Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 lessons from the SW groupeto...

We culled through all of the lessons (4) that we were exposed to this year, and we all agreed that the numero uno lesson was issued to us by a 16 year old bad ass. After reviewing the tapes and scientifically extracting body fat analysis comparisons in the Steel WÜl lab, we determined that he is what is refereed to as "skinny" and the lesson (beat-down) message goes something like this...

40 year old pedal pushers need to eat less of this...

and more of this...

If we ever want to hold one of these at 7pm on any given third Saturday in September....

For the record:
Just look at him, he's laughing at all of you out there born prior to 1997 knowing that his rear brake was rubbing the entire ascent of Fremont Peak. Assuming that I pay less for automobile coverage than him, makes me feel just a little bit better. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Graffiti - the original Tweet...

Someone in NMC went old school and instant messaged us prior to our arrival on the Castroville cut through. We happened to agree with him / was a good day, we didn't even have a Chinese Roubaix.

Friday, December 27, 2013

"bonus time"...have you logged yours today?

As humans floating on Mother Earth inside our version of spiral nebula, we all have a need for balance (even if we don't know it). Throughout the year we all seem to bounce in and out of various forms of balance (especially me). I've always believed that our DNA instinctively guides us to this balanced state, but our modern world dominated by confusion and greedy planned obsolescence has muddied the water in which we have to negotiate ultimately throwing things out of balance.

When you experience that unique zone where everything fits together seamlessly, it's truly a fantastic feeling. The annual epiphany that I seem to experience is that the smallest and most inconsequential moments are actually the most meaningful and that the elephant sitting on your chest (work stress) is absolutely meaningless if not downright carcinogenic. Someone needs to remind me of this on a regular basis.

When I experienced that balanced feeling traversing the US with my cycling team decades ago, we naturally called it "bonus time". Dean Meyer coined the phrase but more importantly he defined it and would describe it whenever he felt appropriate (which was quite often). Reflecting back on our version of "bonus time" I realized that it was all about the little things - a tasty morsel, a burrito, shoes that feel perfect, laying on a patch of grass, getting ridiculously good mileage in our van, winning a row-sham- bow, winning a prime, catching a cat nap, scoring a comfortable bed at a host family home, loosing weight, new brake pads, finding a new road, clean laundry, having 500 bucks to your name, and returning home. These are all things that our flint carving ancestors who gifted us our DNA would be stoked on as well (minus the 500 bucks & gas mileage).

In the midst of our high maintenance existence, I often hear folks describe what I would categorize as a life out of balance (too busy, too tired, too stressed, too many things to do) and I am convinced that pedaling a bike which demands perfect balance is a natural remedy for this persistent affliction that we all invite into our life in some form or another. It doesn't matter if you're going for an all day boogie or just a cruise on the cliffs, what matters is that you get out there and let your natural equilibrium (which you're entitled to as a human) fall right into place.

Even though my travel racing days are long gone I feel so fortunate to have such a fantastic group of folks to enjoy miles of "bonus time" with. I look forward to another year of simple pedaling with you all.

Here are some of our favorite 'bonus time' activities (what are yours?):

  • Dancing to Monsoon Wedding sound track 
  • Dancing to Cindy Lauper on vinyl with Olive
  • Trivia night at 99 
  • Flea Market before 8am
  • Bagelry after the Flea
  • Getting to wash your hands before you eat your bagel after the Flea
  • Giro lunch ride with EH
  • Siting in the Col-de-sac with Fitz 
  • Outdoor fire pits
  • reading AHTBM cover to cover
  • Drinking root beer with the Gren in Pescadero
  • 3 egg day from the hens
  • hiking through the orange lichen at the Pinnacles with DP and family
  • watching someone else ride your bike
  • Dougie Fresh's pre-ride 'scoop on the boogie' phone call
  • getting canceled to a call at 3:15am
  • not getting a call at 3:15 am (super bonus)
  • picking up your bike after Harry worked on it

Mama WÜleur and company enjoying perfect balance (Honey, Niobe, Wiggy, & Zephyr)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Steel WÜl Trivia: Mt. Baldy vs Mt. Rose

Question: Name these junior racers

Hint: Della Santa made frames for one of them 

For the record: if you raced as a junior in the late 80's and early 90's and don't know these pilots, than you must have spent most of your time chasing...

Monday, December 23, 2013

Steel WÜl Trivia: Trzec ogólny w 1993

Question: Name this sultan of sinew
Answer: Zenon Jaskula

For the record: Zenon Jaskula and Cezary Zamana were two of the strongest men the sport has ever seen. Remember when Zamana won Cascade as an unattached rider. That kind of pissed off Len Pettyjohn and his Coors Light crew. I imagine they felt a little bit better when they watched him bag a stage win in the Dauphine months later. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Steel WÜl Boogie Bag©

You ever find yourself in need of caring that little something extra (jacket, artichoke bread, Yosemite map, Steinbeck novel, Michoacan burrito) and can't stand it when your jersey pockets are over flowing, get your hands on a SW Boogie Bag© and comfortably increase your range by hundreds of miles with this homemade heritage kit. The fold-able musette bag comes in handy when those cold mornings turn to hot afternoons. Simply roll your musette bag, pump, road wallet, and tube into your Boogie Bag© and let the adventure begin. 

velcro closure

leather toe-strap loop

For the record: Alfredo Binda would approve 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Caletti Gravel Boogie Bike...

It all started with a phone call-  ring...ring...Hello, Hey John it's Jake, I have an idea I want to bounce off of you regarding a super bike that I have been daydreaming about ever since George Herbert Walker was in office. Alright, you got my attention, talk to me. Ok...remember Tinker's General that had that unicrown straight blade fork? I think. Picture that bike with 700c wheels combined with Eddy Planckaert's ADR issued SLX Merckx with enough silver bling to rival the Campagnolo Chorus advertisement from 88'. We can do that...

