That One Time I Took a Cycling Class

Hey readers,

As you all know, I’ve been on a mission to better myself. Back in August, I had a coworker who also taught classes at the local cycling gym called Purvelo, think Soul Cycle with a gentler price tag. She insisted that we all come around for a free class as a bonding thing, so I signed up. Now something you may not know about me,

purvelo when I was a kid I LOVED riding my bike, but around the time that we bought our horse, that all stopped. I just didn’t have time for it anymore.

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In college, I went on a Birthright trip to Israel with a group called Quest on a tour named Israel by bike. I figured I would train up a little bit and easily be able to handle the two or three bike rides that would happen over a ten day period. No training happened, of course, and over the three 1-hour long bike rides, I think I rode a bike for about 30 minutes total. By that point, my hips cramped up so badly I felt like I was being stabbed by a serrated blade, and I opted to ride along in the bike truck for the next amount of time. I didn’t even ride a double person bike on my honeymoon in Amsterdam, despite my husband’s pleas, because it just does not appeal to me.

BUT, for some reason I thought this cycling class would be a great idea, and in all honesty, it was. And I’m gonna tell you all about it.

First off, I work out about 2-3 time a week on a good week. The weeks proceeding this class were less than average because I had a pinched nerve in my neck, and had just started going to the chiropractor more and the gym less. Also, while I have taken plenty of yoga and body pump and even zumba classes, I know nothing about cycling classes or soul cycle, so I had no idea what to expect. I also intentionally didn’t seek out any information because I knew that I would just end up going at my own pace and having a good time. I’ve ridden bikes before, so figured there wouldn’t be too many surprises. The day of, one of my co-workers sent everyone who planned to attend this horrific article about a woman who went to a cycling class, pushed herself waaaay too hard, and ended up in the hospital for almost a week due to rhabdomyolysis, a condition that occurs when too much myoglobin and other natural proteins get into your bloodstream. Thanks, buddy!

Then, I arrived late. Not late enough that the class hadn’t started yet, but just late enough that I felt my heart already beating faster. I got changed and signed out some shoes, and got my first surprise. Those shoes have heavy weighted bulbous things on the bottom that clip into the pedals. You’re supposed to be able to gracefully kick your heals in to free yourself, but either my horseback riding thighs weren’t strong enough, or I was doing it all wrong, because once they put me on my bike, I was there for the rest of the class or my shoes were coming off. I also found the shoes to be pretty unforgiving in the arch department, so my feet were cramping pretty quickly into the class.

soul cycle

A Soul Cycle Class

They gave us a towel and some water which was very kind of them, and then the lights dimmed low, the music turned up, and I noticed the candles. It looked just like I imagined, which is the scene from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt where Jacqueline and Kimmy go to a soul cycle class. My coworker was our instructor and she did a sincerely great job, she was loud and forceful, she included Side to Side, by Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande at my request as our warm up song, and she made sure the whole thing was fun and challenging but not too hard. I haven’t been in a class like that in a while, where the instructor is shouting at you to move faster, or push harder in quite sometime. I had forgotten how motivating it can be.

What I really liked was that, even sitting in the back, I still had a hard time seeing what other people were really doing. You were in a group class, but it still felt private, and I did not feel judged for going at my own pace, and being completely uncoordinated, while trying some of the trickier push up moves she threw at us. At the end, she had us do some weightlifting on the bikes using small 3 lb weights and doing isotonic motions, and then walked us through some stretches off the bikes. At this point I had to take my shoes off and was beyond grateful to roll out the cramps in my feet.

I only had 2 complaints, and really they’re the same. The shoes hurt my feet, and the bike seat was so unbelievably hard and uncomfortable. I felt as if someone had abused my behind, and couldn’t walk straight for days, even though my legs weren’t all that sore. I had actually used my towel as a seat cushion throughout the class, and even stole a towel from an unmanned bike near me for extra cushion as well.

All in all, I would definitely go back. The class was a lot of fun, my friend is a great trainer, and I think I got a great workout. I would want to train myself up a bit more, before I invested in a membership, but I still have one more free class. Maybe in January I’ll go back, and measure how much my fitness has improved in 6 months. Next on my list is Aerial Yoga, or a Pole Dancing class.

Have you ever taken a cycling class, or done soul cycle like this? What did you think? What are some of your favorite fitness classes or athletic hobbies? Any other classes you think I should check out? I’d love your feedback and recommendations, so message me below or e-mail me at cherrieschocolateanddirt@gmail.com!

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