Helping Ladies Get Awesome On Their Bikes

I’m a professional cyclist with Vanderkitten-Focus women’s team, and have raced in Europe, Australia, and the U.S. for almost a decade. I also mentor the Early Bird Women’s Developmental team. I have spent a lot of time on a bike, as a racer, commuter, messenger, and world traveler. I know the importance of a good bike fit and even better yet, how awesome a custom bike, built just for me, can be.

I’ve worked in the cycling industry for over a decade, and I focus on women’s specific fits and helping ladies get awesome on their bikes. That said, about half my clients are men, and my ultimate goal is to provide a comfortable environment with excellent results.

I got into bike fitting, and women specific fitting, for a few different reasons.
Over the years I have had several bike fits, all of them preformed by men. The experience was good, and the fit results were stellar, but as a woman being fit, I soon learned the experience could be even better.

I was getting a custom bike built for me - a beautiful steel frame for commuting and bike touring. The framebuilder (a woman) had a local woman here in the bay area performing the fits for her. The over all procedure was similar to the other fits I have had, but the conversation was completely different. That’s just it: the fit was a conversation, where the woman fitting me explained every aspect of what she was doing.  I asked questions, she asked questions, and we gave each other feedback until I was 100% comfortable and confident that I would be getting a custom bike perfectly fit for me.

After this experience I knew I wanted to be able to offer the same experience to other women. I soon went to Boulder, Colorado to become certified as a Retül bike fitter. Upon my return, I found a perfect partnership with Studio Velo, one of the only bike shops that I know of that has a dedicated Women’s Studio, and goes out of their way to make women feel comfortable, in what can be an intimidating environment.

So why get a fit? If you have ever experienced back pain, neck or shoulder pain, numbness, knee pain, or an over all discomfort or lack of power on the bike, you would be a perfect candidate for a bike fit. If you just got a stock bike from your local bike shop that did not come with a fit, or purchased one second hand, you probably need a bike fit. As a woman most stock bikes come with bars that are too wide, or stems too long, forcing you to strain to reach the brakes, therefore compromising the handling and over all ride, quality, and comfort of the bike.

Even if you only ride once a week,  a properly fitting bike can prevent injury. You may enjoy it so much you'll want to start riding more…

I have first hand experience with all types of bikes and disciplines, can relate to your discomforts on the bike, and am not afraid to talk about it with you. I can make recommendations on equipment and clothing from first hand experience, and will make sure you have an awesome fit and experience getting there.

Studio Velo has an equal selection of the best women's apparel available anywhere. We have an awesome saddle program that lets you try out several different saddles until you find the perfect one for you. Lastly (and importantly!), we have some of the best mechanics in the industry to dial your bike in.

When you're ready to get started, drop me a line at starla@studiovelocycling.com



The " Absolu " dream racing machine

by Bill Keller

My love affair with a beautiful French woman began in March 2012.I had to wait three months to be introduced, but she was well worth waiting for. One day I got the call from SV that my custom hand made and hand painted " stealth " black CYFAC Absolu had arrived.  Josh, SV' s bike builder extraordinaire, was as excited as I was to assemble it. I love Cyfac's attention to detail and craftmanship! In addition SV put on Mavic's lightest ( clincher ) climbing wheels, the R-sys SLR. To top it off, thanks to Chris Reed, my  machine would be powered by the new Campy eps electronic shifter. It was a match made in heaven. My experience owning and riding the Absolu has been nothing short of fantastic. 



Recently I had the opportunity to compete in Trois Etapes, a three stage/day charity bike race in the French Alps. To my pleasant surprise Scott Penzarella had organized Cyfac Absolu's, complete with Mavic R-sys wheels and the latest Shimano Ui2, for all of  us to use in the race. We were truly the envy of all the competing teams. It is one thing to casually ride an Absolu. It's another thing to race on one. You can't help but feel like a pro as you easily glide around tight descending corners and cruise up steep terrain. Even Carlos Sastre, 2008 Tour de France winner and lead pro for Trois Etapes, was suitably impressed with our Cyfac's. In fact, he kindly autographed every bike for us!




Following the race, the five  Absolu's were shipped back to the Cyfac factory where they  are being polished up and clear coated before traveling on to California. Hopefully in time to mark the opening of the new Studio Velo store in downtown Mill Valley. It is my understanding that Scott may raffle off one or more of these beautiful autographed machines to celebrate the new facility. I hope so because I plan on buying a number of tickets in the hopes of winning one. 


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

ETAPE THREE: " THE DESSERT'

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?