After the Bike Fitting

Well, I’m back from a few quick days in England, and so I thought I’d first start with how the bike fitting went. Then I’ll get into other stuttering aspects of the trip later this week.

To summarize — the bike fitting went really well and exceeded all my expectations. I didn’t think I’d worry too much about stuttering during the process, and that’s how it turned out.

My work colleague joined me for the adventure — since he drove me there — so I was at ease a little bit already. The studio wasn’t that big and had two offices that were separated by glass. There were people in them working. I didn’t think about how they couldn’t hear me. I don’t think I would have been too bothered even if they could — the whole studio gave off a strong air of professionalism.

The first part of the fitting process was just a quick conversation — what kind of riding I do, how often, what the problems are. I was obviously pretty familiar with all of these, and also filled out part of it on a form anyway. Then we got into a physical assessment — not much talking — just standing, sitting, stretching (or not) to see what my joints and muscles were capable of. I suppose during this time I could have asked what each assessment was going to help determine further down the line as far as the fit — but it didn’t occur to me to do so.

After that, he checked my feet to see what size they were. And then quickly sorted out why my foot was going numb — I had placed the cleat in a horrible position, so my foot was compensating … a lot. My feet are the same size as well. So the shoes are fine. Again, not much talking other than answering what part of the foot goes numb, and when.

A good thing to point out now is how quiet and relaxed the whole setup was. I don’t remember seeing a clock. I wasn’t in a hurry. I never felt rushed. My fitter seemed to have a set path to follow and did so confidently — which made me feel better, too. There was no uncertainty about any concern or problem I had — he heard the issue, considered it, then gave his assessment. Then fixed it, then asked for feedback.

Once that was all done, it was time to get on the fit bike and started turning the pedals. After putting on sensors on various joints, he monitored me and the various angles that my joints were making. He’d come up to the fit bike, made a change, and then see how that would affect the angle. It wasn’t a process of “is this better? Or this?” as I thought it might be. It was getting the angles within a specified range (based on years and years of collected data, I’m sure) and then going back to see what might be fine-tuned.

I won’t get into too many more of the fit details (you can e-mail me separately if you want them) but as for the stuttering, I managed to ask just a few things that were bothering me at the time — my hands were really hurting, my butt started to hurt after a while (he changed the saddle which took care of that issue quickly), where is my butt actually supposed to be on this saddle, and I asked for a fan to be placed back near my face since I was warming up. But that was really it. During the fit he gave some commentary on what was going on and how changes would impact my riding. Very informative.

I can happily say that the stuttering didn’t affect the fitting process at all. Win.

Bicycle Fitting and Stuttering

I’ve mentioned before my fondness for bicycling, and I thought I’d let you all know I’m traveling this week to Manchester, England for a bike fitting. Well, it’s actually in Newcastle, but the friend I’m staying with (and the airport I’m flying into) is in Manchester.

We have a few days off this week in Saudi for the Hajj holidays, so I thought it would be a good time to go. The problem I’ve been having is that after an hour on the bike my left foot starts going numb. Then the left hand goes numb off and on. Random back pain (probably due to not being in the greatest shape, actually). But the main thing is that I think my feet are slightly different sizes, and one foot is wiggling around in the shoe a lot more causing the numbness.

I bought the cycle-specific shoes I have now online. I ended up buying three pairs and returning two of them just to get what I thought was a decent fit. For the first few months I had them, I was only doing an hour or less on the indoor spin bike. So I never noticed or really felt any discomfort. But when I started riding with other people — and doing much longer rides — the pain started.

Anyway, so … stuttering? Right. The point is that I’m going to use a bit of vacation and a bunch of money to travel to England for what’s mostly a bike-fitting holiday. They’ll put me on a Retul Muve bike and get me sorted out. I’ll have to … answer questions. And pose questions (I’m sure) to get the fitting and comfort right. That means saying what’s on my mind and not holding back. That’ll also probably mean using specific words no matter how hard they might be to say at the time.

Honestly though, I’m actually not thinking about the stuttering right now. I mean, I’m not imagining the conversation ahead of time, what he might say, what I might say, what I might have to ask … just … no. Not doing that.

I know I’ll have to talk, but I think my mind will likely be on pedaling and thinking about comfort and responding to slight changes they make for me. Maybe it’ll be like the optometrist — what’s better, this … or … this? First one, or … second one … or … third? First or … third? Now … ok… third or … fourth …

This all being said, I’ll definitely give a little wrap up on the whole deal to let you know how it goes.

Stuttering away for a week

Alright, so the family and I will be off to Dubai for a week of vacation. The Eid holidays are happening here in Saudi (end of Ramadan) so we get a few days off. There’s a lot more for the kids to do in Dubai than here, so we figured why not.

I will certainly try to post this week if/when I can, but otherwise will be trying to speak and say whatever I want instead of whatever I can.

I’m still working on going through each of the workshops that I attended at the annual NSA conference, so there’s a lot more goodness there. Plus my French-speaking adventures in France chasing the Tour for two days and then meeting with Tom Weidig from The Stuttering Brain.

There’s also a steady stream of stuttering posts and information showing up on Twitter these days, so plenty of chances for commentary there as well.

As always, feel free to rifle through the archives and shoot me an e-mail or post a comment!

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