There is a lot of geometry in cycling, what with legs pumping and backs arched, and if the angles are off, it can be painful.

Retailers like The Trek Store and NorCal Bike Sport do a good job fitting someone to a bike, but bodies are individual things.

“They have an established fit. If you go to NorCal, Jeff will do the fit, using video, and do a good job,” said Dave Townsend, a physical therapist at Santa Rosa Physical Therapy. “But if you start running into snags with injuries, that is where I come in.”

Townsend has built a bicycle-fitting station into his practice, which specializes in cycling and running.

“I have established a middle ground between the fitters and the medical world. I am the middle guy who says this is what the body is actually doing,” Townsend said.

Most his clients are over 50 years of age, the “vintage, matured cyclist” with the aches, pains and time to spend on the sport.

But he also does performance fittings for the elite, the serious and the endurance cyclist.

“What happens is when you start getting dialed in and going faster, a lot of people come in for performance fits,” Townsend said. They say, “‘I am doing time trials,’ or ‘I want to do the granfondo in under five hours,’ or ‘what is the best because my back hurts.’”

If the saddle height is too low or too high, a person will rock their hips and stress their spinal joints. If the handle bars are too low or they have to reach out too far, it can cause neck and back pain.

And for those training for the Levi Leipheimer King Ridge GranFondo, Oct. 1, Townsend has this advice.

“Make sure the fit is proper,” Townsend said. “And for fitness, they will want to ride as many miles as they can fit into their schedule,… and hills. That Coleman Valley climb is the key.”

You can reach Staff Writer Bob Norberg at 521-5206 or