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Broken Carbon | Behind Brady Kappius’ New Venture


When I first moved to Colorado in 2004, one of the first people I met was this guy, slightly older than me, who continually beat the crap out of the Masters fields…Rus Kappius. I’d watch he and his 15 or 16 year old son at the time, Brady, ride, talk and genuinely ‘dad-and-son’ together at our local races weekend in and out. My boys could barely walk let alone ride at the time but these two demonstrated what it ‘could’ be like for me. Not all about the biking per se…but the time a dad and son could spend together in bliss. And so years later, it gives me a complete rush to see Brady chatting up my boys at the race courses asking about their races and to this day, I remind Brady and Russ they have been a model for me as I raise these boys on and near the race course. They are core. Believe that.

So blushing aside, Brady has gone on to immense things. We’ve all been so proud of his racing accomplishments here in Boulder, but his education at Mines and now applying a true entrepreneurial spirit in his own start up is laying upon him new dimensions of respect by all of us in this community. Not unlike the layers of carbon he adds to repair the war-torn bikes saddened owners bring to him in a last ditch attempt to resurrect their pride-and-joys. Brady has started ‘Broken Carbon’…a carbon repair service which puts to use his extensive bike racing experience as well as his left-side-of-brain engineering acumen. I wanted to get the word out about what he’s doing as it’s incredibly cool. I just hope I never have to use the service! Ha! But should my carbon meet a tragic demise, I know who can bring it back from the dead.

With that…”5 Questions with Brady Kappius”

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5 Questions with Coach Frank Overton–FasCat Coaching

fascat_logoThe one day I feel good and decide to take a flyer on the infamous ‘Crack’ ride this summer and I hit the deck. “Snap!” was what I heard. My first thought was ‘shit, that was a pretty expensive pair of Oakley Radar’s I just snapped’. But getting up I knew fairly quickly that the snapping sound was not the plastic of the sunglasses, but my clavicle. My second thought was ‘well…I guess I can take a ‘cross season off this year.

No way.

That was mid June. By July I was still healing but already of the mindset I wanted to be back racing with my friends come the changing of the leaves. It’s what I live for! And to help me try and assemble some fitness and learn how to dig myself out of my predicament, I enlisted the help of a great friend, fellow ‘crosser and one of Boulder’s top coaches, Frank Overton. What I found in working with Frank was a person who simply ‘gets it’. Can see through the person on the other side of the table and their true needs…only a part of which is a core training plan. It’s about balance…and that as you all know…is what is sacred to me. Frank is a daddy, husband competitor and business owner and his clientele range from professional athletes, to folks like you and me who live this sport of ours and want to push to new levels. We all need our personalized level of balance…from rest to blazing intensity…from back to back racing weekends to skipping a race or two and taking the family out for a hike. I wanted to expose you all to Frank, his company FasCat Coaching and the amazing stuff he is doing with his business to bring fitness to people. And so, 5 Questions with, Frank Overton!

M&C: Tell me a bit about FasCat coaching. The services offered, clients catered to and why a coach can be a great thing (we've all heard the nightmare stories before of the militant remote coach....).

Coach Frank: Our new Performance Center gives our coaching business the infrastructure to work closer with our athletes.  We have a retail powermeter shop and an indoor cycling space with room for up to 20 bikes per class.   We have put together a world class physiological lab with the best metabolic cart and lactate analyzer – the very same equipment used in big time exercise physiology lab (Olympic Training Center, Harvard, NASA).   Not only can we tell you your VO2 Max and Lactate Threshold but we will consult with you on what those results means to your power based training.   By linking the two we give our athletes the ability to take the sport science from the lab out onto their handlebar with their powermeter to use while they are training & racing.


Frank Overton – FasCat Coaching. This is the smile I see in the rearview mirror of his scooter as he’s slaying me. Evil.

(This amazing portrait by Smashread on Flickr.)

We also have a full service biomechanics lab for bicycle fitting with former Olympian and Physical Therapist, Ann Trombley.   Ann combines 10 years of physical therapy and bicycle fitting experience for an old skool fit that uses the new skool Dartfish video motion capture system.   Our two camera video setup is displayed on a video monitor for the athlete to see how they look on the bike before, during and after the fit.  The Dartfish software allows Ann to slow down and catch subtle movements that would otherwise go undetected.  We also use the software to measure ankle, knee, and hip angles as well as tracking lateral knee movement.   

Using Dartfish software to dial in fit scientifically. It’s not just for the pros!

All the technology plus extensive  bike fitting experience puts our bike fitting up with the very best.    If you have bike riding pain on the bike you are in no better hands than a physical therapist with vast bicycle fitting experience.   If you are about to start riding your bike a lot and would like to take preventative measures against bike fit related injuries and pain, look no further.

Starting November 2nd, we are going to launch our indoor cycling program.  It’s more than a workout – all of our classes are coach led and power based.  There’s a power based interval workout curriculum and its going to be hella fun in a group setting with music & videos.  Did I mention that all of our classes are going to be power based?   We are using state of the art CycleOps Power trainers and Indoor Cycles with wireless ANT+ sport technology that’s displayed on a Joule 3.0.    For more information please have a read through our Indoor Training information.

We also offer camps & clinics.  Next year will be our fifth year running the Boulder Summer Road Training Camp – which started out of my garage.   This past August we ran a very successful Cyclocross Camp that will be back in full force next Summer.   The feedback we got from campers was very positive and all are having great cyclocross seasons.

