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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dead a long time


My Dad, 55, just started biking seriously the last 2 years. Doctor said it was ride a bike or get ready for an early burial. He had a bike before that, but the doctor put the fear of god into him and cycling became more of a need than a want. He can be called a cyclist now, riding daily and hitting at least 100 miles a week. He pushes himself to go farther and faster and now sees what I've seen all along. He's interested in cycling stuff, parts, the dorky clothes and the investment in good components. I guess it's the difference of looking in vs looking out. The old adage "walk in his shoes", you never really know how someone sees things until you've been there yourself.

The cyclists in the cycling world are an interesting groupo. The one thing that unites us all is riding a bike. No matter what class, color or creed. Riding bikes is good. I was forwarded an email, from my Dad, that a girl wrote to NPR about cycling. The last part is about one of the group rides my dad goes on. She sums it up pretty good.

I believe in biking, because when you die you're "dead a long time".
Biking centers me, allowing me to reconnect with myself. Regardless of the day's stressors or my tension level, when I start riding through the countryside over gently rolling hills, my load lightens and my spirit brightens. Pedaling, I feel a rush from the speed, wind, increasing adrenaline, and the release of endorphins. Life slows down for a few hours out on the road and I can hear my own thoughts, reflect, and contemplate.

Biking is an equalizer; it puts everybody on the same playing field. In this community it doesn't matter if you are a dishwasher or an internationally known researcher. In this community it doesn't matter if you are in your seventies or nineteen years old. In this community everyone looks out for one another, no person is left on the side of the road with a flat; there will be a crew of people that stop to help change the tire. Biking provides me with meaningful relationships with others. I'm part of a biking community, a biking family.

Biking has taught me to value what is most important in life. At the end of life I doubt that my grades, my bank account, or career moves will mean as much as the connections I have had with significant people who enrich my life. I have learned that a part of everyday can be enjoyed, savored or celebrated.

One evening after a full, fun and sunshine filled day of biking, my bike family was riding home under the moonlight. One of them suddenly pulled into a cemetery along the road and indicated for everyone to follow. One of the bikers asked why they were stopping in the cemetery. Another speculated that it was to pass a flask of Wild Turkey (this subgroup of our bike club are the Wild Turkey Riders). Everyone was motioned further into the cemetery and they approached a large headstone. "Oh my God," one of the bikers exclaimed incredulously, "they have fireworks; they are going to shoot fireworks off of somebody's tombstone!" As everyone gathered in closer there was surprise expressed that the tombstone had the name Rudin engraved across it. Steve Rudin, our bike club president, was standing next to the tombstone smiling broadly as they placed a large rocket on the top and lit it up! BOOM! And a flash of light! What at first appeared to be a coincidence, upon closer inspection revealed a bike club logo; it was Steve Rudin's tombstone! What ensued amounted to a pre-death wake; a celebration of living. Steve, soon to retire, after heart attacks and open heart surgeries, is living each day fully. After a day of biking that ended with a celebration of life at his tombstone, Steve, beaming with contentment, said, "Today has been a good day."

Get on your bike and ride the road of happiness because when you die you are "dead a long time".

This I believe.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Express yo self

Yes, Yes, and more yes. Bikes are very much like pets. They represent there owners. Even a single sticker can say a lot about the rider. I like the sticker "my other bike is a bong!" or "Your fixie sucks" or "scraper bike"....When your the only one making a frankenbike, you may be called names, but when you get a gang together of the same like minded kooks, then you make a statement. Check these next gen bike gangs and there supersick whips.

Carribean bike soundsystems article

Carribean soundsystems video

UFO robo bike gang from outtaspace!


TrunkBOIZ West Coast REPRESENT!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tamarancho Trail Work


If you want to do your part and help maintain the small amount of trails we do have, the Boy Scout Tamarancho trails are having trail work days for the next month.
2. WINTER TRAILWORK STARTS THIS SATURDAY

The trails at Tamarancho, were built over a 6 year period, by volunteer cyclists, and coordinated by Bicycle Trails Council of Marin. Each year, since construction was completed in 2001, BTC sponsors trailwork days, to maintain the trails. This involves: improving drainage; cutting back foliage; removing invasive plants; building new retaining walls, etc.

No experience is necessary. This is your chance to help the best bike legal trail system in Marin.

Dates: Saturdays, Dec 8, Dec 15, Jan 5, Jan 12, Jan 19, Jan 26
Time: 10am (sharp), center of camp. Usually work until 1pm or so.
Bring: Work clothes, sturdy shoes, gloves
Rain: Steady rain cancels.
Location: Ride your bike, or drive your car to the center of the camp.

