This article originally appeared in Steve Hogg’s August 2015 Bike Fit of the Month:
This month’s FOTM (fit of the month) is about a unique client who took a different path in his quest for performance, both on and off the bike. His name is Ben Keating and he only started road cycling in the last year. Our first fitting session together led to a second on another bike less than a month later. This interaction with Ben meant that I would celebrate success in the winner’s circle of the Viper Racing Team at the 2015 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in January. There was no way I could have known this when we first met in December for a fitting session.
Ben Keating owns multiple Texas car dealerships and is an owner / pilot for Viper Racing Team. He began road riding to boost his stamina for IMSA / Tudor motor racing events in the U.S. and Canada. Although not suffering terribly out on the road, Ben was seeking help to optimize the ergonomics of his shoes and cycling positions. Ben seeks out professionals with top notch and / or unique skills, whether they are international racing drivers such as Jeroen Bleekemolen or Belgian physiotherapist extraordinaire, Jos Sneyers. After a year of dealing with minor back and shoulder issues on his road bike, Ben was prompted to seek me out. A web-search led Ben to Steve’s website which is where he learned about my fitting at Castle Hill Cycles in Austin, Texas, only a few hours away from his home.
Ben contacted me and booked a session in late December 2014. He had experienced various muscle testing techniques previously with a nutritionist and physiotherapist and was excited to see how our take on that could inform his cycling position.
A number of several functional shortcomings were evident during Ben’s off the bike assessment:
⦁ Restricted range of motion in the upper back, shoulder, neck areas
⦁ Weak glutes, weaker on left
⦁ Bilaterally weak hamstrings compared to the quadriceps
⦁ Impeded diaphragmatic breathing skills
⦁ Shoulders presenting a difference in range of motion and stability
⦁ Left hip flexors presented much tighter than the right
I also noted on the bike functional issues including:
⦁ Knees tracking in different vertical patterns, left ascended laterally as right descended medially
⦁ Right hip dropping on the down stroke
⦁ Excessive shoulder / arm enlistment attempting to stabilize the pelvis
⦁ Excessive weight on hand / wrists / forearms
I fitted new G8 insoles which Ben loved, made cleat adjustments and positional changes to his Cervelo R5. He returned in January with a limited edition Cervelo RCA machine. Ben also quickly benefitted the from hamstring and glute exercises and quad and hip flexor opening activities that I had prescribed for his time away from the bike.
Ben was so impressed with my cutting edge and holistic approach to bike fitting and movement assessment that he asked me to accompany the team to the 2015 24-Hours of Daytona to work in tandem with Belgian physiotherapist, Jos Sneyers. Jos also uses muscle testing techniques, similar to ours, for recovery and nutritional supplementation. The overall goal was to combine lots of small gains to help the drivers and crew. Things went well in Daytona and the #93 Viper took first place.
Ben contacted me again in March to help out with the Rolex 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race. This time, I flew on Ben’s private jet and stayed in the rental house with Viper Exchange Co-Owners Bernie Katz and Ben. Between the Daytona and Sebring events, I assessed team members and support crew and applied my skills to:
⦁ Ben Keating – Driver/Viper Exchange co-owner
⦁ Sebastiaan Bleekemolen – Team driver
⦁ Jeroen Bleekemolen – Team driver
⦁ Marc Goosens – Team driver
⦁ Dominic Farnbacher – Team driver
⦁ Cameron Lawrence – Team driver
⦁ Bernie Katz – Viper Exchange co-owner
⦁ Matt Sheffield – Team mechanic
⦁ Jos Sneyers – Team physiotherapist
A new phone and tablet device should provide future photos and video as Keating plans on returning to Castle Hill for future bike position work.
I suppose that what this FOTM illustrates is that the unique skills I’ve developed and learned have a far wider application than just for those riding bicycles.