About the Cycle Moles

Robin head shot smHey, my name is Robin Robertson

That is me to the left over there. Thanks so much for checking out my blog. This is my online home and I welcome you. As more people are visiting the blog, folks are wondering who I am. Here are a few details about me…

My Specialization is Indoor Cycling Programs for the Regular Person
I’ve used a lifetime of cycling experience and developed indoor cycling programs to help the regular person. I’ll start by telling what it is not:  not really for the bike racer and not for someone who just wants to suffer during their workout, not for the spinning fanatics (but they would all benefit from my periodized progressive programs).

My indoor cycling programs are designed to help people who are new to cycling or have been a recreational cyclist and want to get faster, stronger, and build stamina to feel better with more energy and confidence when you ride – whether indoors or out.

My programs also help people who suffer from knee issues – I know it works because I’m one of them.  I’ve had eight knee surgeries (more on that below) and still have my own knees.  My orthopedic surgeon recently told me that if it weren’t for indoor cycling (and staying a light, healthy weight), I would have had to replace my knees 10 years ago.  I attribute both my continued good health and keeping my own knees strong to cycling.

And you’ll probably hear me talk a lot about motivation and attitude – it has to do so much with your happiness and success in life. The chatter in your head, what you say to yourself, has everything to do with how you see the world and how the world sees you. My indoor cycling training will help you transform your mental chatter to being your own best cheerleader.  

Why Indoor?

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE riding my bike outdoors.
I will ride outdoor as much as I can, but I also choose spinning
(but I like to call it indoor cycling because we teach skills that you can use outside )

Why Indoor Cycling (spinning)?

 

 

 

  • Sometimes it is dark, wet, cold, windy, and just plain ol’  miserable outside and if I didn’t ride inside I wouldn’t ride
  • Indoor cycle training is compact – 60 minutes inside is like 90 minutes outside
  • Each training ride has a purpose (no wasted exercise time)
  • I will usually push myself harder inside than I do outside for a training ride
  • Work on very specific parts of cycling like pedal stroke, metabolic improvement, heart rate training,  – this is hard to do outside
  • Each ride is different – no boredom!
  • The series of classes are a planned progression with built in recovery periods – so you don’t have to worry about how hard to ride. It’s done for you. My workouts are always challenging and satisfying.
  • You feel so good – you never regret doing a workout, only missing one. No Excuses!

And reasons that others have told me they ride inside with Cycle Moles?

 

 

 

  • Want the coaching on how to “do it'”
  • Don’t own a bike or the gear
  • Are afraid of riding in the streets
  • Don’t push themselves when they ride on their own
  • Want to try spin classes but are a little afraid of starting
  • Are not confident of their abilities to ride outside
  • Don’t want to be left behind
  • Want to lose weight
  • Want a coached program with the progression all planned
  • Just want a great workout

Why Cycling,  NOT Running,  &  8 Knee Surgeries 

Robin High School Track3At 7 years old I was pretty sure that I would make my fame and fortune as a gymnast. Except that I fell down a lot and my knees hurt all the time. My parents eventually took my complaining seriously and we found out that I had a rare congenital condition with too much cartilage in my knees (called discoid meniscus – on the lateral sides for you sciency-types). This caused all sorts of problems with my knees locking or giving out. This did NOT bode well for my future in gymnastics.

When I was 13 years old I had my first open knee surgery which removed all of the cartilage on one side of my left knee because that was the technology at the time.

The doctor told me to exercise “as tolerated by pain” – whatever that meant. And so I downhill skied for fun and ran competitively in high school and college. I figured that the pain that came with it is what the doctor was talking about.

When in the last year of college and about to start my final track season, the pain became too much. I had my second knee surgery and I was told that my knee looked like it was 85 years old for all the degeneration and arthritis. He also told me that if I wanted to walk when I was 35 years old, I needed to stop all impact sports right now. Seeing the video of the inside of my knee (it looked like craters on the moon) sent the message home. That put an end to running and skiing.

