Sunday, December 28, 2008

World Cup #7 Zolder, Belhium

On a  dry "road like" course within a car race track, the track sprinters flexed their muscles.

Track Olympic Champion Marianne Vos (Team DSB Bank) used the road like course, as she out raced her rivals.  No mistakes, plus a very fast track suited the track types.  

Going into the race, the field knew Olympic Champ Vos would be hard to beat if things came dow to a sprint.  That is was the case!

How dry was it? Some of the top guns even raced with slick tires, allowing for more speed over the dirt tires. Not what most of the gals from North America have been racing in.  Good thing Katie has track time and no question knows how to grab a-hand-full of drops and sprint!  

As we pointed out with all the travel and  jet lag,  dead legs will come and they hurt Katie Compton (Spike), so she was not 100%.  When you racing on the World Cup, ranking plays a huge role at the start line.  If you want a chance to be at the end of the race, you have to have a good start or a (hole shot).  

If you have low numbers on the World Cup, no matter where you live, no matter how fast your are, you start at the back of the field just like Georgia Gould (Luna) WN Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish.  Katie Compton did take a 4th in which is very impressive, given all the leg problems she has had.   

Georgia Gould worked her way to up to 10th, in which is a super effort.  The World Cup is on different level over what goes on in the states.  You have the fastest racers from each country!

North America did well, they had 4 cyclo-cross racers n the World Cup top ten!  Katie Compton 4th, Rachel Lloyd took 7th, Wendy Simms from Canada 9th and Georgia Gould 10th, and Sue Butler  was able to stay on the lead lap.  


1. Marianne Vos (Ned)                                                    42.22
2. Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger)                
3. Daphny Van Den Brand (Ned)      
4. Katie Compton (USA)                                                   0.01
5. Maryline Salvetat (Fra)                                                0.13
6. Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Fra)                                   1.08
7. Rachel Lloyd (USA)                                                       1.20
8. Pavia Havlikova (Cze)                                                  1.26
9. Wendy Simss (Can)                                                       1.35
10. Georgia Gould (USA)                                                  1.37
30. Christine Vardaros (USA)                                          6.29
35. Sue Butler (USA)                                                          8.25

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

U.S. World Cyclocross Named! Merry Christmas!

Its not easy to reach the top.  But due to the hard effort of the gals below, they are headed to Worlds. We are very please with our gals that use our systems. There seems to be many ideas these days!  This is the greatest gift to us we can have!  To watch these people go to the Worlds!

USA Cycling has announced the nominations to the USA National Team for 2009 UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Hoogerheide, Netherlands, Jan. 31 - Feb. 1.

Dreams come true!  Way to go girls!

Elite Women

Katie Compotn
Georgia Gould  WN & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish
Rachel Lloyd
Laura Van Gilder
Sue Butler        WN & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish

Monday, December 22, 2008

Compton wins, Gould takes third in World Cup in Nommay, France!

American women have nothing to be concerned about their racing skills and how they stack-up in the world.  While on the World Cup in Nommay, France Katie Compton took her second win in a role on the World Cup and by almost 19 seconds, just ahead of World Champion German Hanka Kupfernagel and Georgia Gould finished a very respectful third only 5 seconds back of World Champ Kupfernagel.  That's a very real statement!

Given the long trips, jet lag, the long trips are very taxing on your legs.  I know, I just did a "red-eye" back to the mainland from Hawaii.  A little snowshoe time in fresh snow on steep trails seems to be helping!  Plus, Aleive afterwords!  Ha!  It's good to be young!

This was Georgia's cyclo-cross World Cup of the season.  She got stuck in a pack of chasers, but soon left them for the lead duo.  We are so pleased for the American gals.


1. Katie Compton         USA                   40.27
2 Hanka Kupfernagel  Ger                      0.19
3. Georgia Gould         USA                     0.24

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

World Track Champion Fausto Perez Casiraghi is back!

While at 3rdNature in Teaneck, NJ, we had the chance to work with 6'3" Dr. Fausto Perez Casiraghi (Eonologist) who holds U23 Italy Track Champion and U23 World Track Champion.

