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Brian and Gui: A Family Show

Chris Meacham, Brian Boger, Guillaume Nelessen - Doylestown Bike Works

Episode 27

“To quote Joe Saling, ‘You can race your bike when you’re eight and when you’re 80, it’s the exact same thing either way.'”

What would you consider a fitting outfit to ride a Penny Farthing? (Gui sides with speedos and capes.) For this week’s installment of the Talk of the T-Town, Joan sits back down with Brian and Gui to catch up on the Penny Farthing project. They talk sourcing materials, riding a Penny Farthing into a CVS, and stocking bikes during COVID. Tune in for this wacky conversation and find out which surprise celebrity guest popped in!

Chris Meacham, Brian Boger, Guillaume Nelessen - Doylestown Bike Works
Chris Meacham, Guillaume Nelessen, Brian Boger – Doylestown Bike Works


Instagram: @guinelessen @nextlevelbrian @chrismeacham 

Twitter: @LostInStudio @_chrismeacham 

Facebook: Gui Nelessen Brian Boger

Bike Works website: https://www.bikeworks.shop

Transcript

Joan Hanscom:

Welcome to the Talk of the T-Town Podcast, where we discuss all things track cycling. Broadcasting from the Valley Preferred Cycling Center, I’m your host and Executive Director, Joan Hanscom, along with my co-host, Athletic Director, Andy Lakatosh.

Joan Hanscom:

Welcome to the Talk of the T-Town Podcast, I’m Joan Hanscom, Executive Director, here at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center. I am without my usual sidekick, Andy Lakatosh, who has just finished a herculean effort of writing the schedule for the upcoming Elite, Junior, Para and Master’s National Championships, all of which are going to be hosted here at T-Town this summer. Send beer and snacks to the staff because we are going to be dead people on our feet.

Joan Hanscom:

We are joined today though by some of our favorite crew from sponsors and athletes. A return visit so to speak, a follow up visit with the Doylestown Bike Works crew, Brian Boger, Guillaume Nelessen and Chris Meacham joining us this time. Chris is new to the wacky podcast, but we’re just sitting here in the office on a Friday night and we thought it would be fun to catch up with the crew, see how things are progressing with the high wheel bike and all sorts of other wacky things that go on with Gui and crew.

Joan Hanscom:

So fellows, welcome to the show. Thanks for calling in on a Friday evening.

Chris Meacham:

Well hello. [crosstalk 00:01:37]

Joan Hanscom:

So, Gui just put the kids to bed, Brian and Chris are at the shop, which shop are you at? You now have two, the last time we talked you only had one.

Chris Meacham:

We’re here at the mothership in Doylestown.

Joan Hanscom:

The mothership in Doylestown. And we’re talking about the Doylestown Bike Works team stuff this time around, but first, let’s jump in where we last spoke. Give us an update on things like spokes Brian.

Guillaume Nelessen:

For a period of time we had gotten about half of what we needed spoke-wise so to get four of nine wheels built.

Brian Boger:

For Penny Farthings.

Guillaume Nelessen:

Yes, for the Penny Farthing project which, if we do a quick recap, we’re making giant old bicycles from a really long time ago, somewhat modernized, somewhat not, to try and break the current hour record, which was set by… Brian?

Brian Boger:

Some fine fellow from Manchester, England last year, led by Neil Laughton.

Guillaume Nelessen:

So in lieu of that, we’re building a bunch of bikes to see if we can try and break that record. We came into a couple of snags, we’re short 500 or so spokes, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s a lot.

Joan Hanscom:

Seems like a lot to me.

Guillaume Nelessen:

Yeah, we’re short a few spokes. So we had to get them shipped from Norway-

Brian Boger:

Sweden.

Guillaume Nelessen:

Sweden, whatever, it’s all the same.

Brian Boger:

It’s not the same at all.

Guillaume Nelessen:

Fjords, no fjords-

Brian Boger:

[inaudible 00:03:13] really don’t like to be from Sweden and be one in Sweden, definitely would like to be from Norway.

Guillaume Nelessen:

So we all had a really hard time getting a hold of our supplier, he apparently lost the internet for about three months, from what we’re told.

Brian Boger:

My best understanding of it is, is that there’s one source for spokes, that are what, 616mm, 14 gauge, and it’s a guy named Per-Olof Kippel, who apparently, for six months a year, lives in a cabin above the Arctic Circle and doesn’t have the internet.

Joan Hanscom:

Well that’s kind of cool though, I mean-

Brian Boger:

Well no, it’s not because it’s not like a matter of calling Shimano and hearing some nonsense story about supply and demand and Covid and all those stuff. You literally have to catch, he goes by Po, you have to catch Po when he’s below the Arctic Circle and he has the internet and his website was… I didn’t know if he was alive. So we need 500 spokes so I reach out, I hear nothing. I reach out to anyone else I know that knows anything about Penny Farthings, are like, yeah we get them from Kippel too. I’m like how is this a thing? And then amazingly he came back on the grid at the nick of time and shipped us 500 600mm 14 gauge spokes.

Guillaume Nelessen:

Yeah, we’d even talked to a guy named Russia, who makes his own using what looks like a handmade thing of pliers and a tack welder and like tacks, and hit on them and bends them in a pliers and those are his spokes. And I was like, well that’s an option if it comes down to it.

Joan Hanscom:

Seems safe.

