Drink from the Bottle, Fuel from the Pocket

Drink from the Bottle, Fuel from the Pocket
Don't Bonk!
We have all done it. At least once. We all know how horrible the feeling is when there is just nothing left in the tank. Your legs turn to jelly and making it to the end of your ride seems impossible. Your brakes seem like they are rubbing and your tires feel flat.

When you start bonking on a ride you know trouble is on the way. With years of experience under our belts we have finally settled on a simple philosophy to help prevent the bonk. Drink from your bottle and fuel from your pocket.

This motto has become part of every ride. Whether it be a long training ride, race or Sunday ride, it will help you stay fueled and hydrated. With the help of our favorites Osmo Nutrition and Skratch Labs, we are now able to ride our best and enjoy each ride to the fullest.


See more SV nutrition here!
Be sure to follow us on Twitter for our weekly nutritional discount codes!
Osmo Nutrition

You aren't bonking, you are dehydrated!
As a pioneering nutrition scientist and exercise physiologist, Dr. Stacy Sims MSc, PhD, has made great strides in helping you stay hydrated no matter what you are doing. Stacy has spent many years in the lab and in the field testing and developing Osmo, and there is no better authority than her.

Active Hydration has been developed to maximize the rate of fluid absorption into the body. Acute Recovery helps your body to rapidly restore glycogen, speed recovery and optimize training adaption.

With Osmo being headquartered locally, and producing some of the finest products on the market, it's only natural that we would want to support them. However, we truly believe Osmo’s complete exercise drink system is by far the most advanced and effective for athletes yet developed! Grab a Tub today or try a new flavor with their Single Sticks!

Check out our website for more info and to pick up some Osmo today!

Check out our website for more info and to pick up some Skratch today!
Skratch Labs

Taste. Real. Performance.
Just like your mother's cooking, everything tastes better from scratch. At Skratch Labs they believe in real ingredients that will help you get and stay hydrated. Offering many different tasty flavors from real fruit, you won't be disappointed!
An instant hit at Studio Velo, Skratch has made big strides in our community. They understand the importance of staying hydrated, even on your rest days.

Skratch Labs offers both an Everyday Hydration mix and an Exercise Hydration mix. These products taste great, and are made from real all-natural ingredients that are designed to optimize performance and health for both sport and life.

Also be sure to check out the Skratch Labs The Feed Zone Cookbook
for recipes for on-the-go training or just healthy snacking!


spacer.gifdivider2.gifWeekly Tips:

Make riding in the rain comfortable and safe!

- Lower Tire Pressure - Slightly lower your tire pressure before your ride. Just enough for better traction on wet and slippery roads.

- Rain Gear - Having the correct riding gear can make or break a ride. Bring a lightweight rain jacket for protection against the rain and those windy descents. Rain booties are a cyclist best friend, they can be used to block the chill and keep your toes from going numb before you get home.

- Be Visible - Generally if it is raining it is going to be darker. Throw on some bright clothes, preferably equipped with reflective strips or details. Also, bring front and rear lights to help you see and to make you more visible to cars.

- Bonus - After reading all about staying hydrated it is important to remember that just because you are wet, doesn't mean you don't need to hydrate. So bring that Osmo or Skratch and keep sipping!



As always, Studio Velo is getting more and more Rapha in our shop. .

3960-01 23886-293783-01
Check out these hot Rapha items at Studio Velo now.
The Lightweight Jersey, the Women's Souplesse Jersey and the Team Sky Hooded Top!

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The Longest Paved Road in the World & A Maui Cycling Adventure

Riding with 12 guests this past month over a 4-day cycling adventure culminated with the ascent of the world’s longest paved road- Mount Haleakala, a 10,225’ climb from sea to summit.

Unlike other great climbs around the world, this one-day, one-effort push starts at sea level and climbs nearly unrelentingly for over 36 miles. There are many areas from which one can start the Volcano climb, but one of the most famous and enjoyable is from the little ‘bohemian town’ of Paia. Nearly 36 miles from the base of the volcano to the top, this climb is world-class and truly an epic.


For some cyclist, we head to the island of Maui for this ride alone. For others, as with our group this past weekend, it was nearly one of 4 “epic” rides around the island. After a small 35-mile warm-up ride on arrival day, we proceeded to ride 110 miles around the island on what I have come to call the “Hana” loop.  During the windy season, in which we found ourselves, this ride can rotate from a brutal headwind to an epic tailwind.  Few 100+ days on the road are this rewarding. Killer views of the surrounding isles, perfect volcanic landscape at our fingertips, few cars and great company, this second day proved to be extremely fruitful for all riders.


One might say that riding 110 miles the day before a 10,000' summit push on Haleakala is imprudent and in some ways handicapping our ascent goals, with slower speeds and some possible incomplete arrivals.  However, for many of us, this Hawaiian cycling adventure was about pushing our limits, building our base miles, and discovering a new cyclist within us all. And that is exactly what we did.

The following day, day three of our 4-day trip, we awoke to a nutritious breakfast prepared by our resident Chef, Chris Dressick, whose 5-am meal preparations equipped us perfectly for another long day in the saddle. At 6:30am, the first group of riders set off up Baldwin Ave led by guide and Studio Velo-Head Mechanic, Josh Flexman, whose efforts the day before were still unknown.  With half of the group up the road, the “A” group enjoyed a more relaxed pace at the main house, legs up on the wall or in the ocean preparing both mentally and physically for the day ahead. Some sought a 4-hour arrival, some a 5, and some just making it there. 


By 7:20am, we were off with another small group of riders who one by one would join the rest of the crew on the mountain. Despite the threatening cloud bank about half way up the Volcano, the day’s weather turned out to be perfect: sunny, warm and with little wind until we arrived to the upper reaches of the climb. Considering what normal weather conditions bring on most days, we couldn’t have been fortunate by the day’s outcome.  By 11am, some of the first riders would be standing on top of the mountain, celebrating a heroic ride up Mt. Haleakala.  We took photos and enjoyed the incredible view of the Hawaiian Islands that surround Maui. Chef Chris had handed off sandwiches earlier on the climb so many of us enjoyed an early “ride” lunch before layering up for the long 1+ hour descent back to town.

That afternoon brought considerable pizza consumption at the famous Flat Bread Pizza joint in town, along with considerable amounts of local brew (at least for me).  Content and well tired, we retreated back to the main house for a swim in the ocean, a soak in the main house' jacuzzi, then an afternoon rest.  Dinner came early that night, with one of Chef Chris’ famous seafood meals and remarkable desserts.  With one more 75+ ride scheduled for the following day, we all headed for bed early.

The fourth morning came quickly, though not as early as the proceeding days. The miles were clearly adding up and each of us was showing some fatigue--well not all of us, I think a few riders were unmoved by the difficulty and mileage--- to my amazement.  The slow role-out towards the West Maui side of the island was accompanied by a swift tailwind. The trade winds were stronger than normal this year but with the wind at our backs it was welcomed. We all new, however, the head wind awaited our return to Paia and as a result some riders turned back early.  Other forged ahead and rode the entire out and back route, totally their weekend mileage to over 350.  A great training block indeed!


In the end, the West Maui ride turned out to be one of my personal favorites, with majestic views of the north and west shore’s coastline, surf and small towns throughout the route, and limited traffic.  The 4 days of riding culminated with a nice afternoon relax on the main house deck in front of the beautiful Pacific Ocean.  It was nearly surreal.  Listening to the ocean waves break with a swift wind blowing side shore, the afternoon was left to recovery drinks, cold beers and lots of post-ride snacks.

Enjoy more trip photos here: Studio Velo FB Page Photos




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.