It’s hard to walk in these compression socks. But swing by FasCat and try ‘em after your workout!

Last but not least we have some amazing coaches that are passionate about cycling and more so helping athletes be better cyclists. Jason Hilimire has been with me since 2003.   I coached him from Sport to a Semi-Pro Mountain biker and he completed a yearlong internship with me before graduating on to be an associate coach.   Matt Rossman is an apprentice coach with FasCat that is expanding his knowledge even further in an exercise physiology graduate program at the University of Utah.

Tom Zirbel is a FasCat coach.   How cool is it that a guy who got 4th in the 2009 World’s Time Trial can be your coach?  Like Jason, Tom learned coaching from the athlete side first.  I started working with Tom in 2004 and you know the rest.  Pro Contract > many time trial victories > overall NRC title > 2 consecutive second places at the USPRO Time Trial > and then tragedy.    While it is terrific having Tom a part of FasCat and seeing what an amazing coach he is becoming, it completely SUCKS that he is a coach for FasCat  and not out there doing what he does best.

Alison Powers is another FasCat Coach.  Like Tom and Jason she is also a former FasCat athlete (notice a theme here?).  I worked with Alison in 2007 when I was the assistant director for the US National Women’s Team.   She won the Pan American Time Trial and went on to be a US National Time Trial Champ and overall NRC title winner.   Stay tuned for a FasCat Time Trial clinic taught by two of the best!

Finally Jon Tarkington is now a FasCat Coach.  I’ve been wooing him for close to a year now.  In fact way way back in 2006 we talked about opening a performance center.    ‘Teton’ as many know him is a great guy, enthusiastic coach, exceptional leader and lover of cycling.   He comes to FasCat after a tenure as the Director of the American Cycling Association and will be spearheading several coaching projects that I am very excited about.

All in all our coaches are some of the best in the business, and athletes can come to our new performance center to meet with them, talk training & racing and benefit from their coaching expertise.

M&C: Walk us through the genesis of FasCat, Frank.

Coach Frank: I started FasCat Coaching in 2002. The goal was to coach athletes and help make them faster for the races that matter the most to them.   Since I (Frank) was big into training with power, I began using our athletes power data & performances to learn how to be a better coach.   To promote the business, I hung my hat on the internet and  wrote monthly training tips for PEZCycling News from 2003 – 2005.   I did my homework for each training tip, backed up by my own research, power data and other athletes success using those training techniques.  I developed my coaching philosophy while writing those training tips and I continue to write tips as a way to explore innovative training methodologies. 

Fast forward to May of 2004 – I was coaching enough athletes to quit my job as a molecular biologist at a little start up bio company called Bolder Biotechnology.  As a side note Bolder Biotech was developing 2nd generation protein pharmaceuticals like EPO & Growth Hormone.  I was the guy that took the DNA, manipulated to code in a way we thought would be favorable for manufacturing and put the DNA into E. Coli for fermentation productions.   But I digress….

So from Memorial Day of 2004, I have not looked back and it has been full steam working with athletes since then.  I continued to race and analyze power data and focused 100% on the athletes I coached.  In 2006 my 2nd daughter was born and I wanted to step up my coaching by taking on more projects that would develop my skills as a coach.  Enter the Priority Health Professional Cycling team – I coached 50% of the team on a one on one basis in 2006 including Tom Zirbel (who is now a FasCat Coach).   It went well enough that I worked for the US National Women’s Team in 2007 as the assistant director in Europe.  We did all the women’s world cups all over Europe and I worked with some very talented ladies (one of whom, Alison Powers, is also a FasCat Coach).  Both were amazing learning experiences but neither was sustainable as a career – especially one as a family man.


Frank and his training programs have taken his athletes to amazing levels.

In 2008, I turned my attention away from working with teams and focused on developing the business.   We did a 3rd generation website with Goozmo, LLC and opened powermeter shop selling SRM, PowerTap and Quarq CinQo powermeters.   I carried little inventory and mainly placed custom orders for new FasCat Athletes that wanted to train with power and knew they needed the coaching to go along with the powermeter.   To this day we give a free month of power based coaching (with no start up fee) to every athlete that buys a powermeter from us.   Our prices do not compete with other discount retailers but the added value of coaching is a deal that can’t be beat.

Also in 2008, I took on my very first associate coach, Jason Hilimire. For years I had wanted to hire other coaches but I had never found the right one.   The coach that knew his stuff, that knew the FasCat methodology was in fact one of my very first athletes.   Way way back in 2003 I took out an ad on and Jason hired me.  We worked together for 4 years or so where he went from a sport class mountain bike to a semi-pro racer.   For Jason to come on board as a FasCat coach made all the sense in the world.  Jason completed a yearlong apprenticeship with me and now is one of the best mountain bike coaches I the business if you ask me.

Fast forward to 2009 where years of brainstorming a training center finally clicked.   A business plan and a detailed pro forma later & FasCat got its piece of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (aka the Stimulus Package).    By June of 2010 FasCat had its brick in mortar after a custom build out in one of the best locations in town.   I specifically choose our location to be near Boulder Cycle Sport & Amante Coffee.   So far that is our brief history and here’s to another 10 – 20 years.

Enjoy this little ditty of a typical motopacing session with Frank.

M&C: Cyclocross is a unique beast. Intensity for an hour, handling your bike under stress lap after lap, in extreme conditions. What are the key differences in a training plan that should be considered by an athlete who wants to improve their game in what may be their 2nd or 3rd season?

