Tag Archives: bicycling

Joy Riding

Some Westporters bike on the roads.  They take their lives in their hands — and spend much of their waking hours checking weather reports.

Others bike at gyms.  It’s less dangerous — but they spend plenty of time waiting for their favorite machine to be free, or signing up for classes that always seem to be filled.

Those are the problems 3 Westport women with young kids saw, anyway — and therein lay a business opportunity.

They’ve just opened JoyRide — what they call “Westport’s only dedicated indoor cycling (spinning) studio” — in the Crate & Barrel shopping center.  “You can sign up for a week’s worth of classes all at once, pick your bike, and not have to deal with all the other stuff you don’t want at a full-out gym,” they say.

Rhodie Lorenz, Amy Hochhauser and Debbie Katz’s 4,100-square foot space is tiered, stadium-style, with “dramatic lighting” and a killer sound system.

“We are the only boutique spin studio in town,” Amy says.  “This is a trend that is big in New York City and various markets across the country — but hasn’t yet reached Fairfield County.”

There are 26 Schwinn AC Sport bikes, with room for over 40.

Riders can sign up for the bike they want, up to a week in advance  There are no membership fees.  People pay as they go — 1 class at a time, or class packages of 10, 20 or 50.

Cycling classes incorporate light weights, during a 50-minute workout.  “Participants can burn between 400 and 800 calories, improve fitness and posture, and enhance mental acuity,” the press release says.

But wait!  There’s more!

Riding for joy.

“Known for its cult following and dramatic results, indoor cycling has revolutionized the exercise world with expertly choreographed workouts set to heart pumping, motivating soundtracks,” the press release continues.

Also available:  group and private Pilates.  And childcare.

Plus rental for birthday parties and special events.  A fundraiser for ovarian cancer research is in the works.

“Life’s a trip,” the press release concludes.  “Enjoy the ride!”

Lance Armstrong Wannabes, Part 2

Last month’s “06880” story on Lance Armstrong wannabes generated over 65 responses.  Most sided with the post’s premise:  many Westport bicyclists are rude, disobey traffic rules, and look pretty dorky too.

Here’s a dissenting view, from a Compo Beach resident:

If you bike from Elvira’s around to Bradley Street, the bushes and trees stick out or hang into the road so much, a biker has to be in the middle of the lane just to avoid the greenery.

And that’s not the only place.  It’s like that on Bradley to Compo Beach Road too.

Yeah, the bikers (have their issues).  But the bike lanes are strewn with litter, leaves and sticks.  Add the foliage, and it’s no wonder folks are upset.

Westporters love our trees and leaves.  Sometimes though, they fall on power lines and cut our power.  They clog drains and cause floods.

Now they’re forcing bike riders into the middle of the road.

The solution is obvious:  Limit bicycle riding to between December 1 and March 1 only.

C’mon, Westport.  If we can ban plastic bags and bring nightlife back downtown, we can certainly solve our bikers-in-the-road problem.

What do you say?

Bike For Life

In her mid-50s, working in healthcare, Dorothy Fong saw the results of sedentary lifestyles.  Realizing she herself didn’t exercise, she began rollerskating.

She loved it — until she fell.

Dorothy Fong

Dorothy Fong

Bicycling offered a safer alternative.  Dorothy hadn’t ridden since she was 14, but picking it up again was as easy as riding a bike simple.

She joined a bike club near her Brooklyn home, and learned about new-fangled brakes, drop bars and other innovations.

“I was happy and passionate,” Dorothy recalls.  “It was fun and healthy.”  The simple act of pedaling outdoors — where every day is a different ride — felt exhilarating.

Dorothy bicycled in Mexico, Europe, New Zealand, and throughout the United States.   She moved here in 1998 to be near her son, and rides all around Westport.

Now Dorothy — 79 years young — hopes to ride with others.  Fellow seniors are perfect.

“I want people to be as happy as I am, doing something they may not even know they’d enjoy,” she says. “So many people used to ride bikes.  But we grew up, had less time, and put our bikes in the garage.”

She’s searching for folks with basic bicycling skills, a bike in good condition, and a helmet.  She puts herself in their shoes — perhaps a little rusty, unsure of traffic conditions and modern biking etiquette — and offers to help.

Dorothy looks forward to showing off safe, less traveled roads like Beachside Avenue (“very pretty, not hilly, not a lot of traffic, very comfortable”), and parts of Cross Highway, Routes 136 and 58.  The Compo Beach area is excellent too.

Dorothy and a friend posted flyers at the Senior Center, and around town.  No one called.

For a chance to get back in the driver’s — er, bicyclist’s — seat, while having fun, healthy exercise, call Dorothy at 203-856-8620.  Or email her:  dafong100@hotmail.com.