PSB Goes to the Chiropractor

I had a feeling today was going to be great. It had too. After torquing my left knee yesterday I had no thoughts for today and I didn't think it could get any worse. It could only get better. I had made an appointment with Bike Fitter Jerry Gerlich at Castle Hill Fitness. I had wanted to do an article for our online goodhealth Web site on bike fitting. Pawn Shop Bike (PSB) was going to get an adjustment. And actually, not just one from what I'd read of bike fits. They took a couple of hours if done properly. They make an adjustment and you ride. Another adjustment and you ride. And so on. And so on until the watts, mph, distance and efficiency are all maximized.

I met Jerry at the door and signed the waiver. The one that states if I pass out and die while on PSB or the Velotron, Jerry has every right to place me and PSB in the dumpster without thinking twice. I started by riding one of the stationary fixed-gear Tomahawk bikes for fifteen minutes or so at about a 90 cadence. We then placed PSB next to the Velotron in aligment so one could see the difference in height and placement of each tube compared to the Velotron.

Jerry asked a number of questions about weight, height, age, etc. He then took all kinds of measurements. Let me say that this was no simple tape measured inseam. Oh no, there were all kind of devices to measure this and that. Once they were all entered into the computer, it calculated what would be the ideal geometry for my bike. All of the measurements. There on paper was the bike I was supposed to have. Over in the corner was the bike I had...PSB.

If I ever need a bike to race in some other location or to sub for the one I have, I can always call Jerry and get the geometry to another bike shop and they'll be the same fit. Let me say OMG. I don't use the Oh, Mmmm and the Gee too many times but it's necessary here. Everything about buying a bike had just been turned upside down. There shouldn't ever be a time to go into a bike shop and pick out a bike becuase it looks good or take an inseam measurement with a tape measure, pay and go. That's what causes the backaches. That's what causes the neck pain, shoulder pain, arm, hand and groin pain. Geometry first. Bike second.

I climbed aboard the Velotron with a 50-inch flat screen mounted on the wall in front of the bike and connected to the computer. A few keystrokes and a simulation came up on the screen with about 25 numbers at the bottom of the screen. Speed, mph, effeciency of right side versus left side were all happening in real time. A two-minute ride and then adjustments were made. More riding...more adjustements and so on. Each time the distance grew longer, the efficiency was better and the watts increased. Once all of these were maximized it was time to transfer the calculations and geometry to PSB.

Jerry went over to PSB and started to compare the numbers. The first two or three were fairly close surprisingly. I guess a year on the bike and making adjustments here and there got it to a comfortable and aero position. Jerry kept measuring. Holding a plumb on the knee pointed to the first measurement that was way off. My knee was 5 to 6 centimeters forward of the ball of my foot. Long story sort. Adjustments to the seat, the cleats the handlebars and PSB was matched up with the fit that felt great on the Velotron bike.

I took PSB out in back of the shop for a little spin but it was difficult to guage the improvement.

I got home with enough time for at least a 90-minute ride. I took PSB out toward the time trial course but there was too much wind to really get an idea of improvement so I went to the Veloway. Quite a few riders were there. I went out and followed a couple on nice bikes for half a lap. PSB was keeping up nicely with these two.

The veloway has three or four points where you can see other riders. You come almost face-to-face with the other riders. I came to one of these points and a woman on a Felt gave me the look and smiled. Not the look like I'd like to ride with you or have dinner with you look. The look like I'm gonna leave you in the dust and kick your ass. Deja Vu. At the last triathlon there was a woman on a Felt that gave me that look when I passed her. She disregarded the USAT rules which meant she should've backed off three links. Instead she was pissed and passed me back. I waited until the second loop of the course over the rollers. I came up beside her and commented what a nice Felt bike she had. She said, "thanks." I asked her if she liked it and she did. She said it cost her over $1500 but it was pretty fast. She asked, what kind of bike I was riding. I said.... Oh...... it's a PAWN SHOP BIKE bought for $69 and then proceeded to climb out of the saddle and dust her on the hill.

So anyway, here's another of the Felt Nation sisters stalking me on the Veloway. Dang. Ok, I'm game. I start to accelerate. I get closer and closer. She turns a head over the left shoulder and sees me approaching. I can see her up ahead get out of the saddle and climb the hill. I'm at the base and start to climb. Dang she has some muscles in her back. PSB is closing the gap. I think I hear a grunt. I know I heard a grunt. PSB has another Felt in its sites. PSB is licking its chops. Another climb and I'm getting closer. I'm two bike links in back. Close enough to hear her breathing. There were two more turns until the end of the loop. I get right on the back tire with just one link between our tires. And then it happened.

There's a new sound never heard on the PSB coming from the front fork. A humming that sounds like a bowling ball rolling through an aluminum tube a mile long and then amplified. Wow!!! I had heard this sound coming from bikes with disc wheels but never on PSB. It was the new carbon-aero fork and the aero front wheel. Together they made for an amazing sound on the curves. Felt Nation sister heard it too. It was like she was hearing fingernails on a chalkboard. She dodged left, she dodged right. Last turn....she....she....she turned off the course and headed for her car. PSB was too much for her.

I slowed down, took a drink of Accelerade and then turned to take another lap. The sun was setting and this was going to be the last lap. A shadow appeared over my left shoulder and was passing. The silouhette in the sun looked just like Lance but smaller. He was riding a sweet Trek and it appeared his calf muscles had calf muscles, much like a shark has rows and rows of teeth. Little Lance taunted me to race and gave me the look. Not the look with a smile like Felt Nation sister, just a look. I cranked but didn't acknowledge the look. Turn for turn, climb for climb I was there on his tail but he stayed in the left lane, I in the right. He didn't grunt like Felt Nation sister. He didn't seem to hear PSB make the humming sounds on the turns.

Half way through the 3.1-mile course a few oak limbs had grown over the left lane by about four feet. I was about four links behind little Lance at this point. Little Lance goes under the limbs so I follow. I look up after going uunder and little Lance has climbed out the saddle. He's mashing and changing gears. Crap! The old lull your opponent to sleep, go under some trees and accelerate like a wild man move. I'd fallen for it again. There was no way to catch him in the time that was left. I doubt I could've anyway as he was little Lance.

PSB felt faster than ever. It also felt more comfortable than ever. Jerry, the bike guru really knows his fits. There's renewed confidence in next season's possibilities with Da Fish and Da Bike Guru in my corner. All I need now is a running guru.

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