Guillaume Nelessen:

We were really getting a little nervous.

Joan Hanscom:

Seems perfectly safe.

Brian Boger:

[crosstalk 00:04:49] We just got challenge what, a week ago, or two weeks ago and then you guys hit me with the whole rubber problem.

Joan Hanscom:

Explain the rubber problem.

Brian Boger:

So we’re $14000 deep into this project at this point and I feel like, okay I might… Thank God we have everything assembled that we would need for this and these guys are “like no, no we don’t have any rubber.” And I’m like “tell me about that” and we need to put tires on these things, that would be solid rubber tires, which would be period appropriate, they hadn’t invented the pneumatic wheel, the pneumatic tire yet. So what you basically had in the old days was garden hose companies, making rubber round and then you stretch it out around that rim with a wire and join it at the other end.

Guillaume Nelessen:

Yeah and then you would take a plier and you weave it together, you spin it on this device that tightens it down and then you kind of cut the tire to where it meets itself and it just sits on the rim.

Brian Boger:

Right and I’m in like a get it mode, we’re in Newtown, I’m like dude, I don’t want to hear any… I want to get this done. Like what do we need to do? So we call a guy in what, California, who somehow is the only person in the world who somehow has access to this rubber, which makes no sense right. And we call the guy and we’re like “hey, we want to order what 3200” or I don’t… How much rubber did we order?

Guillaume Nelessen:

300 feet, 300 feet. And the crazy part is he won’t disclose what kind of rubber it is.

Joan Hanscom:

Of course not.

Guillaume Nelessen:

So like what are we looking at, what are we buying exactly? He’s like blah blah blah blah blah. I’m like, “well can you tell us more so maybe we can like, I don’t know, go research it and maybe source it somewhere else?” But no, apparently this guy-

Joan Hanscom:

This is how he corners the market.

Guillaume Nelessen:

This is the only place. This is the only place you can get plastic.

Brian Boger:

And now we’re scrambling through our pockets for a credit card and I’m like “hey man, like, how much does it cost me?” And he’s like “I have no idea, I have to go on my website and look.” Because no one has ever called and ordered this ever from him, right. He is literally sitting by his phone 24 hours a day, waiting for someone to make this order and then when it happens, he has no idea what it costs.

Guillaume Nelessen:

But hey, at least you had color options.

Joan Hanscom:

Oh, are you going to get colored wheels?

Guillaume Nelessen:

We had black had red. I think we just opted for black.

Brian Boger:

So are we done, have we bought everything we need for this project? Are we done?

Guillaume Nelessen:

Yeah I think for the most part everything’s been purchased.

Brian Boger:

For the most part, for the most part.

Guillaume Nelessen:

Obviously, like handlebar bells need to be purchased [crosstalk 00:07:12]

Chris Meacham:

What kind of seats are we going to use?

Guillaume Nelessen:

Your own. We can’t afford that shit.

Chris Meacham:

We need to be comfortable because I feel like I saw a YouTube video where they were very uncomfy on the seats.

Guillaume Nelessen:

I feel like you’re going to want the same thing that’s on your road bike, I mean you’re welcome to borrow anytime you want-

Chris Meacham:

I don’t want-

Guillaume Nelessen:

Just in case. I knew it would be handy, I didn’t think it would ever get useful.

Chris Meacham:

Not just yet.

Joan Hanscom:

So no, that video though that you’re talking about, was the guys in the UK and the poor guy, the first guy that went for it, he was practically in tears on the bike because yeah, that was a sad video.

Guillaume Nelessen:

GCN video, yeah. [crosstalk 00:07:48]

Chris Meacham:

They had very cool colors.

Guillaume Nelessen:

The plastic mesh thing right?

Joan Hanscom:

Yeah, yeah yeah. You want your old Selle SMP, I think, is the way to go.

Guillaume Nelessen:

That’s kind of what we’re thinking.

Joan Hanscom:

That’s what I would be thinking.

Brian Boger:

So then the other problem is, so you need pacers and we’ve asked Gui a number of times if he has a sort of an idea of who he might bring into his employ to help him in this effort so perhaps you’re ready to talk about that a little bit?

Joan Hanscom:

Why yes, okay so let’s stop right there though and recap for those who might have missed the last episode. So Gui’s going for the world record on the track on the high wheel bike and it’s not just a case of Gui going out there and smashing for the hour record, right? He’s got to have sidekicks, helpers, slash pacers. And this is where we pick up the story. So Gui needs three pacers in addition to himself to do the hour record the way it’s done officially. So where are we?

Guillaume Nelessen:

So we kind of… I kind of stalled because I didn’t want to really talk to anyone like, hey we’re doing this cool thing and then we get on the bikes and hey, all the bikes break.

Joan Hanscom:

Good plan.

Guillaume Nelessen:

So my thought was a little bit maybe conservative, maybe selfish, to say let’s build the bikes, let’s test the bikes, let’s make sure they actually ride straight et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. So since we’re in the interest of get it done, kind of lean a little bit further forward with that, so I talked to Meacham actually yesterday about joining me and I think we’re going to probably… I have two other options. I want to talk to them before I out them. Luckily I still have the help of Bobby Lee and Bill Elliston, so they’re going to guide us through lap splits and power and all of that crap once we have the bikes.

Guillaume Nelessen:

But again, we need the bikes to figure all that stuff out, so there we’re still in the same spot. So at this point it’s me, Chris Meacham and there’re two other sods who next time we talk, will join us.