Coach Frank: Cyclocross is an anaerobic sport in which successful athletes have a well developed anaerobic system capable of handling over one hundred 5 – 20 second explosive power outputs in a 1 hour race.   Thus anaerobic capacity workouts are the name of the game.  “1 minuters” are great to get the party started.  I like to progress to shorter intervals at higher power outputs as the season approached.  45 seconds > 30 seconds and then Tabatas!  (20 seconds on 10 second OFF).

Timing is everything and periodization is paramount.   Anaerobic capacity work will be even better if athletes can have a hemi-powered aerobic engine.  Thus the timing – aerobic in the summer, anaerobic pre-season and specificity during the season. You can scope out some previous articles I have done here on our site, as well as on VeloNews.

M&C: Masters racers are particularly difficult students. We demand a lot as we think we're 24 years old. have a lot of dependencies infinitely more important than cycling (families, jobs, etc) and invariably are Type A(+++) personalities that simply have to see results. How do you manage to this customer type?

Coach Frank: With great care.  Actually it’s not that difficult for me because I am a Masters Athlete, I am somewhat Type A and I know what I would want from a coach and I try to deliver that to my athletes.  It’s my coaching golden rule “do unto my athletes as I would expect to be done for me”

Being a good listener and communicating helps a lot.  Advanced planning and goal setting go long way too.   Plus monitoring the master athletes’ (as with all athletes) performance and being on the same page brings out their best.

M&C: Mmmm. MotoPacing. We've all seen it before…visions of Merckx following his derny around the streets of his hometown at ungodly speeds. But specifically what are the benefits? If you can do it, why? And when?!

Coach Frank: Yes, I love motorpacing as an athlete and a coach.   There is nothing more intimate than taking an athlete out for a motorpacing session and being right there as they suffer, the grit, they struggle and as they haul ass.   As they essentially pour their heart and soul out to stay with you, their coach, sitting on the moto.   I can see if they are motivated and going to uncork a can in their races or if they are tentative and fearful of the intensity.  That’s important for understanding athletes and figuring out how to motivate them and get them to perform their best.


Frank practicing what he preaches and gets his 'cross on - here at Aspen Lodge CX October 2010

I often find that the quality of the workout goes up infinitely when I take my athletes out motorpacing. And since I like quality workouts, I am prone to take athletes out behind the moto a lot.

Physiologically athletes improve their neuromuscular power from motopacing. Think of the short bursty efforts that are required to stay 6 inches behind the moto.   Many times this is described as leg speed. By pedaling at a high cadence behind to motor, athletes are teaching their brain to fire their muscles in rapid succession at great power outputs.   Many athletes can make a lot of power, but motopacing helps them make big power FAST.  Thus motopacing is appropriately called a speed workout.

Mentally, motopacing is beneficial because it teaches athletes to “stay on the wheel” To suffer.  It’s a great carrot and with the way the draft works behind the motor – its Darwinism at its finest out there.   Just like bike racing.  It’s one of the most specific workouts that I know of and has been the secret weapon for many.    If there was a way, a place to motopace on a cross course while dismounting and remounting then I’d do it.

UPDATE! Through the keen eyes and memory of my bud in Belgium, Michel Bajorek, I received an email from the 2009 Worlds article on VeloNews with pictures shot by Jeremy Powers. Yup, Stybar behind a derny on course!

M&C OK, the most important question: Nijs or Wellens?

Coach Frank: Neither, Gully!  He was the guy that was kicking ass when I first got into cross.   When I first started racing Cat 1-2 CX races, one of my goals was to not get doubled by Gully and then if I did to stay with him.

Five Questions with Brian Vernor | From Pure, Sweet Hell to The Cyclocross Meeting and beyond

I don't know where to begin. Insane jealousy maybe at his ability to capture what we all see and feel in still and moving celluloid as cyclocrossers. Or maybe it's his ability to keep focused on the true core of who we are, what we do and most importantly why we do it weekend in and out. I'm speaking about Brian Vernor, photographer, videographer and historian of what will become 'our time' in cyclocross here in the United States.

In 2005 I was invited to see a debut of his movie here in Boulder, only a year after I'd left the Bay Area. What I saw was...well...a big part of my life actually. Pure Sweet Hell, Brian's break through movie captured so much of our 2003 racing season in beautiful film, it's a special keepsake for me. Seeing how Brian has evolved both in video and in his amazing still photography blows me away...shot quite often without all the fan-dangled digital apparatus that hacks like me rely upon. Instead Brian relies upon methods from yesteryear with good old film and true artistry in knowing how to operate f-stops, aperture and lighting.

At the 'cross Nationals in Bend in December, folks will be lining up to see the debut of his new movie, The Cyclocross Meeting. It will be obvious after seeing it how Brian will help you relive what we do and why we do it. I wanted most importantly to give people a better lens into Brian and what he does for our sport. I've also peppered the post with some imagery from Brian to whet your appetites.And without further adieu, Five Questions With: Brian Vernor.

1) Brian, you are a crosser and only a crosser can appreciate the depths we go through in our minds bodies and souls on any given weekend. Your media reflects this (photos and video). Tell me about how you got into 'cross, those that inspired you and what you love about our sport.

