Gear West Bike & Triathlon, Long Lake, MN

Gear West Bike & Triathlon has been a part of the triathlon community since they opened their doors in 1993. They’ve been involved on many levels locally and throughout the Midwest. To many in the neighborhood they are the local bike shop, carrying bikes for the whole family.

To the triathlon community Gear West is one of the best shops in the Midwest with over 20 years of serving the industry.  On top of that, the owner, Kevin O’Connor, has been racing triathlon for more than 20 years himself, so he uses and knows the products well. Add to that the bike and triathlon racing experience among the staff, totaling almost 100 years and you’ve got a wealth of knowledge available at the shop.

Each year, Gear West partners with over 25 multisport events in the Midwest, providing anything from bike support to race equipment, prize donations and help with race promotion. To top that off they are also involved in many other events right in the local community.

As an athlete I’m grateful to have a resource like Gear West close to home.  I’m proud to race for a shop that goes over the top to give back to the community and sport that I love so much.  In the next years as I continue developing as a triathlete, when I have questions about races, racing, gear or really anything triathlon related, I know someone at the shop will always be able to help me out.  Check out their website below, or stop in at the shop and meet the staff, you’ll be happy you did!



Although they may be a small company, blueseventy is an industry leader when it comes to performance swimwear. In 1993 they were one of the first companies in the world to develop a triathlon specific wetsuit. A little over ten years later they expanded their swim accessories to add goggles, swim skins and eventually some of the fastest pool swimwear on the market. Blueseventy is constantly working with athletes to develop and tweak their products for a superior fit, leading to better performances and greater comfort.

My first tri suit was TX3000 and my first wetsuit was the full sleeve Reaction. In 2014 I upgraded to the full sleeve Helix and switched to blueseventy Nero race goggles. When the opportunity came about to work with blueseventy, a company whose product I already knew and loved, I was thrilled! I’m honored to represent a brand that strives to create the best products within their niche.  Check out their products on their website below:


Test out their products at a local dealer (Gear West).


When I started to look at my results and search for ways to improve my times I quickly realized that the best way improve my bike splits was with a set of Zipp race wheels. Why Zipp? At the time I didn’t really know the specifics but asking around I figured out that the 808’s would be best for me so I bought a pair of Carbon Clinchers. I couldn’t have been more excited to ride these for the first time, it was the first race of the season and I had a huge bike split PR. The next season I upgraded to a Sub 9 Tubular Disc which helped lead me to more PR’s.

Personally I’ve found Zipp wheels to be a smooth, comfortable and speedy ride yet very controllable. I wouldn’t expect any less from a company that strives to build the fastest, most aerodynamic wheel. Zipp doesn’t just test their wheels in a wind tunnel; they develop them there, testing dozens of prototypes, making small adjustments on the spot to hone in on the fastest design. And the development doesn’t stop with aerodynamics. What I noticed most was the stability and durability of the wheels. Zipp’s rim shape is designed to minimize the effects of crosswinds. In other words, the wind doesn’t make the bike hard to handle when riding the 808 and Disc! It is something that is hard to explain but easy to feel.

Brian Gavette, Zipp's Director of sales for the Americas and I
Brian Gavette, Zipp’s Director of sales for the Americas and I

Zipp has also spent years enhancing the durability of the wheels. Not every course has smooth asphalt. The bigger the host city the bigger the pot holes. Zipp has developed their wheels to withstand European races like the Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders which takes place on 100 year old cobble stone roads. Knowing the wheels can handle those races leave me knowing the wheels will handle the cycling leg of my triathlon.

It is no surprise that Zipp wheels are the most popular wheels in triathlon. The wheel count that takes place at Kona each year shows that more athletes choose Zipp wheels than all other brands combined.

When Zipp offered product support through Gear West Bike & Tri I was thrilled. Like Blue Seventy Wetsuits, I have used Zipp wheels from the beginning and I wouldn’t want to race on anything else. Getting to train on the Zipp 30’s and then make the quick swap to my 808/Super 9 Tubular race Wheelset is going to be great. At the Draft Legal Races I will be racing on a set of 303 Tubulars which is icing on the cake.


Test out their products at a local dealer (Gear West).

Premier Sports & Spine Center

Shoulder Therapy with 5lbs 25 Reps - Front lift thumbs up, side lifts thumbs up, bent over raising weight back and up thumbs down, arms at 45 degrees thumbs down raising to 45 degrees. Bands 25 reps (if you can follow these descriptions) - 90/90, fly (squeezing shoulder blades together), row, in a squatting position pulling cords past sides, standing raising cords from sides to above the head facing away from the cords. 2x6 pushups 2x6 in a pushup position lower body to squeeze shoulder blades then opposite stretch them out 4x walking forward and backwards squared with band around knees 2-3 x the following circuit 12 squats with light weight ~ 65 lbs 12 dead lifts with ~65 lbs 6 x each leg, single leg squat to sit on bench and back to standing 6 x each leg,single leg squat with 15 lbs weights 6 x each leg, single leg hip thrusts (back on bench, lower hips and raise hips, one leg out. 4 x pull up hangs 30 second hollow holds x 6 different sets 3x 10 box jumps 3x4 box drops 2x6 each leg step ups 25 reps each foot, Band wrapper on foot, rotate in, rotate out, push toesBeing an athlete you always run into small pains or get minor injuries that can set you back if not taken care of.  I’ve been extremely lucky to work with Dr. Michael Williams of Premier Sports and Spine Center over the past couple years.  Dr. Michael has helped me recover from an IT band injury, foot tendonitis, high hamstring pain, low back pain and knee pain.  At the clinic the goal is to create a healing plan to get you back to activity as fast as possible.  They work at the issue from many angles using a multitude of different treatments.  When you think of a chiropractor you typical think of “back cracking” but an adjustment is only one treatment and may not always be part of your treatment plan.  They also do soft tissue work using Active Release Techniques and Friction Massage Therapy, they can also do physical rehab, joint mobilization, stretching, therapeutic exercises, stim, ultrasound, taping and Dry Needle Therapy.  As you can see this isn’t the typical chiropractor clinic, each visit you actually get a full 30 minutes with the doctor to update on how you’re doing, complete treatments and talk about take aways and next steps.  Like I mentioned before they don’t just work on back and spine issues, they can treat many sports injuries and soft tissue injuries as well.   Being a high level swimmer, triathlete and recently becoming an Ironman, Dr. Michael understands the importance of sports and training in your life. If you’re experiencing any sort of sport related pain I highly recommend checking them out.  Dr. Michael has gotten me through a lot of minor injuries quickly and back to doing what I love.  I cannot say thank you to him enough for taking care of me the last few years, I definitely would not have gotten through some of the injuries that I’ve had without his help.  Check them out!



 Tri Team LC

TEAM LEANDA CAVE spearheaded by Four Time Triathlon World Champion, Leanda Cave. TEAM LC was created as an women’s ambassadorship program for both elite as well as amateur age groupers.

The key to success of TEAM LC will be rooted in our athletes. Triathletes from all walks of life will make up the team and each will contribute in their own special way.

Some will be looking to become the next world champion, some will be looking for an age-group podium, and all will be looking to make the sport better for future generations of female triathletes. 

We believe in:

  • Creating opportunities for achievement
  • Creating a supportive environment to help realize personal and professional goals
  • Increasing women participation in sport and female leadership in the business world
  • Recruiting women athletes from all over the US and eventually worldwide
  • Building and growing a strong community of women to be physically active
  • Encouraging other women to participate in triathlons
  • Looking for women role models who are full of energy and motivation
  • Recruiting women who will have a positive influence on others to live a healthy lifestyle.

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