Joan Hanscom:

All right.

Guillaume Nelessen:

I think it’ll be three for the attempt.

Joan Hanscom:

To be determined. But Chris, all right, this is your first time on the pod, welcome. What do you think about this endeavor here?

Chris Meacham:

I’m pretty excited, I don’t really know what to expect. Like the going as hard as you can for an hour thing will be interesting, so I don’t know. I feel like once we do the early morning training sessions that Gui was getting me all scared for I’ll have a better understanding. Really just right now I’m thinking about how I have to sit for an hour and I don’t do that typically on a road bike because you’re always, you can stand up every five or 10 minutes, I’m just thinking about sitting. That’s all. That’s all my brain is wrapped around right now.

Guillaume Nelessen:

How many times have you ridden a Penny Farthing?

Chris Meacham:

I’ve ridden them in parking lots in my socks.

Brian Boger:

So if you stand at our front door and you look just across the street and downhill, there’s a CVS drugstore. And if you get on a Penny Farthing after a couple of beverages, if you do it correctly and you time it, you can go through the front doors of the CVS timed doors into the store and that’s a technical course and I’ve seen Chris do that so I feel strong about his abilities.

Chris Meacham:

So we’re all sitting around the cash register slash bar here and we’ve had a few beverages as Brian said and the Penny Farthing is sitting there and they’re all talking about how difficult it is to ride. And I was like, “I can ride that”. But I’m not going to ride it on my road shoes because they’re carbon soles, I would slip right off of the peg on the back of the pedals so I ended up doing it in my socks. And it was enjoyable.

Joan Hanscom:

Going into the CVS, how was that received?

Brian Boger:

The general manager from CVS did take an occasion the next day to come by and asked us not to that again, that did happen. He was laughing about it so I don’t feel like it was a big deal but-

Chris Meacham:

He’s a boring guy.

Brian Boger:

Yeah, yeah.

Chris Meacham:

He’s not cool.

Guillaume Nelessen:

Come on guys, can you please never do that again.

Joan Hanscom:

Never bring the Penny Farthing in the front door again.

Brian Boger:

Right, that did happen yeah.

Joan Hanscom:

Yeah, ha! We should clearly work in Doylestown, it sounds like it’s more fun.

Brian Boger:

But Chris had ridden on a velodrome before.

Chris Meacham:

Yeah, I’ve raced on the velodrome for a while so-

Joan Hanscom:

Did you race here in 19 or just prior to that?

Chris Meacham:

I don’t remember, I think-

Brian Boger:

Yeah you’ve raced in 19-

Guillaume Nelessen:

He’s had a couple of nights in 19.

Chris Meacham:

Yes and-

Brian Boger:

You did the Madison with Wes Kline.

Chris Meacham:

That I did the Madison with Wes Kline and I started racing on the track when I think I was nine in the Air Products program, I think we talked a little about this before and then it was really consistent every summer and then I just started road racing so I’d sprinkle in racing at the velodrome with that. Obviously it’s great training and it’s a good time so.

Joan Hanscom:

I know, and we’re going to have racing this summer so you’re going to come race this summer. [crosstalk 00:13:00]

Chris Meacham:

That is hopeful, I’m going to be there.

Brian Boger:

I bought this guy skinsuits and everything.

Chris Meacham:

I’m not going to wear a skinsuit though, I refuse.

Brian Boger:

I got him a skin… You have one in my car.

Chris Meacham:

Yeah, that’s right.

Guillaume Nelessen:

It’s birthday suits only.

Joan Hanscom:

You got to wear the skinsuit for the hour record attempt.

Guillaume Nelessen:

You were wearing it earlier when we were-

Chris Meacham:

I mean, where I’m going to be is like perfectly upright, I don’t think the skinsuit is going to make a difference. It’s like you’re [crosstalk 00:13:25]

Guillaume Nelessen:

We’ll get you all worked up.

Chris Meacham:

Oh my gosh, didn’t they have the helmets on-

Brian Boger:

They had aero helmets!

Chris Meacham:

That was insane, that’s not going to make a difference.

Brian Boger:

It’s more than gains.

Guillaume Nelessen:

We’ve got to talk to our aerodynamic specialist about that.

Joan Hanscom:

I do question the wisdom of the bell however from an aerodynamics perspective Gui. Ding ding.

Guillaume Nelessen:

How can you have a Penny Farthing without a bell?

Joan Hanscom:

Yeah, but it’s not aero. What does that do to your drag?

Guillaume Nelessen:

I’m a seven foot high brick facing forward and upright.

Chris Meacham:

My point exactly, why do we have aero skinsuits?

Guillaume Nelessen:

We should actually all do it wearing little gold capes and Speedos, like what’s the difference?

Joan Hanscom:

Oh I would pay money for that.

Guillaume Nelessen:

He wasn’t complaining about the skinsuit when he was trying it on half an hour ago.

Chris Meacham:

I wasn’t… That was the bibs and the jersey.

Guillaume Nelessen:

Whatever.

Chris Meacham:

Which by the way, our bibs are finally long enough Gui. Sure you’re excited about-

Guillaume Nelessen:

You blushing right now or…

Chris Meacham:

I’m just excited that our bibs are long enough. They were like cheeky shorts.

Brian Boger:

Thank you to Pactimo for making the bib length up to Chris Meacham’s standards this year.