Growing up in Santa Cruz, CA I was exposed to mountain biking very young. Since my friend Justin Robinson was racing (on the Yeti Cycles team), I learned about racing, and this extended to cyclocross with the Surf City CX Series (the longest continually running series in the US). Some of the first races I attended were only two blocks from my house, so it seemed like not that much effort to do it in the first place. When something is accessible like that you don’t have to justify it with great ambitions, you just do it because if you weren’t racing you’d be riding some trails anyway. I think races were $8 for juniors. This was 1993. I went to the Nationals that year as a junior, in Tuolumne, CA, and I saw one of the greatest last lap battles in US cross nats history, which was between Don Myrah and Peter Webber. There were only about a hundred people watching but still there was so much energy following that race. Having that public display of suffering and potential failure is a huge part of the racing for me. I don’t get nearly as excited for forms of racing where the individual racer’s breaking point is not absolutely going to be witnessed.

2) Your Pure Sweet Hell was a break through for our family of crossers. It was perfect (and so much of our racing in Santa Cruz/Bay Area was captured in 2003 in that film! Such great memories!). Tell us about that film and the struggle to put it together. The results are astounding...but the path there was invariably hard. What were your greatest challenges?

Pure Sweet Hell was only a struggle to make once the heart of the editing was happening. Until that point I had never made a film over five minutes in length, and assembling a film about something we cared so much about was painful. I just pictured it failing so many times. The worst would have been people just shrugging and not really caring about it. Some people have pretty strong opinions about PSH which is the best way to have it, whether they are good or bad opinions doesn’t really matter because there are both perspectives out there. When we started filming we had a totally lame idea of what the film would be (kind of Hoop Dreams on bikes), and if there was a struggle, it was in finding a way to make only what mattered to us come through in the film. It is really not easier now than it was then, though now I have a little less anxiety about not finding the way.

3) Your eye captures inexplicable beauty...frozen in time...for us all to appreciate and smile about. What to you prefer most? Shooting still or shooting motion?

That is really strong praise, thank you. I like when I succeed at accomplishing my own standard of beauty, whether with stills or motion. Both formats I use hoping to achieve a similar result depending on what is appropriate. I’m not a gear-head, the equipment is not enjoyable in and of itself, so I have to care about the communication that is the result of the image.

4) Tell us about the Bay Area 'cross scene. The mafia out there is so core (and I miss them dearly!). Rick Hunter, Paul Sadoff, Justin many! What encapsulates the Bay Area cross scene in a paragraph?

The Northern California cross scene is stubborn. There are very strong ties to and awareness of the history of the sport here. There is a reluctance to accept a new direction defined from outside this region. That means our races are focused on the atmosphere as much as the racing, and the ideal is founded on our past and present community, not some inflated view of Belgium, or Eurocross, or something the racing here never was or will be. The racing in Europe is amazing and the character of the race scene is unique from the US. That is a good thing. I think it is fine that cross develops in unique ways in each region. As a documenter I want to be honest about what those unique qualities are and focus on them. The guy wearing Belgian blue, eating frites and drinking a Chimay is not that interesting to me unless I’m in Middlekerke, Belgium.

Northern California promoters have given the middle finger to USA Cycling and I don’t see anyone here anxious to jump into the UCI affiliated races game, but it will happen again due to a sense of responsibility to the regional racers with national ambitions. I do think this would be good for our community regardless of the hassles.

5) Everyone is amped to see "The Cyclocross Meeting" in Bend at Nats! Newt and Wicks get their (more than) 15 minutes in this one. What a unique vantage point to take...'crossing in Japan. Tell us about this movie and what the greatest challenges were in making it. And what was the craziest thing you saw in Japan (besides anyone rocking SRAM...).

The Cyclocross Meeting is about expanding your own community via cyclocross. It is amazing that we can go to Japan and find that we are passionate about the same thing as people we’ve never met, and who come
from a completely different reference point. I mean, we’re so lucky that we’re involved in something that universally brings joy to people. That said, it’s also about going really fast. I wanted to mostly focus on Elite racing, both as an update of where the US scene is at the highest level, and then as a comparison to an emerging scene. Pure Sweet Hell was about the whole scene, pro and amateur, and I didn’t want to show the same thing. I also find that really fast people are much more compelling to watch, unless a slow rider is crashing, puking, or trying to drink a beer while running in ankle deep mud (I’m sure someone is filming SSWCCX).

Japan is a crazy experience the moment you leave the airport. To see an industrialized country with such different priorities of space compared to our own to inspiring. It is very isolated in some ways while also obsessively studying outside cultures, but Japan does everything it’s own way. Respect.

A 'Crosser in Iraq | LCpl John Norton, USMC and one bad ass hupster

I don't even know where to begin with this...with the exception that I now truly know 'cross is universal! Truly global.  From Portland to Diegem and on to [CLASSIFIED CITY], Iraq. We all love it so. And so how this all came to be? Let me tell ya...

I get an amazing amount of emails a day from readers. It still blows me away. I try to answer every single one as this is one giant brother/sister hood of folks who simply want to play in the mud. You have to keep up those connections, yo! Keep on sending 'em!!

And so it was with Mr. Norton. Lance Corporal John Norton, United States Marine Corps. A simple email to talk about cross equipment, frames, tires...all the goodness. And of course we got our geek on in an exchange of great e-mails between he and I. At some point it occurred to me: this home boy is in the service. And a few exchanges later, John is in I-R-A-Q!!!! And so, without haste, a package was bundled up and shipped to John as I wanted him to have a bit of U.S. cross love surrounding him. A little of the hup hup for a guy who is clearly no buttercup. And with that in mind I was impulsed to do a '5 Questions With...' episode with our crossing brethren. The following is a unclassified and unaltered set of answers from John, and I am so proud to have had this exchange with him to share with you all. 

