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Gugificazione: A Definitive History

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Gugificazione: A Definitive History

Old 09-19-17, 04:56 PM
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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!”

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Old 09-19-17, 05:42 PM
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such a history....I never knew....... wikipedia page next i am sure
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Old 09-19-17, 06:38 PM
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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!
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Old 09-19-17, 07:07 PM
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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.
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Old 09-19-17, 08:19 PM
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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!

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Old 09-19-17, 08:31 PM
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Great story! Did he ever cross paths with one Forrest Gump?
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Old 09-19-17, 08:38 PM
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Epic!
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Old 09-19-17, 09:51 PM
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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.
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Old 09-19-17, 11:19 PM
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[ Citation needed ]
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Old 09-20-17, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman View Post
[ Citation needed ]


Not to say I didn't enjoy the read.
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Old 09-20-17, 02:21 AM
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Old 09-20-17, 04:54 AM
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..
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Alternative facts.jpg (28.6 KB, 994 views)
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Old 09-20-17, 07:51 AM
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I am Gugie, and I approve of this message.
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Old 09-20-17, 08:30 AM
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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.
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Old 09-20-17, 08:39 AM
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As always, unscrupulous individuals try to capitalize on the masters art. Be aware of imitators.

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Old 09-20-17, 08:55 AM
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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.
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Old 09-20-17, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by tricky View Post
ftfy.
A keen observation.
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Old 09-20-17, 10:06 AM
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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...
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Old 09-20-17, 11:02 AM
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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.
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Old 09-20-17, 11:29 AM
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When will the chapter about his siring 14 children be released?
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Old 09-20-17, 12:59 PM
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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.
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Old 09-20-17, 01:14 PM
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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.
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Old 09-20-17, 01:22 PM
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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
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Old 09-20-17, 01:31 PM
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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.
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Old 09-20-17, 01:41 PM
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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 .)
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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."
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