Granite City Fitness

This Winter I enrolled in a beginners spin class at Granite City Fitness. I had never been to a spin class before and knew I was in need of exercise. The class was a worthwhile experience and I highly recommend Granite City Fitness. The instructors are knowledgeable and kind.

The forty-five minute, eight week series met every Saturday morning at 10 am. The timing was convenient for me as I was able to help Darren open the bike shop at 9 then go off to class. Raegan Chaloux, the instructor consistently was full of energy and passionate about sweating!

The class gave me an introduction to spinning, a chance to get in at least a 10 mile ride, and I met some sweet community members. I must admit while I was in the class, I longed for the beauty and peace that comes with cycling outdoors. In fact I am sure I spent too much time day dreaming about biking a dirt road on a sunny afternoon climbing windy gravel, cruising down a freshly paved rolling hill, or just enjoying a straight away. Funny thing though, when I did get outdoors for a fat bike ride, I found my ride being coached by my spin instructor, “add resistance” echoed in my mind as I pushed up the snowy path, “take that resistance off” eased my body as i began my descent.

Being in a spinning class is a different experience than biking outdoors. I am confident the body and mental strengthening I experienced in that class will serve me for many rides to come.

PHOTO: Ben Gauthier, #VTBADV

Recommended Places: Rickie’s Indian Restaurant in South Barre

By Ginger Cloud

Yes, Rickie’s Indian Restaurant is located in the back of a gas station convenience store… Yes it is delicious! The restaurant has a clean kitchen with genuinely kind people, this is an authentic Indian food experience. There is a small clean dinning area, however I have only ordered take out. I love Indian food! My favorite dish is the Baingan Bharta, a roasted mashed eggplant dish with seriously yummy spices served hot. I am generally able to get three meals out of a serving. It’s a great meal to split or bring home leftovers. The food is packed with flavor and has a bit of a spicy kick. We are so thankful to have access to Indian cuisine in this part of Vermont. We highly recommend Rickie’s Indian Restaurant. Additionally, the store has a full deli for anyone that would prefer a different flavor of food. Haribol! 

From Bicyclist to Cyclist

While living in Eugene Oregon my bicycle was my main mode of transportation for a solid seven years. I biked to work and most places around town, average distance three miles. My bike was a way to get from place to place more quickly than walking. The thought of riding for pleasure or up a steep hill or for any significant distance was foreign.

Through being in relationship with my husband Darren for the past five years, I have a completely different perspective on biking, where it can take me and the gear that can help me find comfort on rides.

This blog, The Mechanic’s Wife, will share tips about riding challenging terrain, equipment to support distance riding, and strategies that I have found helpful as I transform from a get around town bicyclist to an adventure cyclist.

Where you look is where you will go – This is a great life tip on and off the bicycle. Use caution to keep your eye on the path you want to follow and avoid focusing on the ditch or before you know it, you will be in it.

My best friend – My wicked wide range 11-40 cassette. A cassette is a rear gear cluster on a bike. The bigger the range the more options for easier pedaling. The 11-40 cassette gives me an edge getting up hills and helps reduce self-defeating thoughts during a tough climb.


Counting – There are different strategies that I have found helpful when I am struggling to stay on my bike up a steep hill. Sometimes I meditated on my breath or the beauty of the moment knowing I will never experience this hill the same again. When I am in agony and need distraction, I count. One two three … twenty-eight twenty-nine… ahh made it.

Not that long ago I would do anything to avoid hills, now when I see one ahead I smile.