Joan Hanscom:

I’m just glad that boys talk about this too. You all sound like a bunch of [crosstalk 00:14:32]

Brian Boger:

These are kits that he gets for free. And it’s always like, “I don’t know, the cuffs’ a little longer than last year, I don’t know, is this flatlock stitch?” I’m like oh, would you ride your bike? Oh my God. [crosstalk 00:14:44]

Guillaume Nelessen:

I think the fact that you’re not checking out his short fit anymore and being like “there seems to be a little extra room in the crotch.”

Chris Meacham:

Exactly.

Joan Hanscom:

Cue Gui [crosstalk 00:14:53] use the prop. All right. There you go, Gui’s prop. I’m glad we’re not a video pod. So the bikes are on their way to being built now?

Brian Boger:

Yeah, the only thing we have left to do is link together some wheels, which isn’t a big deal, it’s been going on for 150 years, I don’t know why it’s such… We’re going to get it done.

Guillaume Nelessen:

Yeah we really need one day where three heads need to get into the shop and just… Because we have three different wheel sizes with two different hubs so unfortunately it’s not like we’re just cutting a thousand spokes to the same lengths so we do have… It’s just a little bit of legwork that needs to be done and a little bit of math.

Brian Boger:

Trigonometry [crosstalk 00:15:37]

Guillaume Nelessen:

The three heads need to just be in the same room for a day, just to knock this part out. After that the rest is literally just assembling the bike. So in theory, maybe within a couple of weeks we’ll actually have… Yeah, because the rubber will be here next week so, in a couple of weeks we [inaudible 00:15:51]

Brian Boger:

That’s going to be a great day when at our business, a shipment of 300 feet of solid round rubber shows up for Penny Farthings. That’s going to be an amazing business day.

Guillaume Nelessen:

Weirder things have shown up.

Joan Hanscom:

Yeah, no doubt. So your rubber only comes from one guy in California, your spokes only-

Guillaume Nelessen:

That didn’t know the price of his own products.

Joan Hanscom:

And the spokes only come from a guy in Norway, yeah, this is… You all are going to the literal ends of the earth for this project. I like it. I like it. All right, so I have to ask you, side bar, because we talked about River Road the last time you were on the pod. So I’m out there last weekend and I’m doing my little intervals and there’s a dude in an orange thing. Have you seen this guy?

Brian Boger:

Oh yeah, he’s our customer in Newtown.

Guillaume Nelessen:

The little speed race bullet?

Joan Hanscom:

Yeah!

Guillaume Nelessen:

I’ve seen him, I don’t know him, you guys know him.

Brian Boger:

We just fixed it in Newtown.

Joan Hanscom:

Okay I knew you’d know him. So I catch up to him on an uphill section and I’m thinking I’m going to pass him because I caught him from a long way out. That thing goes wicked fast downhill.

Brian Boger:

Yeah.

Guillaume Nelessen:

Wicked aero.

Joan Hanscom:

It doesn’t have a bell though Gui. [crosstalk 00:17:05]

Guillaume Nelessen:

Anything at all. Think about it.

Joan Hanscom:

Is it a bike, is he peddling in there? Does it have a motor? What is it?

Guillaume Nelessen:

Oh it’s like a glorified recumbent in a carbon fiber peanut shell.

Brian Boger:

I looked it up, it actually has a name and when I’m in State College which is my home away from home, there’s a guy who rides one to work everyday from a nearby Community State College, a Professor. It’s got a windshield and the whole bit. It’s pretty cool.

Joan Hanscom:

It looked like Easter candy, you know those candy coated eggs that are marshmallow eggs but they’re candy coated? Like shiny and hard and that’s what it looked like. He look like he was riding a big Easter egg up the-

Brian Boger:

Especially if you rode that on a velodrome you could do an hour record a lot easier than a Penny Farthing Gui.

Joan Hanscom:

Talk to the guy, next time he brings it into the shop.

Guillaume Nelessen:

I would bet that there’s probably a speed record ridden in one of those things.[crosstalk 00:17:59]

Brian Boger:

Yeah and he probably race it-

Guillaume Nelessen:

I bet the bike speed record is done on one of those.

Joan Hanscom:

He looked like he belonged at Bonneville, that’s for sure.

Chris Meacham:

I thought it was done on a volcano.

Guillaume Nelessen:

Like on a [crosstalk 00:18:10] salt flat or something.

Joan Hanscom:

Yeah, Bonneville, that’s it. He looks like he belonged out there, doing the land speed record. It’s crazy though but I knew you’d know him.

Brian Boger:

Yeah, it was exciting to see him come into the shop and I put it on the Facebook and everything.

Joan Hanscom:

Oh no way.

Brian Boger:

It was cool.

Joan Hanscom:

Well I passed him in real life. And it goes fast downhill.

Brian Boger:

You see all kinds of people. You saw Bill Solloway on his Penny Farthing, now you’ve seen this gentleman.

Guillaume Nelessen:

You’ve skaters on 29?

Joan Hanscom:

Weirdly enough, you know them all.

Brian Boger:

We don’t know the speed skaters.

Guillaume Nelessen:

I’ve seen them a lot, they’ll do… I’ve seen as many as seven speed skaters, speed skating team pursuit style down 29, at 25 miles per hour.

Brian Boger:

Fruit looters.

Chris Meacham:

That’s a good point, are we going to be motor pacing on the Penny Farthings on 29?