Fausto is very good at what he does on and off the bike. Here he is doing 190 rpm with 180 cranks and 1,900 watts! Wow!

Fausto has hit speeds up to 60mph on the track and can make up to 2200 watts! That's right!
He was hitting 1,900 watts just after we fit him and informed us that he is making about 45% more power this time of year. He intends on reclaiming his World Track Championships!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mental Faculties makes a difference!

If we had a keen intuitive awareness of or sensitivity to the presence or importance of something like the correct bike fit, along with the correct firing of muscles, we would not need to learn how to ride and pedal.  

That is not the case and that is why hype or basic ideas  find their way to the customer who is in need.

The higher order reflexes are key, provided you have the sense given by your folks, to get the correct fit, and that takes presence to what is being provided!  

When I was young, I found out that the big toe always ends up making a hole in a sock.  So I stopped wearing socks. - Einstein

Control of the neuromuscular system is quite complex and involves 3 major divisions-cortex, brainstem, and spinal cord.  The cortex is the location where all "NEW LEARNING" takes place. The premotor (or supplemental) and motor areas are the most important for muscle control. The premotor area is just anterior to the motor area.  It is here that the gross motor plan for movement is formed.  Provide you have not been told something else and you are willing to new learning?  If you knew it, why do you have to learn? The information is then passed onto the motor area, where fine motor coordination is set formed.

Here is how to make "horse sense" of it!  The nervous system's control of the neuromuscular system can be roughly broken into three levels, which are organized both hierarchically and in parallel.
  1. The lowest level is the spinal reflex, with its segmental & suprasegmental organization & intelligence.  Associated with survival & mechanical work humans do against gravity!
  2. The middle level is represented by the lower brain. This level includes some of the prewired reflexes, some of the acquired reflexes, postural reflexes aided by the semicircular canals, the fine-tuning of movements by the cerebellum, & the limbic system that controls the emotional aspect of muscle.  
  3. At the highest level is the cortex, where three quarter of all the nerve cells reside.  It is here that intentionality of movement occurs, along with learning, associations, and thought!  What is it you want to do? 
Given all the basic fits, led, video and ideas we still have hope for mankind. The good news is, we still think we can teach the cortex what is needed.  They just have to get our solution and we are off to the races! We have been teaching customers after the fit the whole time, even when their brain has been told something else, by someone who think's they know what you sense?

We are not basic, nor do we work at the basic level of the nervous system.  There is even a force-velocity relationship to learn.  The contraction velocity of a muscle also affects the amount of tension or force that a muscle produces. This is clearly seen using sEMG.  The speed at which a muscle can contract is primarily limited by the rate at which the cross-bridging can be manifested at the sarcomere level.  Therefore, the amount of time it takes to reach a given tension level is determined solely by the amount of tension to be developed.

In situations where different velocities of contractions are conducted using the same amount of resistance, contractions that require higher speeds build fewer cross-bridges than those conducted at slower speeds!  In the case of eccentric contraction, however, the amount of force or tension created by the muscle actually increases a the velocity of the eccentric contraction increases.  That is why our fit works best!  It allows you to achieve a better velocity.  Merry Christmas!

Electromyography is the study of muscle function through the inquiry of the electrical signal the muscle emanates.

To understand how muscles work, its helpful to examine the muscle from a macroscopic (video) to a microscopic level. On the macroscopic (basic/traditionally) view with a video is no difference than from the eye!  Muscles fibers are grouped together and identified by their line of action, their direction of pull, and their origins and insertions.

But a closer examination of this arrangement reveals  that muscle is really comprised of compartments.  Rather than being one side of the leg or one massive muscle, some muscles are really a series of smaller compartments that run in the same direction or slightly different directions. Each compartment provides a subtly different pull on the lever arm.

Understanding compartmentalization of muscles better is and will replace the more macroscopic view of origins and insertions (led, video) that is presently taught for a mass marketing or what is view as primary level understanding!  It is better than nothing, but not the best!  As for performance, it will be found out there is more than what meets the eye or video alone.  

