[CR]VRIII Report (long)

Example: Framebuilders:Doug Fattic

From: "Paulie Davis" <paulieflt@email.com>
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Date: Tue, 07 Oct 2003 19:18:17 -0800
Subject: [CR]VRIII Report (long)

Well, it's over and I may have to wait another year for such concentrated bike fun, unless I can get up the nerve to fly to North Carolina in May. Waaaaah! Hey, what about the San Francisco Velo Swap in mid-November?

I have wonderful memories of this past weekend, and here are a few in no particular order. With me it's at least as much about the people as the gorgeous bicycles. Well, too, there's the food!

. Thursday night's quiet dinner at Kathleen's: You could hear everybody talk! Food was super. I passed my creme brulee down the table for everybody to have a bite. About 30 seconds later the empty plate wended its way back up the table! Ohhhh.... I see.

. Friday's framebuilding seminar: I love to see and hear Brian Baylis on the subject of how it should be done, and the whole vanishing craftsman thing. In a word: passion. Brian's got it in spades (diamonds, hearts and clubs, too) and I find his enthusiasm contagious and inspiring, not to mention enjoying looking at his lug and paint work. Unfortunately I was out of vacation time at the office, so I shot up the freeway to Pasadena from downtown on a quick extended lunch hour, powered down a Krispy Kreme or two, and returned to work as soon as I could get back without being missed. I wound the afternoon up by typing a legal brief for my boss while daydreaming of thinly filed lugs.

. Friday night dinner at a brewery called Gordon Biersch: We had a neato private room upstairs (yea, Brian Ignatin, for bagging that!) where the sound rolled around with a deafening ferocity made more lively by the addition of piped-in rock 'n roll. A few minutes into the scene Dale Brown showed up! Yowee! He DOES exist. I have such respect for Dale in the way he handles the list, and he is indeed a gentleman in person too. Dale's funny, smart and savvy and I'll bet he's one of the few in the business who actually makes a bike shop pay. And then he manages to keep up that incredible website as well as reining in our rambling discussions, too. Impressive! As to that Brewery, I really wonder how they manage to brew and sell *beer* with only miniscule bathrooms which are all the way downstairs, outside the restaurant itself and through another door. Plenty of female bonding in a line 8-deep out the door of the bathroom, I guess? Luckily I was only drinking coke.

. Saturday at the Casita del Arroyo for the lectures: It's a neat venue. And more Krispy Kreme's. Dennis Crowley is Mr. Pasadena and he gives a great deal of bike history out in his five minute introduction. Pasadena was the real West Coast place for bicycles from the get-go. The casita is partly made from wood from the original Rose Bowl Velodrome. Chuck has a nice sandwich/pasta salad/cookies lunch brought in. The bee count was down this year, making it significantly less hazardous to eat sitting outdoors in the sunshine. My hope for a repeat of last year's amusing tricycle demonstration did not materialize, however.

Ted Ernst's presentation about his father, the Chicago bike shop, poverty like few of us have ever even approached, and getting a toe-hold in racing the hard way was fascinating to me. Ted is beyond enthusiastic, and the pace of his delivery did not detract at all from his eloquence. Ted is *the man* in So. Calif. in my opinion.

Mark Petry gave a snappy presentation about Spence Wolfe, complete with PowerPoint slides. (In an effort to make the weekend last a little longer I just finished watching Ken Toda's excellent CD of Peter Johnson's presentation this past year at Cirque. Mark's background on Spence Wolfe, along with Peter's elaboration about how Spence contributed so much in his own life, really helped me pull some pieces of 70's California cycling scene together.)

Peter Rich from Berkeley was next to speak, and I found his talk wonderful too. It is evident that many people in this business, and Peter in particular, seem to have made some real sacrifices financially and time-wise to make this sport what it is today. He's certainly an icon in his own right, and I could happily have heard more from him.

. Saturday night's movable feast eventually made a home at another brewery: the Pasadena Brewing Company. Al and I found ourselves near Brian Baylis, so I was able to ask more beginnier bike questions. Poor Brian.

. The Big Show on Sunday. My my my. Beautiful bikes. What I don't know about bikes and bike history just seems not to matter so much in looking at the beauty and function that have blended together somehow in these examples drawn from so many bicycles over the years. Hey, I even got to see not one but two Flying Scots. I was having too much fun and forgot my camera this year. Apologies to Bob Reid in Stonehaven. I hope somebody got a photo of the 2nd Flying Scot, which had a lot of cool parts on it as I recall.

I spent some time Saturday afternoon putting a more appropriate stem on my Pogliaghi so I'd have a bike to show without making folk ill with my ubiquitous Technomics stems. Also, several weeks back I managed to snag a wonderful Della Santa off of ebay -- Roland's personal bike. Somehow it now has a blue ribbon waving from its handlebars. I was, and am, completely stoked to have won something. Now on to a minor modification or two so I can have that first extended Della Santa test ride! :-)

. Chuck Schmidt. How one human being has the derring-do to take on such a huge enterprise is awesome. I'd be a basket case, but he seems to be very calm about everything. (His wonderful wife Sherry must have something to do with this...) This year all the venues and the even the catered food apparently went way up in cost, which may well have left Chuck in the red in my opinion. So let's make up our minds not to whine if our entry fees go up next year, okay? (I cannot imagine life without Chuck's event here and I doubt if he can either. Any rumors you may have heard to the contrary, I am sure we can look forward to VR-IV next year in Pasadena.)

. The daily Pasadena rides. Three years now and I have yet to make it on one VeloRendezvous ride. ::sigh:: Knees, shoulders, forearms, family emergencies. However, I have a dream. It's called doing even ONE of the rides next year. (Or even one on some intervening month in between.) It's good to have goals, right? And Jan Johnson is my heroine. Wonder woman. (And I got this super Cinelli wool jersey...)

But what a sport -- where one can collect, wrench, hang out and admire, all while not necessarily being able to keep up with the real riders on a bike itself! Way cool, eh?

Love you all madly, and thanks for your part, this means you, in all the fun,

Paulie Davis
Los Angeles