Which cycling classes do you teach?
I will teach any class that involves a bike and awesome music – yup, that’s all of them! Cycle & Sculpt, Power Cycle, and Theme Ride are on my regular rotation. I especially love Theme Rides since sometimes my “regular” rides wind up with themes anyway – sometimes I’m just really having a Classic Rock or a 90s kind-a day!
Why do you love Power Cycle rides?
Power Cycle rides are the best because you get so much reward for so little effort… I mean time-effort, not workout-effort 😉 In 30 minutes, riding as hard and as best you can, you can get SO MUCH return in how you feel and how much your body will get in better shape!!!
What would you say to regular PSFers who have yet to make cycling part of their workout routine?
What are you waiting for?!? No, seriously… what are you waiting for? I hear this all the time that people are afraid of the bike… I just don’t get it…
Here’s the way I look at it:
- You can’t fall over (I’ve actually done that in the main studio)
- You can’t hit yourself in the head with the equipment (yup, done that in a studio class, too… all the time!)
- You can’t get embarrassed that you don’t know the moves (pedaling is not complicated).
The music is always awesome – no matter what cycle class you take, I guarantee there is at least one song where you are like “This is my SONG!” Yes, confession, I CAN see when you start singing along 😉 But that’s the best moment because I know you are really having a great ride and letting the music move you!
What are your tips for any first-time riders?
One thing I will say to first-time riders: it always feels hard – you are not alone! The difference is that as you ride more , you figure out that the “hard” feeling is actually the feeling of crazy-awesome accomplishment, that you worked beyond your best without even realizing it. (Why else do you think we all come back?)
Also, it is REALLY important to get your bike seat set up right. That’s advice for first-time riders as well as people who ride all the time. I like to tell the story of when I had a class after Pat, forgot to move the seat, and suddenly had the best ride ever because it turns out my seat had been 1-click too low to maximize my power. It makes a difference!
You want that little bend in your knee so you aren’t reaching for the pedals, but you don’t want to feel like you’re going to knee yourself in the chin, either. Your instructor can help you figure it out in 60 seconds, so come a little early to class and grab us – we want you to feel great and powerful and seat height is where it all starts. And if you ride a lot and want to double check to see if you are maximizing your best pedal stroke, ask us! And if you haven’t been on bike in a while and forget where your seat goes, ask us! That’s why we’re there early – we want to help.
How do you explain the metrics in class so newbies can pick it up quickly?
I don’t know about anyone else, but I can’t do math and workout at the same time! I also know all those numbers in the cycle studio can be confusing – look here, light it up there, the new yellow numbers are… I try to simplify as much as I can: “RPMs are how FAST you ride; Watts are how HARD you ride; Energy is Watts-times-Seconds, so that number only goes up.”
Basically: “Pedal… Hard!” In the end, when you get tired on a ride, it comes down to just moving your legs, so my focus is always on that: JUST. KEEP. MOVING
I also try to make sure at the end of class, people know what to do with all of those flashing numbers and colors. I think it’s important to realize that your Energy is YOUR Energy; it’s how you can measure your effort against yourself, not against anyone else. So if you have a 250 total Energy this week and you were working hard, your goal shouldn’t be a 350 next week – not gonna happen! You should aim for 255 or 260. Energy is an incremental gain, not a competition. Some people can just crank more watts – a lot of it’s biology.
And, bringing it full circle, that would be the last thing I would say to people who haven’t been in a cycle class yet: You’re not up in lights to compete with people who ride every day. They can’t “beat” you. Don’t be afraid of the screens. The screens just let you know where you stand so you know how, when, and where YOU get better. And if you ARE a numbers person and you want a better explanation, grab an instructor and we’ll be happy to walk you through all of it, any time.
Anything else we should know about how cool you are? 🙂
If you feel like you haven’t seen me at PSF in a while, chances are I’m on a cruise ship somewhere in Europe. It makes me feel like a superhero with my secret identity: PSF Instructor by day, Historian by night! But that doesn’t mean I’m not PSF-proud the whole time!
And one “cool” true Power Cycle story: A couple years ago, my husband signed up for a Century (100-mile bike ride) in CA. He trained all Summer, riding 60-80 miles a weekend. About 2 months before the ride, I had the crazy idea: “Hey, I ride at PSF, I’ve already got a plane ticket to CA, why don’t I ride 100 miles, too?” He laughed and said that he’d lose me somewhere around mile 5. I haughtily pointed out that in a half-hour class at PSF, I can get to at least 11 miles. He rolled his eyes.
I bought a bike (yup, that’s right, I didn’t even own a road bike) and next thing you know, I was at the starting line… A few hours later, having had the BEST time, I crossed that finish line with TONS of energy left! While I don’t necessarily recommend training for a Century without owning a bike, I can tell you that I managed to beat an awful lot of riders simply by riding at PSF 4-5 days a week! It felt awesome and is proof that Power Cycle is (and can make you) totally amazing!