Please put these dates on your calendar. We need your help.

For more information contact: Jim Jacobsen--btcjim@comcast.net


boyscouts

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Top 10


I've really wanted to get a top 10 on the picture gallery. We build a lot of really cool bikes and I think we should have some sort of ranking. I'm sure we'll get to it at some point, so the meantime I'm going to post some of the hotter bikes to leave the shop. This is an 08 Time Ulteam VXRS World Star. It's a perfect example of what a high-end custom bike should be. Everything matches beautifully, white, red, black. It weighs below the UCI legal limit of 15lbs, 14.25 to be exact, without putting dumb light parts on the bike. It's rigid and has excellent handling and of course it looks awesome. This one got sent down to Florida. (Trey if you read this, send me a picture of you riding the bike!)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fixing in Lycra

Yo, this girl stomps your fixie moves, don't be a hater. Just remember there is always someone better out there. Unless of course your #1. You may have seen this floating around, but if you haven't, check it. I have noticed more and more Fixie Tricks video's appearing on the web. Most of them kind of lame, like someone track standing. DUH, your on a track bike...that's like posting a million videos of some kid doing a 12" bunnyhop on his BMX bike. That's the basics, move on to something a little more technical before taking your camera out. That reminds me...the other day when I was riding home and was waiting for a light to turn a dude rolled up next to me with a "faux fixed". Front brake only, single speed...no fixed. What' the hell.

and some new school footage of a video coming out.
and representing the SF bay...MASH.

We also have the MASH SF video in-stock $39.99 if your interested. You can email sales {at} wrenchscience {dot} com and we can drop it in the mail for you. Garrett who is in the video, and is also the assistant art director is a good friend of the shops and painted a super rad mural in our Berkeley store. Come on by and check it out.
MASH SF

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cycle-Sexualist


People just love there bikes, especially the UK guy who was busted "making hip movements towards his bike". I now have a new word to add to my vocabulary. Cycle-Sexualist. Doesn't every bike nut out there have a little cycle-sexualism in them? Although I don't agree with having sex with bicycles, I really don't agree that someone should be prosecuted doing weird things behind locked doors, especially to themselves. Let him be. You make the call after the jump Cycle-Sexualist

Race for Tara


Tara Llanes had a terrible crash at the Jeep King of the Mountain, that broke her back and paralyzed her from the waist down. Tara Injury What a drag. She's a competitor so I'm certain she'll be back in some way. Tarek Rasouli went through something similar a few years back. Tarek Injury and he now has a company, rasoulution, to help build slopestyle courses and represent athletes and he does a pretty good job at it. Tara is still in the rehab side of things so she has some time to think about how she's going to get back into it. Last weekend a Race for Tara was out at Sand Hill to raise some funds. Our buddy Blake was out and took some pictures. Sand Hill Tara Race and he said they raised $7000 over the weekend. Good hearing the community is out to help. Keep it up.

Here's a few other links on Tara.

tara llanes road to recovery
CBS coverage of Tara

Friday, November 16, 2007

Peter the Great

Peter is going through the thick of it right now. This is the grand finale, this is where all the heart felt comments and tears need to be pushed into a funnel of positivity. This is when all the prayers and thoughts are building the synergy to get Peter past this point. This is the time for everyone to come together to rally behind Peter. The time is now, you can comment on this page but I really hope that you can take the time to donate a few dollars. Peter's expenses are skyrocketing and if it isn't bad enough to go through something like this, to come out and be in debt for years to come doesn't help. Donate, donate, donate...don't be afraid.paypal@wrenchscience.com

From Peters friend Alekist ...

Peter was transferred to Stanford the day we last spoke. He started total body irradiation the next day and received 11 radiation treatments over the course of 4 days. He then got one "rest" day before starting his first dose of industrial strength chemo on 11/10. This was a one day infusion and he got another rest day before starting a second dose of high dose chemo, which was also a one day infusion. This was followed by another rest day, which was also the same day his sister's stem cells got harvested using apheresis. She did a phenomenal job and was able to donate 3 times the number of stem cells the transplant team was hoping to get. Peter got her stem cells transplanted yesterday without too many problems. Now we wait..

So far, there haven't been any serious complications associated with his treatment apart from the expected side effects of high dose chemo and radiation. This includes uncontrollable pain and nausea in addition to a series of other really horrible side effects, but he's staying strong spirited through it all. He knew better than most people what to expect after hearing me talk about my work for the last several years with kids going through radiation, chemo, and transplant, but nothing could ever prepare a person for what he's going through now. Things are expected to get worse for the next week or so before they get better, so we have a bumpy road ahead. Although the odds are stacked against Peter, he and his family and I remain hopeful. We know that if any person could beat the odds, it would be Peter.

