Spin class… the Do’s and Don’ts

4055CEDC-3ACF-4128-B897-7C8B702568B3I’ve always wanted to take a spin class, but it is very intimidating. Take a look at the photo, that’s how spin class looks.

If you are a beginner like me, it looks like everyone is a major athlete.

I mean… I know how to ride a bike, but this is different. This is hard core, it’s not like Dorothy riding her bike with Toto in a flower basket.

This weekend though, I went to my daughter’s spin class. Since she is the instructor, she told me to come early. She’d set me up.

Set me up she did. She adjusted my seat for me, gave me some water, explained the gears and got me one of those wrist bands that tracks how you’re doing. YOU KNOW, the dreaded wrist band that shows your name up on the TV screen, so everyone can see how you/they are doing. I tried to resist putting it on, but my daughter held it out — she gave me a look of “just put the darn thing on.”

Actually, it wasn’t too bad. During our training session, I wasn’t always the slowest ranking biker. We did a lot of hills, my knees and thighs were burning.

After class, she told me that I wasn’t doing Position 2 properly. I guess I was supposed to be straighter with my legs, not have them bent. That explains why my knees were hurting. Perfect form is critical.

Overall it was good. Do I want to do that again?

Hum… I think I prefer dance class.

“Afghan Cycles” – A documentary about Afghani women learning to cycle for independence and freedom…

Afghan Cycles movie poster

Photo courtesy of “Afghan Cycles,” http://www.afghancycles.com

A few years ago, I heard about a group of women in Afghanistan who were learning to cycle. They were starting a documentary about this, but it was going to take time to produce. Good news, last year the movie Afghan Cycles, produced by Let Media made it’s debut. I want to spread the word about it.

The Bicycle Story wrote an article, “Shannon Galpin: Riding to Revolution in Afghanistan” back in 2014 to share the start of this story. Shannon Galpin is from Colorado. She is the founder and President of Mountain2Mountain, which is a non-profit focused on global women’s rights.

Galpin’s focus on Afghani women and bikes started in 2009 when she brought her mountain bike to Afghanistan. As she rode around on her bike, it sparked conversation and interest from women about riding. In 2013, she started working and training with the Afghan National Women’s Cycling Team, as well as bike clubs that had started. On her website (Shannon Galpin), she has pictures of this journey and the women cyclists!

Afghan Cycles 4

Photo courtesy of “Afghan Cycles,” http://www.afghancycles.com

Sarah Menzies, Let Media, is a Producer, Editor, Filmmaker and brilliant story teller. It has taken her five years to produce this film with many rounds of fundraising, research, and trips to Afghanistan involved. You can see this documentary was long coming. I hope you will take a moment to read their story and view the film!

Let Media is asking us to spread the word. They welcome people to contact them to set up a screening of the film in their cities.

Here is how you can watch the film:

Available On Demand

The film is available for purchase on the following platforms:
US: iTunes, Microsoft, Google Play, Vudu and Amazon.
Canada: iTunes, Microsoft, Google Play
UK: iTunes, Amazon Microsoft, Google Play
Ireland: iTunes, Microsoft, Google Play

MY FINAL THOUGHTS…

When I was young and learned to ride a bike… IT’S TRUE, it gave me confidence, after I fell a zillion times, of course! A few scraped knees and elbows never stopped me. I had freedom and independence to go where I wanted in our neighborhood. I had a newspaper route where I made money, riding the bike also taught discipline and respect for my vehicle. How many times did I learn to put the chain back on, oil the chain, put the bell and basket on my bike and fix a flat tire (too many to count).

I loved the feel of the “fresh air” (spring, summer & fall) as I rode along Lake Michigan. Riding a bike was, and is, a powerful feeling. I can understand woman around the world wanting the same freedom and independence that I had.

If any of you (male or female) have had these same feelings of bike riding than you can understand how important this documentary is, so please… don’t be shy… share with others!