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Wildfires are currently raging across much of the western United States, and one of the largest — the CZU August Lightning Complex fire, currently at roughly 50,000 acres (200 sq km) — has just claimed the long-time home and workshop of industry veteran Chuck Teixeira.
Chuck is currently the senior advanced concept engineer at Specialized, and is perhaps best known in recent times as the mastermind behind the company’s Smartweld range of aluminum frames. However, his history of furthering the use of aluminum in bicycles dates all the way back to the 1980s when he was the R&D director at Easton, who pioneered things such as cutting-edge alloying and heat treatments, as well as tapered and butted tubing.
In short, if you’re riding an aluminum bike now — or ever have — there’s a very good chance that Chuck played a role in making that bike what it is.
In addition to his skills as an engineer, Chuck is also a master fabricator and hot rod enthusiast, building many of the prototypes he designs on-screen (or on paper — he’s old-school), oftentimes in the expansive home workshop in the Santa Cruz foothills. Among his latest projects? Restoring the body of an old Ford Model T. At home. By hand.
Teixeira and his wife, Debbie, were thankfully able to safely evacuate, and also managed to retrieve a few truckloads of possessions before they were chased out by the fire. But sadly, nearly all of their history, labor, and memories has still been reduced to ashes.
We don’t often do this sort of thing here at CyclingTips, but it seems safe to say that Chuck has given to all of us much more than any of us has given to him, and now seems like a good time to return the favor.
We at CyclingTips would like to wish Chuck and Debbie well as they begin their long road to recovery.