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#fitbyspring: the beginning



Regular readers of this blog will know that inGamba has just launched it’s own battle of the bulge in a bid to be a team full of lean, lightning-quick riders by the start of our 2016 season. We’re calling it #Fitbyspring, and you can read about what we have planned, here.

They say the first step on the road to recovery is admitting that you have a problem, so in the spirit of openness and acceptance, we’re not holding back. Below, you’ll find the letter that our founder, João, sent to Chris Carmichael, his friend and one of the best cycling coaches in the world.

It was a brave move that’s inspired the rest of us to tighten up, too, because while our trip staff are all admirable athletes who can throw down at a moment’s notice, some of us behind the scenes have been a little too fond of the pastries.

We don’t want to do it alone, though. There’s strength in numbers and we hope that we can inspire you to join the #Fitbyspring brigade and work with us towards an incredible new year on the bike.



Dear Chris,

What can I say other than I’m fat again. I know I’ve been here before and for the past two seasons I kept telling myself that I am going to get in shape for Donkey Week … and then life just takes over. Family, work, love of good food and wine and too many chef friends keep getting in the way. Well not really, more like a lack of plan and focus, but you know what I mean.

Well I’m done with that. I’m throwing the gauntlet back and making yet another comeback. This time you won’t see me pin a number on (well, maybe…) but when I get to Donkey Week in mid April I’d like to be in fighting shape.

I’m going to warn you that it doesn’t look good. The weight is at 185 – and that’s 40 pounds over my racing weight. I’ll spare you the BMI numbers so not to scare you but lets just say that I’m back on the first hole of the high school belt again.

Let’s get to work.





Whoa, that’s a lot of weight! Not to worry, my friend, there is still time to turn your fitness around and get you back into fighting shape for Donkey Week. That’s not to say it’s going to be easy, but if you’re ready to commit to some focused training and you do the work, I’m confident there is enough time for you to feel strong, prepared, and confident by mid April.

Here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to set you up with CTS Premier Coach Jim Lehman. You know Jim already because he was on an inGamba trip in Italy last summer. He knows of your love of good food and good wine, so he’s just the coach to keep you in line through the Holidays and into 2016.

Jim is also going to keep me in the loop, because it is personally important to me that you get back into shape. About 10 years ago I was where you are now. I had gained a bunch of weight, lost a ton of fitness, and let the business and other priorities take over my life. But being an athlete is an important part of who I am, just like it is an important part of who you are, and once I made training a priority again (not my highest priority, but a priority) it made everything better. The same has been true for the thousands of time-crunched athletes my coaches have worked with since then, and the same will be true for you.

If you give the coaching program four months and you do your part, you do the work; we’ll make sure you’re ready for your event. Deal?


We’ll be following the progress of João – and the rest of the inGamba crew – on the blog throughout winter. If you want to join in, keep an eye on our social media channels and the hashtag, #fitbyspring, and check out to see if CTS can help you reach the next level. 


Joao fitbyspring


Cycling is more fun when you’re fit. And thin. Anyone who’s been on a ride lately with our boss will know that despite being an ex-pro, right now, he is neither fit nor thin. And he hates this. It makes him grumpy and, dare we say, not much fun to ride with.

This isn’t the first time he has found himself slightly out of shape, of course. His battle of the bulge to go from overweight desk jockey to professional rider for the Cervelo Test Team is well documented and while he won’t quite be going so extreme this time around – but if there’s a DS out there who wants a grumpy middle-aged rider for his team, please get in touch – he does want to get back to being fit and fast.


joao cervelo


So, what does one do when they find themselves out-of-shape and unable to string together any kind of proper training schedule? Well, if you can count amongst your friends some of the biggest names in the bicycle industry, then call in some favours and you make a very special plan.

A plan to be fit-by-spring. A #fitbyspring plan. You take one, long hard look in the mirror and you send Chris Carmichael, one of the most successful coaches in cycling, an email telling him that you want to get fit again and that you need his help.

Once that world-class coach is on board, you need some gear. It’s winter, after all. The nights are long, the clouds heavy with rain and the mercury is low. So you send a note to your buddies at Elite, letting them know that you’re going to need one of their new Turbo trainers. While you are at it you sign up for Zwift, including the “GoInGamba“ code so you can fly your colors while clocking up the miles in cyberspace.