John, just know we are thinking about you and your fellow Marines over there. Get back home. Stay healthy. And cross on. We'll try and keep ya entertained!

1) LCpl Norton! Welcome to Mud and Cowbells man! First, know that this entire M & C community is super proud of you and want you safe and home soon to tear it up on the 'cross bike! But first, tell us a bit about you and your job in Iraq!
Hayo the BIG question, what do I do? Besides sleep, eat, sleep and eat, I am truck (MRAP) gunner,  I have the best seat in the house, paired up with my second wife a beautiful M2 named Betty for when shit gets hot. Our mission is to ROLL DEEP and provide security on the streets of Iraq from point A to point B, while at the same time making sure the package does not get jacked up or lost and time to time scare the living shit out of people who want to fuck with us. Nothing like a loaded M2 pointed at your dome.

2) That is some SICK lightweight ride you've got there in that picture you sent me. Kidding (you can pummel me when you see me). Tell us about your 'cross ride here in the States. I 'hear' through the grapevines (even all the way from Iraq) that something new and scandium is coming to you. Do tell...

If I tell you, I might just have to kill you! I do not know who your informant is but their time is short. I will be rocking a sexy Rock Lobster Team Scandium steed.

3) What's the deal with training, man? Can you jump on that trusty steed and get some hot laps in when you're not on duty? Do you need to moto-pace behind a Hum-V?

That trusty steed is more like a death trap, I think it would do more use as a battering ram! I’m going to pour lighter fluid all over it and ride it for a sick photo op. Training: It all starts with an Oreo Sand Protein Shake, let me explain the steps. Take one complete row of double stuff Oreos, two 32oz G-rade packets, one scoop of muscle milk, and a bottle of water, mix it up and BANG! Oreo Sand Protein Shake. For the daily train it is up to my body, but I do anything from 3 - 4 mile runs,  push-ups, pull-ups, life fitness machine, and variations of core workouts.

4) Any chance that "Hup Hup, buttercup" could replace the primal "hoo-rah!" of the Marine? Who do I need to send a shirt to up the chain of command?
I would love to say thank you in advance. Some folks have started to call me buttercup! I think the “Hup Hup, buttercup” as a war chant sounds much more intimidating, as I pass little Iraqi children and grown-ups a like I will shout “Hup Hup, buttercup.Now go and check out biatch!"

5) Bart Wellens or Sven Nys? C'mon Norton! Who's your guy?

Sven Nys of course! 

5 Questions With: Don Powell of Panache Cyclewear!

imageBoulder. It’s not just a rock. Nor is it just the town where Mork and Mindy hung out and bought suspenders and relished in their rad 80’s styles.  It’s a town of hyper-motivated folks who always have a gaggle of irons in the fire. Never resting; always moving. Probably the highest concentration of Type-A’s anywhere on earth. Amazing place, this Boulder.

Speaking of style, Boulder and its outlying area is and has been known to some of the leading sports-clothing companies on earth: Pearl Izumi and Decente? Yup, both here among a slew of others. There’s a TON of design, fabric and materials intelligencia here due to this outdoor sports and lifestyle concentration. So when an upstart like Panache Cyclewear opens its doors amongst this level of competition, they’ve got to imagebe serious.

I am SO finicky when it comes to my cycling clothing…I’m always fidgeting: un-sticking chamois from my crack, pulling bib straps back into position as they slide off my shoulder and my least favorite: trying to organize my ‘junk’ to ensure comfort. I’ve been on a quest to find the right solution…and after trying Panache’s ‘Eleven’ jersey and bib, I may have found clothing Mecca.

Intrigued, I had to reach out to Panache’s owner and proprietor, Don Powell, and get the G-2 on Panache…and yup, a perfect segue for yet another chapter of ‘5 Questions With’!

1) GK: Whatup, Don! OK, let’s get down to some history first. Tell me about the genesis of Panache. What inspired you to build out the company?

DP: To make cool shit!  To up the style quotient in cycling apparel – and to create cool technical clothing that  I…and likely any other racer…could wear while training other than our team kits.  Cycling is the only sport in the world that trains and races in the same exact kit. Look at any soccer field and they’re decked out in training kits. We need other options like that – and we weren’t happy with the cartoon / bumper sticker options available in the stores.  At the same time, I felt that the level of quality was slipping in the cycling clothing and we wanted to create fast, comfortable clothing without compromise.  Thus was born Panache.

2) Got it. I am a TOTALLY finicky freak about the fit of my clothes as after 4, 5 or 6 hours, the littlest things drive me insane and totally distract me from having a good time on the ride. Tell me a little about advantages you have in your products as well as for teams looking for good quality kits.

image DP: Time to delivery, quality and price are all variables as is fit and materials in this game.  For teams we make customizable clothing (e.g. we can put individual rider names/nicknames on their kits) on a chassis that is made for performance cyclists.  We use the latest in digital printing technology which allows us to hit any pantone (color) in vibrant color.  It also allows us to cross seams with design (so that the design matches up).  Our fabrics are top notch and most noticeably the jersey fabric is extremely pliable and wicking.  Our all-way stretch Pro-Stock chamois is what separates Panache from everyone else.  We don’t compromise and give racers a cheap ride, we give them the best.  Best means comfort AND it means performance.  The high density foam provides a bridge for blood flow and allows the rider to concentrate on going fast AND on going fast because blood doesn’t get hung up down there.

