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Friday, June 24, 2011

Letter to Bike Shop Owners

Maybe you’ll be getting one soon!

Dear awesome bike shop owner:

At the beginning of the year, we were given the opportunity have full access to a privately held ranch offering 14,000 acres of rolling hills, canopied forest, and rugged peaks. Though no mountain bike trails yet existed, its owners let us onto their property with the vision of developing world-class mountain bike trails that would put their ranch and winery on the map.

Six months later, we’re proud to announce the first Annual Ancient Peaks Classic, held just north of San Luis Obispo at the Santa Margarita Ranch. With the help of local pros and amateurs, we worked to create what our pre-riders are reporting as epic, world-class trails to be opened to riders on July 23 and 24th.

Our cross country trail features up to fifteen miles of single track and fire road riding, bridge crossing, epic burms, rolling hills, and sweeping vistas. The trail’s been hailed as possibly the best place to ride in all of Southern California, which is saying a lot, considering the quality of nearby trails in San Luis Obispo county.

The downhill portion is a 1,300 foot drop in three miles of super fast lines. A unique combination of natural and constructed track, it has been compared to some of the west coast’s best riding by competitors such as Ryan Tarver, Jeff Bowers, and course designer, Nate Lewis.

Videos and photos are viewable at our website: Please take the time to check it out and help us generate buzz about the event. We hope to have the event follow the Sea Otter Classic next year, and give visiting riders a real show of what California riding and the central Coast has to offer.

Please consider posting the enclosed posters and setting out the brochures somewhere prominent. We are doing this for the love of the sport, but proceeds will also go to support WaterRun, a 501 c3 non-profit dedicated to helping build wells in African communities.

Thanks, and hope to see you out here!

Yishai Horowitz

Race Director and Course Developer

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Narrative of the Downhill Course for the Ancient Peaks Classic

Still working on actual video, sit down, relax, and enjoy as designer Nate Lewis describes the ride, blow by blow.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Importance of Bike Fit!

By guest writer Josh Cohen of Foothill Cyclery

First off let me say congratulations to all of the Morro Bay Tri finshers. You all did a great job out there on a gloomy day that could have been a lot worse. One of the things I happened to observe on the road while driving support for the bike leg is that there are many of you guys and gals out there on poorly fit bikes. Granted this is just a casual observation but it seemed that the majority of the riders out there on the road could have had free speed and more comfort just by having their bikes fitted correctly. With that being said I know some of you are saying to yourselves, I got fitted when I bought my bike, I’m good. I say to you, ask yourself, did I really get fitted well? Do my shoulders feel sore after my ride? Do my knees track straight up and down or do they flail out sideways? Do my feet feel sore after I ride or even during? Do my hands or fingers go numb during my rides? Is my back sore? Do I have pressure on the front of my seat that makes me want to tilt the saddle way down? Is my bike really comfortable for 2 plus hours or does it make me want to get a massage the next day?

I’m sure most of you have asked your bike shop something along these lines and gotten the “You’ll get used to it” response. I can not stress enough that this is a horrible answer. Your bike shouldn’t hurt or make you sore except for your legs after a killer ride. I’m going to go out on a limb and outline the advanced fit we do at Foothill Cyclery so you can see what a fit should really consist of. Please note this is our advanced fit we offer in the aftermarket.

First step is to get to know you. We want to know if you have injuries or other factors which would change the way you fit on the bike. We also want to know what you want to do with the bike whether you are touring, racing, stunt riding, etc.

Second is to get you warmed up and look at your current set up and problems you are having with it. Even small things like sore shoulders hours after you ride. We are looking for all the things that contribute to your performance.

Third thing we do is get some basic measurements off of you. This includes inseam and shoulder width as well as foot varus and valgus (tilt). At this point we are also looking at your shoes and feet as well as how you walk and what your feet tend to do.

After that we make the first basic adjustments to the bike. Saddle height is based off the inseam measurement and set. With the seat height adjusted, we have the rider actually ride on the trainer, check saddle height and fore aft with a goniometer (measures body angles) and a laser. Then we look at the ride straight on with the laser and make adjustments to allow the knee to track as straight as possible. Once that is done, we go again to the saddle height and fore aft and readjust as needed.

The next steps involve rider flexibility. Post warm up we look at how flexible you are in the mid section primarily at your hips. This will determine how much drop and reach we can achieve from the saddle to the bars. The rest is in the details, fine tuning the shifter placement, looking at bar tape wrap options and so on.

These fits take roughly 1.5 – 3 hours and come with a 30 day comfort guarantee. We know that sometimes other little issues can come up post fit so within the first 30 days you can come back for a refit, and adjustments, including swapping out anything fit related that you bought during the bike fit.

That’s our overview of what we think a proper fit should be. I’m not saying that it’s the end all be all of bike fitting, but it’s a great place to start and more than enough for all but the most elite athletes. With that said we have worked on some of the fastest riders in the country, including Jr National Road Race Champion Evan Huffman, and Subaru Trek Pro mountain biker Sam Schultz.

If you haven’t been fitted at this level and would like to know how much more comfortable your bike can be, just call Foothill Cyclery at 805 541 4101 ask for Josh and schedule a fit appointment.