Bouncing Back

One of the most common and reoccurring battles athletes face is the challenge of bouncing back after illness.  It is so important to understand this process, and why it is a crucial part of growth as an athlete.  As we train, our bodies become fatigued.  There are many different levels of this, and each individual athlete copes with it in their own way.  As the athletic training community has come to understand these fitness curves as an unavoidable part of growth,  different concepts and strategies  have been developed.  Periodized training methods are becoming more and more common for even the most entry-level athletes.  These programs attempt to keep the body in a constant state of growth, heavily emphasizing training blocks, and rest.  A natural part of these training blocks, or curves, happens when your body is broken down and needs to recover.  Sometimes we push ourselves so far that our natural immune response is overworked responding to training inflammation, and unable to keep up with the it's most basic job, keeping infection away.  



Getting sick is a natural part of life for all of us.  Knowing how to deal with it, and how to bounce back properly is really overlooked sometimes. Being able to allow the infection work through your body, not panic, and then bounce back stronger than before is such a valuable skill.  Over the course of my athletic life, I have developed some strategies that really work for me.


This year I got hit pretty hard by the flu that was going around.  I hadn't been this sick since college when I got the flu after a long indoor track season.  This year, I allowed myself the time, and did not panic about lost fitness or days off the bike.  I had 5 straight days at home in bed, then 4 more days of off-the-bike recovery.  I took some over-the-counter things to help my symptoms, but mostly just stayed laying down drinking about a gallon of water/tea/electrolytes per day.  On the 9th day I rode 2 hours easy (zone 1) minimal climbing/descending.  Other than some remaining chest congestion, I actually felt good.  On the 10th day I did 3.5 hours at a similar pace and style. By the 11th day from the onset of the flu, I felt about 90% recovered, and I could  feel free to ride at normal training intensity.  This same flu has been keeping people under the weather for 3-4 weeks.  Rest cannot be underestimated.  Of course it is not always feasible to just stay in bed for 5 days straight to kick a sickness, but scaling everything back can really help. There is an important reason behind every signal the body sends.  Being a successful athlete means being aware of our bodies, and listening to all the signals.  Getting faster and stronger is hard for a reason; if it wasn't everyone could do it.   



- Hot Fluids are great.  Viruses like dry conditions, so keeping hot things (yes even coffee, but tea is better) moving through your system is good.


-Go easy on pumping juice/smoothies down your throat.  Sometimes they sound good, and you think all the vitamins will help, but they can be hard on your stomach.  I have made this mistake.  I juiced a bunch of fruit at home and pounded it, only to end up with bubble guts and a couple trips to the bathroom.


-Try some kind of electrolyte formula to help get the fluids down.  Sometimes just the flavor can help.   Scratch Labs and Osmo formulas are very light on the stomach, and can help make extra intake easier to handle.  


-Probably the most important here:  Do not go out and put in a huge ride to "make up" for lost time right when you start feeling better.  There is no such thing as "make up" training.  You missed training time, and it is gone.  Now you can re work your program to allow for proper growth from your current point.  I have seen so many people relapse into an even more serious illness by rushing a come back.  Even though the body might be feeling better, it is still in a weakened state, and your immune system needs to recover to handle workout stress again. 


Looking forward, I am very optimistic.  I have 3 full weeks of riding before going to Maui for the Studio Velo adventure/training camp.  I can't wait to see everyone push him or herself and accomplish new goals.  My next post will be about some more specific training goals and workouts leading up to the camp.  At the moment I am still just focusing on putting in unstructured miles and enjoying being back out on the bike. 


A small semblance of tradition in our fast-paced world: Brooks England, LTD

Recently on a flight to Denver, CO, I sat quite relaxed behind the elegant pros of the Forth Edition of The Bugle publication.  For those of you who have never purchased a Brooks England, LTD, product, it’s insightful to know that with every Brooks product purchase comes an extremely well-written, curiously interesting “newspaper” on the culture, events, travel, and bicycle products surrounding the traditional, truly unique brand most notable for its hand-made leather saddles.

I recently purchased a new Brook England bag, the strangely affordable commuter bag, the Pickwick Backpack, which I have been using nearly every day for the past 2 months.  While reading the latest edition of the 2012 Edition of The Bugle, I was reminded at how important Brooks England, LTD, and other brands like it, are to our brand, Studio Velo.  In this fast-paced, mass-produced market world of cycling, it’s rare to wear, carry or ride something of style, quality and uniqueness. “Smelling Leather” was the title of one of the article in this latest edition and it really touched me.


Think about your daily routine; the moments in your day that truly, wholeheartedly stop you in your tracks; moments that remind you how some things in life make your life better, richer with every use or experience. When I walk into The Station, our café & retail store in San Francisco, for example, I smell the wonderful aromas of fresh Panini, the recently roasted Blue Bottle Coffee beans and the – don’t’ tell my wife—the seductive perfumes on the professional women executive on her way to work. These are unique, pleasurable experiences in every sense of the word.


Believe it or not, this is exactly the sensation I get when I strap my new Brooks commuter bag to my back. It’s actually happens before I throw it over my shoulder in the morning. It’s the feeling I get when I grab the brushed canvas in my hands, lock the top leather strap into place and synch down the chest strap securely in place for my 3.5 miles commuter to work.  It’s the experience of securing something of the upmost quality to my body, evoking strange sensory emotions unlike most everything else that occurs in my day.

Brooks bags – like most of their products-- exemplify how years of tradition, years of guardianship, i.e. producing products in England by hand, by true artisans, leaves its mark on users like me.  From the The Bugle publication to the products themselves, Brooks has touched me in a way nothing has in quite sometime. The glorious past of the brand, its 144 years of making products in West Midlands, England, offers a small semblance of slower days before us now. 