Peter's body is still being attacked by the chemo and radiation, and possibly soon from his sister's cells, so he's unfortunately too sick to have visitors at the moment. However, I will keep you posted and will let you know as soon as he begins recovering and is ready for visitors again.


We are all thinking about you Peter and we look forward to hanging out, riding bikes and talking shop. We'll see you real soon.

Peter's Latest Words
The Great Petersauras

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Slopestyle is big kids BMX

If you pay any attention to Slopestyle events such as Crankworx at Whistler or the others that are popping up across the world you know that mountain biking is going to a whole new level. Andreu Lacondeguy is doing superman-back flips like he's doing a regular jump off the curb. He's got em' on lock down, and in the New World Disorder 8 video he does a can-can-backflip. In the past these are tricks that could only be done in the Playstation 2 game BMX triple X. Which we just discussed as the best bike game produced so far, where's the slopestyle game? The kids in the BMX arena however are serving up tricks that defy gravity. Scotty Cranmer just landed a front flip tailwhip?? If you want to see what the slopestyle guys will be working on next, just start watching some BMX videos, because they're the ones that are pushing the envelope. Here's a couple to get you hooked, then you can start perusing the internet.



Cranmer front flipwhip

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Ride gets Award


Ellsworth has been building bikes for a longtime. This past year they came out with something a little bit different then what you would expect from Ellsworth. The Ride. The Ride uses a very special rear hub,nuvinci that doesn't have individual gears but more of a planetary system that allows any gear placement between low and high. No shifting noises or gear changes. You really have to ride it to feel how the rear hub works.

Tony Ellsworth hates the word cruiser or comfort bike, he likes the word lifestyle. So if your wondering what the bike is designed for you can think, lifestyle. Look cool, ride cool, and still be able to climb a hill in a seated position. Popular Science agrees with Tony that the bike and technology is a great idea and have awarded him the 2007 Best of What's New Grand Award. You can read the details.

RAMONA, CA (BRAIN)—Ellsworth’s The Ride bike is the recipient of the 2007 Best of What’s New Grand Award from Popular Science in the Recreation category.

Each year, Popular Science reviews thousands of new products and innovations and chooses the top 100 winners across 10 categories for inclusion in their annual Best of What’s New issue—its best-read issue of the year. To win, a product or technology must represent a significant step forward in its category. All of the winners will be featured in this December’s special issue, on newsstands November 14.

“The Ride rides like no other bike on earth—a smooth, almost silent glide,” said Tony Ellsworth, president, founder and chief executive officer of Ellsworth. “The sleek and stunning design was inspired by another ground-breaking new technology which eventually led to The Ride becoming the first bike to use the revolutionary gearless NuVinci Continuously Variable (CVP) drive. No off the shelf parts would do as the patent pending frame and fork, as well as many other components were specifically designed for our first ‘Cruiser.’”


You can test ride "The Ride" at our brick and mortar store or you can read more about it at The Ride

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fit Your Bike

Road Traditional

Anyone who knows anything about bikes, will tell you that fit is the #1 thing to consider when buying a bike. Each manufacturer has a particular geometry to get the most out of there designs. Getting a correct size frame will give a position that is optimal in getting the most from the bike. Whether it's a road or mountain bike.






Road Sloping
The body is a remarkable piece of equipment. It can adjust itself to try to be as comfortable as possible in any situation. Thus, you find people who have been riding the wrong size bike for a long time. The body adapted.








Mountain
We developed a fitting system that we have found to be the best on the web. WS Fitting System The design is based off a few different concepts that were distilled down to the core. Eddy Merckx, Lemond, and Independent Fabrications were all used in cross referencing sizing measurements.

We have also made some images to show you how to measure your own bike to not only cross reference the WS fitting system, but also for us to see what you've been riding and how your new fit will affect you. We have found that most people are fit incorrectly, so if your measurements seem vastly off on your own bike most likely you were misfitted to begin with. That means your new bike will give you another reason to go out and do longer rides.

I'm going to explain the measurements in detail and you can click on the image to get a view of how to take it as well.

1. Saddle Height - Saddle Height is based off of your true inseam. Not your pant inseam. To know that you have taken the inseam measurement correctly, you can approximate that your true inseam will be about 1-1.5" longer than your pant inseam. The saddle height is measured from the center of the bottom bracket, which is where the crank is bolted to the frame, to the top of the saddle measuring along the seat-tube.

