Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Gugificazione: A Definitive History

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Gugificazione: A Definitive History

Old 09-19-17, 04:56 PM
  #1  
Andy_K 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Andy_K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 13,155

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 384 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2269 Post(s)
Liked 952 Times in 480 Posts
Gugificazione: A Definitive History

In light of recent enthusiasm for the topic, I thought it fitting to attempt an answer to the oft-asked question, "What is Gugificazione?" The simple answer that it's a sort of bike modification is akin to saying that "it's a violin" is a suitable answer to the question "What is a Stradivarius?" No, to appreciate what Gugificazione truly is, we must seek to know something about the man behind the modifications. We must dig deep to uncover the legend.

Our story begins in the 1920's in the hills of northern Italy. At that time and in that place there was a small Benedictine monastery which was home to a young friar named Gugie. This particular monastery was dedicated to serving the people of the small villages in the Piedmont region. Every day the monks and friars would mount bicycles and travel to the surrounding villages offering to help the local people with common tasks, from gardening to household appliances repair, even sometimes servicing small machinery at the local factories before returning to the monastery for prayer and reflection.

Friar Gugie applied himself diligently to his daily work, yet somehow he found his soul was unfulfilled. Unfulfilled, that is, until one fateful day when he was returning his tools to the cellarer only to find the cellarer was too ill to perform his usual duties, asking Friar Gugie to return the tools to the shed himself. While doing so the young friar discovered, in a dark, long-neglected corner of the tool shed, a brazing torch. Finding himself curiously drawn to the instrument, the young friar brought it back to the ill cellarer to inquire as to its purpose. The old monk informed him that the torch had once been used to build the monastery's bicycles but that it hadn't been needed in years. The bicycles were very well built.

With much pleading, Friar Gugie obtained permission to take the brazing torch back to his cell to see if he might learn to use it. Begging a supply of brass, oxygen and acetylene from a local factory, young Gugie quickly began to master his craft. Despite repeated admonishments from the abbot about the dangers of infatuation, the determined friar spent all of his free time working with the torch.

Before long every bicycle in the monastery had been fitted with a custom front rack. Not satisfied with the handling of the bikes under their daily load, Gugie began to experiment with modifying the trail of the forks. Seeking cleaner lines, he obsessed over the fender attachment points. This obsession with bikes consumed more and more of his time until finally the abbot could see no alternative but to expel him from the monastery for the good of all who remained. Fearing for the salvation of the other monks, the abbot sent the torch with him.

Distraught, but happy to have been allowed to keep his beloved brazing torch, the young man traveled to the nearest village where he set up a makeshift shop in an abandoned dairy barn. The villagers had little use for bicycle customizations but remembering his work on their household appliances and small machinery they provided him with alms.

Seeing that the villagers, though kind, were not bringing their bicycles to him for customization, Gugie became desperate. He began sneaking into the village late at night and snatching bicycles to bring back to his shop to go under the torch. It was now the only life he could imagine living. Many a morning a Piedmont citizen awoke to find his bicycle had undergone the process we now know as Gugificazione.

At first the villagers tolerated this eccentricity, but in time they found that they could take no more. When a local farmer awoke to find his bike adorned with pump pegs that weren't suitable for display in polite company he organized a mob who came with pitchforks, rakes, and, ironically, torches to drive our Gugie across the border into France.

In France, Mssr. Gugie, as he came to be known, found a more receptive audience for his work. The French people had a profound appreciation for his front racks and low trail forks. In turn, the French introduced Mssr. Gugie to 650B wheels and center pull brakes. It was an idyllic time.

Sadly, it was not to last. With the German invasion in 1940, Mssr. Gugie packed a trunk with his trusty brazing torch and a cache of French bike bells and sought sanctuary in England. Feeling as he did a strong affinity with the French, Mssr. Gugie wanted to contribute in some way to the Allied war effort, tinkering with some ideas for brazing on useful additions to various arms and munitions, but due to his obvious Italian heritage he was viewed with much suspicion and sunk back into obscurity.