Guillaume Nelessen:

Oh yes!

Chris Meacham:

I think that’s something that we need to do.

Guillaume Nelessen:

Dave has a box truck. We could totally do it behind the box truck.

Chris Meacham:

Just in case someone pulls out in front of him, we’ll have literally no idea. [crosstalk 00:19:08]

Guillaume Nelessen:

Put a matrass in the box truck, this way if you hit the back of it you’ll go into the box truck.

Chris Meacham:

Slamming in the box truck and then-

Guillaume Nelessen:

It’s perfect!

Chris Meacham:

Yeah.

Guillaume Nelessen:

Done.

Chris Meacham:

Wow. That was so easy to plan.

Joan Hanscom:

All right.

Chris Meacham:

It will be just like a cartoon.

Joan Hanscom:

Dear listeners, I recommend hanging out on Route 29 because that’s where you see all the crazy shit. All right, so we’re going to be motor pacing behind a box truck full of mattresses on Route 29 racing the guy in the orange hard shell Easter egg, it’s all good. Ride on.

Guillaume Nelessen:

Can I go for speed skaters then?

Brian Boger:

Oh and you have to believe who’s at the front door, hang on. How you doing? Come on in.

Guillaume Nelessen:

Maybe it’s Kippel.

Brian Boger:

We’re recording a podcast.

Justin Guarini:

Oh amazing!

Brian Boger:

Can you sing something for us real quick? Just a couple of bars.

Justin Guarini:

Oh yeah?

Brian Boger:

Yeah.

Justin Guarini:

A couple bars, bust out a couple bars. Hey! What’s up everybody?

Joan Hanscom:

Who’s this-

Brian Boger:

Do you know who that is?

Joan Hanscom:

No, who’s our guest?

Brian Boger:

This is Justin Guarini.

Justin Guarini:

Little hard to tell.

Joan Hanscom:

Welcome Justin.

Brian Boger:

You know him because the character on the commercial for-

Justin Guarini:

Lil’ Sweet.

Brian Boger:

Lil’ Sweet from Dr Pepper.

Justin Guarini:

American Idol?

Brian Boger:

Do you need anything from us?

Justin Guarini:

Yeah I do actually, I wanted to see if you could…

Guillaume Nelessen:

Apparently you need to hang out in Doylestown.

Joan Hanscom:

Apparently. It’s where it’s all happening. So Chris, are you confident in your ability to pace Gui to this hour record?

Chris Meacham:

I have no idea. That’s what I was… We were talking the other night and I mean I’ve been training on a regular bike and I’m confident in that. I think I just have to ride on the Penny Farthing, we’ll see. So yeah, I guess I’m confident.

Brian Boger:

So no pressure but the guy who paced Bill Rowe in 1893 was George Hendee who is the most famous cyclist of his day, and went on to found Indian Motorcycles. What have you done?

Chris Meacham:

I would like to find a motorcycle company. I think that would be really cool.

Brian Boger:

What kind of things have you accomplished in your time?

Chris Meacham:

Yeah, I got engaged. Graduated from college.

Brian Boger:

You didn’t found a motorcycle company?

Chris Meacham:

No I haven’t done that yet. So he did this things after that time?

Brian Boger:

Yeah after that.

Chris Meacham:

Yeah, so we’re good.

Joan Hanscom:

You have time.

Chris Meacham:

I’ll be retired from this whole event and then I’ll do something impressive enough for Brian I guess.

Joan Hanscom:

But see this is your first step building the foundation on your way to greatness.

Chris Meacham:

Other than bike racing I just have done normal things.

Joan Hanscom:

All right. So Gui, are you going to race other bikes this year?

Guillaume Nelessen:

That’s the hope. I think this year is kind of going to be for me the same that it is for I think for a lot of people that I talk to, just play it by ear, see how racing goes. I’m planning on racing and honestly I’m actually really not disappointed with the delayed start to racing, because I always race like crap in spring anyway. So yeah, I plan on racing. I hope. As long as there’s not some freakish turn of events that I’m really not hoping for but I’m vaccinated so, go from there.

Joan Hanscom:

We did a podcast with Bobby Lee last week, and Bobby Lee mentioned that you may be doing some Madison in September. Is this true?

Guillaume Nelessen:

If he said it then it’s probably true.

Joan Hanscom:

Ride on, there we go. We have confirmation. You and Bobby, doing the Madison.

Brian Boger:

I know you’re going to have to edit this part out, but that was kind of amazing… I’ve actually left the front door unlocked and a celebrity walked through the front door. That was really weird.

Joan Hanscom:

No I like it, we’re not editing it out. He sang, we’re keeping it.

Brian Boger:

Yeah.

Joan Hanscom:

That was great.

Chris Meacham:

That was the first time I’ve met him person to person and I didn’t even say anything-

Brian Boger:

He was the number two guy in the first year of American Idol, to someone famous, I forget. But he’s our next door neighbor here at the shop.

Chris Meacham:

Justin Timberlake he lost, no I have no idea who he lost to.

Brian Boger:

Was like Pink or something.

Joan Hanscom:

You could have told me that and I would have believed it because I think I’m the only person in America who has not watched this show ever.

Brian Boger:

I think he lost to Carrie Underwood.

Chris Meacham:

He was good on American Idol, when American Idol was a thing. Like a really big thing that everyone watched, like when there are more voters in American Idol than voters in the Presidential election.

