Cycling shoes at Cadence

I’ve been spending alot of time lately assembling cycling shoes for the studio.

Offering shoes is another piece to the puzzle that will make the experience at Cadence different from any other Spin classes in Vancouver. I’ve taken the feedback from people who have been to other studios across North America & understand how clipping into the pedals enhances your ride.

At Cadence we want you to get the most from your workout, so cycling shoes are built into the cost of a ride or membership. The women’s shoes are Shimano and the men’s are Diadorra. Both very popular names in cycling.

In the complimentary classes I’ve been offering at our temporary studio (our loft), its been interesting watching people who come in for the first time, and subsequent times after, in relation to the shoes.

Usually the first time they are either shy or skeptical about whether or not they should wear their running shoes (which is fine), or if they should venture into the world of clipping in and becoming one with the bike. Inevitably, the second time they come to class they B-line right for the shoes and find their size.

Shoes add to pedal stroke efficiency, allowing you to pull up on the pedals, especially when climbing and really do make you feel one with the bike. Please share your feedback on using the shoes for your ride with us – we want to ensure your experience at Cadence is amazing!

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Website launching tonight!

Lenny in his element.

Finally after months of tweaking,  the Cadence website is ready to go and will be launched tonight.

I can’t say enough about my web designer, Lenny Ford from Mad Love Studio, and the work he  has done over the past 3 or 4 months on this.

He has been very patient with me and my apparent indecision on certain things, coupled with my glaring ability to over think.

I was introduced to Lenny by Bev Wong, who is amazing in her own way and was responsible for designing my logo, which I am also very happy about.  Almost everyone that I hand my business card to comments on how much they like the logo.

Lenny definitely started with a blank canvas on this whole project and worked tirelessly with me, not for me, to make sure I was happy with the end product. Whether he knows it or not, he also provided me with alot of insight into my business. Lots of great advice that will contribute to the success of Cadence.

Its also cool that Lenny is an accomplished cyclist and has been to my class a number of times with his girl friend Nicole. To watch Lenny push himself on the bike is a good indication of how hard he would work in other aspects of his life.

He is fighting hard for the “sweat record”, at Cadence and comes to class with the goal of achieving it every time.:)

Its been great to work with so many nice and helpful people from the start of this journey into opening Cadence. Virtually everyone that has been involved has been either a friend or a friend of a friend. The outpouring of support is so encouraging.

Lenny leaves for a month long bike ride to Mexico and is raising money for cancer in the process.

He has worked very hard in the last week to ensure the site was ready to go before he leaves tomorrow, even with the many last minute changes that I requested over the last day or so.

Thanks Lenny. Good luck. Have a great ride.

By the time you get back, Cadence will be up and running and you have played a big role in the process.

I am adding Lenny’s link for his ride for cancer. Lenny’s family was affected by cancer when his father was diagnosed last year. Donations go directly to research that helps develop the treatments such as the one he is now responding to.

Lenny’s Ride to Conquer Cancer


The Cadence website address is  It will be up this weekend.

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To the dump!

This was a pretty exciting week for me.

Everything became real on Monday when we knocked down some walls and construction of the inside of Cadence began. I had some fun practicing some old Tae Kwon Do kicks to   remove the tiles and walls from the bathroom. I got a little excited at times and missed my mark but I’m a little rusty!lol

The electrician, plumber, drywaller, seamstress, designer, and three sound people all made their way in and out of the space this week offering their advice and preparing for their next steps.

Last week we decided on the signs for the windows and they should be completed sometime around June 15 or so.  Construction of the website should be finished by next Friday.

I have to say I have had alot of great support from many people who have helped me through the process.  These people will be written about in another post, but my thanks goes out to them.

This space will look very different in the next few weeks and I am starting to envision what it will look like in  just over a month when Cadence opens.

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Full Circle

Lifelong Friends

Its amazing how sometimes in life things come full circle.

Twenty years ago, at Carleton University, I had a great friend, Todd Atkinson who I spent a tonne of time with – played hockey with, hung out with, partied with and of course studied with(well not really). I can vividly remember my first party at school was at his little apartment in Ottawa.

We hung out ALOT and were really good friends.

Shortly after graduation,  I went on to a journalism than a sales career and Todd entered the restaurant industry. We lost touch for almost 20 years.

Fast forward 20 years.  Through the magic of facebook, when we moved to Vancouver, I heard he was here and it turned out he owned a little cafe on West 6th Avenue, at that time was called Taste. Now its fittingly called Todd’s. I always called it that anyway.

The first time I went down to his cafe it was like we never missed a beat. It was like we saw each other yesterday. For the last few years, I am there almost every morning for coffee. Todd helped me through a very stressful time about a year ago, and I will never forget that.

We have since moved into the same building and now with Cadence to open in July, we will own businesses within about 100 feet of each other. Definitely not something either of us would have predicted at frosh week in 1988!

Todd’s is a nice little place with great food. Healthy salads, quinoa, specialty soups and sandwiches are all on the menu, and in the next month Todd will be utilizing his wealth of experience in shucking oysters by serving them every Thursday and Friday evenings.

He built a very well known oyster house in Vancouver and now is excited to do the same on this side of the bridge.

Once Cadence opens, be sure to drop in and say hello to Todd. He’s a great guy and is always himself regardless of who comes through the door.

I’m not sure how oysters will taste after a tough spin class but I’m willing to find out.

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Cadence will open in July

Last  Friday I finally received the keys to what will be, Vancouver’s first dedicated spinning facility. We will be located on West 6th between Granville and Fir Streets.

The classes I have been holding in the loft have been jammed and steam is picking up very quickly, as is my excitement. So many new and fun people are coming into our loft every day.

