Monday, January 25, 2010


(Photo: Steve Woods look-alike, James Taylor)

Frothing spinner Susan Woods submitted this cool story by her husband, Steve. She didn't send along a picture of him, but said he was very handsome; claiming he looked like James Taylor.

By Steve Woods

"One day, when he was naughty, Mr.Bunnsy looked over the hedge into Farmer Fred’s field and saw that it was full of fresh green lettuces. Mr. Bunnsy, however, was not full of lettuces. This did not seem fair."

- From Mr. Bunnsy Has an Adventure (Terry Pratchett)

In Minnesota, our winter bike workouts take place in a studio with stationary bikes arrayed in an arc facing the leader. My wife and I work out together on Saturday morning so we reduce the ‘parallel lives’ threat that tri training can have on couples. Yet even when schedules align, abilities may not. For example, during race season (the threeweeks when the ice fishing is bad) her goal is to place in her age-group; mine, to avoid a gurney.

I like these classes. I can keep up with her on a stationary bike in a way that her custom tri bike does not allow on the road. I plant myself right off her shoulder and no matter how hard she rides, there I am wheezing alongside her.

The studio has several large fans to move air and extend the time it takes to overheat. The fans, combined with the arc of bikes, induce a centrifuge effect that causes dust bunnies to rotate in the middle of the room.

“Looks like the bunnies we saw frolicking in the pasture in England,” says my wife. This surprises me a bit as her intensity is usually focused on the workout. I swear she tries to will her stationary bike to waver in its mission and let her inch ahead.

My bike may be stationary, but my mind wanders impressively during workouts. She is not surprised to hear me reply, “I’ve been watching the three of them as well.”

“There’s four – I bet you missed the baby bunny.”


“He’s in front of the angry looking woman.”


The instructor calls for a sprint as a Green Day’s American Idiot (with a couple key word substitutions) cues. We comply and soon are too gassed to talk. After two minutes we slow and my wife announces, “I’ve named them.”


“Yep – Flopsy, Mopsy, Peter, and Cottontail,” says my spouse of British heritage in a less-than-impressive spurt of creativity.

Our rest minute over, we sprint again. We are wordless, though not silent as our lungs labor. Our eyes follow the bunnies.

“Friendly amendment - can we change Peter to Pigpen?,” I ask. “That one by the instructor is a heinous looking collection of stuff.”


Water consumed. Some “hills.” A cool down. We dismount and stretch. After the bikes are put away we turn to look for the bunnies playing in the meadow. Apparently they had fled when we all stopped.

In a gesture as solemn as our wedding vows we pledge not to point out things on the bottom of the pool Sunday morning. SW

COMMENT (Received 1/27/10)

Dear MTN,

Thank you for your newsletter. It is a refreshing reprieve from the pull of the day.

I appreciated the article today about the couple and the dust bunnies. It was so nice to read about a couple who trains together and and enjoys each other so much. Thanks for the warm smile.

Yours in health and fitness,

Bonnie Siegel