3) Bless you. My ‘nads are smiling already in anticipation of the next long ride in my Panache kit! So, let’s get down to the ‘real’ sport: What are you working on that can help outfitting cyclo-crossers for our needs?

The Eleven jersey and bib by Panache Cyclewear DP: Again the chamois is part of the equation.  Riding hard, bouncing, jumping on and off the bike… Panache smooths out the ride.  Another way we help out CX riders is in our vests and jackets.  We use a membrane technology that blocks the wind completely keeping the rider warm and dry.  We will be working closely with some of the local (Boulder) racers to improve and address some of the challenges specific to cyclo cross – and I plan on riding cross this Fall after my first immersion last season. I like the mud; I like “taking” corners; and you can’t beat the vibe at the races.  Although I haven’t raced much cross, I was actually teammates with two CX World Champions back in 1994: Radomir Simunek and Paul Herijgers, two hard working riders that taught me a bunch about training hard and paying attention to detail.

4) Classic! Herijgers is a legend! Speaking of legends, we have a boat load of them here in town as Boulder and Colorado in general seems to be the epi-center for cycling training, media and general ecosystem. Why Boulder for you and Panache? 

DP: I’m in Boulder because I love the riding, love the people, and love the weather.  Boulder is a great place for cyclists and has a heritage in cycling: the Coors Classic, the home of Davis Phinney, Andy Hampsten, and one of the epi-centers for cross.  Boulder is also a place that is evolving and growing.  There is a strong design scene here – folks like Joy Engine and Cypher13.  At the same time, the tech industry (techstars / me.dium / lijit) is growing, bringing in a more urbanite crowd.  For Panache, this is important because we are a cycling clothing company rooted in style and design that makes cool stuff - not just fast, technical clothing.  We like the convergence of sport and lifestyle.

image 5) My thoughts exactly about Boulder. That and my family THRIVES here. OK, the single most important question. Ready Don? Wellens or Nijs?

DP: The duels they have are insane, but if I had to pick, I’d go with Nijs – fluid style with a LOT of power.

Extra Points Tell us a little interesting tid-bit about your cycling past and if you can, weave in something about BEER:

DP: Good one! OK, heregoes: I rode professionally for Saxon in Belgium and we were sponsored by Brigand, a beer with a slight cidery taste; a big golden ale beer; a beer perfect for cold weather, mud, SCREAMING fans, and Cross.  How’s that for extra credit?

I've been Retül'ed!

A few weeks ago I peddled on over to BCS to watch my boy Ted get his new bike fit....dialed in via the very capable eyes, hands and brain of Mr. Todd Carver and his Retül system. I followed this up with a "5 Questions with..." episode with Todd so folks could learn a little more about this dynamic bike fit approach. With all of my body drama and pains going on as of late, I needed to get dialed and have Todd put me under his lens so I can train pain free (and I mean the bad pain....) on my roadie. So, I got myself Retül'ed!

I showed up at my scheduled time at BCS and Todd was there waiting for me, and immediately got me up on the platform and 'dotted' up with all the various infrared nodes and he began his work. On the platform, I got plugged into the Computrainer.

Todd dialed me in and while I was spinning a bit, he began his Q & A and asked all sorts of questions to dig into what I want to achieve....and thus we focused in on areas where I have pain, etc. He then used the Retül technology to 'photograph' where I am at physiologically with this bike. TONS of imbalances to say the least.

During the course of the inspection, Todd would have me get on and off while he made various adjustments...all the while studying my movements with each tweak. All this ended up resulting in a saddle height raise by a CM and by bars by 2CM amongst some other micro-changes. My bars were at a 10CM differential to my seat height (e.g. super low and racy) and therefore needed to come up a bit to ~8CM.

So with the general dimensions re-dialed, we then dove into other body-mechanical issues...mainly surrounding feet/cleats. My feet have a naturally high arch so he prescribed got some Specialized ++ inserts to provide some support and reduce exhaustion I suffered from (e.g. cramping) and then dialed in my cleat position to ensure maximum efficiency. My theory had always been as far forward as possible but with the adjustments he made to the bike, he brought them back a fraction toward the heel and it is way more comfortable and allows me to pull through the stroke way more comfortably in a heel down approach.

Afterwards, Todd sent me all my data via email as all customers get of the resultant tests in addition to your bike sizing...very valuable for when you need a frame built or buying a new one off the shelf and you need it dialed perfectly. A wonderful part of the service. I am going to ride on this new set up for a few days and see what if anything needs to be micro adjusted. But I am stoked to go and train pain free!

Five Questions with - Retül!

Ah, performance. Everyone is trying to get an advantage. Obviously it starts with great fitness but short of that its enjoying yourself on your bike and when having fun, ensuring that every pedal stroke has meaning and is putting all of what you need behind it. Nothing wasted. To ensure that, you need to be properly 'fit' for the bike. There's more to it than just ensuring your stand over height is 'seemingly' correct. And further, its WAY more than just being fit when you are sitting there...static...on the bike. You move...and the bike moves. Dynamic. To be fit with THOSE dimensions in mind is key.

Over dinner at our dear friends house this weekend, my bud, marketing guru and fellow bike geek Ted of Anthem Branding here in Boulder mentioned that he was getting a fit for a new bike he received by Todd Carver. "Hmm. Really?" I say. Looked like a perfect opp for a "5 Questions With". Todd now is involved with a company known as Retül (say: re-tool) which is applying mad science and technology to work with cyclists of ALL types (from Pro racers to daily commuters) to make their riding experience better....where 'better' may mean better performance, less pain and fatigue....ultimately more a more enjoyable ride.