I am in the process of interviewing and auditioning new instructors.  Having great teachers who share the Cadence philosophy is so important to me.  The quality of these people is vital in achieving what Cadence will become in the community.  So far the process has been very positive and I am meeting lots of new people from Vancouver’s fitness & cycling community.

At Cadence, it is important instructors are encouraging & welcoming while not being intimidating. They will push students to go to their edge, while at the same time, not going outside any boundaries. In the end, the student knows how hard they can push themselves on a given day – it is their class. We will inspire you along the way, give you the energy you need, so you will leave every class feeling stronger and walking out the door a different person than when you walked in.

My goal is that people feel at home in the studio which is the feel I’ve been able to create in the temporary space. I notice people going from shy to completely comfortable at class, and leaving with a smile on their face.  That is so amazing to see as an instructor!  I will take this living room feel people are experiencing right now, down to the permanent studio when we open in July.

Music is another key component of Cadence classes, so the sound system will be great.  The class schedule will have alot of variety with 6 classes per day and the bikes will be of the highest quality.

Right now we are in the process of putting the studio together with the exact feel & look that is Cadence.  Not my strength, our designer Colin Szasz is working his magic. He is amazing at what he does and I can’t wait to see what he creates!

My goal is becoming reality, and I couldn’t be happier.

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Learning from the BMO Marathon

OK, so it was probably one of the worst athletic decisions I’ve made. I shouldn’t have run the marathon, as is evident by my goal time compared to my official time.

Yes, I should have listened to those very close to me, but I didn’t. Admittedly, in athletics, I’ve always thought I could “play hurt”, or plough through things when I’m injured or sick. I remember before a hockey game when I was younger my mom would put a thermometer under my tongue and I’d put it on top so the reading on it would be lower than it should be.:)

But the marathon is different, and I learned a valuable lesson today.

Today was  amongst the toughest of any final 15k I’ve done in a full marathon. Miami was close, so we’ll call it a toss up. Literally, it was all I could do to keep any type of respectable pace.

I felt pretty good at the start and really felt like I had an outside shot at coming under 3 hours. What I didn’t take into account was my elevated heart rate. Mistake number 2.

For the first 15k I was feeling great. Clicking off sub 4:08 k’s felt really easy. That gets you way under 3 hours, but I was not paying attention to my heart rate. Mistake number 3. Under normal conditions, I don’t do this because I know the paces I can run at threshold and below. But, as most runners know, you can only run above or at threshold for maybe 80 minutes or so. Today, because I was sick for the last 10 days, my pace was 38 seconds slower at threshold than it is when I was healthy. When I downloaded my data, I saw that I was above threshold from the 2nd km until the 29th. Oops.

For those that don’t understand what threshold is, it is the heart rate you can clear lactic acid buildup from your muscles. Go over this for too long, and you are in trouble.

So its no secret why the wheels  completely fell off at about 18k or so. I didn’t “pull back”, I didn’t have a choice. I was thinking, why the hell are my legs filling up with lactic acid so fast and not clearing?? Pretty much from the 24th km or so, it was about survival. I was stupid as well. I should have pulled out. I was there to race, not finish. But, that is easier said than done. When you are mid race, admittedly you are thinking of what it would be like to tell your friends you pulled out of marathon, even if I have done 11 or 12 and even if anyone that matters knows I’ve been sick as a dog for the last week and a half and would totally understand.

Despite conditions, or health or injury, with my races its mostly about the number on the clock, but its good piece of mind for me to understand specifically what happened today.

Wow, though, it is not fun watching guys pass you that you know you should be smoking. I’m competitive so that was tough for me to deal with today.

But, regardless of having a bad race or a bad time, I always feel good crossing the finish line. But, weirdly enough, today for a split second, I actually didn’t think I deserved a medal. Just a fleeting thought that went through my mind. Everyone that runs a marathon deserves a medal. Regardless of time. Its an accomplishment to be proud of.

I’ve never felt so beat up after a marathon, but, I’ll dust myself off and be back for a good race soon. And I won’t let my ego get in the way of decisions such as pulling out of a race or starting it in the first place.

Thanks so much to everyone who came out to cheer. Not sure if you realize it but if you are having a good race or a bad race, to see a familiar face and get a friendly cheer goes a very long way.

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8 Days Until The Marathon

San Jose Half Marathon- looking for the finish line

I’m in the final stage of my training for the BMO marathon on May 1st.

This training phase has been by far the most intense training I’ve put myself through and I’ve enjoyed most of it. Somehow I can actually say I enjoy pushing myself to the point that I’m doubled over after an interval, just long enough to get ready for the next one. I’ve always liked seeing how hard I can push myself from a cardio standpoint.

I’ve run into some hip flexor issues that have been really tough to shake, and have been sick for the past 3 or 4 days but I am taking this as a blessing in disguise. The hip seems to be getting better with the forced rest. I’ll have a better idea after my run tomorrow. Lets hope its behind me by next Sunday. I have an appointment with my RMT early next week and if anyone can make a huge impact on an injury, she can!

As long as I get to the start line with a relatively healthy hip, the extra rest from being sick and healing will do me good. Running or exercising when you are sick just sets you back even more and would be counterproductive, its just sometimes hard to reassure yourself of that, when you’ve worked so hard for so long. The idea of “sweating it out”, in my opinion, is garbage. You need that extra energy to heal. Patience, patience, patience as my coach would say.

I must admit though, that even with all of my running experience, its not easy to convince myself that I am not losing fitness with less than optimal running over the past three weeks, trying to get the hip feeling right.

I know I was fitter than I have been in my entire life about three weeks ago so I’ll keep that in my mind moving forward until the gun goes off.

One way or the other, I’ll be at the starting line raring to go.

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