Stacy Sims Serves Up Nutrition Advice at The Station

As if good food and Blue Bottle Coffee and Chef's Chris' food weren't good enough reasons to head over to the Financial District, last week The Station -- Studio Velo's food & coffee cultural extension-- hosted a discussion with sports physiologist and nutrition expert Dr Stacy Sims, from Osmo Nutrition. Stacy's research in to the field of sports hydration has revolutionized how endurance athletes world-wide approach their hydration and nutrition. Olympic medalists, national champions, and elite-level athletes have reaped the benefits of her "nutrition in your pockets, hydration in your bottles" philosophy. Sure, I won't be riding in the pro peloton next season, but anyone who knows me knows I'm all about the food (I like to think of cycling as an expensive eating disorder.) So I caught a ride across the bridge in the Studio Velo Sprinter van, excited to hear what she had to say.

After some yummy snacks and a little mingling, Stacy began the discussion by briefly dispelling some common nutrition and hydration myths, like why you can't measure your level of dehydration by the color of your urine or weighing yourself before and after exercise. Then, rather than giving us a Nutrition 101 lecture, she turned it over to us and asked for questions. Now we're talking...

There were several questions on how to avoid cramping. Apparently, I'm not the only one who discovered the joys of cycling, only to discover the pain of twitchy calves and a knotted tummy. Of course, what you mix in your bottles plays an important role in keeping cramps at bay, and to this end Osmo Active Hydration can help. But rather than just pitch product, Stacy delved into the science behind the product and talked about how the nutrition found in many jersey pockets can sabotage even the best mixed bottles. In addition to the usual suspects - gels, GUs, shot blocks, and similar products - were some surprising ones, like bananas and coconut water. Some cramps aren't hydration related (they're a neuromuscular response triggered by anything from inadequate stretching to stress) and we learned ways to avoid those as well.

How to fuel post-ride, during that critical 30-minute window and beyond, was another hot topic. Most recovery drink mixes contain high levels of antioxidants which impede your body's natural response to training stress, limiting physical gains. Osmo Acute Recovery contains a beneficial mix of the right kinds of proteins, carbohydrates, and electrolytes to promote rapid recovery and performance gains, as do such foods as low-fat Greek style yogurt and quinoa. Your evening nutrition choices can be the difference between waking up renewed and refreshed or tossing and turning in drenched sheets. Remember those antioxidants you're not supposed to have immediately after your workout? Night time is a good time to eat foods rich in antioxidants, magnesium, zinc, and protein to promote restful sleep and avoid night sweats during hard training blocks.

Stacy shared advice about what to eat during triathlons and other endurance events. Wondering what to eat coming out of T2? Stacy recommendation might surprise you.  She also explained why going from solid to semi-solid foods over the course of long events will not only keep you better fueled but better hydrated, making the difference between struggling to finish and finishing strong. It didn't take long before I realized that even though I've been filling my bottles with all the right stuff, I needed to rethink what I put in my pockets. Goodbye liquid calories, hello.. well, i can't give you all the secrets now can I? 

After our questions were answered, we said our goodbyes (but not before urging Stacy to open up a food cart in Fairfax) and headed back to Marin.  

I understand Stacy will join us again -- this time at Studio Velo in MV -- for another Q & A session.  This is something not to be missed. Stay tuned for the next talk! 

by Shelley Hagan - SV employee and bike racer

FINIS - The Trois Etapes Race of a Lifetime

The Trois Etapes charity race was a special and successful event in so many ways. What started out as an idea early in 2012 became a reality this past July. It gave the riders who were fortunate enough to participate an opportunity to race 'like the pros' and do it with a charitable goal. 

In the end we were all winners raising over $1.5 million for the participating charities. This is no small sum for the numbers involved. 

Personally I want to extend sincere thanks to my teammates: Thomas Newmeyer, Scott Penzarella, Craig Parker, Chris Maddox and our pro Craig Lewis. They all stepped up big time both as competitors and fundraisers. I also want to extend a very personal thanks to my good friend Scott Penzarella and the team at Studio Velo

As background, Studio Velo kick started my cycling journey 5 years ago and it has been a great ride ever since. Our dZi/Studio Velo Endless Ascent team would not have become a reality without the SV commitment. Lastly I would like thank Jim Nowak , founder and President of the dZi Foundation, whose tireless efforts over the past 12 years has focused my attention, and those of countless others, on the remote village people of Eastern Nepal. 

Together the EA (Endless Accent)  team and our supporters raised over $130,000 for these wonderful people.  Thanks to everyone who got involved !

Bill Keller


Col de la Madeleine.                                  

This would be our last stage which was anything but sweet. We would have a 20 mile flat section before attacking the timed GC section of the Madeleine. A 12 mile climb ascending almost 5000 feet.

Today it was my day to step up  and duplicate the great riding that my  teammates had put down the past two days. I was determined not to disappoint them. As was the protocol from yesterday, each team could send out two of its riders early with the rest of the team following shortly thereafter. Craig Parker and myself along with Jim Nowak from dZi set off.