The composition of muscle cells, muscle fascicles, muscle fiber, myofibril, myofilaments, sarcomere, thick & thin filaments

When I was young, I found out that the big toe always ends up making a hole in a sock. So I stopped wearing socks.  - Einstein

If you don't understand the anatomy and physiology of the narrow subcompartments separated by thin septa of connective tissue that holds the muscle cells together in their parallel arrangements, you are only getting a basic understanding!

Then you have the relationships of alpha & gamma motor neurons to muscle spindles & Golgi tendon organs. The alpha & gamma motor systems must coordinate to maintain the correct tension of the muscle spindle.  

In other words, the alpha & gamma activation from the brain maintains the correct tension on the muscle spindles!  And it is our Wobble-naught CAD & teaching you using the  Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish that will make a difference!  We have been doing this for 10 years now!  

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 15, 2008

US Cyclocross Championships

Kansas City, Missouri.

Katie Compton  takes here fifth consecutive championship in below freezing temps and a very dry course.  Speed is key.  Our friend at Thomson LLC, David P, the guys who make the stems and seatpost and I where on the phone about the needs of XC, pointed out that Katie uses Thomson stems/seatpost, we know why, they make the best seatpost & stem for the quickest input you can have in rough off road use.  No lag time here, the bike becomes super quick and part of your body and you don't waste time with any movement (deflection).  So, if you want better handling and speed for off road get Thomson.  

We have informed shops  and their buyers of their products for many years, but they have their own ideas or deals!  It might be noted that Katie buys her gear!  Hum?  There is no better seatpost or stem for the off road, where you need quick moves.

Super results for Georgia Gould, as she gets a silver.  We spoke to Andy Applegate about the course, he has been to the race many year.  Andy noted the temperatures dropped and many struggled to stay warm. Katie Compton pointed out that Georgia was riding strong and she goes hard from the gun and hopes that she makes no mistakes.  A good start makes a difference. 

Overall, Georgia was pleased to move higher on the podium, as this will help prepare her for world championships in Europe.  It looks like a lot of Americans are going to be over across the pond.

A crash in the 2nd turn took Sue Butler down.  Sue pointed out that she was willing to just follow Georgia, as Georgia intended to start slow about 5 spots back.  That put Sue in the pack where the crash took her down.  The window of racing is short.  As she said, that was a hard one to learn.  In this game you have to get a good hole shot and you can't follow.  Sue also intends on heading to Europe.  

Most of the gals are friends, as Compton was happy that Gould is headed to Europe this year. They will give the Europeans a race for their money.


1. Katie Compton
2. Georgia Gould  (Luna) WN & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish
3. Rachel Lloyd
4. Laura Van Gilder
5. Amy Dombroski
6. Maureen Bruno Roy
7. Meredith Miller
8. Deidre Winfield
9. Sue Butler  (Monavie Cannandale) WN & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish  after a hard crash!
10. Kelli Emmett

Monday, December 08, 2008

USGP Final! Nash takes series, Gould 2nd!

They might be team mates, but some very real racing went on in Portland, OR at the USGP final.

Nash & Gould took on a very challenging mud course and Nash picked the best lines, won the race and won the series.  When the race started they had the same points for the USGP series, so the game was set!  

Nash got the lead and never looked back.  Gould did her all to reel her in in what might be viewed as a swamp, but Nash had about a 15-second lead.  Being up front in all that mud makes a difference.  A very tough race for the series.  Nash takes the USGP series over Gould by a matter of 15 seconds.  Now that's a  racing to the wire!

On the last lap, Nash maintained her lead over 2 position Gould and then Sue Butler in thrid place.  Sue Butler claimed the SRAM most aggressive rider and her 1st podium appearance.
It was a great story for her racing at home.

Congrats to them all!

1. Nash
2. Gould 
3. Butler

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Aloha - USGP is on and its a good one!

Last night, I had a report from Sue Butler on her performance at the Portland Cup while at Sea/Tac airport.   I am headed to Waikiki for work for the week.

