As a course requirement for the PhD that I am pursuing, a research project of some significance must be undertaken. This is expected to be original research, and must be published in peer-reviewed journals, with at minimum, two papers resultant from the study. My topic of choice, surprise surprise, will examine an element of the bike-fitting process: namely, the effects of medial wedges on lower extremity kinematic and kinetics in cycling athletes. Having completed at this point, 6 semesters of study in this limited residency program, I am now ready to enter the dissertation phase. (Assuming, of course, that I pass the mandatory 2 day, 8 hour comprehensive examinations this Autumn..).
A pre-requisite for this phase, is completion of 100 hours of mentored work under a suitable tutor, an expert in the area of study. Thus far, I have been attending Stonybrook’s Rehabilitation Research and Movement Performance laboratory (RRAMP), and have been enjoying every minute of the work as a lab
rat assistant for the braniac Dr. Sue Ann Sisto.
The commute on Fridays to Stonybrook is arduous (weekend travelers abounding..) but worth it, although at 4 hours a visit, it is making a slow dent in the required hours. Since I am anxious to begin collecting data this coming Autumn and through Winter of 2011/ 2012, I had to rack my brain for another source of mentoring, to add to my current 20-odd hours completed to date. Instead of the professorial type, I chose a good counter-balance in the bike-fitting world. Paul Swift and Kit Vogel of Bikefit.com have agreed to my request for mentoring. Paul has an incredible pedigree in the competitive cycling world, and Kit is both an accomplished track cyclist as well as a PT in private practice, and a partner in the Bikefit.com education business. I am looking forward to working with them in October in GlenSpey, upstate NY, and travelling out to their HQ in Washington, maybe even as far London for a foot-pedal-interface and Dartfish motion analysis course. Overall, my graduate program director at RMUoHP is happy with my plans and has given me the green light to proceed with the academic expert and the content expert mentoring.
I have finalized my committee, and they are a line up of veritable rockstars..at least in the academic universe. Topping the list is Dr. Sisto, who will chair my committee, Dr. Mitch Rauh will be my methodology + stats advisor, and Dr. Jeanne Nichols will be my content expert. Dr. Sisto is a neuro-biomechanics expert, Dr. Rauh is research director and faculty at RMUoHP, and an expert in lower extremity biomechanics, Dr. Nichols is one of the country’s foremost experts in bone health and nutrition, and is a competitive mountain biker!
I am looking forward to combining the process of serious academic inquiry with my passion for getting peeps comfortable on their steeds, and in the process, getting some interesting conversation going in the cycling community!
www.bikefitplus.com for a happy toosh, tail, knees, feet and more..