Category Archives: Personal stuff

End of an era; RIP Jobst Brandt

Very sad news indeed, hearing of Jobst’s passing. Jobst was something of an institution. I was a source of frustration for him, because he figured I was smart enough and had been around him enough to agree with him on everything, and that surely wasn’t the case! He would admonish people on the strangest of things, including STI shifting. He didn’t think people needed to shift all that often. Not sure what the downside to shifting too often is; maybe all that shifting effort contributed to global warming?

Most of all I remember 100+ mile rides, “Jobst Rides”, through the Santa Cruz mountains. I was 15 at the time, skinny super-climber type, like a number of other young guys on his rides, and sure, we’d get to the top of the climbs ahead of him, but he was a diesel, he just never slowed down, and mile 95 we’d be heading home on Foothill, into a headwind, all of us strung out behind him, trying to hang onto his wheel. Amazing. We also took our road bikes places where some mountain bikers might fear to tread. It was the early-70s, so no such thing as a mountain bike, just goat paths in the mountains that must be ridden!

Jobst knew all the “safe” places to get water, including this little pipe that dribbled out of the hillside on Mountain Charlie Road. In the distance you could see a house, and when the water slowed to a trickle we’d yell “FLUSH!”

He was also the last person to regularly call me “Jake”, my nickname from the way-back days. I’d be told there was some older cantankerous guy at the shop looking for “Jake”, to the puzzlement of my employees. I always knew who that was.

Jobst gave me the key to the Santa Cruz Mountains. Doing my best to pass that on to my son. RIP old friend.

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Why Nellie Bly matters

You might have noticed references to Nellie Bly if you looked at Google today. An interesting person, she was. Went undercover as a reporter in the 1880s, exposing all manner of legally-sanctioned very-bad-things many women were subject to in the day, including jobs, health care (especially mental health), courtship services and much more. But it was her interview with Susan B Anthony that strike an obvious chord with me-

“Let me tell you what I think of bicycling,” Miss Anthony said, leaning forward and laying a slender hand on my arm. “I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel. It gives woman a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. It makes her feel as if she were independent. The moment she takes her seat she knows she can’t get into harm unless she gets off her bicycle, and away she goes, the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.”

I’d heard this quote before, but never the context from which it came. The Wiki makes for interesting reading on the amazing life of Nellie Bly.

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