Working with John is super easy especially when your current bike happens to be built by him and fits and feels perfect. I know my limitations in the building process so all I did was describe the items that I absolutely had to have (straight stays, down-tube shifter mounts, Paul Racers, and tons of clearance) and left the rest of the decisions to the expert. This blue collar boogie rig will have a rear campy bar end shifter, front down-tube shifter, no disc, and no battery of coarse. How many times do you shift your front derailer on a 6 hour adventure boogie (less than 12)? Below is the original spec sheet that Olive sent over after an evening of frame designing in the SW lounge. 

Olive's original design with plenty of clearance Clarence

beefamatic chain-stays

inspector Kaboo checking tac welds

Mr. Jack Brown dwarfed by clearance

sexy stays like these usually have an MB-1 sticker on them

old meets new meets old again

Tinker's General

Planckearts's ADR Merckx

silver as far as the eye can see...

For the record: I just finished an amazing 5 hr SW Boogie with two new roads with tons of gravel and I shifted my front derailer 6 times...

Friday, December 13, 2013

Giro 'New Road' ride report...

I have been pedaling exclusively in the New Road kit for three months now and after countless miles on numerous SW Boogies ranging from 1 hr to all day in the saddle, I have found this kit to be limitless. The obvious benefit to this ensembles is that you don't look or feel like you just signed your life away on a USCF waiver. I found that there is a subtle shift that happens similar to caring a mussete bag full of food and gear which compliments our open-road adventure style of riding. The SS merino crew is cut perfectly as the pockets on this wool jersey don't sag (picked up my second one at the Spokesman). There is a time and place for plastic kits, but let me tell you it is so sweet finishing a long ride not feeling like a salt-lick. I even popped out on the Saturday world championship ride and confirmed that we are only limited by our engines (thank you BJM for towing me up and over the Del).

The paired shorts (never to be compared to mt baggies) are ingenious, not only are they super comfy but when we stumble across the occasional mountain folk out on questionable back-roads, I somehow have become more approachable or accepted. The natural assumption here is that I am sporting a pair of recognizable shorts with a zippered fly to boot. The muted colors and toned down flair have been on my radar for years and now I have multiple options in wool. If it ever freakin rains again in California I vow to pedal all day in the Giro rain jacket I have acquired. 

I got out Thursday for a solo boogie on the north coast and snapped a few pics along the way. Being a Santa Cruz local, sometimes you end up pedaling past lots of friends and family on your way out of town. The paradigm shift with the New Road kit is that you feel way more open to enjoy whatever the road or community presents to you. 

For the record:
I have been wanting to play beach volley in December for decades and being an eastsider, the only time I'm ever on the west side is when I'm in a plastic kit (not any more).

merino crew? yes please

finishing the spinach smoothie

I have been eyeing this rig for years

it's just like riding a bike

Jeff T. with the latest Charlie Hunter rig

ran into mama wuleur after yoga

 grade school buddy happened to skate by

ran into Mavericks surfing phenom Jamilah Starr and son

fresh (poisonous) dungeness crab 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hang a ravioli right here...really? Yep!

Marks enjoying some new sights and sounds

Marquez Brothers Pinatas curing in the sun

inside the wholesale warehouse 

Sometimes the greatest hidden boogie is the one right under your nose. If you find enough of the small ones you can link together a 3 ride and never be more than 45 mins from home. 

For the record:
If you're in the need of a pinata, get a hold of Jesus 831-724-6932 or drop him an email @ I asked him if he could mock up a Jesper Skibby in a TVM kit for me and he said they can create anything you want. If the Marques brothers could pull that off, I could never lay a hand on the Skibby pinata as he was one of the greats.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Morgan Hill business seeking new PR officer...

Public relations officer wanted for $500 million dollar company

Job description

PR officers use all forms of media and communication to build, maintain and manage the reputation of their clients (and clean up their tarnished reputation). These range from public bodies or services to businesses and voluntary organizations. They communicate key messages (don't attack random coincidental fictitious business name statements), often using third party endorsements, to defined target audiences in order to establish and maintain goodwill and understanding between an organization and its public. PR officers need to have a solid understanding of the spirit of the law and the letter of the law, and ramifications associated with those. 

Public relations is about managing reputation (not destroying it). This career field aims to fair understanding and support for clients as well as to influence opinion and behavior (not to ostracize folks simply because it is the "law")

PR officers monitor publicity and conduct research to find out the concerns and expectations of an organizations stakeholders. They then report and explain the findings to its management (for example; people hate us).

click to read the shit show left by the out going PR officer:

Innovate or die - is this model creating a negative image based on fear in the workplace?

For the record:
Go to specialized auto if you ever need great local service for your special automobile. Bob and his crew will take care of you!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

SW Trivia: 221 starters, 21 finishers, & 1 jersey

Question: Who is the aerobasaurus rex shouldering the Klein?

Answer: Pat Heaney

Pat was the 1998 US National RR Champion (chipped Danny Pate at the line) with only 21 finishers that year. Pat exemplifies toughness. The last time I pedaled with Pat we went up Hwy 9 out of Los Gatos and he never got out of his big ring (53). When folks complement him on his fitness, this humble warrior often says, "Yea.. but Shane Kleopfer has more talent in his pinkey than I have in my whole body". There might be a smidgen of truth in that statement as Shane was born with an unusual ability to suffer, however, Pat earned one of those special patriotic jerseys the old fashion way - by digging so deep that your fellow racers fall into the hole you dug...and never get out. 

All you need is a good horse & a bed roll...

and your toothbrush if you're still in the cavity prone years. 

Doug E. Fresh & Sir Silky adventuring south