Month: April 2012

Bike fittin’ at Bike Doctor Waldorf

Brian Sjoberg had been hearing all the teammates RAVE about going into to see the master fitter, Chris Richardson, at Bike Doctor Waldorf and getting dialed into their ideal positions on the bike. He decided to see what all the hype was about last week and visited the shop. Brian had purchased a factory Cannondale Super Six about mid-season last year and did what he normally did when he got a new bike. Measure the old length of the saddle height from the top of the saddle to the middle of the bottom bracket and do some quick mental math if the crank arm lengths were different and wah la, jump on the bike and start racing/training.

So Brian stopped into Bike Doctor Waldorf, kitted up, threw his bike on the trainer and let the measuring commence. Chris measured inseam, femur and arm length along with shoulder width. He then measured his current bike settings. From all these values and a few more (top tube, crank length, pedal type and bike geometry), he cracked open a magical fit book and jotted down a range of values for Brian’s stats (skeletal and bike) on his worksheet. The way Chris explains fitting, it is clearly both art and science. No one system can give you an exact setting for every person. Each person will have different preferences.

Chris has educated himself on many different fit systems. To hear him spout the science and philosophy, one could easily classify Chris as Ph.d. fit smart. Chris’ thorough understanding of physiology adapted to on the bike performance has culminated in a unique style which encompasses bits and pieces from well known fitting sources. In his bike fit toolbag is F.I.S.T., fit kit 123, Wobble Naught and Michael Sylvester’s serotta fit systems. He refers to this hybrid system as foundational fitting.

Sobe before bike fit.

Chris then put a few neon stickers on specific measurement points on the leg. Brian said it made him feel like he was going to be making the next toy story animation but with cycling. Brian began pedaling while Chris video taped. Once sufficient data was collected, he used some software tools with snapshots of the video captured to measure angles and identify other issues with Brian’s position. He found that his angles were off by a bit (as evidenced in the before and after shots). His back had a nice roll. The major thing that Chris noticed was the amount of heal drop Brian was using to compensate for a low seat height.

Chris then made some adjustments by raising the saddle height and increasing his stem size (didn’t know bike shops could do that). Brian climbed back on his adjusted bike, Chris videotaped some more footage and was then able to make new measurements and show Brian the improvements. Lastly Chris also noticed some wear on the crank arms and wondered why those were there. He watched Brian peddle from the front and noted that his heals stayed aligned throughout his entire pedal stroke. Brian had left his speedplay cleats float wide open and Chris told him that he was wasting power because it wasn’t necessary for his natural pedal stroke. He tightened a few more bolts and Brian gained a few more watts.

Sobe after bike fit.

Have you been fitted lately? It is certainly worth the visit. With every purchase of a bike at the shop, certain levels of fit are provided at no cost. Bike Doctor can also help you out if you already own a bike and want to get dialed in.

Check out the available fit services from TT to Triathlon to Tricycles – Fit services

Also available is the Speed Studio at the Bike Doctor Arnold.

A Thrilling Win at All-American Road Race

On Saturday, the Bike Doctor p/b DigiSource team headed out to Poolesville, MD for the 80 mile All American Road Race. The team was excited to see the race back on the calendar this year and appreciated all of the hard work All American Bicycle Club put into making it a great day of racing.

In the 1/2/3 race, all Bike Doctor hands were most certainly ON DECK, and they had riders in dangerous moves all day long. In the closing stages of the race, Taylor and Custer represented in the breakaway group, where Custer managed to fly the coup with Ryan McKinney of DC Velo in the last mile. Custer won a drag race with McKinney, while Taylor closed out with 4th place.

Meanwhile, in the field, the remaining Bike Doctor crew assembled at the front and drilled it in the frantic and fast finishing straight, setting up Weinstein in a drag race with David Bozak of DC Velo. Bozak (9th) just edged Weinstein (10th) out. Beers and smiles were had all around!

A special shout-out goes to Emir, Warner’s son. This kid is a PRO at feeding! He recorded 6 bottle feeds in one pass in the 123 race. Our team would be left on the side of the road with dehydration if not for his great support and skills! Thanks, Emir!

