Sunday, April 01, 2007

Georgia Gould takes her 2nd Win in AZ. "Know Thyself"

There is a saying: "The only constant is change."

This is Georgia's 3rd win of 2007. Two wins this week... how cool is that!? Both of these wins were in very powerful events that required the very best; i.e. "knowing thyself" in body and mind! Georgia has the smarts, she holds a degree in psychology and she has stayed the course! It is paying off!

This has placed an unpleasant pressure at the top ranks of mtb racing! They all want to go to the 2008 games. That's racing! This also seems to annoy the other schools of thought about their coaching ideas, including bike fitting.

We follow the cognitive tradition of Socrates' to "know thyself" and Socrates' suggested method of looking inward (introspection) to find truth! We want our racers to know what their muscles are doing inside and out, more than the sum of a powermeter or just using video!

It's very hard to understand the many tones of the many muscles, to have them work in concert to make power. It can't be see with the eye or video. How do you see or know the tone of any stringed instrument, and its vibration, until it is strummed? It is best to look at the muscles while performing the given sport.

That is why we have our partners agree to work with Myo-facts, using Noraxon sEMG and Dartfish. You need to look inward to make better sense of what the muscles are doing. Know thyself!

Do the eyes have it? The visual perception of movement is based on change of position relative to other objects. To early scientists, whose only instrument for visual observation was the naked eye, it seemed logical that the sun circled the earth. But we all know from a theoretical point in outer space that you cannot observe it directly.

The principles of perceptual organization make it possible for our eyes to "play tricks on us". Visual illusions are very real, for example, if one attempts to view a pedal stroke alone, without a ruler or the use some measuring software!

It's true that white sunlight is actually composed of all the colors of the rainbow. The powermeter is great for training, perhaps the "white sunlight". Using the sEMG, we can look at the colors of the rainbow, plus plot the best path in space using the Dartfish. Many will only use their eyes, and will go with what they read and hear, or hire someone who sees the light as white.

Georgia is a student, she has looked inward and knows what her colors are. She has seen the white light, and looked inwards to see her own colors. She also knows just how her feet are to orbit through space.

We feel that the human learns more from the visual perception, from seeing models of itself, rather than hearing, or just reading emails. The eye: The better to see you with! There are rules of sensory stimulation into meaningful wholes referred to as the laws of perceptual organization. You learn to "know thyself" much faster.

In this sport, perceptions tend to be unstable, to shift back and forth. There are various ways to pedal, which becomes the problem! The pedal stroke is like experiencing a figure-ground reversal. In other words, a shift is occurring in your perception of what is figure and what is backdrop. The human eye has a tendency to try to isolate geometric patterns or figures from a background. Therefore, our perceptions shift back and forth. That is why "NO ONE" can see what the muscles are doing!

Your interpretations of the pedal stroke along with your perception shift might have you focusing on the wrong thing! We have the tools to challenge the human eye, regarding pedal stroke. To just have your bike fitted by eye is not enough! Again, knowing thyself is the key.

Bike fitting is a demanding task, which calls for special efforts and dedication! This is exactly what we do! We are professional, and the results, time and time again, proclaim that what we do works. There are going to be many that contest, name call, and perhaps more because they perform fits using their eyes.

This game is more like fighting than cycling. This is a very aggressive sport! Understand that it is not really a team sport, nor is skiing. Do anything in this sport and expect to get into a "gun-fight".

In cycling, the sport crosses many lands and many cultures. Manners, customs, and tastes do conflict! It is better to view these people as modern gladiators! In ancient Rome, Italy, men fought other men with a sword or weapon. We all know that culture loves a fight, they started it. Today the fight is very real and the weapon is the bike. The bike racer is to provide entertainment for spectators on the course and on the Internet. It is not far off from NASCAR and there are many likes and dislikes throughout the entire industry. It seems there is a lack of sportsmanship, but we are seeing that it is every man or women for themself.

I think it was Lance Armstrong who said to his kid, I get paid to hurt people!

This is not golf; bikers don't take losses and defeats without complaining, or their victories without gloating; they don't treat their opponents with fairness, generosity, or courtesy.
Almost anything goes! Look how many have used EPO or some drug to get an edge!

