A little Italy, a lot Hypercat. The Padlock, the ‘hood and our Grand Opening.

As we prepare for the grand opening our the Hypercat Racing bike fit and endurance sport coaching studio on January 13, 2011, we take pause to review tidbits of our ten years of history.

Nearly one decade ago, the idea for Hypercat Racing percolated out of a conversation held in a humbly furnished living room in a decidedly sketchy ‘hood near Lake Merritt in Oakland, CA.  Philip Casanta and I were employed by a chain of bike stores that unexpectedly closed up shop.  One day, we reported for work and discovered a large padlock securely fastened to the store entrance.  That padlock was the start of a new, exciting and scary journey.

Phil had developed a significant following among cyclists and triathletes throughout the Bay Area with a reputation of being knowledgeable, approachable and of one of the best and only bike fitters in Northern California.  I was on the cusp of turning professional in the sport of triathlon and had recently left my career in the radio industry.  I had been coaching running on the side over the previous five years or so, but after leaving my position with D&R Radio in San Francisco, the bike shop was my primary source of income.  Since Phil’s was also a full time employee of the doomed bike shop, its sudden closing caused some financial drama for us.  We sold off excess equipment on eBay to pay rent and lived on Powerbars and Champion Nutrition Metabolol.   As they say, necessity is the mother of invention.  The origin of Hypercat Racing was soon born.

The business was first called Andiamo Fitness and soon after the name was modified to Andiamo Multisport Consulting.  We choose “andiamo” to pay homage to Philip’s ancestry. Who doesn’t love Italy? It wasn’t long though before we realized that our name wasn’t going to work.  During a phone call with my mother, she asked “what’s the name of your company? How do you spell that?”  If it wasn’t obvious initially, Andiamo Multisport was a mouthful; too hard to spell and too long of a web URL.

Our first business name, among other things is just one of a long list of trial and errors.  Out of those lessons emerged

Rachel is a proud Syracuse University alum!

the name Hypercat Racing. We wanted a name that was fun, flexible and unique in the world of endurance sports. 

The logo itself reflects our love of animals and the orange and blue colors a link to my alma mater, Syracuse University.

We are quite proud of the Hypercat and thankful to Terry Lin, the original creator and designer of our logo.

Hypercat has always offered two main service categories: bike fitting and coaching.  Our earliest clients were fit on a stationary trainer in our living room in Oakland, CA.  I operated the coaching business from our dining room.

Our first coaching clients trained for Ironman and an array of cycling races and training schedules were created in Microsoft Word.  In 2004, we relocated operations across the San Francisco East Bay to Richmond, CA.  We traded one ‘hood for another ‘hood with a Bay view.

Our bike fit services moved into a 500 square foot stand alone garage. The coaching services were run from two separate, fully dedicated offices on-site.  Over the next six years, clients traveled from all over the Bay Area and Northern California to have “Coach Phil” work his bike fit magic.   Phil worked with brand new, first time cyclists and he fine tuned the fits of professional triathletes along the way as well.  He worked as recently as this past summer with notable endurance sport stars including famed ultra distance runner, Ann Trason, multiple winner of the grueling Western States 100.

In 2008 we decided to make a very, big and risky change with Hypercat Racing. We set the wheels in motion to move to Ventura, CA and open a standalone bike fit studio / coaching facility / retail boutique.  If you are not familiar with California, Ventura is approximately 360 miles south of San Francisco.  Not only were we risking the loss of clientele and the equity of ten years of built up reputation, but the additional financial burden that comes with opening a brick and mortar location.

Rachel exchanges check for key with property owner, Bob. Phil smiles!

After a year of planning, in 2009 we signed a lease on a property in mid-town Ventura, CA.  We opened the doors to bike fit and triathlon clients in October 2010.  Over the past few months we have been building out the offices, lobby, bike fit studio, repair shop and fitness area by the sweat of our own (Phil’s) brow.  In fact, we are still working on the studio every day and night, seven days a week.  So, you’ll excuse us if we are looking a bit haggard. There are times when life gets in the way and sacrifice to training and racing does happen! (Stay tuned for our upcoming slide show from start to now…)

Hypercat Racing is a labor love.  We’ve historically been a word of mouth only business.  We are thankful for websites likewww.slowtwitch.com which have also helped athletes find us.  We’ve help make other teams and clubs look good, by properly fitting their athletes and training them intelligently while the athletes have reaped results at local, regional and national events.  Hypercats regularly qualify for Ironman Hawaii, age group nationals and as well as the ITU Sprint, Olympic, Long Course Triathlon and duathlon world championships.  We haven’t focused on getting our athletes fully dressed in Hypercat gear or spending big marketing bucks to tell you why we’re the best.  Perhaps that will just be another rung in our trial and error ladder.  Regardless, we think our athletes will tell you and their results speak for themselves.  Most importantly, Hypercats have fun and lead well balanced lifestyles rooted in health, fitness and family. What more could you ask for?

The word is getting out that Hypercat Racing is in town – Ventura County’s only fully dedicated bike fit and coaching studio featuring Retul 3D motion capture technology.  We invite you to help us write the next chapter.   Our Grand Opening is Thursday, January 13, 2011 from 4pm-9pm.  Come by, check out our place and find out first hand why we are so passionate about bringing more health, fitness and sport performance education and services to athletes in Ventura County and beyond.

Spokes the Hypercat

If you are a runner, cyclist, duathlete or triathlete or aspire to be one, we can help and would love to meet you! Bring yourself and a friend.  Hypercat Racing is located at 4160 Market Street, Suite 13, Ventura, CA 93003.


The new home of Hypercat Racing - Pic taken in June 2010. Come see what we have done with the place!

*Special thanks to our families for the emotional and financial help you’ve given us to bridge the gaps. Whether it’s lunch, dinner, groceries (shirlymom!) or the new couch/loveseat for the house (machness!), everything helps and is enormously appreciated. By the way, there is a bicycle chain bowl in our lobby.  It is a gift from my brother Christopher.  You have to check it out.


2 Responses

  1. …wonderful tale of the “tail” of Hypercat! And the official spokes-kitten, Spokes, is still enjoying the occasional nap in the shoes. (Though they are more orthopedic than athletic.)

    • Thanks Jen! I suspect Spokes may be napping in slippers these days, too eh? We are hoping to add some additional photos from the archives of our original set-up in Oakland as well as the glorious Hypercat HQ in Richmond. Alas, the photo archives are deep! All our best to Kris, G-man, Monte and of course each of the lover furry cats & dogs!

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