In the Cat 3 race, Bickling & Chun stayed patient and hidden. With no breaks going clear, Chun found Bickling and worked hard to get him in position to sprint for the win. Bickling uncorked his move for the line but was just edged out at the line. Unfortunately, our resident Doctor found out afterward that he had been relegated to 15th for a dangerous move. How the nicest guy on the planet goes all terrorist on us we will never understand, but we support the official’s ruling, learn from it and move on.

The team would like to thank its sponsors for their generous support, without whom we wouldn’t be able to promote and enjoy the sport that we love. Please check out their great products/services: Bike Doctor, DigiSource Discovery Solutions, Elite Endurance Training Systems, Cannondale and CycleOps Power

Michaux Trail Cup 50 Miler

Prentice on tough climb! (Photo Credit: Tori Sulewski)

Jed Prentice finished 2nd in the Michaux Trail Cup on Sunday in Michaux State Forest near Biglerville, PA. Michaux is notorious for some of the gnarliest race courses in the Mid-Atlantic. This particular course was relatively mellow by Michaux standards, but was far from easy with nearly 6000 feet of climbing and plenty of rocky, technical singletrack, interspersed with doubletrack and dirt roads that required power.

Michaux Trail Cup 50-miler Podium. (Photo Credit: Tori Sulewski)

Jed managed to overcome a loose rear brake line, which was in constant danger of being eaten by the rear tire and required several stops throughout the race to keep it out of harm’s way. He also made a wrong turn at a poorly-marked intersection near the halfway point and lost a few minutes getting back on course. After suffering through the first 90 minutes of the race, he bounced back from the wrong turn, got into a groove, and charged back up through the field. Motivated by a shot at the podium, he time-trialed the last 90 minutes of the 4-hour race to secure second place.

Jed would like to thank the team’s sponsors for their generous support, without whom he wouldn’t be able to promote and enjoy the sport that he loves. Please check out their great products/services: Bike Doctor, DigiSource Discovery Solutions, Elite Endurance Training Systems, Cannondale and CycleOps Power.

Jed would also like to thank Fast Forward Racing Productions and Zach Adams for putting on a great event.

Battenkill 2012 – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

For dramatic effect, go ahead and cue up the music…

The Tour of the Battenkill, okay, we get it, “America’s Toughest 1-Day Race”. Given that moniker, who can’t resist driving 7 hours to Cambridge, NY from DC for a nice helping of Good, Bad & Ugly.

Let’s start with The Good.

Bike Doctor p/b DigiSource brought a strong contingent of its Cat 2’s. Making the trip up were, Michael Cordova, Brian Sjoberg (Sobe), Peter Warner, Nicholas Taylor, Sunny Gill, Andrew Shelby & Evan Ellicott. The team was extremely fortunate to connect with Scott & Amy Clark who live right on the course in Buskirk. They offered up their home and were incredible hosts! This opportunity added so much to the experience as the team was able to spend some good quality time together in a relaxed environment.

As for the race, it went down about as expected (except for the Bad & Ugly below). Battenkill generally is a race of attrition. It beats a rider down gradually over time. The nerves, the anxiety of 136 riders all believing they can win, the hills and of course THE gravel sectors. Anyone would be stupid to think you don’t need a little luck as well.

In the end, Warner was able to make the final selection during the treacherous and leg breaking Meeting House Road sectors. The lead group stayed compact to finish with the exception of one rider, Ben Foltz, who snuck off the front and held it to the line…impressive. Warner led the group through the final corner and held on for a hard earned 6th place finish!

Also, for The Good. Megan Inouye was a LIFESAVER for the team in the feedzones. She’s pictured here rocking some great bottle feeds along Meetinghouse Road.

Warner SO happy to get a bottle from Megan!

Warner SO happy to get a bottle from Megan!

Taylor getting a critical feed from Megan

Taylor getting a feed from Megan

Also need to give Ellicott a shout out for The Good. He was instrumental in helping Warner chase back on after being involved in a crash around the 50 mile mark! Taylor also provided key support to Warner by looking out for him, taking extra water “just in case” and keeping his head in the game.