I sit looking south from the 22nd floor of my host, viewing the ocean and will be meeting w/ Luna pro 08 EXTERRA series champ Shonny Vanlandinham for a midday show we are doing together for Dec 7, Pearl Harbor Day.    

Wobble-naught & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish is here for the week, and have almost every hour of every day booked with people coming to get their bikes dialed.  They have some very real mts., here (5 miles of steep) and its from beach up.  A good fit makes a huge difference and we even have people who have had the fit before wanting their new bikes dialed.

If you have ever had our solution, you want all your bikes dialed by the CAD!  And people are learning, that a road bike fit is not a tt, or a tri, mtb, or a cyclocross, they are all different.  We are not some basic fit system, and the folks who have use us in the past "know this".  That is why they keep coming back!

Correction, I seem to being going to clubs and performing fits "A LOT' i.e. Tenneck, NJ just a few weeks ago! As I look out again to the ocean, if your ship doesn't come to you, swim to it!  Ha!

Back to the report.  From what Sue Butler reported, Luna's Katerina Nash & Georgia Gould went one-two in the first round.  She said she did not have the best start and in this sport that can mean the difference.  But, was very happy with what we had her focus on for the race!

Katerina won, Gould took second and still is the USGP series leader.  She like Sue had a slow start, but made ground with strong attacks. 

We wished we could be there for it all, but on the other hand, the temps nice!

Its going to be a good race Sunday!  Best to all the racers for putting on a good show!


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Rebecca Rusch & Greg Martin - 3rd

Rebecca 3rd in Vuelta al Cotopaxi.

Hello All, if you have a little time, read the following story on Rebecca's race report from Ecuador. She and Greg Martin were competing in the "mixed" category and did well in spite of the altitude that really hit Greg.

Enjoy her first-hand account...

As I sit down to write this race report, I am already scheming about how I can get back here next year for this race. The Vuelta al Cotopaxi is the biggest and most popular mountain bike race in Ecuador. The race limit of 400 people sells out in less than a day and there was a 200 person waiting list this year. I now understand why. The race is a 2 day stage race of approximately 140 km. It circumnavigates the high volcano of Cotopaxi and offers some of the most intense, high altitude riding I have ever experienced. The entire race took place above 10,000 ft and topped out at around 14,000 ft. The air was extremely thin, the high mountain weather changed from intense sun to freezing rain in minutes and the course was some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. The best cyclists in Ecuador take part in this race, and the mixed division was extremely competitive. Greg and I were hosted in Quito by one of Ecuador’s best adventure racers and we spent the week before the race riding and sightseeing around Quito. The altitude in Quito is around 7000 ft and goes up to about 10,000 ft, so it was a little bit of acclimatization for us, but it proved to not be enough. The local Specialized distributor and dealer, Daniel took us on a new riding adventure each day and we met a bunch of the local cyclists. Everyone here seems to know each other and for a city of 2 million people, the cycling community feels like a very close knit family.

On Friday evening, we headed towards Cotopaxi, which is only an hour’s drive from the city of Quito. It is amazing to me that in such a short time, you can leave the city and be in the most pristine country environment. The Pan American highway that runs north/south in Ecuador is appropriately called the Avenue of the Volcanoes. It is lined either side by the most fantastic, snow capped volcanoes, many of which are non-technical and can be climbed by anyone who can deal with the thin air. Our caravan of approximately 12 racers all met at a hacienda near the race start. We were all hosted by a very friendly family and fed wonderful potato cheese soup and chicken. All of the food was grown on their farm and prepared fresh that day.

Day 1 racing past Cotopaxi...Reba in front, Greg following

The morning of the race dawned clear and crisp with Cotopaxi looming overhead. The weather in the mountains can be very unpredictable, so deciding what to wear for the race was a challenge. The race registration was held inside the Cotopaxi park and 400 people were lined up under the Red Bull tent signing waivers and getting race numbers. Since the race is a giant circle, we would be camping out between the two stages. Our giant bag of camping gear, race food and extra clothing was loaded onto a big truck that would meet us at the end of the first stage. The race started 45 minutes late, but that seems to be pretty normal for Ecuador. People here are relaxed and casual until the starting gun goes off.