You also need to talk to the experts at Clif Bar about nutrition, because, well, it was food that got you in this trouble in the first place. And you get in touch with Giordana to send you some of their fantastic winter weather kit, including the excellent FRC jacket for those especially cold, dark days of January.




And then, because you’re the boss, you look around the inGamba office, poke a few doughy employees in the gut and tell them they’re all signing on too, so that we can have more fun and less grump come 2016.

But this isn’t a private party. We want you to join us. Seasoned cyclists will know that the winter is a perilous time filled with parties, comfort food and plenty of excuses to stay indoors and off the bike. And if you’re not careful, come the new season, the joy of spring is spoiled by extra weight and a lack of form.

So: Join us on our quest to be Fit by Spring. We’ll be scheduling some regular group rides out of our office in Sausalito and online with Zwift. On top of that, we’ll be doing regular blogs with advice from our panel of experts, including the fabulous coaches at CTS.

And if you want to contribute a blog post with your fitness experiences we would love to hear from you, too.

If you’ve ridden with us before, are going to ride with us in 2016 or are just looking for a little community as you push through the long cold winter days, come on and join us on this ride. And keep an eye on #fitbyspring and @ingambatours because we’ll be visually tracking our shenanigans on Instagram. It won’t always be easy, but we’re gonna do our very best to make it fun.



Inaugural inGamba House Ride rolls without a hitch


Nate Ripperton and Andrew Pollak roll the Headlands.

The first inGamba House Ride is on the books and thanks to some specatuclar weather, cookies baked by the amazing Denise Edwards and the presence of the unflappable Ted King the ride was a winner.

With the group gathering and then rolling out of inGamba World Headquarters, spinning through Sausalito, up Hawk Hill and back around to Cibo for a little sustenance we could not be happier with how we spent our Tuesday afternoon.

The next official inGamba House Ride will be December 1. We are calling it a 11am meet and greet with an 11:30am roll time, mostly because Frank pointed out we were a little squishy on our roll time today.

Come one. Come all.


Ted King trying to make a nutritional decision before ride time.


The crew gets in a little pre-ride chatter.


Pretty good turnout for the first inGamba House Ride.


Ted King turns up the heat on Hawk Hill.


Not a bad place for a short regroup.


Yes, it is the real Ted King.


Lunch on a lunch ride is not a bad way to go.

Fizik: Proven in the peloton



We’re proud of the equipment we use. There’s no shortage of great choices these days when it comes to components and frames, but we believe our partners offer something extra.

Winning bike races lends a brand extra status, but it’s not just about prestige – it’s about proven performance. We all want the best for our bikes, and if a product is good enough for professionals winning World Tour races, it’s more than likely good enough for our weekend rides.

A new frame, groupset or pair of wheels might seem the more obvious upgrade to make, but when it comes to getting the most out of your time on the bike, nothing matters more than contact points. Shoes, bars and saddles – the areas where you physically connect with your machine. If they don’t feel right, nothing else will either.

We use Fizik because we think they make the best saddles on the market. And we’re not the only ones, because seven of the teams participating in this year’s Tour de France were riding on Fizik seats. If that weren’t enough, Sky’s Chris Froome and Movistar pair Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde – the trio who made the podium in Paris this July – were all using the same Antares model. Votes of confidence don’t get much more resounding than that.




Everybody’s different, so at inGamba we have the full Fizik range for you to choose from. Many climbers and GC contenders favour the Antares, but the flatter Arione is a perennial favourite with elite level riders, too. The Aliante, meanwhile, is the go-to model for a lot of cyclists who have reduced flexibility.


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There’s no set-in-stone “best” option. It’s about finding what works for you. All of the Fizik range is lightweight and made by skilled technicians at their facility in Italy. They come with K:ium rails – their own titanium alloy – or braided carbon if you want to shave a few extra grams, along with some unique features like Wing Flex, which means the shell has engineered flexibility along the edges where the inner thighs contact the saddle, adapting to how your body moves.


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Having that choice allows everyone to find the perfect perch. Fizik came up with their unique Spine Concept several years ago, giving riders a simple way to better understand what will work best for them. Your contact points with the bike remain a very personal thing, obviously, but their Snake, Chameleon and Bull categories make a great place to start. More on that here.

It’s a system that draws on research into spine curvature and allows you to determine the best fit for you based on flexibility. And we all know that a better fit means faster – and more comfortable – riding.