Moen to assist cyclists at 2008 Paralympic Games

Eric Moen says he always wanted to be present at the Olympic Games as something other than a spectator. It’s been one of his lifetime ambitions.

Eric Moen says he always wanted to be present at the Olympic Games as something other than a spectator. It’s been one of his lifetime ambitions.

The 41-year-old physical therapist gets his wish in September, when he travels to Beijing, China, for the 2008 Paralympic Games.

Moen, a Kenmore resident, will be serving as a soigneur for the USA Cycling team.

“I’m basically like a babysitter for the athletes,” he said.

For those who aren’t familiar with the francophone sports term, soigneur is an exotic name for the assistants who feed, clothe, escort and massage riders.

Moen landed the role through his cycling connections.

He’s been involved in all facets of the sport since high school, participating in road, track and cyclo-cross races.

Moen also coaches other athletes, and he serves on the advisory committee for a training-system’s development company founded by Lance Armstrong’s long-time coach, Chris Carmichael.

His work with that group put him in contact with the director of USA Cycling, who invited him to work at the Paralympics.

“We’d talked about it for quite awhile, so it’s not an absolute surprise,” Moen said. “Still, any time you get the nod, it’s just a great honor.”

“I’m looking forward to the whole Olympic experience — the grandeur and spirit of the event.”

Moen’s physical-therapy practice, Corpore Sano, is located east of Log Boom Park and adjacent to the Burke-Gilman Trail in Kenmore. He calls that area the “northern nexus of cycling.”

The spot is ideal for a therapist whose clientele consists primarily of cyclists and other endurance athletes.

Jeremy Mineau is a member of the University of Washington track and cross-country teams. He needed a low-impact form of off-season training after stress fractures began causing pain in his lower back.

That’s where cycling came into play. Mineau bikes back and forth from the U-District to his job in Everett five times a week.

“I jumped into it pretty quick with a high volume of riding,” Mineau said. “I didn’t want to hurt myself.”

Moen had the expertise to help him with that. He offers all the usual components of physical therapy — rehab, conditioning and treatment — with the added element of bike fitting.

His practice has evolved into a specialized niche, requiring a therapist who is equal parts body mechanic and bike mechanic.

Corpore Sano is a place where the toolbox is just as much a fixture as the stationary bike, weight rack or massage table.

Moen uses a host of measuring devices to find the proper positioning for clients, adjusting their seat posts and handle bars to make long-distance riding less painful.

He also conducts motion analyses to determine cyclists’ habits, using a computer application known as Retul, developed by Chris Carmichael Training Systems.

“It helps me see how well the intervention is working over time,” Moen said. “It’s a nice little technology piece.”

He should know, having worked with the team that developed it.

The Paralympics provide yet another venue for Moen to share knowledge with his peers, this time from around the world.

“It’s one of those things about professionalism,” he said. “There’s always that quest for knowledge.”

Moen hasn’t made specific plans for touring the popular Chinese sites during his 12-day trip, which lasts from Sept. 3-15.

“I’m fully committed to working with the athletes and serving them,” he said. “If I get any bonus time, that’ll be great.”

• Moen will document his experiences at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games at the American Physical Therapy Association Web site,