The race began with a climb and we were in the leading group of mixed teams for about 45 minutes, until I had a flat tire. We made a quick change, but saw at least one other mixed team pass us. We got on our way again and the riding was rough double track with multiple steep river crossings. After 6 weeks away from racing, I was feeling the high of being in a race and was motivated to push hard. Unfortunately, Greg was feeling the crushing grip of the altitude after about an hour of racing. Normally, he’s a much faster rider than I am, so I was surprised to be waiting for him. He struggled through most of the day moving at about 25% of his normal speed and struggling to breathe. He was having trouble eating or speaking and was close to vomiting for much of the ride. My adventure racing experienced kicked in and I did my best to look after him, to motivate him and to pull him when I could. He suffered like a champ, which is a hard thing to do. He let his ego go and did not complain and did not quit. I was impressed with how hard he pushed despite how badly he was feeling. The stage was supposed to be 67 km and when my odometer rolled over 70km and we still weren’t at the finish, I was confused. I kept pushing Greg, but I had no idea how much further we had to go. When we crossed the finish line for day 1, I was surprised to hear a reporter ask us if we got lost. I found out later that many of the teams, including us, took a wrong turn early in the day and rode an extra 6 km! Luckily, our wrong turn joined back into the course, so we did not end up lost in Ecuador. However, the mistake easily cost us 20 or 30 minutes. Many other people in the race had made the same error. We finished 4th in the mixed division that day with two of the teams in front of us riding the correct course and 6 km shorter. Despite Greg’s “soroche” (altitude sickness) and our wrong turn, we were still just 15 minutes out of the lead position.

We spent the evening camped with 400 other racers in the Palermo, the high altitude grassland surrounding Cotopaxi. It was like camping on a sponge with deep puddles and mud everywhere, but the scenery was breath taking. The clouds were constantly swirling and creating new designs in the sky every few minutes. Cotopaxi was moving in and out of view all the time. The camp was situated by a farmhouse and the people of the house hosted food for all of the racers. Potato cheese soup was again on the menu and is quickly becoming my favorite race food. I spent most of the evening making sure Greg and I were re-hydrating, eating and recovering well for the next day. Despite Greg having his toughest day ever on a bike, I knew we might be able to make up time on the other teams and improve our placing. Day 2 was also about 65 km and I was determined to have an eagle eye looking for the race flags to be sure we did not make a wrong turn. Day 2 was also rumored to be more technical riding and included a 20km downhill, so I was confident we could pull back some time. Saturday evening, we did a bit of bike maintenance, traded stories with other racers and went to bed early. Unfortunately, one of the farm dogs was doing his best to protect his house. He barked non-stop from 10:30pm until 2:30pm. Despite earplugs, Greg was not sleeping and was scheming ways to kill the dog. He went out around midnight to approach the dog and perhaps negotiate a deal. However, as Greg approached the house, 5 other sets of eyes and growling teeth met him before he could get close. Greg aborted his plan and slumped back to the tent. The dog must have tired after 4 hours and finally stopped barking.

The overnight camp between Stage 1 and Stage 2...even after a night of barking, the dog is alert and keeping watch.