My flight seems just that much shorter…. 

Congratulations and Welcome to the Transpyr 2013!

Upon reading these words my preparation for this summer's main event has begun!  Scott and I will be representing Studio Velo, and the United States, at the 2013 Transpyr,  the epic 8-day mountain bike stage race in northern Spain.  We will be racing across Spain, from Roses, on the Mediterranean, to San Sebastian, the west coast town on the Atlantic. 

This will be the single most challenging physical event I have undertaken to date.  The ride will total out at 820km, racing distances ranging from 85 to 130 km each day.  We will accumulate a total of over 20,000 meters of ascent (that's well over 60,000 feet of climbing on a mountain bike).  To put that into perspective, a pine mountain loop, my local "long" mountain bike ride is about 50km and 1100 meters of climbing.  This is usually a pretty good day out on the bike, resulting in some tired legs and a hungry belly.  Well, that rides will turn into one of my daily training loops. 

How does one begin to prepare for something like this?  Let's find out together.  Over the next 6 months I will be making regular posts on our training plans and progress.  I will talk about training, resting, eating, and gearing, among many other aspects of this forthcoming racing adventure.  I am so excited to be back into the competitive mindset and this blog will culminate with daily live updates while in Spain, with results and reflections from each day's race. 

For now, I'll be focusing on one day at a time, getting the miles up, keeping the body healthy and fresh.  I will be participating in a few tune up races and rides along the way as well, including the awesome opportunity to join the SV team in Maui this winter for a training camp.  Join us for the  race of a lifetime and all that it takes to get there. 




Studio Velo's new digs.

Many of you have been to our new store in Downtown Mill Valley.  While only 4.1 miles away from our old store, things are really starting to look up. For those of you who have not been to our new store or who follow us from afar, we'd like to share a few photos of our new space.  Here is a peak at the new, larger, retail store. Enjoy.

The entrance is the most impressive. A selection of our favorite partner brands t-shirts and jerseys, Rapha & Rapha, below our latest bespoke work of art. Currently we are showing off a De Rosa King with full Record and a pair of lightweight MadFiber wheels. This is a dream bike worthy of its front and center location.... at least until the next lust machine is on dispaly here. 


As one walks around the stunning front display (designed by the way by a friend who also designed our cafe, The Station, in SF) you will encounter our uniquely designed and painted "cash wrap." This is where all of our nutritional and small accessories live. Tightly organized, this display allows our clients to walk on either side of the store, but see the same products, as they are mirrored from side to side. 


On the north side of the room, lives our three bike brand areas, currently outfitted with bike from Guru, Time, & Independent Fabrication. The wall begins with a custom area for our friends at lifestyle apparel brand, Taylor Stitch and the followed by a wall display of our favor wheels. You can see further down the wall begins our main clothing area, with the best in the business showing off their bibs, jerseys, vests and more. You won't be disappointed with the selection from Capo, Rapha, and Giordona, three of the world's top cycling apparel brands. 


No pro shop is complete, however, without a nice selection of the world's finest mountain bikes. From Pivot to Ellsworth, Yeti to Independent Fabrication, we firmly believe Studio Velo offers the best mountain bikes on the market today. Whether you are looking for a lightweight, race-ready 29er, like my 22lb Ti Indy Fab 29er raced in Leadville and beyond, or a carbon suspension bike from Pivot, Ellsworth or Yeti, we honestly believe our years of racing and riding show their colors in Studio Velo's mountain bike line up.  We live and breath mountain bikes like no other.


The BOH (Back of the House) is filled with a bunch of good looking technicians and bike fitters. Above is our head mechanic Josh working his magic on a wheel repair. Equipped with the finest tools in the industry, no repair is too complex for our crew of techs. 


No pro shop is complete without the latest in bicycle fit technology and a place to do it. And no technology or fit system is worth a penny without a skilled professional leading the process in a dedicated fit area. Studio Velo is proud to have two professionally trained and skilled bicycle fitters. Come see why years of professional racing and thousands of bicycle fittings ensure the most comprehensive fitting in the Bay Area.


To experience the best of Studio Velo, however, is to experience its staff. We are so proud of our staff and hope you too get a chance to meet some of the most professional, friendly, intelligent and passionate industry experts in the world at our new home soon. 


Come see us.  


31 Miller Ave

Mill Valley, CA 94941


Rapha Summer & Winter Sale

Here at Studio Velo we are officially coming into Summer weather and leaving Winter behind. While we start to enjoy some warmer weather it is time to make room for some Summer clothing. 
Below is some of the great Summer and Winter weight Rapha gear that we have in stock.
Give us a call at the shop for product availability and to inquire about purchasing your Rapha gear!
Trade Team Cap - $20.99 (reg. $30.00)
- Red, Purple, Blue -

Rapha Wind Jacket - $189.99 (reg. $270.00)
- Pink, Grey, Milky Blue & Navy Blue -
Rapha Women's Wind Jacket - $189.99 (reg. $270.00)
- Red & Cream -

Men & Women's Gilet - $133.99 (reg. $190.00)

 - Black & White -


Rapha Softshell Gilet - $143.99 (reg. $205.00)

- Black -


Rapha 3/4 Short - $172.99 (reg. $230.00)

- Beige & Grey -


Rapha V-Neck Base Layers - $56.99 (reg. $80.00)

- Pink, Cream, Black -


Call Studio Velo to order now! (415) 380-1882

Also, click here to see some great Capo & Giordana clothing on sale!