Well, the Monkeyman doesn't look anything like I expected! I always thought he would look like Elvis or something. (There, now it's even). The other person at our table was Aaron (I hope that's how it's spelled) and that was Phil Brown (unless he changed his name when I wasn't looking). The coffee shop was "Bean Town" where they are notorious for not being able to tell the difference between a cranberry and a blueberry. The rest of the details stand unaltered; although I'm not sure what the Monkeyman means by "professional differences". Perhaps he knows more that I, the Monkeyman is a pretty worldly and sharp cookie; but I think the differences are more philosphical than professional. The ride was in fact very pleasant and very scenic; although according to Aarons bike computer (since when did bike computers start telling the temp.?; does it also give stock quotes?) it was between 99 and 101 degrees. A bit warm, but in such good company, who cares?
Thanks to a very kind offer from Greg Fletcher, I was able to attend the ride by hitching a ride from Orange County to Pasadena. Turns out he and his good friend Duane Kinnard grew up within a block of where I grew up in Huntington Beach, CA. We could easily have known each other except for the fact that about the time those guys were 12 years old, I was working at Masi. It's amazing what you find out when you have a few minutes to talk with someone you haven't known before. Again, a special thanks to Greg for making it possible to attend the ride and meet the Monkeyman in person and attend my first "Chucks" ride.
I'm growing more anxious by the day about the upcomming Velo Rendezvous event. Chuck really has the tiger by the tail and is putting together an opportunity that may be a milestone. It is quite clear that there are a tremendous number of very high caliber vintage bikes between San Diego and Seattle. Much of it is concentrated south of San Francisco along with those who collect them. The opportunity for collectors/riders to show their bikes without having to ship to the East Coast is deffinitely bringing some exceptional examples out of the woodwork. Soon Chuck will have a better idea of just what will be in attendance; and I'm sure even he will be amazed at what will be presented.
For example, I just took custody of Ted Kirkbrides' 1960 Rene Herse track bike for restoration. This is probably one of the rarest models of what is unquestionably one of the most soughtafter builders of all time. The track bike appears in the Rene Herse catalog, but I suspect very few were built. This bike was purchased by Dr. Cilfford Graves for Ted Kirkbride after it was displayed in the Rene Herse booth at the 1960 Paris Bike Show. It still has original paint and hand painted lettering and box striping. She's a warhorse and has seen many a battle which its present condition shows. It will be easy to make it original paintwise, but the job will require attention to detail and great care. I was at first hoping to bring the finished frame to the event, but I think that might be too much of a rush; so I'm going to bring her (almost) as she sits. I'll do a little straightening work, then leave the rest until later. You can all see it firsthand unrestored at age 41. Next year you can come back and see the finished results at age 42. Don't forget your camera! You will be amazed at this beauty (at least I am) and it is a MUST SEE! The list of bikes of this nature is sure to grow weekly up until the event. I also understand Geoff Groman will be sending some stuff down from Washington. From what I've gathered, he has an awsome collection. Can you imagine what he'll be sending our way? Maybe a Dick Power will show up; I know I'm trying to get my hands on one (wait a minute, perhaps I should word that differently ;-o).
And if Monkeyman thinks this crowd was chummy, wait until you multiply it by a factor of 10 or more! You won't believe how cuddley that will be; just ask anyone who was at the Cirque this year! Chucks' idea of the B-B-Q is sublime. He showed us the site for this "lug-in" and it's wonderful; it ain't no Yasgers farm and Wavy Gravey isn't MCing, but Gino Londi is manning the hamburger tweezers from what I understand. You know, if we're not careful, we could end up attracting quite a few more folks to this interest.
So beg Chuck to take your money and book yourself a room if you have to. If ever there was a time to sell your soul to the devil in order to get your wife or whatever to "let" you do something, this is it. If you miss this one, you'll be a Monkeymans' uncle! JB, are listening? As a matter of fact, in your case, I forbid you to miss this one. Do you hear me, young man? (I'm holding JB by the ear and tugging real hard.)
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
How did you get the name Monkeyman, anyway?