We’ve all braved the training wheel stage and first big push from a parent before crashing time and time again. But, we got back up before pedaling into the sunset like a pro. I had a bright pink Barbie bike donned with streamers – naturally. So bike riding should be easy like a Sunday morning, right? Not if you are up bright and early at CycleBar Greengate. Easy isn’t the word I would use – invigorating is definitely a better way to describe how I started my AM. I was so tired, stayed up way past my old lady bedtime and had zero caffeine before CycleBar. However, I opened the door and walked straight into a club like atmosphere. The music was lit, on fleek, turnt, on point (NO idea, if I used those terms correctly but you get my drift right?!) I had to resist the urge to bust out all the good white girl dance moves in front of 6 strangers at 740am.
I had no idea what to expect, as I haven’t ridden a bike since circa 2001 nor have I tried a cycle class. Easy peasy – just grab a tank and form-fitting pants and don’t forget socks. They supply the shoes, which rocks! Their customer service was phenomenal – fresh fruit, hot and cold towels, water bottles, and a water station with chilled and warm water awaits you. The CycleBar website refers to their mission as having concierge level service, and they were not kidding around. You will find locker rooms with showers in case you need to head somewhere after cycling and don’t want to smell (I didn’t have a chance to shower until 3pm today – sorry for anyone who may have come into contact with me prior to shower).
The siblings who founded Cycle Bar in 2005 recognized that there are three key ingredients to a successful indoor cycling experience: great instructors, great music, and a great environment. CycleBar Greengate provided all 3 and more. The instructor, Cara, led us through form and tips with an energetic and encouraging demeanor. The environment, CycleTheatre – was unlike anything I could have expected. Think movie theatre but instead of big plushy seats – stationary bikes. There are two massive screens behind the instructor – who rides facing you – and switches between images to stat screens. I loved that the CycleTheatre is dark which helped me focus on the music and my ride, instead of checking out what others were doing.
You might have noticed I referenced stats – and anyone who knows me is probably laughing because stats are not my strong suit. CycleStats are provided to each rider by email after the ride, for that day and historical info. This intrigued me as a competitive person by nature – because you can see your stats changing over time as your rides improve. The CycleStats are measuring 6 key metrics such as calories burned, RPM, and power. You will also see the group stats throughout the ride, averaging the other riders in with your own. I found the CycleStats a perfect mix of individual ranking vs group goals. There are a few icons that you will see on the screen that you will need to know:
- Music Note – this refers to your Energy Points which is based on your gender, height, and weight. I like this aspect since I wont be riding with the same force as a 200 lb body builder male beside me. Think faster pedaling + higher resistance = more Energy Points. You will increase resistance by twisting a knob on your bike.
- Speedometer – Measures your RPM’s. Rather than speed racing throughout the class, the instructor helps you find the beat throughout the changing playlist.
- Lightning Bolt – This captures your watts aka your power. Think faster pedaling = higher watts.
Here is an example of what my CycleStats looked like for my first ride:
CycleBar Greengate offers on average 4-5 classes per day. The studio staff recommended 3-4 days of riding per week and 5 if you are training. The studio is located right off of the Broad Street Exit not far from Short Pump mall. Whether you live, work, or play in the area it’s conveniently located to many RVA residents. I will most definitely be cycling again in the future and next time I am busting out all the dance moves in the waiting room.
Whether you are a newbie to CycleBar like me or a veteran rider I HIGHLY suggest reserving a seat in the CycleTheatre ASAP. Your body will thank you and you will leave feeling like you can conquer the world.
Can’t wait to hear about how you rock your first free ride. Let me know when you are headed to ride, I’d love to join you!