Some of the participants in the Cancer Coalition of South Georgia’s RIDEforHOPE at Tony’s Gym prepare for “Fighter Pilot; the Ride.” The event raised more than $11,000 for cancer awareness. Top-rated SPIN instructors, including Josh Taylor, were on hand for the event.
ALBANY, Ga. -- There was time when spinning might have meant creating thread from cotton or wool. Spinners at Tony's Gym on Westover Boulevard were pedaling their stationary bikes on Thursday and pretending to be fighter pilots.
According to gym owner Tony Powell, not only did the dozens of dedicated riders get a really great workout with a world-famous Master Spin instructor, they were providing more than $11,000 for the Cancer Coalition of South Georgia.
"The purpose, first of all, of the Coalition's 2nd RIDEforHOPE is to raise awareness of cancer," said Diane Fletcher, Coalition CEO. "All these riders enjoy healthy lifestyles and it's been shown that regular exercise helps lower the risk of cancer, especially colon cancer."
According to Fletcher, in order to participate in the event, each rider raised a minimum of $100.
"Some of them just donated the money themselves," Fletcher said, "but a lot of them went out and raised money from other people. The more money a rider raised, the better their position or the better bike they have."
A major draw for the event was the presence of international Master Spinning instructor Josh Taylor, considered the "Top Gun" of stationary cycling. In a special darkened room, Taylor would lead the bikers in his renowned "Fighter Pilot; the Ride."
"It's a visually-based ride," Taylor said. "I'll take (the riders) off an aircraft carrier. They're going to climb on the bike, pick up altitude. They'll go into super-cruise then break the sound barrier. Running at 85 to 90 percent of their maximum effort, it's them against me. When it's over they'll fly back and land on the ship. You become a movie producer when you do this stuff."
RIDEforHOPE held its first event last October, Fletcher said, after local spinning instructor Barbara Hoots had the idea of combining the fitness concept with cancer awareness.
"Because of Barbara's connections in the spinning world, she was able to bring in Josh Taylor," Fletcher said.
Scott Schlesinger from Miami, another Master Spin instructor, also attended the event.
Members of the Cancer Coalition passed out special "blue star" pins at the ride, to signify colorectal cancer awareness. Fletcher noted that "what the pink ribbon is to breast cancer the blue star is to colon cancer."
"The Cancer Coalition is all about educating people about cancer screening and making sure they have access to the care," Fletcher said. "March is colorectal cancer awareness month and (colorectal) is one of the most preventable types."
According to Fletcher, most colon cancer can be prevented by having colonoscopy exams starting at age 50. For information on screening or for other cancer questions call 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.