Sunday, February 21, 2010


Al didn't know what she was getting into.

Yes, she knew a bike ride across America might be a challenge.  What she didn't expect was Frank.

  Frank is our bike mechanic, mentor and disperser of all wisdom of bikedom. We went to see Frank at 2:00 and barely got out of there by 5:00.

Ostensibly Al was there for a bike fitting - where he adjusts handlebars, seat, cleats and all fitting the bike to Al and her particular pedaling style. 

But she got much more than a fitting. She got many lessons on long distance biking. And wisdom more than she could imagine.

Hold your head down and look out of the tops of your eyes. That saves on neck strain.

Bend your elbows to maximize the use of your hamstrings.

Keep your weight forward on the downhills to avoid wheel wobble.

Too much to absorb in a brief (?) 3 hour session but hopefully his advice will carry her over the Rockies and across the plains this summer.

And the minor adjustments can make the difference between a bike ride that's an ARGH! and a ride that's an Ahhhh!

  He adjusted the cleat on her bike shoes. Too far forward - hot foot (ouch!). Too far back and you don't have good foot rotation. So Frank gets it just right. I mean Frank is down to the millimeter!

 Frank has measured the distance of her ischial tuberosities (he calls them her sit-bones). He has a special seat with a memory. AL sat on it two minutes and it held an indentation where her sit bones meet the saddle. 

He can then measure that essential distance and find a seat that fits her specific anatomy.

The seat adjustment - not just how high (too low hurts your knees, too high hurts your butt), but also how far forward and what angle. Frank is a perfectionist - a trait I value in MDs and bike mechanics.

By the end of the fitting Al's head is spinning.

By the end of the summer Al will be grateful she met Frank.
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