During his exile in England, Mssr. Gugie developed an appreciation for English bicycles. Although their construction was frequently sloppy, these bicycles proved to be an excellent platform for Gugificazione, and Mssr. Gugie found that with enough care they could be transformed into works of art.

Following the war, as the Americans were executing Operation Paperclip, an unknown American Colonel mistakenly identified Mssr. Gugie as a strategically important Axis scientist and he was swept up and inserted into the American military-industrial complex. This had the fortuitous side effect of providing Gugie with a regular paycheck while allowing him to continue his work in a setting that allowed him considerable freedom from expectations of useful productivity.

Eventually (some say as much as 20 years later) the mistake was discovered, and Mssr. Gugie was unceremoniously deposited into mainstream society. He attempted to find employment in the American bicycle industry, but said industry at the time had eschewed brazing in favor of electrical methods of joining bicycle tubes.

Returning to the skills developed in his youth, Gugie found work maintaining industrial machinery, but he continued to experiment on evenings and weekends in his small private workshop, producing some of the finest customized bicycles the world has ever known. Yet, sadly, his work is known only to the lucky few who have happened to cross his path.

These few beneficiaries of the master’s work have sought to commemorate and celebrate his art by having the bikes he has touched emblazoned with the label, “GUGIFICAZIONE!”

__________________
My Bikes
Andy_K is offline  
Likes For Andy_K:
Old 09-19-17, 05:42 PM
  #2  
squirtdad
Senior Member
 
squirtdad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Jose (Willow Glen) Ca
Posts: 7,604

Bikes: 85 team Miyata (modern 5800 105) , '84 Team Miyata,(dura ace old school) '82 nishiski,

Mentioned: 72 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1382 Post(s)
Liked 682 Times in 470 Posts
such a history....I never knew....... wikipedia page next i am sure
__________________
Life is too short not to ride the best bike you have, as much as you can
squirtdad is offline  
Old 09-19-17, 06:38 PM
  #3  
Andy Antipas 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Durango, CO
Posts: 280

Bikes: too many old steel bikes

Mentioned: 60 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 71 Post(s)
Liked 216 Times in 57 Posts
The Legend of Gugificazione

WOW!

Even after riding with and sitting next to the guy during a couple of meals I had no idea!

And he looks great for his age!

Andy K thank you for sharing that story!
Andy Antipas is offline  
Old 09-19-17, 07:07 PM
  #4  
Andy_K 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Andy_K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 13,155

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 384 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2269 Post(s)
Liked 952 Times in 480 Posts
Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
such a history....I never knew....... wikipedia page next i am sure
Unfortunately most of my sources have insisted on anonymity so I'm afraid this will never be up to Wikipedia's standards of documentation.
__________________
My Bikes
Andy_K is offline  
Old 09-19-17, 08:19 PM
  #5  
qcpmsame 
Semper Fi
 
qcpmsame's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Barrineau Park, Florida
Posts: 12,801

Bikes: 1980 Medici Pro Strada, 1984 Tommasini Prestige, 2012 Cannondale CAAD 10 Ultegra

Mentioned: 88 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1137 Post(s)
Liked 210 Times in 160 Posts
Amazing story, whodathunket, excellent sleuthing and research, its in the tradition of the best C&V story tellers. Two thumbs up, hope the movie rights are securred already!

Bill
__________________
Semper Fi, USMC, 1975-1977

I Can Do All Things Through Him, Who Gives Me Strength. Philippians 4:13


qcpmsame is offline  
Old 09-19-17, 08:31 PM
  #6  
Reynolds 
Passista
 
Reynolds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 7,233

Bikes: 1998 Pinarello Asolo, 1992 KHS Montaña pro, 1980 Raleigh DL-1, IGH Hybrid, IGH Utility

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 727 Post(s)
Liked 397 Times in 224 Posts
Great story! Did he ever cross paths with one Forrest Gump?
Reynolds is offline  
Old 09-19-17, 08:38 PM
  #7  
Fahrenheit531 
Must. Find. Shade.
 