Now onto The Bad:

What is every racers nightmare? Oh, maybe traveling to a distant race, arriving early evening for an 8:40 a.m. start and going on a short “leg stretching” ride only to have your right shifter GO CAPUT! Yep, this happened to Taylor. It was full on panic mode. Scott, the team’s homestay savior, made some calls and found a friend in Saratoga Springs that would loan him a shifter and derailleur, but he’d need to drive to go get it. Long story short, Ellicott and Taylor left at 8 pm and finished getting the bike in working order by about midnight with the help of Sobe (who we believe just used it as an excuse to stay up and drink beer). This started out bad but amazingly should be moved to the good category! Incredible that this worked out the way it did. A huge team effort for sure!

Gill flatting early on…BAD. But he fought his way back to the field with a determined effort to help the team. Sobe’s day ended early when some clown decided he needed to be extra stupid on an innocuous stretch of road 50 miles in and got his bars hooked under Sobe’s, thus, catapulting him into the ditch and Sobe onto the pavement…day over. Cordova’s race for glory ended after being caught behind a ditch to ditch road block crash deep into the race. There was no chance to get back in the game so he rolled it in.

And now for The Ugly:

Shelby’s bike! And, yes, he’s smiling (maybe lucky to be alive?).  Shelby got caught right behind some guys that decided to do some pavement surfing and didn’t have any choice but to join the pile.  Fortunately, the bike saw the worst of the damage and he came out relatively unscathed.

Shelby kissing bike goodbye

Shelby kissing bike goodbye

The team is also sad to report that Ben Reynolds, Bike Doctor Arnold employee and guest rider, suffered a broken clavicle late in the race. Tough way to call it a day. We hope you heal quickly, Ben!

There may not be a better way to end this post than by demonstrating that Team Bike Doctor is all about having FUN and supporting our fellow riders out there during a long, grueling day in the saddle. We present to our readers what quite possibly is the first “Beer Hand-Up” during the Tour of the Battenkill!

Beer Hand-Up!

Beer Hand-Up!

Cordova & Shelby doing their part to get riders home

Cordova & Shelby doing their part to get riders home

The team wishes it could have stayed longer to help our cycling brothers out, but it will have to wait until NEXT YEAR!!!! Bike Doctor will be back!

The team would like to thank its sponsors for their generous support, without whom we wouldn’t be able to promote and enjoy the sport that we love. Please check out their great products/services: Bike Doctor, DigiSource Discovery Solutions, Elite Endurance Training Systems, Cannondale and CycleOps Power

Two Wheel Rollin’ at Dolan

The Bike Doctor crew was alive and kickin’ at this years Carl Dolan Memorial spring classic put on by team DC Velo. While the course may lack technical, the wind usually makes for an interesting race and it is hard to complain about the job DC Velo does. Especially the nice ice cold post-race towels and snacks!

To start off the days action, Bike Doctor fielded 5 riders (Fife, Giles, Hampton, Ramos, Sobe) for the Master 35+ open race. The pre-race plan was to try out a preme or two and then sit in for the sprint. Where the guys would gift wrap the sprint for Sobe to finish off. Many of the guys had done this race in the past and were used to the long uphill sprint however the DC Velo guys decided to throw a little curve ball and place the sprint line another 100 meters down the road. Ouch!

Masters 35+ break established, 1 lap to go (Photo Credit - Lesley Olson)

Well the first half of the race went to plan, Sobe shot off the front with about 800 meters to go and coasted in for the first preme. First leg test, check. The rest of the race was a bit of a blur with some threatening groups getting a little distance but nothing that made the alarm bells go off. With 3 to go, the bell rang for another preme and Sobe found Giles’ wheel on the back stretch. Sobe was all ready to grab the suicide preme thinking Giles saw him latch on and was ready to crank up the lead out. Well Giles went just after the last corner and Sobe went along for the ride, knowing no one was behind him. With 300 meters to go, Sobe looked around and decided forget the sprint, lets take this thing all the way and just took a pull. On the back side the moto ref called out 15 seconds and they knew they had a shot.