It is the wild, wild west, and there are many "gun-fighter's" that will attempt to gun you down, on and off the track. They come out of the wood work at places you didn't even know had wood?

Everyone wants to be "top gun" and they come loaded for bear, ready to hit the street to show they are the fastest gun in town! A real showdown! You yellow belly, %$*?#!G, low down, such and such! Who do you think you are? I'll show you!

As Craig Upton, our master fitter/coach said, "Coaches want to have 100% control of their clients." They tend to "rubbish" outside input and are quick to make statements that something is worthless! They are very quick on the draw to announce publicly, formally, and to go to great efforts to perform political endorsements for and not for!

There is very little endorsement or loyalty in this game, which is the same case as ski racing. Racers are not faithful to persons, ideals, teams, or obligations from one year to the next. That was not really a team sport, i.e. Bodie Miller! Bodie does his own thing.

Cycling is no different! There are those who just take the ideas of others and match what they are are doing! Or someone brings something different to the game.

Sad is the day when someone (gun-fighter) states to you that you can't change what has been going on for the last 100-years. In that case that gun-fighter might not even see or hear the plane that dropped the bomb! Can you say, stuck in the mud, "Old School". Poor soul! They either can't come up with someone better, or they are the very best of students, perhaps too good, and only use what the others are doing! That way they don't get "egg on their face". If it didn't make a difference and its very safe within the pack. That is not cutting-edge!

We have worked in other sports with experts from many cultures, and this at the highest level, so we know this "gun fighting" thing well. Gun-fighter's come from all levels and many hold high degrees, perhaps like Doc Holiday i.e. Masters, Phd's , MD's, etc... They are fast and have the ability to debate something, and they they will be your "Huckle-Berry". Did Doc Holiday change the gun of the day? Not really. Most used what the other person had in hand. They were quick, but that did not stop the changes! What is the best way to get faster?

New high-tech wind tunnels? We had people in the wind tunnels 30 years ago and found that you can be too aero, and if the legs can't work on course at 60 to 90mph, then you're in big trouble. How about the new custom shoes? Custom foot gear for skiers have been around for years.

How many people knew that aero bars came from a skiing coach named "Boone Lennon" from Sun Valley, ID. When you spend most of your life going 45mph+ on your feet, learning how to get aero is key. You don't maintain your speed chest up, and training at an altitude is the norm. The cycling sport is changing fast!

Here is my point! I just spent a good hour fitting the boy-friend of World Champ Kristin Armstrong this past Saturday using the new custom fitting shoes. We all agreed that cutting-edge is just now coming to the game. We are hoping to get Kristin a pair, size 38.5, here on Monday, and fitted before she heads to Europe, on Tuesday morning.

So here it is, a Sunday morning in Boise, ID, and I'm sitting, talking to my 25+ year friend Ron Sargent, a formal head US Ski Coach during the 1972 -1978. He took the gals to two Olympics. We're talking about how the cycling game is changing, just like skiing. Ron was also the head coach of the New Zealand National Team, so he knows how different cultures have conflicts. Ron was a top VP for Bank of America as well, and his dealings were in USSR; talk about conflict!

We have both been around sports for the majority of our lives and we know what happens the year before the games. This is the year when cutting-edge techniques, training, and racing information raise their heads! The new replaces the old!

Both Ron and I have worked with the best of ski racers with the understanding of high altitude training. Ski areas are not in low altitudes anyway! Places like: Ketchum, Durango, Aspen, Vail, Jackson Hole, Park City, Bend, etc...

In the world of ski racing, not just Sunday skiing, I always said, "To do what the others are doing is to only match them". To separate yourself from the pack, you need cutting-edge techniques, training, and racing information. An example would be like cross-country skiing; there was a day when things changed, and more powerful techniques took over!

In sports that change quickly, you need to learn the new equipment and techniques, or else you might just GO AWAY!

Georgia is a "young gun"; she has new tools and new ways; can she make it a sweep?


1. Georgia Gould (USA) Luna
2. Alison Sydor (Can) Rocky Mountain-Haywood
3. Katerina Nash (USA) Luna
4. Kathy Sherwin (USA)
5. Heather Irmiger (USA) Subaru-Gary Fishe

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