Wednesday, May 6, 2015

his posts always ended with the exhortation “Ride Bike!”

Influential Bay Area cycling personality Jobst Brandt (80) has died after a long illness, in Palo Alto.
The paragraph below is excerpted from "Land of Second Chances", spiced up with Jobst content.

"A key figure in Tom's Richey's development was Jobst Brandt, an engineer from Hewlett-
Packard who was a friend of his father's. In West Germany, Brandt had been the designer of 
the Porsche 911 braking system, and later in his life, he would achieve renown on cycling 
websites as a cantankerous retrogrouch with purist views of the sport. When Tom met 
Brandt, he was in his forties and famous for the sadistic rides that he led around the Bay 
Area. Brandt's routes would take the group on and off road — something unheard-of at the time — and were as punishing on their bodies as on the bicycles. In winter he would climb the highest peaks of the Sierra Nevada before the snowplows; in summer, he would ride through the heat until his young crew was pleading for a break. His unforgiving stance — he would not wait if anyone dropped behind for either mechanical or physical reasons — is one that Tom still subscribes to even now. The reason Brandt's acolytes put up with the strictures was that no one else could find trails as stunning and untouched.

If you've built your own bike wheels or ridden up and down Alpine peaks, or can
remember "Usenet newsgroups" you'll probably have heard of Mr. Brandt. Or if you
tried teaching yourself how to author webpages back in the 90's, and these webpages
happened to embed images of the legendary/vertiginous Stelvio Pass near Bormio,
Italy, you may have even received an email out of the blue, and not necessarily a
friendly email, yet a memorable one, from the person shown here atop the Stelvio Pass.

So ... Ride Bike!

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