Masters 35+ finish!! Picture captured every emotion (Photo Credit: Lesley Olson)

So the heads went down and the heart rates went up. Coming through with 1 to go, the guys looked back and saw considerable daylight and really thought they could pull it off. They knew Hampton, Ramos and Fife would be all over the front, shutting things down. The moto ref gave one last time check of 25 seconds on the backside and they knew they had it in the bag. The guys kept motoring and were able to rejoice in a very rare moment of bike racing. Oh yeah, double victory salute! It doesn’t get much better than that.

Next up was the cat 3/4 race. Stepping up to do battle for Bike Doctor was Bickling, Chamberlin, Chun, Fife, Hampton, Ramos and Schneider. Well lets just call this race what it was, a crash derby where a very significant crash happened about midway that involved a good friend of the team, Chuck Kyle. At first it looked very bad and he had to be hauled off in an ambulance. Recent reports indicate that he is doing better. We hope he has a speedy recovery.

When the crashes weren’t happening the guys were mixing it up well and were getting ready for the finish when another huge pile up occurred with 3 to go that took out Ramos. Unfortunately his day was done (chalked up a few bumps and bruises).  With the laps closing down and field thinning it was time to try to win this sucker. Todd Bickling was in perfect position coming up the finishing stretch when all the sudden a rider went down in front of him and Todd launched into the air at 30 MPH. Luckily his trajectory landed him on a grassy medium that significantly cushioned the blow. Hampton was able to avoid the carnage and placed 9th. Rounding out the top 20 was Chun, Fife and Chamberlin.

Last on the menu was the 1, 2, 3 race. Clipped in for this one was Chun, Cordova, Giles, Gill, Neto and Sobe. It was obvious that DC velo was going to be the team to watch today. They fielded a large team with all of the top tier guys. The first part of the race was pretty uneventful with small breaks forming but they were reeled back fairly quickly. When the first bell rang for a preme, Sobe’s eye’s lit up and he moved into position. The field was strung out along the back side and just at the bottom of the hill Sobe lit it up with only one guy to catch that was dangling off the front. He flew by him and had a comfortable gap that allowed him to ease off the gas and coast in. The team would have some post race PBR tall boy’s to enjoy!!

Cordova 2nd in field sprint, 5th overall!

About mid race breaks were starting to look a little more threatening and a significant group was dangling off the front. After a couple of laps the pack rejoined most of those that were off the front except for three powerful motors (McKinney, Frick, Frederick). The pack would never see them again as their lead grew with every lap. With the top 3 spots already decided the team got ready for the sprint for 4th. Cordova and Neto were well placed to contest the finale. Cordova barely missed winning the field sprint and grabbed the final podium spot for 5th. Neto finished 10th.

It was a great day of racing for all the guys, they had some lows (a few too many crashes involving team members and good friends) and some highs. That’s bike racing. Next week is All-American road race and Ft. Richie for most of the team.

Moments to live for, Masters 35+ victory! (Photo Credit: Julie Elliott)

The team would like to thank its sponsors for their generous support, without whom we wouldn’t be able to promote and enjoy the sport that we love. Please check out their great products/services: Bike Doctor, DigiSource Discovery Solutions, Elite Endurance Training Systems, Cannondale and CycleOps Power

Throwing caution to the wind at the Morgantown Road Race

Although the Morgantown Road Race is a relatively young race, its previous editions have garnered a loyal following, especially for those seeking the thrill of a challenging, scenic and HILLY road race.  JR Petsko and his ABRA Racing crew have this event dialed in to perfection…flawless execution.  Yes, it’s a good drive to get there from DC, but well worth the time and expense.  12:10 pm start…perfect!

Representing Bike Doctor p/b DigiSource in the P/1/2/3 were Nicholas Taylor, Pete Warner & Andrew Shelby.  The fellas hit the road bright and early.  Taylor was well equipped to get the team there on time with multiple navigation devices calling out split times, as well as his lead foot on the pedal!