The morning of day 2 was cloudy and cool, but not raining. We had heard horror stories about the weather in this race, so I was thankful we had relatively clear skies. The start of this stage was 12 km of climbing through the grassy Palermo. There was no trail, so you were picking a line through the spongy grass and mud bogs looking for the easiest way. I loved this part because it was more technical required a lot of concentration. There was some hike-a-bike up to the high point of the race around 14,000 ft. Greg and I had decided to start this stage more slowly and just sit behind the lead team. We raced the first hour and a half with the lead mixed team. At the top of the climb, Greg and I bolted ahead for the long downhill section. The downhill was super high speed double track with lots of dangerous rain ruts and loose, gravel corners. Greg led the way on the downhill and I followed his line. We took a lot of chances because we knew this was the only place we could make up time. We made it down safely and began the last 20 km of gradual uphill to the finish. Greg was feeling better today, but was still not himself. We were in the lead for the stage and I was extremely motivated to go for the stage win. My odometer had stopped working, so we were unsure how many km were left until the finish. One person told me 10 km, then about 5 km later, we were told 12 km to go. The last hour of a race always seems the longest, but we pushed hard and were able to finish in first place for the stage. We were less than 1 minute ahead of the 2nd place team and about 4 minutes ahead of 3rd. We ended the race with an overall ranking of 3rd in the mixed division and only about 10 minutes behind of first place. We were 8th overall in the whole race. Considering a wrong turn, a flat tire and a bad case of soroche, I was really pleased with our result and how we worked together as a team. The course was one of the best I have ever experienced and I plan to back next year for another dose of Ecuadorian hospitality and riding around volcanoes.

On the podium...3rd place for mixed teams, 8th overall. Congratulations Rebecca & Greg!

The days after the race included a big dose of TV, radio and magazine media that Red Bull and Specialized had organized for us. Now, we are off for a little adventure traveling around Ecuador. Thanks to Specialized and Red Bull for making this trip happen. Thanks to Daniel at Cikla bike shop for being such a great host!

For complete race results and race information, click here:

Cheers, Rebecca

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Where do you sit, regarding fitting systems?

When you sit on your bike, how do you get your sit bones in the right place on the saddle? How can you find that “home base” from which to move on the bike? Why is it important? How do you learn it? How can a fitting system help you with this important task?

That’s a lot of questions about what seems to be a simple thing. But it’s not. Watch a golfer like Tiger Woods get ready to drive a ball down the fairway. He takes his time to position himself relative to the ball so he can hit it the way he wants. What he wants is to hit the ball with the proper bio mechanics for the desired results. They call this “addressing the ball”. We guarantee Tiger practices this skill religiously. When you place your sit bones on the saddle you are addressing the saddle and setting the stage for your bio mechanical interaction with your bicycle. We call this “addressing the bike”.

Why is it important? Well, as you can see from our example above, in order to drive the bike down the road you want the proper bio mechanics. You can’t get the desired results (a fast bike!) without them. So how do you learn how to address the bike properly? You learn it from someone that knows how; just like Tiger learned how to address the ball. No one is born knowing these things, but at WobbleNaught we’ve spent a long time scientifically analyzing cycling and its bio mechanics. With this knowledge we not only fit you properly, but we teach you what you need to know.

How can any fitting system help me with this issue? Frankly, not all of them do. In fact we believe only we can. Obviously an important part of addressing the bike is finding the relationship between your sit bones and the rest of your bones. Only then can the bike be adjusted to make maximum use of your power. Can a video camera do this? No, it can’t because it only sees the surface. And in this case the surface is hidden under shorts and on top of the saddle. You can’t come to any conclusions about your sit bones with a video camera. If you see someone pedaling improperly you can’t tell from a video whether it’s because they are sitting in the wrong place, or their cleats are wrong, or any one the multitude of things you could change. The idea that this can be done by observation feeds the notion that proper bike fitting is a “Black Art” practiced by high priests of fit. The video camera is an important tool that is best used for teaching and helping the cyclist visualize the proper pedaling stroke. It is a poor tool for measuring a skeleton and its joints.

With our measurement techniques we locate your sit bones relative to the rest of your skeleton, we even account for the amount of soft tissue covering the sit bones. And we do it without getting too familiar with your nether regions!! Once we know where your hard parts are, we can use our CAD solution to put your bike’s hard parts in the right place. THEN we can teach you how to address the bike and drive it down the road with power and finesse. No one else takes this approach and no one else has the tools to do it correctly.

We don’t get to pick our parents, but they pass on to us the physical characteristics we have. Your hips are what they are and we can help you find how to best use what you’ve got. Isn’t that what you want? It’s exactly what we want for you.

So come and see us. You may find out that the saddle you thought was a death sentence isn’t as bad as you thought! Plus, we'll make you faster.

M. McTigue
3rd Nature
Teaneck, NJ