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Born To Bike

Hangin' With Belinda Baranek

An extreme cycling enthusiast and spin class instructor at Achieve Fitness, Belinda Baranek loves to sweat. But if you want what she’s got, you have to turn the resistance knob when she does. If you can’t grimace with a grin? “Sometimes you have to go to another place,” she says—rolling countrysides and scenic beaches are her suggestions for mental vacations. And Baranek knows some good places to pedal. From 1991-1995, she took a sabbatical from her job as an assistant test engineer to see the world and tour the U.S., New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Mexico by bike. Most recently, she biked nine hours through the Blue Ridge Mountains and it’s not unusual to find her locally on a 100 or 60-mile excursion, relishing the thrill of the road and the vibe of being alive.

Hangin’ With Belinda Baranek

Was there ever a moment in your life when fitness was a struggle?
Fitness is always a struggle—the commitment, determination, sacrifice and hard work. I set small, obtainable goals and build from there.

Why did cycling click with you?
Once I experienced the thrill of speed, freedom of the open road and the adventures of the trail, I was hooked.
 
What song or band gets you through those grueling moments in a workout? For a hard workout I use dance music with a driving beat, like Hybrid, Gold Frapp, the Chemical Brothers and Fluke.

I Wish Aiken...
Had more paved shoulders to promote safe cycling activity.
 
What is your splurge food?
There are too many to list, but ice cream is probably the most sinful.
 
What have you done that might be considered wild?
Bungee jumping off a bridge in New Zealand and scuba diving with sharks in the Red Sea.
 
I’m afraid to admit...
Sometimes my taste buds are stronger than my willpower. 

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