I had my game face on right from the beginning and was determined not to let anyone pass me!  The rest of our team was sent off a short time later.


Scott and Thomas, our indefatigable leaders, had a chance to get their photo taken along the way. I've never known Scott to pass up a photo opportunity!




As my trainer Jason told me going into this event, you are going to have to turn yourself "inside out" to reach your maximum. He also said when your at that point float like a feather. I now know what he truly means. This was definitely the hardest ride and effort I have ever put down. About 3 miles from the top, I got the final inspiration I needed from Thomas,Scott and Craig Lewis who were closing in on me yelling " GO Bill ". They shortly reached me and joined in to give me their moral and physical support. I will always remember Thomas leaning over and relating the little train that could story:

" I think I can. I think I can. I know I can. I know I can. " The final two miles, with Scott and Thomas on either side rooting me on and watching me dig deep, will remain an unforgettable moment for me. We crossed the finish line together. I had given everything I had for the TEAM !

When the rest of the team reached the summit we had quite a bit to celebrate. A great event. A great day. A great climb. What more could a cyclist ask for? 


     Col du Telegraphe - Col du Galibier - Alpe d'Huez

Day two was going to be the main event or in the words of the race director the main course of a three course meal. This stage would cover about 70 miles with a net elevation gain in excess of 10,000 feet. Once again it would be a TT trial climbing two Cols the Telegraphe and the Galibier. In addition riders would be able to ride individually for time up Alpe d'Huez. This is the climb that gave Carlos Sastre the Tour win in 2008. Turn 17 was renamed in his honor and he would be returning to that climb for the first time since his victory. For today's and tomorrow's stage the 5th and 6th riders were allowed to leave a few minutes early and reconnect with the team along the way. Our plan was for Chris to, once again, be the 4th rider up the Telegraphe and then either Craig or myself would slot in as the 4th for the Galibier.

Craig Lewis and Scott took a moment to pose for the camera before the start of the race.

Craig and I left early and road up with Jim Nowak, founder of the dZi Foundation, who had been invited by the organizers and Carlos Sastre to ride today's stage. Our team met up with us at the top of the Telegraphe where we took a quick break with the rest of the teams, shed some jackets and refuel. 

Chris had done a stellar job yesterday and this morning, but not without a price. He was visibly tired and it was time for either Craig or myself to come forward. Craig took off his jacket and said he was ready to step in as number 4. The Galibier was going to be a tough climb , an ascent of almost 4000 feet over 12 miles. Craig was up for the challenge and put in a spectacular effort up this difficult but beautiful mountain. Scott put it best: " Craig dug deep!"

In the end it all distills down to teamwork and this photo describes the essence of camaraderie.

When Chris and I reached the summit of the Galibier we were greeted by our teammates who once again finished in a respectable fifth place. Great job team!


Col de la Croix de Fer - Col du Glandon

We awoke to a spectacular day in the Maurienne valley.  After breakfast we all changed and met down at the team car for some photos and getting our bikes ready.  It was a very festive mood with 60 plus riders , camera crews, logistical staff and the star of the show Carlos Sastre, 2008 Tour de France winner and lead pro for the Trois Etapes event.Each team would set out at three minute intervals. Our Endless Ascent team would be team number nine today so while we waited our turn we took the time to take some photos with Carlos Sastre and acknowledge a couple of our sponsors.

We knew that going into this race that our strongest riders for the three day event would obviously be our assigned pro, Craig Lewis, Scott and Thomas. It would be up to Chris Maddox, Craig Parker or myself to step up and be the all important 4th rider. Whilst we were all willing, we knew that it would only be determined once we were out on the road and whoever felt the best. Our start time was rapidly approaching so while some of us were dancing with "butterflies" Craig Lewis sent some tweets and our team captain,Thomas, checked with our team car for any last minute instructions.

The moment of truth was upon us as we were called to the line and told we had one minute to our start time. For me, it was a very nervous moment. "Was I ready? Had I trained enough?" What I did know going into this was that I didn't want to let down my teammates. Before I had a chance to question anything else we were told to GO !

And we were off. Craig Lewis and Scott set the initial pace and the rest of us tucked in behind. My race was nearly over before we really got rolling. My nervousness must have got the best of me for a moment as I caught some gravel and almost went down. I caught myself but not before my heart rate shot up about 50 bpm. That cured me of the butterflies and I was quickly back in our group.


We continued a fast pace for a couple of miles, and it soon became evident that Chris was the stronger of the three of us and it would be up to him to fill the 4th spot. Craig and I said our goodbyes as the four pushed on towards the summit. We would conserve our energy and vie to race anther day


Craig and I let off on the throttle and decided to conserve our energy for the next 2 stages. As we continued to climb we rode through a number of small villages and passed various riders from other teams. 

It took us about one and a half hours to reach the summit where we were greeted by our teammates. It was great to see them and find out that they had finished fifth on the day.