This month, we are excited to announce Lamorna Brown Swigart and Malinda Walker as our Co-Riders of the Month! They are both proud ElliptiGO owners, relying on each other for encouragement and strength to accomplish their recent ride, “Circle the Bay for Breast Cancer” in San Francisco.
1. Tell us a little about your pre-ElliptiGO background in regards to athletics/fitness?
We have very different fitness backgrounds, but have been very compatible partners. Before Lamorna bought her ElliptiGO, she really did not do much athletic activity. She made a commitment to get fitter last year. She was about to turn fifty, knew she had a genetic predisposition towards diabetes, and wanted to do all she could to decrease her risk of that disease. Malinda has always been an active person, preferring lawn mowing over babysitting to make money as a kid. In grade school, she ran 100 miles around the playground, accumulating laps, miles and ribbons, one recess at a time.
In San Francisco as an adult, more than 15 years ago, Malinda took up more serious running and discovered the USATF Pacific Association and its robust series of running races. She has raced distances from the mile up to a marathon. In the last year, Lamorna joined a gym, started going to a weight training class and used the elliptical machine, stationary bike and weight machines a couple of times a week. So, Lamorna was certainly on a path to improving her fitness.
Lamorna enjoys the challenge and discipline of her fitness class, but the workout on the machines isn’t exciting; rather, it’s something she just has to do. ElliptiGOing, on the other hand, always brings a smile to Lamorna’s face. Malinda has had some back pain issues in the last few years, and riding the ElliptiGO has been a great complement to running, bringing her the joy of going fast with the motion of running, while out in the open air!
2. What model ElliptiGO do you own; when did you start riding; and what was the catalyst that caused you to invest in an ElliptiGO?
We each own an 11R, purchased in mid-September 2014. Lamorna’s is stealth black and named Giselle, which she gets a real kick out of. Malinda was aware of the ElliptiGO because of her running, and had seen an elite runner using one. Lamorna says, “the catalyst for buying an ElliptiGO was really Malinda and our plan to do a fundraising ride around the San Francisco Bay;” Malinda states that, “I actually own the ElliptiGO because of Lamorna, our work and a crazy conversation that was something of a joke but turned into a real project.” So we both credit each other!
Before we bought the ElliptiGOs, we rented or borrowed 8Cs several times, we bought the 11Rs for the extra gears, and living in hilly San Francisco Bay Area are glad for the climbing power. Our riding really took off as soon when we got our own ElliptiGOs. As owners, we increased our training and focused on a ride to Circle the Bay for Breast Cancer. At the beginning of June 2015 we did that, covering 280 miles and raising well over $17,000 (so far) for breast cancer research. The June ride was to be a proof-of-principle ride; we really want to do some more adventurous rides, so we wanted to prove to ourselves that we were capable of riding day after day.
3. What does a general week of riding look like for you and how does the ElliptiGO fit into your overall workout routine?
Malinda already had an established weekday evening routine including a Tuesday track workout and two swim sessions; Lamorna briefly went with Malinda to run at the track, but now generally goes out for a five-mile ride on Tuesday evening after work. She alternates riding with her gym class, yoga and weight machine workouts, but on light evenings in good weather, she would rather ride than go to the gym. Light or dark, Malinda sometimes commutes home from the office on the ElliptiGO. We both do longer rides, 15-20 miles on the weekend. It is more fun if we can work out time to ride together, but because we live about an hour apart, that takes more planning. We love the adventure of our weekend rides, discovering new things, meeting interesting people and pushing ourselves physically.
4. What was your favorite aspect of the event?
We both feel great about the physical accomplishment. Lamorna was delighted to find that hills which seemed so long and hard in training, six months before the main event, are much easier now. And Malinda is proud that she could help Lamorna achieve something that definitely was outside her comfort zone. We both were surprised that the days we only rode 30 flat miles did not seem like enough and we were looking for ways to tack-on miles.
Other people brought us so many memories. We both loved the curiosity and interest others have in the ElliptiGO. We received so much support of what we were doing from old friends and new. It was gratifying and wonderful to have so much support in so many ways; cheering us on, running or riding with us for a leg, welcoming us at our stops, and donating.
It took a lot of effort to plan the event so that it all came together, but we were rewarded with joy and accomplishment.
5. What’s next for you and what are some of your ElliptiGO-related goals for the next year?
At the moment Lamorna is waiting impatiently for the wrist she broke on day two of Circle the Bay for Breast Cancer to heal and is a little worried that she is losing fitness, but would really like to ride a 50-mile event this year. Malinda has been enjoying spontaneous unplanned summer rides and looking at nearby organized rides. Lamorna is thinking that next year she would love to ride half of the California coast; she has been told the North Coast section is beautiful and so is trying to convince her family to make a vacation of it; perhaps they could cycle with her. Malinda too likes the idea of covering the length of California, and turning the original joke into reality, to go all the way across the country. And, as neither of us can help ourselves, new We GO for Good project ideas are percolating… Would you like to join us in San Francisco’s Union Square on Black Friday on an ElliptiGO wearing a Santa Suit? Being a positive force in the world and creating positive energy is somewhat addictive, we’ll be GOing for Good again in the future!