Joan Hanscom:

Wow. And I still have not ever seen American Idol, I’m embarrassed to admit. [crosstalk 00:23:36]

Brian Boger:

Now he’s Lil’ Sweet on this Dr Pepper [crosstalk 00:23:39]

Joan Hanscom:

All right, so we’re going to get the bikes built, Chris is going to be a pacer. Brian, you are going to sponsor some bike racing here at the velodrome this summer, because we are going to have bike racing, starting next Saturday by the way. So yeah, you are going to bring the crew out right, for the traditional Doylestown Bike Works sponsors the golden wheel race has a good night out here, brings your friends out. We excited for this? And you’ve got a whole bunch of athletes on your team that are racing at the track this year.

Brian Boger:

Yeah on a serious note, obviously it’s been a challenging year for everybody, for sure, and it’s been a challenging year I’m quite sure for all of you up in Lehigh High Valley at the Velodrome and for those of us working in retail. But, and talking with my partners here in the business, one of the things that we were really committed to was supporting things that are near and dear to our hearts with cycling. So we’re really excited to be back as sponsors of the velodrome in 2021 and to that end I feel like just as important of an obligation is to not just kind of show up with a cheque but show up with athletes on the track and you and I have spoken about it in the past but my goal is for one day for our little bike team to grow in the sense that we’re not just sort of importing racers from other teams but start to home grow some folks.

Brian Boger:

And I have a particular interest in home growing some women racers as well and I know that, that’s something that you all are committed to increasing in the track so those are the goals this year. Some of the women racing with us this year are people that are well known to you like Jessica Chong and Danielle Shumskas. But there’s another woman here in Bucks County who’s been racing collegially down in Virginia, named Bethany Matsick and she’s been racing down in South Carolina and she’s excited to come up and start racing at Valley Preferred Cycling Center as well so, really looking forward to increasing our representation on the track.

Joan Hanscom:

Now you see that we are of course with our 50-50 and 50 initiative super glad to hear any time a team wants to focus on growing the women side of the sport, it makes us even more keen to work together and partner of stuff because that matters. It matters because you want to have representation of the sport, grow the female part of the sport but it’s also a business thing right? If you have 50% of the buying power and you’re not bringing them to the table with your sport, it doesn’t make sense and I would imagine that it’s sort of the same for you in the bike industry right? You want… That’s a customer base you want to touch too.

Brian Boger:

I came from a different sport into cycling, I came from the niche sport of ultimate Frisbee, which is also a grassroots sport and during the time that I was involved in it, we really grew that sport into quite a colossal thing. And a huge part of that was growing the women side of that sport, which in the beginning it would seem just as daunting as what I’ve encountered in my brief life in cycling. But coming from that experience, I know how much it improved that sport as a whole, to have that whole community. That’s one of the strongest things that I’ve encountered in both cycling and in ultimate Frisbee is just the sense of community.

Brian Boger:

And something that I know how important it is, even as people age out of sports, I still feel just as connected to that community so that’s where your support comes from, it’s from those alumni and those people that maybe aren’t competing anymore but are still interested in the next generation and growing the activity so I’d like to see that same kind of success that we had in that replicated in cycling.

Joan Hanscom:

Yeah, me too. Me too! So you guys have a bunch of people that are going to come out and race at the track this year, like we said, we’ve got the late breaking news of last week when we found out we were having Elite, Junior and Para Nationals here, in addition to Master’s Nationals. How does that impact the team? How does that impact what you all are doing?

Brian Boger:

Well I think especially this year where the schedule for road and crit cycling is so dynamic and so fluid right now, a lot of the folks on our team have indicated more of a commitment to track cycling than ever before because it’s something that we can at least predict is happening. And even for those athletes who maybe were focused more into road or crit, it gives then a venue to train and to compete and as Chris mentioned earlier, we know that, that’s where our bike racers are born, is on the track. So I think maybe in some way more participation in track cycling this year.

Joan Hanscom:

Let’s hope, let’s hope! Because you know-

Guillaume Nelessen:

It’s a bit of an interesting phenomenon that’s happened since Covid, because when I first came to Doylestown was the end of 19, right?

Brian Boger:

Yes sir.

Guillaume Nelessen:

So I literally, the day before the Doylestown crit, we had a team meeting with them as to what they wanted to grow their team into. And this was a team meeting not with Brian and the owners of the shop and me, but Brian, the entirety of the team and me. And they wanted to create a team that wasn’t anything that a team is thought of in a normal cyclist’s mind, like not a crit team, not a mountain bike team, not a track team, not a fondo team.

Guillaume Nelessen:

They wanted to create a schedule with a group of people that could do a little bit of everything. Imagine taking all of the jackasses that are willing to ride the track sometimes, ride in the woods sometimes, avoid cyclo-cross because it’s dumb, race a couple of crits, do a couple of fondos and put them on a team, be like okay here, we’re going to put a 40 race schedule, a 40 race season together and you have to do 25 of them. And then use things like local crits and local training races to teach guys how to race but then let them kind of disperse.

Chris Meacham:

I think we were kind wondering how to manage that.

Guillaume Nelessen:

Right.

