Edmonton cycling group embraces people who are ‘less than fit’

Twyla Lapointe and her bike in Edmonton, Alta. Courtesy: Twyla Lapointe

An Edmonton woman is trying to get people to dust off their bikes and experience the river valley while getting fit.

Twyla Lapointe began her own fitness journey about two years ago. Her fitness level was poor and it was affecting her health. Lapointe says that because she was obese, it was hard to find a type of exercise that worked for her body and her lifestyle.

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After trying yoga and a personal trainer at the gym, it was actually something she did a lot as a kid that really clicked.

“It was something I certainly loved as a child.

“I find personally that walking and jogging are much too high impact for me and for most people my size, so I was looking for something that really filled that gap of,’ I can just mainly get out anytime,’ and cycling was something that just fit so well into there,” explained Lapointe.

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Lapointe wanted others to join in her love for cycling, so she posted on Reddit to find out who would be interested in a casual riverside group bike ride for the “less-than-fit” crowd.

Twyla Lapointe’s dog and her bike in Edmonton, Alta. Courtesy: Twyla Lapointe

The goal is to create a safe place for people who are overweight and may be intimidated by exercising with people who are already considered fit, she said.

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Lapointe laughed about the route she had planned for those who attend the ride.

“One of the things I am aiming for here is, ‘lets not have tons of hills,’ because hills are scary for people who haven’t been out much. I understand that and I have certainly experienced that especially as an overweight person.

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According to Lapointe, the first ten or so rides hurt but you have to push through — but the change is worth it. Since she started cycling, she feels stronger, her body is more toned, and she has more energy.

“My husband was commenting the other day about me hoisting a giant box out of the car and how easy it was for me and how shocked he was at seeing that.”

Lapointe was taken aback at the response she received on Reddit, but she is not sure how many people will actually show up.

READ MORE: How much exercise do you really need to be fit?

The first ride is planned for Sat. June 16 at 6 p.m. Group information can be found at online.


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