My First Ride in Spain

July 16,2012

Bulldog at CF event

Ok, maybe that’s a little fib of a title. I wasn’t physically in Spain on Friday night, but I was virtually. Oh, the power of technology! Gene Nacey and his team at Cycling Fusion took me and some of my friends there for a 90 minute bike ride, and with a nice soundtrack to boot.

Gene is such a cool guy. The ride was a kick-off of the Spain series of their virtual cycling workouts (which will also launch on DVD), as well as a kickoff fundraiser for our Race Across America team, Team PHenomenal Hope. A PHundraiser, if you will. It was ALL Gene’s idea to do this cycling class for our team. How often does stuff like that happen? Whadda guy!!

The Cycling Fusion studio is in Oakmont. You know what else is in Oakmont? The (Famous) Oakmont Bakery. Yes, of course I stopped there and picked up a dozen. It was BOGO donuts, too. Fabulous.
So, I got to the studio (dozen in hand) and met Tom Scotto, USA Elite Coach and founder of Stage5 Cycling Team. Tom was going to instruct the class with Gene. They had a plan to divide the room into 2 parts. Gene would instruct the intermediates with different cues than Tom would give the advanced riders. Seemed like a great way to get everyone in a varied crowd working at their highest capacity. (It was).

I had some friends and family roll in behind me, including my main squeeze, my original favorite man, the Hammer (aka Dad), mom, brother Joey and Lauren and my favorite guy from Top Gear Bicycle Shop, TJ Platt. PHenomenal Teammate and Captain Patty came up the stairs lugging a 200 lb duffel bag full of t-shirts for all of the participants. Gene even through in a free Cycling Fusion water bottle and tons of post-ride treats, as if he hadn’t already given enough.

The spin bikes at Cycling Fusion are great. They don’t have the monster seats that most spin classes seem to have, and the Power Bike actually feels like a real bike. There isn’t a turny-device to change gears, there is a lever–and it actually tells you what gear you’re in so you have something to reference. This is much better (for anal retentive people like me) than following commands like “full turn” from an instructor… then noticing you’re about 100 watts higher resistance than the people beside you anyway. Gear selection for our workout was at the user’s discretion–and it was more about overall effort, cadence and power output.
The actual Spain footage did just what I expected–made me want to go to Spain. The video was shot using GoPro cameras of the group riding through Spain. We followed Tom (who led the ride we were watching, as well as the ride IN the Cycling Fusion/Global Ride studio) up long grinders and over rollers. The scenery off the side of the road was spectacular… and the ROADS themselves were gorgeous, smooth blacktop. I didn’t know roads ever looked like that?

All in all, the event was a great success. Thanks to our sponsors for the event: Big Bang Bikes and Cycling Fusion. MANY, many thanks to those who supported Team PHenomenal Hope by coming to the live sweat session or streamed it live to their trainer at home. I hope you got as good of a workout as I did! I assume this experience may have also changed a few minds about where “indoor” cycling can take you… and how good of a trip that can be.

Mom dug the workout and the post-ride beverage

Recovery Party after the ride!

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