Chris Meacham:

We were kind of inspired by the… I don’t know if anyone else watches the EF Pro Cycling videos on YouTube? Oh I love them, I all watch them on repeat when I’m on the trainer. And they’re just… When I’m riding the trainer. Why are you making a funny face? Oh okay. So they’re world tour pro cyclist that are like “hey I want to go you know race Leadville, I’m going to go race like Dirty Kanza.” And it’s entertaining because they’re all funny cool dudes and they go do these cool races so that was kind of where I was coming from with that and a lot of guys sort of agreed and that was their idea as well and that’s why this year I’m doing a couple of gravel races and doing Leadville along with a bunch of my teammates and then we’re also doing all the local crits.

Chris Meacham:

Not all. We’re doing a few of the local crits. As many as we can. As well as racing at the track and I might even be seeing you at a cyclo-cross race. So it’s like this alternative calendar that just keeps everyone stoked about bike racing, all types and forms and everything.

Joan Hanscom:

But I think that’s how people play bikes now right?

Chris Meacham:

You have to.

Joan Hanscom:

A thousand years ago when I first started racing, my first season of racing, I raced every weekend, twice, Saturday Sunday, every weekend from February until August when there were no more races to do. And it was just crits, every weekend you went and you raced a crit. From February to August. And now nobody does that. We play all the bikes, so you Chris, I’m looking at my first crits that might happen, but I’m already registered for a fondo, and two gravel races. Well the fondo because there are no other road races, road racing doesn’t seem to be a thing anymore, but yeah, you have to play all the bikes now.

Chris Meacham:

Well you’re a bike racer. People who just, oh I’m a crit racer, it’s like you can’t really get away with that anymore. You’ve got to be a bike racer.

Joan Hanscom:

Right, race all the bikes.

Chris Meacham:

Yeah.

Brian Boger:

I don’t want to forget to thank the people that are sponsoring our team, our title sponsor’s is Fred Beans which is the largest car dealership here in Doylestown and they’ve been incredibly supportive of this because they saw it… They like us live here in the neighborhood and have been watching the Bucks County Classic for years and were like, “hey why can’t we have local kids, why can’t we have local athletes that participate in this?” So hugely thankful to them for joining in this vision, and the guys will give me a hard time about it later, but I take a lot of pride in the fact that our kids look like a NASCAR team because a ton of our friends and neighbors and club riders here in Doylestown were like “hey I want to throw in some dollars too, I want to see a local team that supports local athletes and looks to bring in the next generation of bike racers” so they’re all listed on our website and I won’t stand here and list them all but incredibly thankful to our community for supporting us.

Joan Hanscom:

I think that’s rad and I think that’s… You made the point earlier that bike racing is a grassroots sport and for better or worse, that’s how we do it. And that’s what matters. It’s what matters here at the track too right? We have our big sponsors with Valley Preferred and we have Valley Health Network and for them we are incredibly grateful but we have a whole bunch of little people that make it… Little donors, little sponsors that make it all possible too and I think that, that’s a really important thing for people to recognize in our sport, is that we just have to have gratitude for everybody that enables us to play the game and who appreciates it but gets that it’s a grassroots thing. This isn’t sadly NASCAR for budget wise but it’s-

Brian Boger:

For all the horrible things that’ve happened in the last year, how cool is it that the reason why there’s no bikes for sale in this bike shop right now, is forgetting all the other things that are going on, is demand. It’s because when it all came down to it, people made a decision that they wanted to go outside and start participating in life and get off of their devices and stop [inaudible 00:34:23]. And bicycling as opposed to almost every other sport I participated in is something that every single person to some extent can participate in. And so that’s why there’s no bikes in the bike shop, because demand. Because people want to be out there.

Joan Hanscom:

Right and to that point, you said earlier when you age out of your sport. The nice thing about our sport is you don’t actually have to age out.

Guillaume Nelessen:

To quote Joe Saling, “you can race your bike when you’re eight and when you’re 80, it’s the exact same thing either way.”

Joan Hanscom:

And it’s true and it’s kind of awesome and that’s how I plan on getting my National Championship. I will win when I’m 80 because I will still be going and all the other old ladies will have given up. And I’ll finally get one. It’s war of attrition, there you go, you heard it here first folks. Well very cool, so Gui, when we were last talking about the whole hour record thing, not to go back to that but I’m going to because I love it. What’s the target date now? Target date?

Guillaume Nelessen:

None.

Brian Boger:

Stop it, stop it!

Joan Hanscom:

No you can’t do that.

Guillaume Nelessen:

Target date, it’s hard to say. I don’t want to say anything without having the bikes.

Joan Hanscom:

Okay I get you, I get you.

Guillaume Nelessen:

I want to make sure those bikes actually work. Because if they don’t all of this is for naught.

Brian Boger:

212 degrees I need you at. I’m getting 211 degrees right now. I don’t want this negative Nancy nonsense.

Guillaume Nelessen:

I would say the end of month of June, beginning of July, puts me in a pretty happy place if not, end of August, early September.

Joan Hanscom:

Okay.

Guillaume Nelessen:

So I’d say around July fourth or around Labor Day.

Chris Meacham:

Sounds like a nice time.

Joan Hanscom:

Personally I’m going to push you to Labor Day. That would be my personal wish because we got a few things happening in July here.

Guillaume Nelessen:

Yeah but nothing at 5:30 in the morning when I want to actually do it.

Joan Hanscom:

Well that’s true but we want to have people come out and cheer for you and-

Chris Meacham:

Doing it at 5:30 in the morning? [inaudible 00:36:57] I was never told this.