2. Top Tube - Top tube makes up for the majority of your cockpit area. The major component being the stem, which we will get to a little later. This measurement can be tricky if you have a compact or sloping geometry. Which means the top tube slopes down towards the seat-tube. Both measurements are measured parallel to the ground. For a traditional frame, measure from the center of the head-tube back along the top tube to the center of the seat-tube/seat-post. If it's a compact frame, measure from the center of the headtube, parallel to the ground, going back to the seat-tube where ever the intersection is. With some compact frames that intersection will be at the center of the seat-post.

3. Seat Tube - If you go into a shop and they say, "Stand over this bike.", "yes, it's a perfect fit!" Then you know that employee or shop, doesn't know much about fit. The Seat-tube is a secondary measurement to the rider compartment. In an ideal situation you will get both a perfect top tube and a perfect seat-tube, but it doesn't always work out that way. Each manufacturer has a different view of fit and stem length. There are ideal stem lengths for frame sizes, but once again the human race doesn't have alot of consistency so not everyone has an ideal stem length either. To measure the seat-tube center to center, measure from the center of the bottom bracket, the same place as the saddle height, to the center of the top tube along the seat-tube. To measure the seat-tube center to top, measure from the center of the bottom bracket to the top of the top tube. Keep an eye on manufacturers measurements as some measure center to center and others measure center to top. Apples to apples.

4. Handlebar drop - This is primarily a comfort measurement. With the threadless stem/forks out today there are limitations as to how many spacers you can put below the stem. Generally the most is 35mm, although some go as much as 50mm. The more spacers under the stem the higher the bars. The higher the bars, the less weight on the front wheel which will take away some of the descending and cornering prowess. So a good rule of thumb is to go as low as you can, while still being comfortable. To measure your handlebar drop, measure from the floor, perpendicular to the floor, to the top of the saddle. Then measure from the floor, perpendicular to the floor, to the top of the handlebar. Subtract the saddle height from the bar height. 2" is the most common drop for good handling and comfort.

5. Stem Length - There can be vast discussions about stem lengths as to what length is best. The bottom line is that it still needs to fit. Your anatomical measurements give a "rider cockpit" that cockpit is your top-tube + your stem length. Yes there are other variables, such as straight post, offset post, seat angle, saddle length and such, but the "rider cockpit" calculation will get you 98% of the way there. Anything more will most likely need a higher scientific calculation, like going to UC Davis for a VO2 max metering and wattage. To measure stem length, measure from the center of the headset bolt to the center of the handlebar. Oversize bars can be tricky to measure, so make sure to go to the center of the handlebar and not where the faceplate meets the stem.

6. Your cockpit - As I stated above if you take the stem length (#5) you just measured and add it to the top tube length in measurement (#2) you will have your overall reach. If you go through the WS sizing system it will tell you an ideal "rider cockpit" based on your overall measurements. You can compare them to your existing bike and you'll get a sense of what your reach will be on your new bike. If your an avid cyclist and have been riding in a particular position for many years and find it comfortable and don't want to change, not a problem. The fitting system is designed to get you a perfect fit, but back flexibility, medical ailments or just plain riding style will also influence the outcome. We look at the measurements, but your feedback is what helps deliver the perfect fit.

WS Fitting System

Monday, November 12, 2007

#8


The 11 best cycling cities has just been released and SF is #8. That's great and all, but what about the worst trail access in an area. I bet SF Bay Area, would be ranked #1. It's just plain sad the amount of trails that are closed in the Bay Area. I don't know of any place in the country that claims themselves to be the first at something, but not allow it. Most places make a museum and a sign showing off there pioneering town. The whole bay area could have something like "Bay Area : Home of Mountainbiking, where you can only ride firetrails and run into nazi hikers that sabotage the trails with piano wire and metal stakes." It kind of has a ring to it. In an era of overweight people, high gas prices and lots of violence, you would think opening trail accesss to people would be a no brainer. Now if you live here and you want to tell me there is plenty of trails, I'm not talking about the vast poaching that every mountain biker in the bay does, but the truly open access trails. There are few good ones, but it sure is far from the closed ones.

Back to SF and the other top 10's, good work. At least there are a few towns looking out for those people out there on 2 wheels, doing something good for themselves and the environment.
8. San Francisco, California
San Francisco is the second most densely populated major city in the U.S, so a core bicycle system is key here and it also is consistently ranked by Bicycling Magazine as a top city for cycling. Bicycling is a popular mode of transportation in San Francisco, with about 40,000 residents commuting to work regularly by bicycle. There are 63 miles of bicycle lanes and paths throughout the city.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition endorsed eight candidates for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and all were elected. The board, which is the transportation authority for the city and county, puts highest priority on pedestrian and cycling needs, followed by mass transit.