At 11Am sharp I showed up to Boulder Cycle Sport, one of Boulder's premier shops which provide Retül services...and lucky enough to have Todd, himself, so close! watch what goes down on a Retül fit to help you learn more about it. Todd and I go way back as he and I love to throw the gauntlet at each other in cross races. My boy is "fit." Trust me on this. Today I learned a LOT of the reasons why....

M & C: Todd! First, congrats on all the excitement around Retül! Yet another Boulder success
story. You make me all misty eyed with your success. Can you fill me in on the genesis of Retül? When did it form as a company and what was the inspiration?

Todd: Thanks Greg. The product was developed by Cliff Simms, an engineer at Boulder
Innovation Group and fellow MTBer, and the cycling-specific spatial model and biomechanical analysis were enhanced by me. We have also teamed up with Franko Vatterot, formerly of CAT and TriDubai, for business development, marketing, and sales. The inspiration was to give more fitters access to motion capture technology so that more riders have access to a top notch, research level, biomechanical analysis in their home towns. We have also created an open-forum communication fitting network across the nation that is only possible with the collection of accurate, objective data. Old fitting techniques were too subjective. Motion capture, and maybe video someday, is the way of the future.
M&C: Bike fitting has been an artisan trade for what seems like centuries, mainly done by rotund Italians with gray hair, cigarette dangling from their mouth and a string with a weight on it as about the most scientific apparatus they have during the whole process. What do you think has been the single greatest milestone improvement in bike fitting in the last 25 years to improve an athlete’s performance?

Todd: Without a doubt, dynamic fitting. As it's name implies, dynamic fitting records data while the rider is pedalling under normal, physiologic loads. Simply put, we are fitting riders to ride bikes, not sit on them. When a rider transitions from sitting to pedalling, or when a rider transitions between workloads (power) and cadences, things change. And they change dramatically. Also, the motion of the pelvis and frontal-view knee tracking have been implicated as big players in the development of leg power and the diagnosis of overuse injuries. It does not good to record anything statically.
M&C: There are a number of fairly scientific methods now to fit a riders body to maximize performance. What makes Retül bleeding edge? Why should I opt for Retül versus other approaches as a cyclist?
Todd: There are two things here Greg. We, as a company, have two different business models. First, if a bike shop or physical therapy clinic want to purchase a system for bike fitting, there are other options. The other options are mostly video-based systems which offer great visual benefits to the fitter and rider. Hook up a video camera to the laptop and the rider becomes an image on the computer screen. That is called 2D. 3D actually creates a spatial model of the rider's TRUE 3D motion (through 3+ camera angles) and takes the recordings from that stick figure. 3D is known industry-wide as the gold standard of accuracy. Second, if you want to get a fit done and are deciding between options, you should not only factor in the technological capabilities, but you should choose a fitter that has a good reputation. As much as we hate to say it, some of the finer details of fitting is still an art. And there are good artists and bad artists. It usually comes down to how the fitter uses the technology, and interprets the data.
M&C: So Todd, assume I come into my local shop and get a Retül fit on my road bike. How does this translate to my mountain bike or my cross bike? Is it desirable to have specific fits per discipline and the equipment used for each?

Todd: Absolutely. Each position is different and all equipment will be different. More importantly, you will pedal each bike differently. Between a neutral road/MTB position and the TT position, we see HUGE changes in the 3D kinematics such as joint angles of the ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, and elbow. Unfortunately for the rider, there is no good way to transfer the position between bikes other than actually fitting each bike. I guess that is good for guys like me.
M&C: OK, Todd, the ‘big’ one: Vervecken or Boom?

Todd: Well, I guess I have to say Boom.

Todd, thanks so much for being part of "5 Questions with!" I have learned TONS by watching your fit today with Ted and with the answers to my questions above. I am sure it'll help our readers!

Note the following as well!:
As Todd mentioned above, each discipline of cycling ranging from road to mountain to cyclocross requires a specific 'fit'. To supply the huge demand of 'crossers growing here in Boulder, Boulder Cycle Sport in conjunction with Todd Carver/Retül and Brandon Dwight will be offering 'cross specific fits this coming season. Stay tuned!

If you are interested in
Retül and where this dynamic fit system is located near you, or perhaps you are a shop interested in providing this service to your customers, click here to find a dealer or general product/service info.

Five Questions with - RockyMounts!

Earlier this year I started up this series of posts on local businesses here in Boulder...businesses circulating in an around the cycling industry. I did the first one with The Pro's Closet and now am bringing you the second in this series with a company and a more importantly a person near and dear to my heart: Bobby 'Bring The' Noyes, owner and creator of RockyMounts bicycle carrying systems here in Boulder.

GREG: So Bobby, tell me a little bit about the genesis of RockyMounts. When did you start up this franchise and what was the inspiration?

BOBBY: Every bike shop i worked at, i always ended up as the "rack guy", for better or worse. After listening to customers complaints about the, literally, two choices they had in racks, I set up shop in my garage on 34th and Baseline. It was pretty ghetto at first selling them out of the trunk of my car. Money was tight, so I kept my bike shop job and tried to sell them in my free time.

GREG: What inspired you to move away from the stove-top black color schemes the ‘other’ roof rack makers are still to this day rolling out and offer such a variety of colors and patterns? Further, how are these designs actually created/applied on your racks?

