who is ride science
Mark Gerlando spent 22 years as a pit trader in Chicago. Mark and and his wife Karen left the big city to live in GOD'S country, Traverse City, Mich., to follow their passion for science and cycling. Mark studied at the University of Illinois and has continued to study anatomy and bio mechanics at the Gray Institute and the Khan Academy. Mark has received specialized bike fit training from Chris Balser at Bike Guru in Minneapolis. Mark is certified through the Serotta International Institute of Cycling and he is certified for Applied Functional Science at the Gray Institute. Mark has completed an Ironman, marathons, and has undergone multiple surgeries. Ride Science was established in 2012 in his basement, and has expanded into a custom studio on 413 North Division Street in Traverse City. In just a short time, Mark has become the go-to bike fitter in Northern Michigan, fitting famed cyclists Larry Warbasse and John Leach and members of numerous cycling teams. He’s fitted doctors, electricians, principals, lawyers, triathletes and athletes of all ages.
Here’s how it works
We feed your bike’s dimensions into our BIOBIKE, creating a custom platform to measure your performance. On the BIOBIKE, we can measure performance data and adjust your bike in real time for an optimal fit. We don’t talk you into a better fit, we let you see and feel a better fit for yourself. Our BIOBIKE enables us to fit you while your are on the proprietary, dynamic, ergonomic fitting system, the only one of its kind in Michigan. It enables us to evaluate your flexibility, core strength, and pedal stroke while taking into consideration your health, fitness level and goals. Independent crank arms allow us to analyze leg strength to address muscle imbalance. Adjustments are made in millimeter increments as we assess your comfort and maximize your power. Ride Science technology provides REAL TIME DATA so you don't have to guess if it feels better. YOU SEE THE CHANGES IN POWER and PEDAL TECHNIQUE. Each fitting process takes up to three hours. We offer two years of tweaking after that, as long as you are riding the same bike.
At Ride Science, we take the sport of cycling seriously. Just like our clients. We are committed to helping them perform at their very best. We combine cutting-edge technology, in-depth expertise, and the highest level of customer service to deliver the greatest results for our clients, ensuring that they continually get the most of themselves and their bikes.
In competitive cycling, very little separates winners from the rest of the pack… often just a few seconds or a couple of inches. The slightest tweak to a bike’s mechanics or a rider’s form can make all the difference. Ride Science combines kinesiology, physiology and a deep understanding of bike mechanics to address even the smallest details in how a cyclist and his/her bike perform together. We achieve the “perfect fit” of cyclist and bike.
The human body is made up of a lot of moving parts. So is a bike. Without a proper fitting, bike and body can easily get out of alignment, causing pain… pain which hinders performance and greatly reduces a cyclist’s enjoyment of the sport he or she loves. Ride Science’s goal is pain-free cycling.
Every person and every bike is unique. At Ride Science, we take a customized approach to bike fitting, taking the time and applying the precise technology so every client feels their bike was the one they were “BORN to RIDE.”
The shape, mobility and health of your spine is an important consideration when determining proper bike fit. If the spine is overly mobile, power transfer from sacrum to pelvis to femur is altered under load, with symptoms ranging from head to toes. Lumbar-laxity recruits erector spine/quadrates lumborum muscles that can actually inhibit gluteal recruitment. My job here is to find a pelvic angle conducive to stability, power and vertebral integrity, using among other things, conformity at the thoracolumbar junction to indicate a positive outcome. It is difficult to discern if decreased pelvic flexion is due to hamstrings or truly tight low back, because the two are connected via the ischial tuberosities. Tight hamstrings pull on sit-bones and increase posterior pelvic tilt; tight low back muscles create the same scenario. While the symptoms and possible solutions for these conditions are many, reducing the amount or unilateral and combined strain with shims, decreased saddle height, reduced reach and differential are typical. I do not believe that adults can physically increase the length of developed muscle tissue, but that the body learns to relax in passive stretching exercise or functional range of motion movements. Hard stretching alters connective tissue is connective tissue. It holds the body in place for muscles to move it and altered, alters of proprioception.
Stand in front of a mirror and look at your feet, hips, legs, arms etc. Chances are one arch is higher than other, each leg/knee has a unique shape, your finger-tips hang at different lengths, one shoulder is forward, etc. Most imbalances/formations have counterparts to maintain function and sense of balance in bipedal activities like standing, walking, running. These can be exacerbated or reduced by unilateral functions like golf, tennis, swimming/breathing to one side, etc. Imbalances become a liability when subject to the fixed symmetry of a bicycle. For example, a low arch and/or bowed leg can increase same side distance between saddle and pedal and hand pressure. I might alter this effect by placing the appropriate sized shim or wedge under the short side shoe. Correcting imbalance involves modifying the bike-saddle, bars, geometry, shoe, pedal, etc. to fit the person, with a baseline established by proper weight distribution longitudinally and between hands, feet and pelvis. My experience is that a positive outcome occurs near the point that the spine ascends vertically from the sacrum towards the head, with equal vertebral translation and rotation through T-9. It is a bit more complex because unilateral curvature can cause contralateral muscle imbalances which host any number of other symptoms.
THE HUMAN CONDITION
Bicycles are symmetrical, non-adaptive machines and are designed and manufactured to geometric averages based on height, limb lengths and proportions. While manufactures are growing more concerned about needs of our diverse cycling population, making geometries and components available in a broad range of configurations and gender-specific designs, each person has unique flexibility, weight, bone and ligament structure and genetics. We are as unique as our fingers prints. Professional bike fitting is an iterative process of eliminating the range of position/adjustments that are NOT optimal both subjectively and objectively to discover what is at that moment is the best outcome. It is a collaboration between client and technician that increases proprioceptive awareness, mechanical function, comfort and endurance. Proper fit allows a body to quickly adapt to better aerodynamics and training effects by correct designations of phasic and postural muscle function. The human body is always looking to be more efficient. When deep stabilizers support the trunk, phasic muscles can focus on pedaling instead of taking up the slack. The result is that a person goes faster, with less effort and more comfort.
Certified in Applied Functional Science; It gives me the skills and knowledge to develop custom assessment, treatments and programs tailor for each cyclist.
Certified Level 3; Learned bike position theory; Road, Mountain, and Triathlon Position.
Focus on fundamentals of movement, identify physical imbalances and limitations and weaknesses on and off the bike.
Certified in Muscle Oxygen Physiology; Learn SmO2 supply and demand for oxygen while in movement. Learn theory on how energy pathways apply to a cyclist, plus with how the individuals VO2 works.