Fahrenheit531's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 3,858

Bikes: Schwinn Volare ('78); Raleigh Competition GS ('79)

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 686 Post(s)
Liked 418 Times in 223 Posts
Epic!
__________________
A race bike in any era is a highly personal choice that at its "best" balances the requirements of fit, weight, handling, durability and cost tempered by the willingness to toss it and oneself down the pavement at considerable speed. ~Bandera
Fahrenheit531 is offline  
Old 09-19-17, 09:51 PM
  #8  
Andy_K 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Andy_K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 13,155

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 384 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2269 Post(s)
Liked 952 Times in 480 Posts
Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
Great story! Did he ever cross paths with one Forrest Gump?
It seems likely, doesn't it? And yet I was unable to uncover any such anecdotes. I can confirm that he briefly traveled with Yukon Cornelius, and my sources say that the Jimmy Buffet song "He Went To Paris" is loosely based on the life of Mssr. Gugie.
__________________
My Bikes
Andy_K is offline  
Likes For Andy_K:
Old 09-19-17, 11:19 PM
  #9  
Lascauxcaveman 
Senior Member
 
Lascauxcaveman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Port Angeles, WA
Posts: 7,899

Bikes: A green one, "Ragleigh," or something.

Mentioned: 182 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1577 Post(s)
Liked 467 Times in 274 Posts
[ Citation needed ]
__________________
● 1971 Grandis SL ● 1972 Lambert Grand Prix frankenbike ● 1972 Raleigh Super Course fixie ● 1973 Nishiki Semi-Pro ● 1980 Apollo "Legnano" ● 1984 Peugeot Vagabond ● 1985 Shogun Prairie Breaker ● 1986 Merckx Super Corsa ● 1987 Schwinn Tempo ● 1988 Schwinn Voyageur ● 1989 Trek 400 ● 1989 Bottechia Team ADR replica ● 1990 Cannondale ST600 ● 1993 Technium RT600 ● 1996 Kona Lava Dome ●
Lascauxcaveman is offline  
Old 09-20-17, 12:05 AM
  #10  
ThermionicScott 
working on my sandal tan
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 20,291

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)

Mentioned: 88 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2847 Post(s)
Liked 844 Times in 586 Posts
Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman View Post
[ Citation needed ]


Not to say I didn't enjoy the read.
__________________
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline  
Old 09-20-17, 02:21 AM
  #11  
Andy_K 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Andy_K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 13,155

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 384 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2269 Post(s)
Liked 952 Times in 480 Posts
__________________
My Bikes
Andy_K is offline  
Old 09-20-17, 04:54 AM
  #12  
Bianchigirll 
Bianchi Goddess
 
Bianchigirll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Shady Pines Retirement Fort Wayne, In
Posts: 27,448

Bikes: Too many to list here check my signature.

Mentioned: 145 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1983 Post(s)
Liked 805 Times in 494 Posts
..
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
Alternative facts.jpg (28.6 KB, 956 views)
__________________
Bianchis '90 Proto, '90 Campione del Fausto Giamondi Specialisma Italiano Mundo, '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '86 Volpe, '97 Ti Megatube, '93 Reparto Corse SBX

Others but still loved; '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape SLX Bertoni "Speckled Trout"
Bianchigirll is offline  
Old 09-20-17, 07:51 AM
  #13  
gugie 
Dilberteur at large
 
gugie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 9,315

Bikes: It's complicated.

Mentioned: 1018 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3329 Post(s)
Liked 1,659 Times in 849 Posts
I am Gugie, and I approve of this message.
__________________
If someone tells you that you have enough bicycles and you don't need any more, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
gugie is offline  
Old 09-20-17, 08:30 AM
  #14  
Andy_K 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Andy_K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 13,155

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 384 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2269 Post(s)
Liked 952 Times in 480 Posts
I should mention that much of the information in my tale was obtained through interviews with Mssr. Gugie himself, though unfortunately I did not take very good notes and some details may have been lost during the writing process. I will also admit that the above may contain certain minor factual errors. For instance, it was obviously only the friars, and not the monks proper, who rode out to help the Piedmont villagers.