With the number of commuters growing, all public transportation has been equipped to carry bicycles, and driving lanes are being converted into bike lanes.

Highlights: Designated street lanes and traffic signals. Biking is core to its transportation infrastructure. Large bicycle culture with some political influence.


Here's a link to the other's on the list. Bike Friendly Cities

Thursday, November 8, 2007

List for Craigs


If you live in the SF Bay area you know of craigslist.com If you live somewhere else in the world, you probably have a craigslist and will hear of it sometime. It's the locals place to dump there old crap and post whatever crazyness is on your mind. If your a bike guy, you have either sold a bike on craigslist, bought a bike on craigslist, or found your stolen bike on craigslist. Leif was perusing the bikes for sale and came across this classic craigslist posting.

$950 firm and I mean firm, not a damn penny less, I don't even care if your crusty ass grandma come crawling over to have me drop this price-I WILL NOT, NEVER DROP THE DAMN PRICE BELOW $950 in pesos!! I WILL ONLY RESPOND BY PHONE or by email or if you come by in person and have that stinking 89 year old grandma of yours in your place. SO, LEAVE YOUR damn #, your cell #, your home #, your mom's #, your work #, your next of kin's #..and DONT forget to READ THIS COMPLETELY in Ingles!
Just built from scratch with imported frame from Indonesia a dark, and I mean damn near midnight Yugioh grey 55cm steel, not plastic or these cheap carbon fiber girly bikes are made of these days, this is tungsten metal rod, not off the press from Oakland track frame w/fork and knives, alloy drop outs from Plutonium metallic chips, Chris Evert King headset,31.7 round off to 32 instead deda pista track bar 42cm standing alone in Al+ MgSo4 derrivative BOT components, deda fig newton 110mm but can substitute it with Nevlar coating newton instead, Phil Wood bb's made of mercuric ball coating, White and Black Industry One 44t crank with alloy screws soak in brass solution, Phil Wood 16t cog with Surly degenerate ice tips from poland inc., polished ( I did that myself with pledge spray Phil Wood flip flop hubset (used), black DT Swiss rr, tt 1.7 rims, black DT Swiss comp spokes in a floral setting, black brass nipples painted since it was rusty, Surly tug nut taken off my other junkers and beaters, Thompson black seatpost spray painted and Sella SMP black saddle bought at a flea market. No blakes or pedals, they cost too much and you may not be able to afford it sucker. MUST MEET ME at MIDNIGHT at my house or a local school yard, I'll be dress in my pikachu outfit or my tinkerbell outfit to avoid suspicion, CASH ONLY IN PERSON!!!!!!!!!!!!! please no USD's, just cash or a truck load of SNL's dvd's..be there or be square fellow fixated bikers.
There's so many things wrong with this post I'm not even going to get into the details, but if anyone gets in touch with this guy, let me know if show's up in the tinkerbell or the pikachu. Here's the link to the original Rad Track Bike

So the Bay Area is one of the largest Fixed / Track areas in the U.S, not to say they aren't everywhere, but if you've ridden around SF at all then you know the per capita of track bikes is very high. One of the shop criers, Blake, sent me this video from LA, it's not the extreme riding of MASH, but its cimematic and makes me want to ride around at night against a big white wall with a light on it. Check it... LA FIXED

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Zipp Press Release


It's official. The little kids around the corner, SRAM, have bought the carbon wheel kings ZIPP. Doesn't have any real effect to ZIPP other than they will probably have some more money to do even more cool things. SRAM will probably have a SRAM RED / ZIPP wheel come out by the end of 08, speculation of course. Here's the official press release.
CHICAGO, IL (BRAIN)—SRAM has closed the deal on the recent purchase of Zipp. The closing period only took 45 days.

Customers should continue using existing SRAM and Zipp channels for orders, customer service and information.

There are no changes in how either company is operating its business. Now that the transaction is complete, the management teams will be meeting to discuss how to optimize operations for the benefit of its customers.

As previously announced those plans include:

Zipp’s management team will remain intact and continue to report to Zipp president Andy Ording. Ording will report to SRAM chief executive officer Stan Day; there will be no layoffs as a result of the transaction; the current Indianapolis location will remain the manufacturing center for Zipp wheels and components; Zipp product warranties will be honored and continue to be serviced in the Indianapolis facility; Zipp’s distribution network will be maintained; and all Zipp contracts and business relationships will be honored.

