Wednesday, August 11, 2010

She's Back!

After the triathlon on Saturday, Camo-Man and I dropped my Dolce off at Little Ade's for a tune up. While I was there, we scheduled my custom bike fitting with Mike Antonini, the owner. Mike attended a clinic taught by Dr. Andy Pruitt, who directs the center for sports medicine in Boulder, CO. A custom bike fitting will enable you as the rider to minimize your movement in order to attain maximum power.

I started my appointment promptly at 10 this  morning. Mike asked me first about my flexibility.

"Yah, I'm fairly flexible." I replied.

"When you pivot at the hip, can you reach your toes?" he asked. I bend over and place my full palms on the ground. Yes, I'm flexible. I didn't walk as a kid. I did somersaults. When I watched TV, I didn't sit on my butt. I did Chinese splits.

I strapped on my bike shoes and straddled my Dolce which was set up in Mike's trainer. The first thing to check was my foot position on the crank of the pedal. He adjusted my cleats on my shoes making sure they were set up evenly. Next he checked my saddle position. With my foot at the 5 o'clock position, he verified the knee forms a 30 degree angle with a large three foot protractor. He raised my saddle approximately an inch. Next he checked the fore and aft of my saddle by verifying my patella was directly over the end of the crank. Again, he adjusted my saddle by moving it aft about a centimeter. He watched me pedal from behind to make sure my hips were not shifting and made some fine tune adjustments on everything we had already covered.

Because of my flexibility, Mike suggested dropping my handlebars to allow more efficient use of my glutes.Yah, I want to use my glutes...tighten those suckers up, man! Plus, it will help reduce fatigue on my quads in the triathlon. Finally, Mike watched me pedal from the front. It's like he could read my mind. As I was riding, I felt as if my feet were much wider than my hips. Mike also thought I had a hitch in my right knee. For a final adjustment, Mike moved my cleats inward as much as possible. I got back on my dolce and spun my little heart out. I felt pretty good at this point.

Mike said I could come back after riding a few miles and he'd make some more adjustments if needed. He also mentioned the possibility of using inserts in my bike shoes. Similar to purchasing the correct type of running shoes if you pronate or supinate, the inserts will help you maximize your power when your foot is working inside your shoes. He also mentioned coming back another time in order to test where I sit on my seat bones and butt size (Ugh, can you imagine?) and get a saddle which may suit me better.

For now, I am happy to have my Dolce back in my garage where she belongs. She's all ready for me to take her out for a spin tomorrow morning....and I can't wait to see how much a difference my custom fitting makes.

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