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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It shouldn’t be colder than my age. Not that I wouldn’t mind being 39 again…

What happened to the warm weather of April? Just a short time ago I was looking forward to not having to dress for cool/cold weather on the Tuesday & Thursday-morning rides, but nope, it’s long-finger gloves, base layer and leg warmers. As it finally does get warmer, the long-fingered gloves go first, base layer next, and, finally, leg warmers. Why leg warmers last? Because that’s not just a matter of comfort, but keeping the knees working well & pain-free. A generalization that most don’t protect their knees as they should would not be incorrect.

It wasn’t fast this morning, but not dreadfully-slow either. Younger Kevin, Karl, Eric, Marcus and I’m sure I’m leaving someone else out but can’t figure out who. Got it. George is the missing person. Marcus did his usual thing on Skyline, an heroic pull across the top, with the rest of us strung out behind, trying to hang onto his wheel. Very impressive. A bit wet up on top, which makes it easy for me to personally demonstrate to customers how much damage is done to a bike without it having to actually rain.

Younger Kevin is back to his old tricks, winning both the West Old LaHonda and final Olive Hill sprints. Me, I’m just happy right now if I’m in position to watch, but plan to be contesting again shortly, soon as it warms up.

Which will happen soon, right?

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