“Zipp is a great company and respected brand, with a strong management team, advanced technology and superb manufacturing capability,” Day said. “We look forward to bringing both successful companies together and synergistically delivering a growing strategic range of products to our customers.”


If you haven't heard of Zipp or haven't looked closely at the range, I would do so. Especially take the time to read through some of the technical specifications as they do some incredible innovations.

ZIPP

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Magura



Tony and Jeff from Magura stopped by the shop to talk 2008 Magura. After taking a closer inspection of there products I have to say Magura is on to something. That something is attention to detail. Everything Magura touches has details that I haven't seen from other manufacturers. They brought in some forks and brakes and some of the new Syntace bar/stem/posts, which looked great as well. After a little tech seminar I took them up into the hills for our local all mountain trail burn down the the side-o-hill. From the ride back it sounded like they enjoyed the ride. They left me with a fork and brakes to beat up, so in a few months I'll write another recap review. Which reminds me, that I have to thank Dan from Ellsworth for leaving the demo bike for another day so Tony had something ride. Good work. Now to the stuff.

From the brake standpoint, the Louise has some really cool features. For example the hose going into the caliper can rotate with the direction of the caliper, allowing for a smooth housing routing no matter where your stops are. There is a bleed valve at the lever so you don't have to remove the whole top cap and the whole lever can be removed with 1 screw, for easy replacement if broken or you want to upgrade to carbon. It just all makes sense. The Marta SL is just plain light with incredible modulation.



The Magura fork line is just now starting to get some footing, but I can say when you look closely at one of there forks you see the German manufacturing and engineering staring right back at you. You can see crisp lines and a very high-end finish. When the fork is off the bike you look at the double arch and it seems to stand out. Once on a bike however it doesn't stand out at all. Plus that double bridge is crazy stiff. One thing that I think is a prime example of Maguras attention to detail is the stainless steel drop outs and brake disc tab mounts. Perfectly aligned and won't' be crushed. They are also forward facing to counter act the braking. There Albert system is about as easy as it gets for understanding how a platform works and you don't have to be brain surgeon to use it or adjust it for you riding style. Last the servicing of the forks is easy breezy, meaning you won't have to send the fork back to the manufacturer for servicing.

Just wanted to say thanks again for stopping by and we look forward to you guys coming out again. You can get some more information at magura

Monday, November 5, 2007

Peter's Latest Word's

Peter just sent us an update...
Donate to Peter...paypal@wrenchscience.com
Hey folks,


Sorry it's been so long since I've given you guys an update. Got behind on them cause the most recent treatment was a bit harder then the first and I just didn't feel like doing much. I'll try and keep it short. After the first treatment I got about a two week break where I stayed with my parents. It was nice to be home but it was also very hard to manage the pain and I missed being in the hospital. After a bone marrow biopsy they discovered that I still had leukemic cells in me bones, so it was back to in the hospital again.

This time the chemo treatment was 40 times more potent then the last. I was so drugged that I luckily don't remember the first three weeks of treatment. Unfortunately that treatment didn't do a thing to the cancer. My cancer apparently has a chromosomal abnormality that makes it very resistant to the drugs, meaning the chemo didn't do a thing. The next treatment on the agenda is a bone marrow transplant. My sister is a perfect match so she'll be the donor, and I'm being transferred to Stanford to deal with the BMT experts. The odds aren't on my side but it is certainly better then no marrow match at all so I'll take it. Some numbers suggest that this treatment has a 1 in 5 chance of succeeding, but that doesn't really take into account that I'm young and my sister is a perfect match.

I'll be in Palo Alto for a while. The first week in the hospital they are going to blast me with radiation to kill off the leukemia. The next week they'll start me on an industrial dose of chemo. After that they'll begin infusing my sisters stem cells and I'll just be waiting for my immune system to start recovering. After I'm out of the hospital they have to monitor me everyday so I'll be living in Palo Alto in some patient housing, close enough that if there is an emergency we can jet over to Stanford. This is going to suck big time. But I it's better then dying. Ok that's all for now.


I miss you all and appreciate all the support i've been getting. Hope to see some of you soon.

-p


Peter could really use any donations you can pony up, so take some time to do something good and put the $20 you were going to use on drinks at the pub to good use.

Peters Previous Posts



You can send donations through paypal at paypal@wrenchscience.com

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Scary Ghouls


Happy Halloween!! - Thanks Blake for the Vegas Gold Sprint reminder.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Intense Cycles Press Release


Well the word is official that Intense has cut back on some of the discounters out there. We are more than pleased as it shows Intense's commitment to bettering the dealer / manufacturer relationship.


