shape, that he is frequently mistaken for Val Kilmer. Dan OConner isn’t just a stunt double for Cancellera, he has apparently raced as Cancellera in several stages over the past few years.”

While founder Jake Hess denies that Steel Wul riders are interested in competition, a well placed spy this summer offered Jake a Dharma’s chocolate chip cookie one evening. Jake ran off mumbling something about “a minute on the lips equals a lifetime on the hips.” He was tracked later that evening, and was spotted riding his rollers while writing some fluffy blog posting about recycling, hair styles, and cycling trivia to appeal to his core audience.

USADA is hell-bent on exposing Steel Wul’s purpose: to rip the legs off fellow riders at any costs while feasting on artesian cheeses, meat, and breads. Some riders have established fronts. When asked why he engages in training as an advantage for group rides such as the Cobble Classic, Jeff Tragout became overly defensive and stated “I just make guitars and beautiful music dude”.

Brent Marks, whose training has been showing impressive form in the Saturday ride lately, is also shrinking behind a front. He established the “I Believe Foundation” and adamately denies any training in preparation for the Cobble classic. He claims that the rider who looks like him is really his un-born twin that died in the womb. Right.

Andrew Carrol, flanked in the interview by his 2 mafia hit men Vincent and Anthony, says he doesn’t train for cycling, and claims that “oh I haven’t ridden in weeks.” While trying to confirm this, VeloNews identified true, Mr. Carrol has not ridden in weeks. However, he earned a belt buckle at Leadville, ran a marathon 5 times in the past 2 weeks, and now has his highest VO2 in history. Mr. Carrol is a black eye on the spirit of noncompetitive group riders.
And then there’s Reidstrong, who still, shockingly, vehemently denies any wrongdoing. On Wednesday evening, Reidstrong sent out a defiant message on Twitter: “What am I doing tonight? Hanging with my wife and tending to my organically grown garden that has mulch from certified redwoods and manure from organically fed cows that were fed a diet of gluten-free grains that were processed in a mill using only local-solar for power”.
This timing of this tweet seemed rather odd. About 10 min before the tweet was broadcast several Steel Wul participants who were uploading their own power data from their “easy spins with friends”, saw that Reidstrong just broke posted 29 new Strava record segments from his 165 mile ride earlier that day. 
If Reidstrong is defiant, perhaps it’s because he has no choice. As noted in an Outside article last month, Reidstrong risks jail, perjury charges and damages from past lawsuits should he ever admit to training. I’m still just surviving on my base from college swimming” he insists.
However, some riders have begun to crack under pressure from USADA:
On Friday, Self-sponsored Rapha athlete Gren-capie wrote the following: “Early in my un-professional career, it became clear to me that, given the widespread use of performance enhancing training by cyclists, it was not possible to keep my $285 Rapha shorts in the top 90% of touring cyclists without it.” He continues, “I deeply regret that choice and sincerely apologize to my family, teammates and fans.”
In his own statement, which appeared on, Doug E Fresh wrote, “Having made sacrifices for my dream, several years after I realized I’d shift my attention to noncompetitive group rides that give shellacked rocks for prizes, I came to see Steel Wul for what it was: A sport where the athletes at the highest level — perhaps without exception — trained. A sport where training was so accepted that riders from different teams — who were competitors on the road — coordinated their training to keep up with other riders doing the same thing. Right or wrong, in my mind the choice was ‘do it or go home.’ For me that was not a choice.” I want a cobble.
If there is a common connection between the riders, it is the kingpin, Dr Bill Cao. While masquerading as a family doc, VeloNews finds it interesting that the training peaks logo is prominent on his prescription pad. In fact VeloNews sent an undercover patient to see Dr Cao. On his patient intake form, we found the usual -  do you have a history of cardiac disease? Do you smoke? And are your bowel movements regular. However, we also found an additional section asking: how many minutes do you spend in zone 1,2,3,4a, 4b, 4c, and 5 per week? How much does your power-weight ratio drift off course in the off season? How many weeks do you spend at altitude per year, and how many nights do you use your altitude tent when at home? It appears that Dr Cao is operating outside the limits of traditional medicine and trying to promote training. USADA is looking into this, and is pending a case. Dr Cao was not available for comment.
The group is under scruitnany from USADA for sponsorship cover-up. Steel Wul has made progress from pulling in funding from Caletti Cycles and Image Tribe. But at what lengths have these allegiances failed to promote the spirit of Steel Wul itself?  VeloNews made many attempts to contact Steel Wul rider Chris Appleton. All we could find is that he is training in Baja for the next month. Apparently he was too shamed by his power-to-weight ratio to show up @ Steel Wul.
Caletti Cycles attempts to uphold its image of a company dedicated to the pure riding experience, funding the mission of Steel Wul. Meanwhile, its right-hand woman, Corey Caletti, is racing her way into shape with the Saturday morning ride, the Saturday afternoon ride, the Sunday pre-breakfast interval session, the Sunday brunch ride, and evening intervals in the pain cave. This type of aggressive “training” flies in the face of the mission of Steel Wul – a ride amongst friends. Apparently, Caletti has been paying other riders to deny they have seen or heard of Corey’s training.
Despite USADA’s findings there is hope amongst the ranks. Rider Kevin McGuillicudy is showing up clean. “haven’t trained, or even ridden my bike since last year’s Steel Wul” he says.  “Well, OK did to go for a beer run the other night. Do you know how many episodes of arrested development I’ve watched on Netflix while sipping micro-brew while these fools are “training”? They think they are out there riding amongst friends, but they are living a lie. I’m their friend and they drop me every time the damn road turns uphill. Training is unfair. I’m here to promote the message that its OK to sag at the back of the Cobble Classic while looking quite dapper in spandex. And that, my friends, is what this day is all about.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Rob Parsons - US Bicycling Hall of Fame Member

