Do you recall your very first bike? Was your very first ride, as a kid, exhilarating? Unnerving? Challenging? Fun? That same freedom and exhilaration that most of us experience as a child on our first bike can still be tapped into as an adult. At cycle class, you ask? It’s been said that a bicycle is a simple solution to some of the world’s most complicated problems. You may be surprised at where you can go now, as an adult, on a stationary bike!
Riding outside on a real bike provides the ultimate experience, but indoor cycling classes are a great opportunity to challenge your body and your mind in a different way. There are no potholes, stop signs or scenic views of nature, so we can focus solely on burning calories, getting stronger, listening to invigorating music and maybe even a little mental training without distractions.
Choose comfort. Compression or cycling shorts are better than loose fitting shorts so that your inner thighs don’t get chaffed. Otherwise, anything cool and comfy works. For shoes, a stiff soled shoe is best. So, a cross trainer or trail runner is better than a lightweight running shoe. A minimalist shoe is not the best choice because the pedal can press uncomfortably into the ball of your foot.
Most studios recommend beginners arrive about 15 minutes early to be fitted on the bike. Bike fit is really important! Adjustments are necessary for comfort and safety. Cycling is a highly repetitive activity, which is awesome because you’ll see/feel benefits swiftly, however, with a poor bike fit, you could be de-training yourself and causing more harm than help.
The instructor provides guidance but, ultimately, you’re in charge! Cycle classes consist of simulating flat roads and hills. The cadence (speed of your legs) and resistance will vary to create lower and higher intensities or challenges. You decide how much is enough or too much based on the instructor’s class plan. Most instructors will offer options throughout the class for participants to modify as needed in order to personalize the ride.
Don’t compare yourself to other riders in the class (or anyone else for that matter). Each rider has a different experience level and is riding their personal ride for that particular day. Everyone benefits from the group dynamic/energy of riding together while modifying the ride as needed depending on what other training they may be doing or what other stressors are happening in their lives at the time.
Hopefully, you’ll be sweating! Burning calories ends up in the atmosphere as hydrogen (water) and carbon dioxide. Hydration is very important for metabolic function and cleansing. Some studies found that most adults are slightly dehydrated every day due to diet, environment and other factors. Dehydration adversely affects performance, focus, and progress. Drink water before, during and after class!
Your butt is probably more accustomed to a chair than a thin, semi-cushioned saddle for close to an hour. It takes a few sessions to get used to figuring out how to sit your ‘stuff’ in the saddle. Everyone’s ‘stuff’ is a little different. You’ll learn to perch on your sitting bones rather than sit on flesh like you do when you sink into a recliner or a chair. Gel Saddle covers are an affordable option but a good pair of bike shorts is best to pad your sitting bones. You weren’t born with a saddle up your butt, but you were born to ride!
For the first cycle class, these tips should be enough to get you rolling confidently. But, if you’re still nervous even after reading the tips, just stop in to talk to us or attend our comprehensive Cycle 101 clinic.
Voted the Best Cycle Class by What’s Up Annapolis, Evolutions Annapolis has the best facilities and most friendly instructors who will help you ride strong and gain the most from your cycle classes. Contact us today to learn more.