Pat Welsh is an avid cyclist who has been riding and racing for as long as he can remember. With nearly 15 years of cycling and 10 years of working in bike shops under his belt, it’s something he’s never gotten tired of. In his newest adventure as manager and fitter at Parvilla Cycles, Bethesda, he’s as motivated as ever to not only advance his own craft, but his fellow athletes’ as well.
Along with his Retul Level 1 Fit Technician Certification, he learned and refined his fitting skills through a 1 year mentorship program with Parvilla Cycles owner and nationally acclaimed bike fitter, Stu Waring. Pat’s goal for you when you walk into Parvilla Cycles, Bethesda? To not only spend the time it takes to figure out what you want and need for your dream machine, but to show you exactly what your body is capable of.
“Only Parvilla Cycles fitting services offer an in-depth four-hour fit in the Mid-Atlantic. We take the time to do it right, not make any mistakes and educate you to find what works best for you and for your body...we want to show you how your body should look and move on a bike.”
When the Parvilla team began to design a concept for their Bethesda location, they wanted to dedicate the entire space to fitting.
“The fitting station is the first thing you see when you walk in the door. It’s at the very center for a reason. It makes a difference to our customers when they can see live feeds of data from the eight markers on their body running on our monitors throughout the entire fit.”
Pat has never considered himself to be the ideal physical athlete when it comes to cycling, but that’s exactly what motivates him to make cycling accessible to everyone. Regardless of physical ability, or limitation, Pat is dedicated to working one-on-one with his customers to get it right for them.
“We’re trying to fit an asymmetrical, moving object (the athlete) to a symmetrical object (the bike)...our technique allows me, and the customer, to see each part of the body down to the millimeter or degree of the joint to get the best possible fit.”
Outside of his passion for fitting, Pat’s passion for cycling is rooted in the training. He loves working towards the goals he sets with his friends and fellow athletes. He races regularly each year, and rides with his club league, the Port City Portlys, nearly every Sunday.
Pat distinctly remembers receiving his first big wheel bike from his grandfather, and then his first real bike a few years later. “I remember being so excited about that bike that I took off and ended up riding all day. I was almost late for my own birthday party because of it.” And not much has changed for Pat when it comes to his love of bikes. Every day when he hops on his bike to ride to work, or trains with his friends, he’s taken by the same thing he felt on his very first bike ride as a kid: pure freedom.
Fun Facts about Pat
Pat has worked in bike sales, as a bike builder, a bike mechanicand is now a Level 1 Retul Certified fitter and manager of Parvilla Cycles, Bethesda.
Pat went to school for music, and says that music and cycling are more alike than you might expect: “Wrenching on bikes, practicing skills - it’s a lot like music. You spend hours in a practice room before the big performance.”
There’s no fit too challenging for Pat...one of his favorites? An athlete who came into the shop after three hip replacements, with an inch and a half leg length discrepancy. Despite the setbacks, Pat says the fit turned out really well!
Pat’s club team, the Port City Portlys, began as a group of his college friends who banded together to lose a few pounds...but it stuck! Pat has been riding with the group nearly every Sunday for the past four years.
About Parvilla Cycles, Bethesda
Parvilla Cycles, Bethesda is conveniently located near downtown D.C., between all three DMV area airports, a half mile from the metro and ¾ of a mile from the nearest bike path. The Bethesda location has an extensive collection of brands and parts, and there is no bike job or fit too big or small for Pat. He takes pride in the fact that the shop offers something for everyone...stop by and see for yourself!