Re: [CR]OT: Mike Howard

(Example: Component Manufacturers:Cinelli)

Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 05:53:52 -0700
Subject: Re: [CR]OT: Mike Howard
From: "Steven L. Sheffield" <>
To: "J.Dunn" <>, <>, Classic Rendezvous <>
In-Reply-To: <014901c1ba9a$6efd2ba0$>

Since when is published Industry News considered to be gossip?

I've gotten a lot of e-mails from people questioning my motivation.

What is my motivation? The same as when people post notices that a builder or some other famed bikie dies ... and while Mike's arrest may have been off-topic (as, technically, was the news that Richard Sachs broke his leg or that Jonathan Page won the Cyclocross SuperCup finals on a MODERN lugged frame), it was news regarding a builder of potentially collectible frames during the time period that is apropos for the list.

It's sad news ... that was reported in Bicycle Retailer & Industry News. Would your reaction be different if I had posted news that Mike Howard (or Brian Bayliss or Richard Sachs or Dale Brown) got married, hit the Lotto, or became a father of a healthy baby boy?

Why is good news acceptable, but unfortunate news not so?

It's not as though I was maliciously spreading a rumor. Unfortunate as it is, this arrest is reality ... and it could potentially lead to the demise of a frame-building company with a lot of history.

The actual article is below:

From Bicycle Retailer and Industry News id81387

Fetish Lands Simo Partner In Slammer

FEBRUARY 01, 2002 -- HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA‹Gian Simonetti will tell you that you can work with someone for 25 years and never really know him.

Simonetti, co-owner of custom frame builder and retail store Simo Cycles, was shocked when his business partner, Michael Howard, was arrested and accused of being California's infamous "Hair Bandit."

Howard apparently had a hair fetish and prowled Los Angeles streets, sneaking up on women and chopping off locks of their hair with a razor blade or scissors.

Howard, who is in jail on charges of robbery, assault and a lewd act on a child, faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted at trial.

With his partner in trouble, Simonetti now faces a trial of his own.

"I can't run this business without a partner," Simonetti said. "Michael did all the aluminum welding and I don't want to learn TIG welding. I'm 65 years old and I want to get out of here."

Although Simonetti hasn't ruled out taking on another partner, he is looking to sell the company.

"If I can find someone to buy, I'll be out of here in no time," he said.

Police allege that Howard attacked at least six women and a 12-year-old girl during the last two weeks of December.

Howard's older brother, Jack, a Los Angeles County probation officer, gave police the tip that he might be the "Hair Bandit."

On New Year's Eve, a sheriff's deputy said he spotted Howard allegedly choking a woman near a pay phone in East Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Howard dashed to his van and drove off. When the deputy gave chase, Howard crashed into the patrol car. According to news reports, the officer fired three shots. One hit Howard in the back of the head but did not cause critical injuries.

Police apprehended Howard the following day at a friend's apartment in Long Beach. He is awaiting arraignment at a Los Angeles County jail in lieu of $500,000 bond.

Simonetti and Howard have known one another more than a quarter of a century, starting when they worked at Masi USA. Their careers later diverged, but the two met up again at framebuilder Medici, where they spent 19 years.

When Medici closed in 1995, Simonetti and Howard bought most of its equipment and pooled their 50 years of combined framebuilding experience to form Simo Cycles. They built custom aluminum and steel road bikes, with Howard welding the aluminum and Simonetti brazing the steel.

Simo Cycles became known as one of the nation's best custom frame makers, attracting Olympic riders and national team cyclists from around the world. The company sells about 200 of its handcrafted bikes each year.

In 1999, the duo opened a small retail store in Huntington Beach, also known as Simo Cycles. They are equal partners in both ventures.

Simonetti claims Howard was a longtime user of crack cocaine. He said his partner's drug problem grew from a weekend habit to a full-blown addiction, driving the former track rider to steal money from his own business.

"I know he had a hard time with drugs the last five or six months, but the rest of it I don't know," Simonetti said.

"It's one of those cases where you think you know the guy but you don't. We worked together and had lunch together. But when we closed the door, he went his way and I went mine," Simonetti added.


Steven L. Sheffield stevens at veloworks dot com veloworks at mac dot com aitch tee tea pea colon [for word] slash [four ward] slash double-you double-yew double-ewe dot veloworks dot com [four word] slash

> From: "J.Dunn" <>
> Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 20:41:37 -0900
> To: <>, <>,
> <>
> Subject: Re: [CR]OT: Mike Howard
> It's called off topic gossip.
> John Dunn in Boise
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <>
> To: <>; <>
> Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2002 6:30 PM
> Subject: Re: [CR]OT: Mike Howard
>> In a message dated 2/19/02 5:32:46 PM PST, writes:
>>> So ... did anyone else see the story indicating that Mike Howard (of
> Wizard
>>> / Masi USA / Medici / Simo Cycles was recently arrested for robbery and
>>> committing lewd acts on a minor ... allegedly as the "Hair Bandit"
>>> Gian Simonetti said that Mike Howard has had a longtime problem with
> crack
>>> cocaine as well ... Sad news.
>>> Steven L. Sheffield
>> =========================>> What the heck is this all about?
>> Dave A.