Intense Scales Back Internet Outlets


TEMECULA, CA (BRAIN)—In an effort to support its brick and mortar dealers around the globe, Intense Cycles terminated relationships with several online/mail-order retailers. Terminated dealers will continue to sell remaining stock until year's end.

“There are still places in the world where you cannot walk into a shop and purchase an Intense frame or bike, so we understand the reason for an online/mail order presence, but as we bring on more dealers, the need for multiple Internet retailers is no longer there,” said Paul Cusick, director of sales and marketing for Intense Cycles.

“The companies we have chosen to partner with have proven over the years to not only present Intense in a professional manner, hold our MSRP and provide after sales service and support, but have also promoted our brand through demo programs, race teams, open house and other events. In the short term this move may cost us some sales, but we believe that in the long term we will gain them back, and more, by supporting our dealer and distributor network.”

Intense Cycles continues to build its dealer and distributor network throughout the United States and abroad. It currently has 136 dealers and is looking to add more in certain markets.- bicycle retailer


The good news is that we are 1 of the trusted dealers and will continue to help Intense grow their brand.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Great Petersauras




Peter Togasaki Update

Donate to Peter at paypal@wrenchscience.com

You may or may not be aware of our close friend, master bike builder and MotoGP gossiper, Peter Togasaki’s debilitating medical ordeal, but perhaps you should be. He probably built your bike, a solid build that has withstood years of abuse. Diagnosed with AML Leukemia this summer, his chemotherapy treatments, as painful as they are, have not been successful. His most recent biopsy has confirmed his cancer has spread to his bloodstream.

Peter has now been transferred to Stanford University Medical Center, for his bone marrow transplant. I am asking you to join us in rallying behind Peter. Keep him in your thoughts and prayers. Make a donation to the Peter’saurus fund. Write him a note. Let him know you got his back. He needs it now, more then ever. This may be his last chance for survival, even if he will not acknowledge it.

We have never had a mechanical error under Peter’s scrutiny. His frame check, prep, set up and tuning have been flawless, infallible, beyond reproach and incapable of error. We have never even had a complaint or any other negative feedback about Peter’s work. If you have enjoyed the quality of your bike build, let Peter know how much you appreciate his skilled labor of love. We have never asked for labor charges when you buy a complete bike from Wrench Science. Let’s reward Peter, as the build quality of your bike continues to reward yourself.

What I find most amazing is the strength of Peter’s spirit. Brimming with skeptically curious confidence (reinforced by successful experience and awareness,) an engineering mentality and a comical sense of humor, Peter pours his soul into the quality of his bike builds. The quality of Peter’s work is synonymous with the Wrench Science reputation and a reflection of the quality inherent in the products we offer. Peter’s tireless work ethic is evidenced in the fact that he was working seven days a week, supporting himself through school, a difficult task in and of itself. His sister will be the marrow donor, as she is a perfect match.

While we carry on our daily operations, in a business as usual manner, the reality is everything but. We look forward to Peter’s full recovery and having him back at Wrench Science, building bikes. We have taken up Kenny Roberts’ MotoGP Team KR offer to print and feature Peter’s name on their MotoGP bike for the final round in Valencia. We ask you to carry Peter with you in your thoughts, prayers. Thank you for taking the time to read this appeal. Feel free to make a contribution at paypal@wrenchscience.com Our first round of donations solicited less then half of our goal. If you have not yet made a donation I ask you to do so now, regardless of the amount. If you have already donated, I ask that you make a second donation, as many of us have already. You can not put a price on life.

The following are excerpts from Peter, through his ordeal, in his own words.



From September 23rd 2007:

“Hi all,

Sorry for taking so long to give an update, but it's been a few rough weeks.

I was released from the hospital a couple weeks ago despite the fact that my blood count hadn't improved. So I was released with no immune system, which left my family with a huge burden of keeping me infection free. Not an easy task in the hospital and an even harder one at home. But unfortunately nothing has improved yet.

Turns out I had developed a dependency on the pain med they were giving me in the hospital and was going through withdrawal. Something no one told us and even after a trip to the ER, didn't figure out. Now I'm being weaned off the med slowly to avoid the withdrawal symptoms.

Unfortunately because I'm out of the hospital it is harder to monitor any complications, so I'm limiting the visitors until the infection risk is lower.