After Warner finally woke up from napping during the first half of ride, the crew got down to SERIOUS business to hatch a race strategy.  Their understanding is it went something like this:

Warner: “If you guys don’t mind, I’ll look to go in an early move.  Hopefully you guys can chill until the climbs start and we’ll reconnect after the fireworks on the first climb.”

Taylor & Shelby: “Sure, that’s sounds good.”

…end of race strategy session.

Following a little 20 min warm-up and JR’s pre-race talk, the race commenced with a nice .5 mile neutral roll-out through the quaint little staging town.  After hitting a few small rollers and noticing that the 55 rider field wasn’t at all antsy to expend any energy until the climbs started, Warner goosed it up a little roller at mile 1 and brought Stephen Cummings (GPOA), Andrew Seitz (Panther) plus another rider (Carbon Racing?) up to his teammate just off the front. Immediately, the five riders worked into a hard, smooth rotation.  Warner mentioned afterward that it appeared right from the start that this was a strong move.  Everyone was committed and the speed stayed high.  No BS’ing around.

Back in the field, Taylor stepped up and did a great job riding tempo at the front grinning from ear to ear as the quintet rather quickly rolled out of sight.  The move was given a long leash and according to Warner, somewhere before the first climb, the moto-ref said 3.5+ mins.  It was too big for him to wait and see precisely.  Yowza!
Photos courtesy of Fred Jordan (thank you!)
The break on climb 1:

Warner on climb 1:

Taylor on climb 1:

The break of five soldiered on. Steady up the climbs and working the flats in a smooth, deliberate rhythm.  The first glimpse of the field came at the top of the third climb.  It appeared a select group was moving quickly in chase mode.  Time splits were coming down, but the break was inspired to keep things together and moving.  At the top of the final climb, the gap to the chasing group appeared sustainable to the finish.

Warner recalls thinking to himself, “Ok, now I have to figure out how to win this thing!”  As the miles ticked down during the fast descent to the finish, the moto ref gave the break an update, “One rider at 15 seconds and a chase group at 50 seconds”.  Uh-oh.

Shortly after the break made the final right hand turn toward the finish, Warner glanced back and his heart skipped a beat at the sight of who was coming.  Tim Rugg!  Warner swears it looked like a human fireball headed right toward them.  He was flying up.  Warner instantly knew he had to go before Rugg connected.  Warner took a few glances back, took a deep breath and launched from the back of the break with approximately a mile to go.  After doing the 30 second prayer, “I hope this worked and I’m not going to look back and see EVERYONE on my wheel”, Warner was clear and alone for the longest, most grueling mile of his life.  The move stuck and Warner got the opportunity to raise his arms in victory as he crossed the line with only seconds to spare!
Victory Salute (courtesy of Team Traveller Thank you!):

Warner for the Win!

Warner for the Win!

A fantastic win for Team Bike Doctor!  Also, big kudos to the other breakaway companions for making it work!

Thank you to JR Petsko, ABRA Racing and the many volunteers who made this day so wonderful!  Team Bike Doctor appreciates all that you do to keep racing alive and well.

Oh, yeah. We are now onto Warner’s secret recovery source:

The team would like to thank its sponsors for their generous support, without whom we wouldn’t be able to promote and enjoy the sport that we love. Please check out their great products/services: Bike Doctor, DigiSource Discovery Solutions, Elite Endurance Training Systems, Cannondale and CycleOps Power.

Dragon’s Tale Race Report

This past weekend Jed Prentice made the trek south to New Castle, VA for the 4th annual Dragon’s Tale race,  finishing 10th in the Open Mens race.

The course is a 40-mile loop with over 6000 feet of climbing and it is awesome.  After a neutral roll out from the start-finish just outside New Castle down VA-311, it turns onto a dirt road where the racing begins.  After 7 or so miles of dirt road, with no less than 5 hub-deep creek crossings, and gradually stair-stepping upward, the course enters singletrack and the climbing begins in earnest.  After a 2-mile singletrack climb, the course turns right on the ridge and follows it for a short distance, then drops down an off-camber singletrack descent onto a dirt road and ride a mile or 2 to Aid Station 1.  Riders repeat the first climb and turn left at the top for 10 miles of rolling ridge trail that is sweet.  Except “rolling” really means “periodic steep walls” that get progressively steeper and longer.  There’s a long descent off the ridge to Aid Station 2, then 2 climbs and descents in quick succession before dropping out onto a short section of dirt road and then a short section of pavement to the finish.

