Subject: Velo Rendezvous fun report Date: Mon, 06 Oct 2003 07:17:08 -0700 From: brian baylis <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com
I spent the past full week with vintage bike people beginning last Monday when Maurice Bresnahan and John Pergolizzi came to San Diego a little early to hang around here and soak up a little California fun and sun. We intended to do some riding, have a private visit with the esteemed Jimmy Thomson and his fabulous collection of 26 Hetchins, and generally have fun and raise hell before we went up to Velo Rendezvous. We accomplished these things, and then some, which I will do my best to briefly report. It's a little after 6am this morning and I must begin the recovery process, put out some "fires" that didn't quite get done before I left, and reflect on the bikes and people I saw during the weekend. I will do my best to be brief and cover all of the highlights I can remember.
As Jay already mentioned, Chuck takes on a big job to pull this off. As with all events there is some room for improvements which I'm sure will be addressed as we continue to work on producing a top flight experience and event for those who attend. As has been said many times before; these gatherings are largely about meeting and interacting with other bike enthusiests that we would otherwise not have the opportunity to meet; not to mention see the bikes they own. For those who haven't been able to get to one of these events, I believe that you are missing much of what this hobby/interest has to offer. In particular, the guest speakers and the information and experiences they impart, are in fact absolutely PRICELESS. Last year most, if not all of us, were totally blown away by the talk that our dear departed Dave Staub gave at the symposium. I'd known Dave Staub for many years, and yet I never knew of his amazing early cycling exploits. After his presentation, my level of appreciation grew 1000% as I realized that not only was he one of the greatest persons I'd ever met; but he had been part of racing/cycling history in a BIG way. My busy schedule did not allow me to complete the memorial Dave Staub Trophy before the VR; but the project is ongoing and will be completed. A special thanks to Steven Maaslands and John Pergolizzi for donating some significant parts to be incorperated into the finished piece. I miss Dave Staub tremendously as I'm sure many others do, and the memory of his speech last year is one of my most treasured memories. Please try to experience these prescious moments in cycling history with us. On three seperate occassions Bret Horton has taken our heads off by presenting historical objects of exteme rarity and interest to us. This time we all got to see and hold THE timing watch that was used from 1903 to about 1913(I think) to time the Tour de France by the first official timer to keep track of the race. UNBELIEVEABLE!
I was most effected this time by the presentation given by Peter Rich, of Velo Sport Bike Shop in Berekely, CA. When I was still just a lad and living in Huntington Beach, (southern)CA, The Velo Sport shop was MECCA; about 500 miles away. In 1972 some friends and I rode from So.Cal to Mecca on our bikes, just to see the place. I remember seeing a 70 tooth track chainring on the wall there, the possible source of my fetich for large chainrings. I purchased 4 Campy brake blocks and holders to fit to my Universal 68 brakes that I had retrofitted to my PX-10. I spent every penny of the $20 plus tax I had to purchase them( as I recall I was actually $0.37 short) and had to hitchhike with one of my friends all the way home from Berkeley to HB with our bikes. Some guy in a VW bug!! picked us up right on Univeresity Ave. in Berekley and took us as far as Santa Barbara. That was one tight ride. Anyway, to hear of what life was like for Peter Rich during his active bike years (which are still continuing) was absolutely fascinating, to say the very least. The more one knows about these people the greater appreciation one has for what they have accomplished. I had an opportunity to get to know someone who I had always heard about, had a great appreciation for, but had never known personally. You just can't put a price on these opportunities. Every one of these speakers enriches my life tremendously and I can't say enough about how great it is to experience these people in person. The cruelty of some of them leaving us too early is only slightly offset by our having had the chance to hear them speak and tell us their stories.
I will try to pass some of this magic on to those who were not able to attend this event through the written word. But trust me, I can't fully explain the effect of having held the original timing watch from the early TdF. You just had to be there.
Brian Baylis La Mesa, CA Going to be very busy, please be patient.