One kind of negative thing is my latest blood test not only revealed no improvement in my immune system, but leukemia cells as well. This could mean the first chemo round didn't put my cancer in remission and the cancer is still chugging away. The other option is that the lab is mistaken. The very medicine that I'm prescribed to produce white blood cells (it's a shot in my belly) can also look like leukemia. I've been getting those shots for a month now so it wouldn't be surprising if my system was flooded with the mistaken cells. More tests are being done and everyone is hoping that it is the second option. If that isn't the case and I still have cancer it means I'll go into the hospital for more and different treatments.

I miss you all and wish I could see you while I'm out.........stupid immune system.”


From August 23rd, 2007:

“True to character, I underestimated how hard this process was going to be. Luckily my friends and family have bailed me out and really helped me through it. Granted I haven't been through much in my life so I may not have the best perspective, but this definitely is the hardest thing I've ever done. I get a wide range of emotions day to day which aren't worth going into but it's a mix of good and bad. The side effects are pretty bad. The chemo I'm given is a pretty clean one I think, so I can't imagine what a more aggressive treatment must be like. The biggest side effect is just an overall feeling of crap. I can't really describe it, but something is just generally wrong and my body lets me know it. I immediately started to feel very drained and weak within the second day of treatment. Pretty quickly random pain starts. It's hard to pinpoint, but it seems to be all over the body, although not necessarily at the same time. Chemo attacks any rapid developing cells so your hair, intestine, mouth and stomach fall victim pretty quickly. My hair hasn't fallen out yet, apparently if you have dark hair and are Asian your hair sticks around for a while. I wish it would fall out cause right now it's just annoying and dirty. My stomach and intestines were the first major side effects I felt. A lot of pain and cramping. The nausea the meds and chemo gives is terrible. I don't want to or can't eat anything when the nausea is around, plus they don't seem to have meds that deal with it completely. My gums deteriorated and eating is difficult.

After that first week the chemo was done. YAY!!! I was left with f-ed up gums, lots of weird pain, a constant headache, nausea, no immune system but also no leukemia cells in my blood and no bone pain. The second week was just spent putting out fires. My immune system left me vulnerable to the most common bacteria, and I got an infection from some bacteria in my stomach. More nausea and a fever with some flu like symptoms was the plan for most of last week. They gave me a lot of different meds to deal with that pain and help me eat. They also started iv fluids to keep me hydrated and a broad band anti-biotic to protect me from further infection. The anti-biotic seems to be handling any infections and now we are just monitoring my blood counts and waiting for them to recover. My red blood cells dropped a bit low and they gave me a transfusion which went off without a hitch. The next transfusion was some platelets, the little guys that stop the bleeding when you get a cut. That one did not go well. I had an allergic reaction which resulted in head to toe hives that looked like TB test blisters. It wasn't painful but it was very uncomfortable and I was kinda twitching and thrashing about in bed. The staff reacted pretty quickly and gave me a couple doses of IV Benedryl and finally a IV steroid to get the reaction under control. A couple of hours later it was all gone. Luckily my friends Matt and Robyn were there with me through the transfusion, otherwise it would have been really scary. I also called my friend Rob and asked Alekist to come over to make sure the doctors did the right thing since platelet reactions aren't too common.

I guess that's it. The days run together in here so I'm missing a lot of details but I can't remember them right now. Hopefully my blood counts will recover quickly and I can get out of here. The record from start of chemo to release is 21 days so I'm aiming for that. The doctors said at least another week, probably two. We'll see. Once I get out I get a short break, a week to a month, to recover and then I go in for another round of chemo. Sucks!! I don't want to do this anymore but I don't have a choice. During the breaks between chemo I have to try and rebuild as much strength as I can to help get through the treatments in the hospital. I'm so weak! Have trouble opening water bottles weak!”

From August 7th, 2007:

“Hello friends and family,

I wish I could call all of you or talk to you in person but time doesn't really allow it. As some of you may be aware I've been having some weird medical issues for the last year or so, with more drastic problems coming in the last couple of months. After a bone marrow biopsy, they diagnosed me with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML). Sucks! Good news is that they caught it early, it hasn't entered my blood stream and some other things make me a great candidate for beating it. I'm being admitted today to start my treatments. I'll have up to three rounds of chemo. Each round is a week of chemo and then three to six weeks of recovery time after that. All that time will be spent in the hospital so I have a very boring boring boring time ahead of me. My immune system will be blasted after the chemo so I don't know what the visitor situation will be like, but if I'm allowed visitors I would love them..................don't feel obligated to visit...........I know I don't like going to hospitals. I may have my phone available to me and I'm sure I'll have limited email access. I guess that's about it. I feel fine, I'm glad I didn't pay for a haircut before this, and I love you all. Except for you! You know who you are!”