The race started with the neutral roll-out at a casual pace with lots of conversation in the bunch.  Jed was well-positioned a few rows back from the front. Once on the dirt road, though, it was game on.  Quickly Jeremiah Bishop, Kevin Carter, Sam Koerber, Nick Waite, and a couple other heavy hitters took charge of the pace and a lead group formed of about 20 riders.  Jed made the initial selection, but lost contact on the last of the deep creek crossings after being forced to dismount to avoid running into other riders who were also forced off their bikes.  He surfed wheels and worked his way through the chasers to the singletrack.  Once in the woods, he rode steadily and methodically to work his way up to 10th place by the finish.

Jed would  to like to thank Shenandoah Mountain Touring and Chris Scott for an awesome event.

Jed is grateful for the generous support of the team’s sponsors: Bike DoctorDigiSource Discovery SolutionsElite Endurance Training SystemsCannondale and CycleOps Power.

Jefferson Cup – Chasing Dreams

Team Bike Doctor p/b DigiSource sent a fully stocked and loaded Men’s team to the Category 1/2/3 race at Jefferson Cup.  Represented by Andrew Shelby, Brian Sjoberg, Evan Ellicott, Jim Weinstein, Nicholas Taylor, Pete Custer, Peter Warner, Sunny Gill, Scott Giles, and Mike Cordova, this was our first road race as a 1/2/3 team, and a big chance to try to go toe-to-toe with some of the big fish of bike racing!

Incidentally, the Jefferson Cup Road Race is a qualifying race for the Nature Valley Grand Prix Pro Ride.  With Custer as our lone candidate meeting the requirements needed to be eligible for the Nature Valley slot, the team rallied in support of him.  With the likes of Bontrager-Livestrong, Veloshine, Kelly Benefits, XO/Cisco, Cutaway, and a compact NCVC elite squad, making a good result at this spring classic of the Mid-Atlantic would be no walk in the park.

With this in mind, how stoked were we to find both Custer AND Warner making it into a late race breakaway group with some of the most reputable names in the race!  Well, unfortunately, we didn’t come away with a win, but by evidence of one incredible display of talent, XO’s Adam Farabaugh pulled out an absolute stormer of a finish, distancing himself from the breakaway and coming across the line in classic fashion.  Our duo in the break would come away with a proud 14th and 15th, while Sunny would mix it up in the field sprint with the best of the rest!

While the team was happy after a fun day of racing under such perfect weather conditions, we were later elated to find that Custer was indeed the first rider across the line who was eligible for the Nature Valley Slot!  While we may have fallen a little short on the prize money for the day, we absolutely landed the very best prize any bike racer could dream of!  Congrats, Custer, and you are now on water bottle duty for the remainder of the race season!

In the Category 3/4 race, Bike Doctor represented as well with Robb Hampton, Frank Ramos, Todd Bickling & Jeff Chun.  Unfortunately for the team, Bickling fell victim to a flat very early on in the race and had to switch roles to feed support.  Ramos tried to instigate a few moves off the front, but in the end, there would be no script reversal this year.  A field sprint it would be.  Hampton and Chun tried to work some magic but fell a bit short in the chaotic sprint finish.

Tanner Browne flew the colors in the Junior 15-18 field and came away with 11th place.  Great job, Tanner!

Special thanks to Ruth Stornetta, the Monticello Velo Club/Blue Wheel organization and the surrounding community for promoting this Spring Classic!

The team would like to thank its sponsors for their generous support, without whom we wouldn’t be able to promote and enjoy the sport that we love. Please check out their great products/services: Bike Doctor, DigiSource Discovery Solutions, Elite Endurance Training Systems, Cannondale and CycleOps Power.

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