Back in June, 2015 I wrote about the remarkable team talent of Jessica Laufenberg and Peter Oyen, owners of Rocket Bicycle Studio in Verona, Wisconsin. Since that last article, they moved the company a couple blocks east into a wonderfully converted building with an interior that screams “go out and ride.”
At the same time, it screams “come on inside and ride,” because their indoor training facility is big and spacious. That means the “den of pain” you create for yourself while riding a computrainer never feels too confined.
Upstairs the fitting system run by Laufenberg now has room to move as well. Having been fitted a couple times on different bikes on her machines, I can testify to the benefit of “dialing in” and making your bike feel like part of your body.
It all falls under the brand tagline of Putting a Twist On Your Bike Shop Experience. The couple knows both road cycling and triathlon inside and out. Peter’s wrenching abilities are well-known, and in combination with Jessica’s bike-fitting and their access to quality lines of bikes that they trust to perform well, RBS is a bike shop for everyone from beginners on up to pros.
Plus they’re fun people, always welcoming, and they’re still situated at the head of the Ironman Madison outer loop. That means summer days are rife with triathletes banging themselves silly in the heat and hills of south-central Wisconsin. There has always been nutrition to be purchased and advice to be doled out, but now Rocket Bicycle Studio has upped its game with a planned coffee bar and other beverages that endurance athletes love to consume pre or post workout.
There’s even more fun waiting for athletes on the merchandise tables. Peter collaborated with a soap-maker who developed a signature line bearing his name. They smell awesome, and this rider brought home a bar for the home shower.
There are also belts and wallets made from bike parts and tires. There is nothing missing in the practical parts department either. If you live in the Midwest and want to have a great experience riding the incredibly scenic territory west of Madison, there’s no better place to park your bike than in the now-expansive lot of Rocket Bicycle Studio. You can get your bike tuned if you call ahead, or plan a fitting if you’re just not sure you’re optimizing your road or aero power ratios. During fitting, Jessica can literally show you power differentials between right and left legs, and demonstrate the difference a tweak or conversion can make in terms of watts and power output.
My wife and I have made several visits to RBS for fittings and ride visits during her training for Madison Ironman and Half Ironman races the last few years. But we also stop by just to socialize a bit. It’s nice to have these friendly points of contact and departure when you’re riding in any part of the country. Rocket Bicycle Studio is setting an interesting standard for how to go about serving cyclists and triathletes in a fitness market that keeps changing in terms of profit centers and sustainability.
The shop is sponsoring its own events as well, and you’ll never go wrong spending time in the active lifestyle market of Madison, which is surrounded with peppy little communities such as Verona, Middleton, Fitchburg and more. Each has its unique eateries and bars, and camping next to Lake Monona at the county park in Middleton is about the perfect way for triathletes to spend a training weekend. Hot showers, ready access to a clean lake for swimming, running on the Pheasant Branch Park trails and riding far out in the deep hills is about as good as it gets.
Can’t recommend it enough. And when you visit Rocket Bicycle Shop and get to know some of the locals, it’s nice to know there’s always support if you need it.