Otherwise, I stand by what I have written.
__________________
My Bikes
Andy_K is offline  
Old 09-20-17, 08:39 AM
  #15  
clubman 
Youngman Grand
 
clubman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 7,434

Bikes: roadsters, club bikes, fixed and classic

Mentioned: 107 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1772 Post(s)
Liked 915 Times in 614 Posts
As always, unscrupulous individuals try to capitalize on the masters art. Be aware of imitators.

clubman is offline  
Likes For clubman:
Old 09-20-17, 08:55 AM
  #16  
tricky 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Upper Left, USA
Posts: 1,581
Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 482 Post(s)
Liked 254 Times in 175 Posts
Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
I should mention that much of the information in my tale was obtained through drinking with Mssr. Gugie himself, though unfortunately I did not take very good notes and some details may have been lost during the writing process. I will also admit that the above may contain certain minor factual errors. For instance, it was obviously only the friars, and not the monks proper, who rode out to help the Piedmont villagers.

Otherwise, I stand by what I have written.
ftfy.
tricky is online now  
Likes For tricky:
Old 09-20-17, 09:03 AM
  #17  
Andy_K 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Andy_K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 13,155

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 384 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2269 Post(s)
Liked 952 Times in 480 Posts
Originally Posted by tricky View Post
ftfy.
A keen observation.
__________________
My Bikes
Andy_K is offline  
Old 09-20-17, 10:06 AM
  #18  
gugie 
Dilberteur at large
 
gugie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 9,315

Bikes: It's complicated.

Mentioned: 1018 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3329 Post(s)
Liked 1,659 Times in 849 Posts
Originally Posted by tricky View Post
ftfy.
Perhaps the transcription was slightly off due to the conditions. Andy did spill some beer on his notes...
__________________
If someone tells you that you have enough bicycles and you don't need any more, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
gugie is offline  
Old 09-20-17, 11:02 AM
  #19  
qcpmsame 
Semper Fi
 
qcpmsame's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Barrineau Park, Florida
Posts: 12,801

Bikes: 1980 Medici Pro Strada, 1984 Tommasini Prestige, 2012 Cannondale CAAD 10 Ultegra

Mentioned: 88 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1137 Post(s)
Liked 210 Times in 160 Posts
Those are charcter marks on the documents, all historic records have some. It makes them look aged and important.....kind of like some C&V regulars, except me. I'm just aged, a lot.
qcpmsame is offline  
Old 09-20-17, 11:29 AM
  #20  
nlerner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 14,500
Mentioned: 358 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2327 Post(s)
Liked 2,046 Times in 1,030 Posts
When will the chapter about his siring 14 children be released?
nlerner is offline  
Likes For nlerner:
Old 09-20-17, 12:59 PM
  #21  
Dfrost 
Senior Member
 
Dfrost's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 1,726

Bikes: ‘87 Marinoni SLX Sports Tourer, ‘79 Miyata 912 by Gugificazione

Mentioned: 146 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 407 Post(s)
Liked 180 Times in 120 Posts
Let’s think about who should play Mssr. Gugie in the film adaptation.

It doesn’t seem like the sort of role in which Brad Pitt could provide appropriate gravitas, but Tom Hanks is so adaptable. Imagine however, Rowan Atkinson as young Friar Gugie gathering bikes and returning them in the late night shadows of the small Italian village.

Thank you, @Andy_K, for gathering the facts and enduring copious beer to tell this compelling story.
Dfrost is offline  
Old 09-20-17, 01:14 PM
  #22  
Jadesfire 
Senior Member
 
Jadesfire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 1,495

Bikes: '88 Bianchi, '94ish Trek

Mentioned: 43 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1080 Post(s)
Liked 127 Times in 57 Posts
Originally Posted by Dfrost View Post
Let’s think about who should play Mssr. Gugie in the film adaptation.