I had a choice here – to feel sorry for myself and have my own pity party sitting on the couch eating potato chips for the rest of my life—OR—figure out something else that would work for me.

Robin Robertson with Mountain BikeMy bad knees opened the door to the world on cycling:  cycle touring (I’ve been around the world on my bike), cycle racing for a team (starting at age 45), mountain bike riding  in some of the most beautiful parts of the world,  mountain bike racing, commuting by bike, and just riding my bike because it’s fun.

Cycling has been fantastic for my knees and kept me in top shape. My knee joints are stronger than they’ve ever been (even after a total of 8 knee surgeries and still my own knees), my body weight stays consistent, my cardio is tip top, my leg strength is fantastic, and (for you ladies concerned about this) cycling is great for your…patoot. How do I stay in shape for all of this?

Indoor Training is the base for my answer!

Sidenote:  Yes, I’ve had a total of 8 knee surgeries to date—6 on my left and 2 on my right. If you want the full story…check out this video.

 

 

Cycling Experience

1986 – At 24 years old, my world changed:  running was out, cycling is in. My parents gave me my first nice road bike for my college graduation present – a Trek (aluminum frame).

1990 – My husband and I quit our jobs and rode our bikes around the world for 10 months:  New Zealand, Australia, Bali, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, England, Scotland, Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, and Greece. 1991 – My daughter was born and indoor training started so that I could exercise at home.

2007 – Cycle Moles was Born! (see below)

Events, Racing, and Credentials – I participated in too many multi-sport, cycling events, and local races to list. But here are some highlights:

  • Washington State Best All Around Road Racer “Masters B” 2008 Champion; 2009, 2nd Place
  • Mt. Baker Hillclimb (Ride 542): Ranked in top 10 women ?? times
  • Leadville 100 Mt. Bike Race:  2011
  • Certified USA Cycling Coach, Level 2; Certified in a variety of cycling techniques through LeMond, CycleOps, and continue expanding my education.
  • ACE Certified Personal Trainer
  • Owned & Operated the Bellingham Tennis Club & Fairhaven Fitness since 2000.

My bikes now (not in any order because I love them all):  Surly Cross-Check (commuter), Santa Cruz Juliana (mt. bike); Litespeed Tesoro (titanium road bike); my original 1986 Trek aluminum frame now with Power Cranks; and a pink Schwinn single-speed coaster brake bike named LouEllen.

No, none of them are super fancy or super expensive, but they do the trick for me. I don’t get all hung up on the newest or lightest gear….just get a bike that fits you well and go ride!

Robin with bike-smFor Indoor Cycling  I prefer to put my road bike on a trainer (Kurt Kinetic Fluid trainer has been my favorite) or rollers, but any spinning bike will do. My two favorites are the LeMond (with the Pilot) and CycleOps (with watts). I find that on some other spinning bikes the spread of the pedals is too wide and that can bother my knees.

CYCLE MOLES – Where did that Name Come From?

My home was built in the 1920s. I started my indoor training workouts in my creepy dark outside access basement. It is one of those places where the cement floor gets wet when it rains, the narrow windows are up at the top near the low ceiling, and the spiders may just wrap you up and take you away. I guess it’s kind of like a mole hole.

My husband would ask me if I was going for a “mole ride” and I’d say “yeah, I’m going for a mole ride. “

Then, one day in 2008, I thought, “I don’t have to do this in my dark creepy basement alone!”  I’d already developed a series of progressive workouts that had improved my fitness over the winter (rather than backsliding) and brought Cycle Moles to Fairhaven Fitness at the Bellingham Tennis Club. I continue to run the program there where every winter we fill our camp with 20 riders and we’ve measured massive results from the participants. We have expanded our training into the Spring and Summer, and new in the fall will offer a “transition” series. From our winter camps, we see an average of 10—18% increase in strength measured by watts – plus countless benefits of heart rate improvement and stories of feeling stronger, more energetic, and weight loss.

The Cycle Moles Training Series was born.