BOBBY: It was purely by chance. We sponsored the
CU cycling team, and made them some yellow ones. They came out pretty cool, and riders started asking for them, so we obliged. We have our powder coatings done out in Platteville, CO, by a good ol' boy we refer to as Smokin' Joe. Watching him spray powder smokin a Kool Menthol earned him the name. The printed patterns are done in Denver by a Kolorfusion the patterns are printed on fabric, wrapped on the aluminum trays and baked on. Most of their business is doing Mossy Oak Camo on Polaris ATV, but they manage to sneak in a coupla bike racks.

GREG: Talk to me about bicycle advocacy here in Boulder, Bobby. You are ALWAYS involved and donate so much of your time to ensure cyclists can…well cycle! In your opinion, what is the most important issue cyclists face here in town and in the region?

BOBBY: Boulder has always done a good job with transportation for cycling, but they have never completed the mission and left the sporting component off the table. The wind has been changing, and city officials realize how big a factor we are. The Parks Department especially has been fantastic to deal with lately. When we first asked for facilities, they asked us why we could not use the bike path. Now, we are working on a full blown bike park on the north side of Valmont. Although it is not a done deal, we should have an announcement in early July.

GREG: What kind of changes have you seen in the bike industry all these years have been immersed in it?

BOBBY: The bar keeps getting raised. Through both people's passion and down right greed, last year's designs must constantly be improved. Most for the better, but some for the worst.

GREG: OK, so lastly, Bobby: Slipstream or 7-11? Who’s cooler?

BOBBY: That's a tough call, i would like to see a Cage Match to decide it. Andy Hampsten/Davis Phinney vs. Christian Vande Velde/Jonny Coln, loser buys small house coffees at Amante.

Bobby, thanks my brother.

When you drive around town, nearly every roof is covered with an array of reds, cammo's, yellos, blues etc. When you see a stove top black rack, it's noticeable....and then you see that they are not RockyMount racks!

Make your region colorful and bring some of those back home! Visit the store and get some PRO racks for your rig...but as Bobby says:

Use 'em ONLY if you absolutely, positively can't ride there...

Five questions with - The Pro's Closet!

So as I mentioned previously, I am selling my 2004 Moots YBB to make room in the stable for my new custom Ahrens 29'er. There's lots of ways to sell your used stuff directly, eBay, Craig's List, local paper, name it. I'm perennially strapped for time, so I needed me some help. So, I opted to leverage the up-and-comer's "The Pro's Closet", conveniently located here in the Republic, and tap into their expertise and vast machine they are creating to provide an intriguing supply of pro-level stuff (most is used and hard to find 'last season' items from professionals) to cover the growing demand for quality stuff at the right price for shmoes like me and you to grab while it's hot.

So the more I dealt with this lot of folks at The Pro's Closet (TPC), the more I got intrigued with their growing business and how this whole operation runs...ironically 100 yards from my house. I swung by at lunch one day while working from home to see local blogger, MTB'er and all around nice guy, Nick Martin. I wanted to give you a perspective on this business that can be helping you find what you may have been looking for!

So, with that, let the five questions with fly!

1) M & C: Hey Nick! So, I'm here to tell the world a
little sumpin' sumpin' about The Pro's Closet. But,
before that, gimme a little thumbnail sketch of

Nick: Well for the previous 4 years I had sacrificed
everything in the pursuit of my dream, to make cycling
my "job". In the process I took my camera and writing
background with me and shared it will cyber space over
at Pretty simple life really,

2) M & C: So, from the starving Pro to The Pro's Closet. Intriguing. Can
you tell me about the genesis of TPC. Who's idea? In
fact, tell me exactly WHO is TPC?

Nick: Well in order to pursue my cycling habit I ended up
trying to sell all of my worldly possessions on ebay.
From my Grateful Dead bootlegs to last years kits, I
sold it all... Now this went on for about 3 years,
completely supporting my cycling until I simply ran
out of things to sell. At that time my good friend
and training partner Zack Vestal (now mgr for Trek/VW)
suggested I help him unload some goods.... from there
word of mouth took over. The Pro's Closet really
didn't evolve into what it is today until I hired
Pete Lopinto, Sierra Nevada Crit guru. Pete networked
with the roadie circuit and I spread the word on the
NORBA scene... from there we brought both worlds
together and The Pros Closet took off.

3) M& C: Sounds like a killer crew of folks who REALLY
know about the equipment you are selling to lots of
lucky people. So, speaking of the biz, how do people
find you?

Nick: Right now it is completely through word of mouth. One
guy/girl in a group ride will tell his/her riding
partners on their experience cleaning out their garage
with us and then before we knew it the spider web
formed. We have been growing consistently now for 2
years and today we are up to 6 employees and a consist
client base of up to 100 athletes.

4) M&C: OK, crystal ball time: Besides driving a Carrera
4 S and sipping Cristal, where do you see TPC headed.
What's the biz look like in 5 years?

Nick: You know there is so much gear out there that still
has many miles left in it and simply needs to find the
right owner to put it back to use. Ebay is an
exciting marketplace for both buyers and sellers and
it opens doors to items that you can't find at your
local shop. We are helping our clients free up
valuable space and putting gear into the hands of
people that will get outside and put it to use.

In 5 years I am hoping that the business will be
running itself and I can go back to my days
procrastinating the real world on my bike.....

M & C: Great to talk with you man and best of luck with the
biz! So one last question: Nijs or Wellens

Nick: They have put on a good show and it is a tough call...

So go ahead and visit The Pro's Closet! Now you know a little more about the crew of folks makin' it happin' for you.