Erik the Bike PT

I am posting on my first ever blog because I owe a big one to Brian, who helped pace me at not 1 but 2 marathons in the past month, getting me into the Marathon Maniacs. But enough about running.


Have always wanted to ride since seeing pelotons of sleek, speedy types zooming by me on Sheridan Ave. Have always been intimidated by "bike snobs" who look you up and down and try to push an overpriced old lady city bike on you, because you clearly don't look like a cyclist. Went on Burke Gilman with Brian on my visit to Seattle last year, and decided f- it, I needed to get a road bike.

This is the story of my love-hate relationship with Gerald. I was introduced to Mr. Rizzer in the fancy bike store in the building where I used to live. My first ever road bike, carbon frame with racing geometry, no "granny gear", along with the chamois shorts and neon clearly elevates my already sturdy poser grade, but whatever, life's too short to skimp on gear. First time out, had to stop because I couldn't figure out the gear shifts (my last bike 15 yrs ago didn't have shifters on the handlebars). Second time out, derailed the gear and couldn't get it back on. Third time out, blew a tire and it took me an hour to figure out there was a massive hole and not just my inability to pump it correctly. Getting pitiful looks from the guys at the bike shop.

Finally start riding in Evanston, IL. Freedom, light as air until you hit 3 miles of straight pot hole hell. Plus horrible traffic, no hills. Time to move to Seattle, where people can run all year and bike on smooth, bike-friendly paths with actual interesting scenery. Finally able to ride 30+ miles without getting a brain cramp to avoid stoplights and potholes, though I still manage to fall (going 1 mph at an uphill stop). But now severe neck pain on any ride >90 min. Friend and coworker Lily Jung (also a maniac and 2 time finisher of STP) advised me to see Erik Moen, bike PT extraordinaire, and even wrote me a referral.

Erik is a cyclist/ triathlete and Physical Trainer who does bike fittings in his office in Kenmore (bikept.com). I bring Mr. Rizzer in, he gets put on a stand. Erik takes measurements of my angles riding (shoulder, hip, knee) using a giant protractor. He dangles a silver pendulum looking thing from my knee to see where it hovers over my foot. He measures the various segments of my bike frame, stem, seatpost, and even my shoes. Like an engineer. He determines that my seat is too far back/ tilted, putting strain on my shoulders from overreaching, and I need a new non-offset seatpost. He adjusted the bolts on my shoes and the position of the brakes on the rams horn to be closer together. I ordered the seatpost and today he fit the seat on it, using a bubble level and various rulers/ protractors. I rode on it without touching the handlebars, which is supposedly a test to see if your seat tilt is right. At least in the shop, these small changes made a huge difference. Will see how it translates on the road tomorrow, my first ride on the roads of Washington state.

He also did some E-stim for my back spasm (stupidly bent over carrying a heavy backpack and felt a "pop" when I stood up yesterday, haven't been able to straighten up since) which had an immediate effect loosening my back. Was prone on a massage table and these electrodes were stuck on my back and electric current run through them. It was like a massage from the inside, felt like someone was rubbing my back with buzzing pencil erasers. Highly recommend.

Hopefully the weather will cooperate. I am glad for the privilege of suffering on a new steep ride; the only reasons to get up in the morning.