Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association

Headquarters for the Slender Fungus Cycling Association
Brewers of Hardy Rides.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Winter Riding with the Slender Fungus founder Hellmut Kost

My Winter riding/Trans Iowa training partner Hellmut. He gave us our name. Slender Fungus. 

Many a miles of bad weather logged with Hellmut

We froze, a lot and would take breaks to drink whiskey and get feeling in our limbs. 

Before Fat bikes we rode 26ers with Studded Nokian Tires. 

Gumby would join us on our excursions. His trusty Scwhinn always there. 

We rode late into the night. Custom made light by Dennis Grelk. 

Here we rode from 10 pm until sunrise the next morning. Jamie greeted us at 8 am with Pizza and beer. Hellmut looks exhausted. We rode 105 miles thru the night. My new Salsa La Cruz 

Probably the only person I would have build my bike. Jay Barre building my new La Cruz. He now owns You Bet ! bike shop. 

On our thru the night ride we chatted with this nice officer in St Charles, IL. at the 7/11

Hellmut on his trusty Gary Fisher 26er. With studded tires.

As I have so much time I have been cleaning and finding some gems for images. I have just been taking a lot of photos for many years and promised myself I was going to organize them when I would retire. Well, not retired but this stay at home thingy is pretty much a trailer for what is coming in the future. 
I spent a lot of time with Hellmut. His real name is Russell Stewart. He told us how he had visited his grandfather a very long time ago and used to play with a helmet that his grandpa had brought over from Nazi germany. That's where Russ's name changed to Hellmut with a double LL, and he took over his grandpa's last name Kost. Hellmut Kost.  
That dude never spoke a word. We would ride for 5-6-7-12 hours together and he never said a word. He would just tolerate hour after hour of Ari Monologue and keep riding. Sometimes I would get really frustrated with him and say: "Hey Hellmut" ""What?"" "Fuck You" ""Fuck you Ari"" would be his response. Then we would continue to ride in silence. We eventually found out about Mp3 players. 
We both got them and listened to music while we rode and ignored eachother even more. 
Hellmut is also responsible for naming our group Slender Fungus. He blurted that out in the middle of the night in a very rare tone of voice. "We should be the Slender Fungus", he said. Nothing more. 
We needed eachothers company. It was the only way to stay safe out in the middle of nowhere,in the middle of the night. A lot of the rides started from my house after we had a hearty pasta dinner and a couple of Bells Expedition Stouts. Jamie would feed us and send us on our way. We typically came back around 1-2 am and always made it to work by 10 am. There are so many stories with Hellmut. 
As we sit here and wonder a lot of things it is nice to have the time and peace to recount some past events. I cherish those moments and have no regrets. It is hard for me to put them down in words since English is not my first language. Lots of small details that are valuable but would take up so much time. Thanks for reading and my hat off to you Hellmut. 


Guitar Ted said...

That's a great story, Ari. I'll be honest, I had forgotten all about Hellmut, but you used to blog about him and mention him at times during your Trans Iowa visits. I did not know he named the group. That's fascinating. I wonder where he was in his mind when he blurted that out?

Thanks for doing these posts. I find them to be a great diversion to what is happening now.

Eric said...

These are some excellent images. I've been feeling very nostalgic lately too and I think I might start posting again. I wonder what Hellmutt is up to... Haven't heard from him in a long time, but I hope he is well. I remember riding my first century with him so many years ago. Those were the days!