Monday, April 12, 2010

UPDATED: I Love Riding My Bike; and Cleat Alignment!

Just wanted to share that with you all! You probably feel the same way about this great sport of ours, right?! I had a great ride today in "The Park." Did a few different loops and even stopped to take-in a couple of practice sessions at the BMX track (spectating, not riding!!!), and then struggled to keep pace with a local racer who was training on the flats today. Thankfully, he throttled back to an intensity that I could handle and he explained the basics of his GPS cycle-computer, and also talked about what it was like to train and compete while managing Type 2 diabetes. THAT put things in perspective for me, and helped me realize that this nagging tendon inflammation I have is sooooo not a big deal. If I wasn't so lazy I would just swap out shoes (a la Boonen in Scheldeprijs) and that would probably take care of it - which I'm now committed to doing for the next ride!

UPDATE 1: The Fun Begins on FRIDAY Night (and here I thought it was Saturday):

UPDATE 2: It was a slipped-cleat that caused a minute change in my pedaling biomechanics - resulting in a sore knee. Swapping out one set of Sidi's for the reserves cured that problem and tomorrow I'm sending the "tweaked" shoes to the fit gurus at Foot Fitness Pedorthic and Performance Center in Tuscon, Arizona for new cleat installment.

Bill Peterson and his staff are masters of the cyclist's feet! Foot Fitness makes custom orthotics by taking a mold of the foot and then using a 3-D scanner and a CNC machine to produce the athlete's very own custom made orthotics. They also do comprehensive cycle fitting and gait analysis. The biggest incremental gains I made as an athlete (outside the realm of the black magic) came from Bill's scientific process of cleat positioning and analysis. My power went up while pain and injuries went away. It doesn't matter where in the country Bill is - I will never replace a cleat on my own shoes. I send them to him so that there is no chance of my screwing up the precise angular rotation or fore/aft placement of the non-floating Shimano cleats.

Bill is a Board-Certified Pedorthist NYU / BCP#133 / ABC CPed #164 who has worked with elite cyclists since the 1980's. Previously based in Rhode Island (at least I could drive there from NY!) he is now in Tuscon. Other professional achievements include:
  • President and Founder, established Foot Fitness in 1995 as a sports performance and pedorthic center.
  • 35 years - Orthotic Design, Orthotic Manufacturing, and Patient Care.
  • Teaching and Lecturing on advance biomechanics and pathologies.
  • 1960 - 1978 US Ski Team, Professional Skier, Cyclist, and Water Skier. Still today, after 7 knee surgeries, Bill rides 6 - 7 thousand miles a year and is a avid skier. Without the Foot Fitness Orthotics and Alignment he would not be able to participate in any activities.
  • 1979 Designed and introduced the first Direct Mold Pillow Orthotics System to the ski industry and established Peterson Sports Orthotic Lab.
  • 1980s - 1990s Designed and Patented three Direct Mold Orthotic Pillow Systems, Alignment Systems, and Evaluation Equipment.
  • 1986 - Present; Running Gait Evaluations, Cycle-Fit and Orthotic Manufacturing for some of the best professional runners and cyclists in the world; Motorola, US Postal, Mercury, Saturn, Discovery and HealthNet professional cycle teams, to name a few.
  • 2002 Invented and Developed the AirPillow 3D Laser Scanning System and CNC Orthotic manufacturing.
  • 2008 Designed and Produced a new state of the art orthotic system.  This new system uses the latest science, biomechanics, foot capture, 3D laser scanning, CAD/CAM and computer CNC manufacturing.  This system is recognized as the most effective and accurate orthotic system by medical professionals.
As noted above, some of the best racers to ever compete in the USA, including Gord Fraser and most of the Mercury team, Saturn, Navigators, Fly V Australia, Bissell Pro Cycling, UnitedHealthCare, Team Type 1, etc. have all benefited from the experience, professionalism and the dedication to performance that the entire Foot Fitness team manifests.

I can't wait to get my shoes back and will keep you posted!


  1. Sounds like an awesome day on the bike. Is that a knee tendon? Dude, you gotta take of that.

  2. *care of that

  3. Ya know, I'm not really sure which tendon it is - if any. This is the knee I destroyed in 2003, which is missing a few pieces anyway, so I think it's partially the early-onset arthritis...but I need to stretch it more and strengthen the joint! I'm just too strong muscularly for the connective tissue! ROAR! haha. And I am going to swap shoes.

    Really nice day on the bike today. I headed out solo, but was definitely hoping I'd bump into a group (doubtful) or a solo rider (more likely) and I did. Turning the pedals while chewing the fat is always good stuff.

    Good luck to Hincapie and his bike, and even more good luck to Boonen! Can't wait to be watching live Paris-Roubaix later this morning thanks to the wonders of the internet.

  4. Updated this post with a video to get you psyched back up if you're just coming in (at 2:03AM) from the party and thought you didn't want to head out to the Club! lol Chicken's crash counter is classic - you just have to watch the video to know what I'm babbling-on about! :)

  5. If you can leave the drugs out of the calculus, the sport is amazing. Actually, when you think about it, such a small minority of cyclists are professional that cycling gets an unfair reputation as a bastion of drugs and debauchery. Granted, I think Cancellara is doped (blood) to the gills, but how many of your local weekend warriors - or the old guy you see riding along the canal - are worried about drugs?

  6. I tried my back-up Sidi's today and the pain was gone (more or less). It was clearly an issue with the positioning of the cleat on the left shoe, and I'm just so lucky to have two pairs of the same shoe with the exact same set-up, so that I can deal with these situations.

  7. So you recommend having a second set of shoes with the same cleat placement? Do the shoes have to be exact match? And do you need to have two sets of orthotic? Sounds very expensive. How much do you have to ride to justify having two pairs of shoes?

  8. Well, I think that if you can afford it and are training or competing seriously, a second set of shoes - identical to your primary ones - is very helpful. Of course, you need to have the cleats properly set-up on both pairs if you're going to use one as a reserve. You can keep one for dry weather riding, and one for wet weather, or have one pair in your kit bag in the team car during races. In that situation you'll need to have a second pair of orthotics, but if you're just worried about training, then two pairs of shoes, one pair of orthotics will handle it.


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