Spin your heart out baby

Spinathon participants battle heat during a two hour fundraiser for the Heart & Stroke Foundation

Stationary cyclists spun their way to healthy hearts during the Heart & Stroke Foundation's 'Fit for Heart' campaign Spinathon at the McDonald's parking lot on Saturday.

Ten participants cycled in a tight pack for two hours straight last Saturday — with a steady stream of traffic passing at close quarters — but fortunately there wasn’t a single mishap.

Mind you, the pack was riding stationary spin bikes, on the front patio beside the drive-through lane of the local McDonald’s restaurant.

The Spinathon event was part of the Heart & Stroke Foundation’s “Fit For Heart” campaign, which promotes physical activity as a component of keeping the body fit and healthy. There was also a fundraising aspect and the riders raised $500 through pledges and donations.

This was the second year for the event in Hope.

The Heart & Stroke Foundation is busy with its Big Bike events in B.C. this month, attracting teams of 30 riders to pedal a truck-sized machine for two to three kilometres. The Big Bike has been in Hope before — but last weekend 10 spin bikes from the rec centre gave participants far more than a 2 km ride.

“Everyone ended up riding for two hours straight,” said Mandy Arbuckle, assistant manager of Recreation, Cultural and Airpark Services.

At even a 20 km per hour rate, that would have gotten the riders past Laidlaw and back on regular bikes.

The spin bikes can be dialed up or down for resistance, to simulate a real ride over changing conditions.

“Rebecca Cameron was the instructor and they were doing a two-hour spin class, so they would have been through a variety of resistances,” said Arbuckle. “The age range was from 16 and up to about 60 years and I’d say there were one or two newbies. The rest had taken spin classes before.”

Arbuckle and Hope & District Recreation Commission Chair, Terry Raymond came by to lend their support.

“It was great to see the enthusiasm of those cycling last Saturday at McDonald’s,” said Raymond. “While they may not have been moving ahead on those stationary bikes, their efforts and fundraising for the Heart and Stroke Foundation will help move treatment initiatives ahead.

“Thank you to all that participated and supported the Rec Centre’s Heart and Stroke Foundation Spinathon.”

If you’re interested in spin classes, the rec centre has sessions on Tuesdays and Thursday evenings, from 5:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Cost is $5.00 for adults and $4.50 for seniors.