the ceremony was in Freeborn Hall Davis, Ca

Rob sharing the highlights of his career

one of Rob's Nevada City Classic Wins

living Legends Rob Parsons and John Howard

 I told Dave Wiens I was from Santa Cruz and he said, "you must know Monty Worthington". 

It was a great experience to share in Rob's induction. I was absolutely humbled when I scanned the room and saw many of my childhood heroes mingling together. The Hall of Fame has done a great job to preserve our cycling history. I have a new found respect for Erin Hartwell and Olympic caliber track cyclists. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pedalers for Peace -Steel WÜleurs voting in droves

Sean Co flying the colors while doing civic duty.
Evidently we did have some folks in Ohio and Wisconsin.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Steel WÜl you find it - Keith Meek style

Send us a photo of yourself in front of this iconic Santa Cruz county landmark. Jose Curiel and Ed Work introduced me to this pool in the mid 80's and I was way to intimidated to even think about skating it and I have never been back since.

This photo sent in by SW You Find It Expert Peter Flanders somehow went to my junk folder on the morning of the 5th. It looks like Jed has met his match. 

Jed evidently has a lot of time on his hands recently and has been picking off the SW you find its like crazy. Custom Calfee in the Buena Vista Pool. 

Here is a video of some of my schoolmates shredding Buena in 89'. Aaron Godoy, Bobby Stoik, Brent Rebeky. 

Owen Marks - silky smooth

Steel WÜleur Brent Marks has passed the cycling bug on to his son Owen. I believe that is called the "brrrraaaaap"
footage by Kev Mcgil design.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Steel WÜl "caching" it in..

Jedi happened to find the SW cache on a birthday ride. Does that count as a b-day gift? Those custom Caletti lids are hard to come by, enjoy!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

and we're putting it on wax...

Our Taqueria Michoacan Thursdays have been converted to LP DJ Thursdays due to a new swim schedule

Olive kicked things off nicely with MJ Thriller

Mama WÜleur toned things down a bit with Weather Report (anyone?)

I saved the evening with the 1979 version of Walking on the Moon

Other songs danced to this evening:
Graceland - Paul Simon
Mix up Mix up - Bob Marley
Girls just want to have fun - Cindy L.
Here comes the sun - Velvet Underground
Baby Baby - Dianna Ross
Old Time Rock n Roll - Bob Seager

For the record:
Mama WÜleur claimed that 'Walking on the Moon' would meet the criteria for a silky Yoga tune. Enjoy