Guillaume Nelessen:

There’s a lot of things I haven’t filled in Chris about.

Joan Hanscom:

Chris is learning right here, right now. What, 5:30?

Guillaume Nelessen:

I know your PRL coach, there’s a lot of things you weren’t told.

Chris Meacham:

But why am I learning these things right now?

Guillaume Nelessen:

It’s all okay, the sun heats the concrete and the air cools-

Chris Meacham:

I don’t want to know the physics of it, I just want to know time. I don’t care.

Brian Boger:

The other beautiful things about bike racers is that they’re not necessarily always the brightest and Chris we weren’t going to fill you in on anything if you didn’t absolutely need to know it and absolutely need to know it. Just ride your bike, ride your bike, you’re fine, you’re good.

Guillaume Nelessen:

You want to hear a good one? So we did find out just trying to do a little work, because when Brian’s like “hey we’re going to do another podcast.” And I was like “hey we have nothing to talk about.” Obviously not the case.

Joan Hanscom:

Obviously not.

Guillaume Nelessen:

Let me do a little bike research. So I start poking around and doing a little bike research and I was like, well let’s figure out what the gear actually is. So the gear on a 52 inch bike, considering it’s not like a bike, but the roll-out is 163 inches.

Joan Hanscom:

What the hell!

Guillaume Nelessen:

I was nuts!

Joan Hanscom:

I’ve never even ridden to like a 100-

Guillaume Nelessen:

Put a 163 inch gear on it, let’s do an hour record.

Joan Hanscom:

So like-

Brian Boger:

Yeah but it’s so laterally stiff that I don’t think it will overcome a lot of things right?

Chris Meacham:

I’m going to be doing like 40 rpm’s.

Guillaume Nelessen:

That’s the crazy part, a 163 inch gear, it’s like, I think you know what that is. [crosstalk 00:38:24] 62-12.

Chris Meacham:

That is absurd. These are the things that we need, that I need to know or-

Brian Boger:

No, why do you need to know it? How’s it going to change anything?

Chris Meacham:

Oh my God.

Brian Boger:

Ride your bike.

Chris Meacham:

It’s like me riding 53-11 at 10 miles an hour.

Guillaume Nelessen:

Up a hill. Except at 24 point something miles an hour, because that’s what we need to do.

Chris Meacham:

That is just bonkers. So you’re saying a 52 inch, you said that it was a 52 inch?

Guillaume Nelessen:

52 inch bike yeah, everyone I’m thinking is probably going to be on a 52.

Chris Meacham:

Okay.

Guillaume Nelessen:

Just based on their size.

Chris Meacham:

What size jeans do you wear?

Guillaume Nelessen:

What? What do you know about this? Where are you going with this?

Chris Meacham:

What is the length of your jeans?

Guillaume Nelessen:

32.

Chris Meacham:

All right so we’re close enough. I’ll just go off the beat because I don’t want to get anything more precise than that, because I know it’s going to be awesome.

Guillaume Nelessen:

So I feel like we’re all going to be on 52’s. So we’re all going to be… and I think the only thing that’s going to make a difference is going to be the crank length but we’ll see once we put power pedals on these things and go to the track and play.

Joan Hanscom:

All right.

Chris Meacham:

I’m excited.

Joan Hanscom:

Well we’re looking forward to that. And seeing the bikes built.

Guillaume Nelessen:

Next time, next time.

Joan Hanscom:

Next time, yeah well that’s it, we’ll check in again. You’ll send me a text when you have the bikes built and we’ll maybe do a video podcast that day and see if we can’t do something fun with video to support and yeah, okay no.

Guillaume Nelessen:

Talk to the people to see the asses.

Joan Hanscom:

This is a family show Gui!

Chris Meacham:

He found it on the side of the road.

Guillaume Nelessen:

I didn’t find it on the side of the road.

Joan Hanscom:

Who did find it on the side of the road?

Guillaume Nelessen:

David Wells.

Joan Hanscom:

That does not surprise me.

Chris Meacham:

I just picture him riding with it hanging out of his back pocket.

Guillaume Nelessen:

I have the picture if you want to see it.

Joan Hanscom:

Of course we do.

Guillaume Nelessen:

It looks like this.

Joan Hanscom:

I just hope you cleaned it. That’s all.

Guillaume Nelessen:

I’m sure it’s cleaned so many times. I have no worries that it’s not clean.

Chris Meacham:

I would be picking that thing up like looking like I’m at Chernobyl, in one of those nuclear disaster suits.

Guillaume Nelessen:

It was a winter ride so he had gloves on.

Joan Hanscom:

My God. All righty. So this has been our Friday night catch up with Gui and the Doylestown Bike Works crew and I’m really glad that we don’t have video of this podcast because it’s a family show and we look forward to seeing you out here on the high wheel bikes Gui. This has been the Talk of the T-Town Podcast. If you like our show, please leave a positive review, where you consume your pods, Spotify, Apple iTunes, Stitcher, anywhere that you get pods, please leave a positive review, it helps us grow the show. Thank you so much and we’ll tune in next week.

Joan Hanscom:

This has been the Talk of the T-Town Podcast with host Joan Hanscom and Andy Lakatosh. Thanks for joining us for this week’s episode brought to you by B Braun Medical Inc. Head on over to our website, thevelodrome.com where you can check out the show notes and subscribe so you’ll never miss an episode.