Heart and Soul

In case you missed it, I was filmed by the Vancouver Cycle Chic crew last April, and was one of the four local cyclists featured in their Vancouver Cycle Chic series.

As you’ll see, I’m a bit of a ham, but that’s not the reason I agreed to take part. Generally speaking, in Vancouver, cycling is viewed as something that only super thin, super fit people can do. I was younger, thinner (relatively speaking) and hadn’t yet been diagnosed with a chronic illness when I started riding a few years ago, but I haven’t let weight gain, fatigue, age, and near-chronic pain keep me off my bike.

Riding makes me feel like Vancouver belongs to me, and that I belong to it. I’m just as much a part of this city as anyone else, and seeing it while riding slowly by on two wheels makes me appreciate all she has to offer.

Be sure to check out the other films in the Vancouver Cycle Chic film series, and buy your tickets to the Cycle Chic Social while you’re at it.

ps: If you’re wondering why I’m not riding my Dutch bike, I was in an accident last March that flattened the front wheel. The driver felt so bad about the accident that he offered to buy me a new bike, the one you see in this video. I’m planning to get the Batavus fixed one day, but right now all my energy and attention is focused on bringing home a Betty, hopefully in time for my birthday in September.

Riding Our Way Fit – Not Thin*

After discussing Carnie Wilson’s second weight loss surgery on Twitter earlier today, an idea took root in my head.

See, I love riding bikes. I ride because I love it, not to lose weight, something that is obvious to anyone who has seen my daily ride. I bought a road bike last year, thinking that riding it would help me get fitter, faster, but mostly it’s just been collecting dust out on my balcony. You see, the problem isn’t with the bike, it’s with me.

All of the road cyclists I know are thin and super-fit. And it’s not as if they aren’t supportive and helpful — they are — but when I ride with them, I’m very conscious of not being anywhere near as fit as they are, and I worry constantly that I’m slowing them down.

I started thinking that surely there were other fat-bottomed folks in the Vancouver area who might be interested in a fun, supportive group fitness ride for heavier riders. We could start slow and gradually work our way up to 50km/50mi or 100km/100mi rides over the course of a few weeks. I’ve been checking out Selene Yeager’s Ride Your Way Lean training book, and while it’s a bit aggressive, there are other options available – David Yeager’s Ride Fit is less aggressive than Yeager’s, and may be more suitable for people who are looking to set a base level of fitness.

So what say you? Does this sound like something you might be interested in? And if you’re a fitter rider, would you be interested in perhaps serving as an informal coach to help us become more comfortable on our bikes? Leave a note in the comments below!

  • I felt this title deserved a bit of an explanation. I’m not interested in pursuing weight loss for the sake of being thin, or fitting into a more socially-acceptable dress size. My focus is being as fit as you can possibly be, at whatever weight you are. It’s not my intention to disparage or discourage anyone who wants to ride to get thin. Not at all. However, my goal with this group is to focus on health and fitness at any size.