It doesn’t seem like the sort of role in which Brad Pitt could provide appropriate gravitas, but Tom Hanks is so adaptable. Imagine however, Rowan Atkinson as young Friar Gugie gathering bikes and returning them in the late night shadows of the small Italian village.

Thank you, @Andy_K, for gathering the facts and enduring copious beer to tell this compelling story.

Daniel-Day Lewis. He could play all ages, and he'll go through the effort of learning how to use an historically accurate torch. With the appropriate accent, to boot.
__________________
Originally Posted by LAJ View Post
Everyone thinks they have had a long strange trip, until they look at other folks' journeys. Then they realize everyone has had a long strange trip, just using different modes of transportation.
"The mystery of life isn't a problem to solve, but a reality to experience."
Jadesfire is offline  
Old 09-20-17, 01:22 PM
  #23  
squirtdad
Senior Member
 
squirtdad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Jose (Willow Glen) Ca
Posts: 7,604

Bikes: 85 team Miyata (modern 5800 105) , '84 Team Miyata,(dura ace old school) '82 nishiski,

Mentioned: 72 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1382 Post(s)
Liked 682 Times in 470 Posts
Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
I should mention that much of the information in my tale was obtained through interviews with Mssr. Gugie himself, though unfortunately I did not take very good notes and some details may have been lost during the writing process. I will also admit that the above may contain certain minor factual errors. For instance, it was obviously only the friars, and not the monks proper, who rode out to help the Piedmont villagers.

Otherwise, I stand by what I have written.
I am sure no beer was involved....I would give a citation that Mssr. Gugie is a great guy to have a beer with
__________________
Life is too short not to ride the best bike you have, as much as you can
squirtdad is offline  
Old 09-20-17, 01:31 PM
  #24  
Andy_K 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Andy_K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 13,155

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 384 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2269 Post(s)
Liked 952 Times in 480 Posts
Originally Posted by Dfrost View Post
Let’s think about who should play Mssr. Gugie in the film adaptation.

It doesn’t seem like the sort of role in which Brad Pitt could provide appropriate gravitas, but Tom Hanks is so adaptable. Imagine however, Rowan Atkinson as young Friar Gugie gathering bikes and returning them in the late night shadows of the small Italian village.

Thank you, @Andy_K, for gathering the facts and enduring copious beer to tell this compelling story.
Originally Posted by Jadesfire View Post
Daniel-Day Lewis. He could play all ages, and he'll go through the effort of learning how to use an historically accurate torch. With the appropriate accent, to boot.
I was thinking Anthony Hopkins for the older Gugie and Julie Andrews for the young friar, perhaps Adrien Brody for the French and English periods. Anyone who has met Mssr. Gugie and also seen pictures of him from his youth will know that it isn't necessary, and probably isn't even desirable, to have the same actor portray him at different times in his life.
__________________
My Bikes
Andy_K is offline  
Old 09-20-17, 01:41 PM
  #25  
Jadesfire 
Senior Member
 
Jadesfire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 1,495

Bikes: '88 Bianchi, '94ish Trek

Mentioned: 43 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1080 Post(s)
Liked 127 Times in 57 Posts
Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
I was thinking Anthony Hopkins for the older Gugie and Julie Andrews for the young friar, perhaps Adrien Brody for the French and English periods. Anyone who has met Mssr. Gugie and also seen pictures of him from his youth will know that it isn't necessary, and probably isn't even desirable, to have the same actor portray him at different times in his life.
Ah, well I am at a disadvantage. I like your casting choices.

(This is a great thread .)
__________________
Originally Posted by LAJ View Post
Everyone thinks they have had a long strange trip, until they look at other folks' journeys. Then they realize everyone has had a long strange trip, just using different modes of transportation.
"The mystery of life isn't a problem to solve, but a reality to experience."
Jadesfire is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.