Spinning with Petrina

I know I do go on sometimes but I’ve just finished my second session of spinning at the Cycling Centre  and I can’t say enough good things about the centre and owner Petrina Tulissi.1

I’ve been going through a rough patch with my health/fitness with a likely reaction to some prescribed medication taking me out for a week. I’ve taken charge of my own situation and I’m drug free for 30 days and then we’ll see about reintroducing some of the stuff my doctor thinks important.

Meanwhile I’ve been doing my yoga. (Got beat up doing a gentle yoga class earlier this week. That’s not like me! I’m usually Jack The Bear in yoga classes lead by healthy fit young women some 40 years younger than me.)

The good news is I feel great this morning after spinning.

Now Petrina’s spinning class is for serious cyclists (Many of our fellow cyclists have been with Petrina to Italy and France on cycling vacations.) and not for 25-year-olds who will put up with overly loud awful music which is punctuated by some 20-year-old group leader yelling “you can do it” in a hot sweaty room on a mass produced exercise machine as generally I can’t “do it” and won’t.img_0944

No the spinning class at Cycling Centre (which takes place several times a week. Marion and I signed up for two two-hour evening sessions weekly.) are all about cycling. We start off spinning and yes there’s music in the background and fans running to cool the place down but the spinning is on our own bikes.

As someone approaching their 68th birthday soon (too soon) it takes me 45 to 60 minutes just to warm up. Once I’m at speed I can go for hours and Petrina puts us through a variety of exercises on the bike to help us gain both speed and comfort followed by 25 minutes of yoga cool down on mats.

Speaking of comfort, I’ve been off the bike for a month as recommended by Petrina and my anatomically designed saddle (eliminated numbness in places you don’t want to be numb) is taking some getting used to riding again. LOL.29084318806_39eb43eee8_z

As I’ve said before there’s bike riding and there’s cycling and there’s a big difference evident to anyone who has ever worked with a coach to improve their cycling experience.

(That’s Petrina helping Marion loosen her tight shoulders at the half way point of our 85 K Adventure Ride last summer.)

For next summer I have three goals:

  1. Get faster, stronger and go harder (be less afraid);
  2. Ride for longevity not for glory (ride smarter);
  3. Complete a 100 km ride or two (as I did 85 km twice this year which was an unimaginable goal last spring).

A Clear And Present Danger

A motorist, Sharon Maclise from Edmonton wrote in the letters to the editor column of the National Post the following:

Road rules

Re: The NDP Would Rather Be … Cycling, Michael Den Tandt, Oct. 5.
Of course cyclists don’t want licensing. Who wants to be able to be identified when you are creating havoc on the roads?

Licensing is the only way to enforce rules of the road. If cyclists want to ride bikes on the road and city streets, they absolutely need to be licensed. If they want to stay off the roads and use their bikes for recreation only, then let them alone to do battle with the skunks in the backwoods. They must be as easily identifiable as vehicles – the only way to hold them responsible for their bad behaviour on the road, just as any other user would be.
Sharon Maclise, Edmonton.

I don’t know about you but as a cyclist myself, based on this vitriolic and angry statement, I question whether or not Ms Maclise should be driving a motorized vehicle at all. It seems apparent that the concept of “share the road” eludes her.3098_10153538706381169_7552897096369745097_n

Here in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada and around the world a new one-meter law has come into play which requires motorists to allow for one meter of space between them and cyclists with whom they share the road.

Regrettably there have been only a handful of charges laid against motorists under this new law so far but with police in some communities accepting video from GoPro cameras and the like mounted on bicycles as sufficient evidence to lay charges we may see an increase in enforcement.

One meter doesn’t mean your pickup truck’s extended mirrors should brush by my helmet (which has happened) or that once your vehicle passes me you can quickly cut in causing your trailer to force me off the roadway (which has happened) and, perhaps even more dangerous, doesn’t mean you should cross the yellow lines into oncoming traffic to pass (which has happened).

No, the one-meter law means you must share the road with cyclists just as you would with other slower moving vehicular traffic such as horses (with or without buggies), farm and construction equipment all of which can be found on Ontario roads.

What it doesn’t mean is you should lay on the horn and blast your way past (which has happened) endangering your fellow road users.

Ms Malise’s sense of empowerment and right-of-way mentality is both frightening and dangerous and Edmonton police might be wise to pay her a visit and explain the concept of sharing to her.