If you follow them on Instagram or follow the indoor cycling scene in Seattle, you've probably been eagerly awaiting the opening of City Cycle like I have. The only problem was they opened up their website the week I was in Mexico. And well, it's fair to say, thanks to the bottomless mojitos and sunshine, I didn't exactly make it onto the site that week. When I finally did, the only time that worked with my schedule was the Saturday of Mother's Day weekend. A bit of a wait but not a bad way to kickoff the big weekend if you ask me! And even better, Sara (of Fit Foods) was free then too! So we both reserved our bikes and counted down the days.
City Cycle is located in a brand new building with a small parking garage (12-15 spaces). When you walk in, the check in area definitely has a new, modern feel to it. The two ladies working the desk were super friendly and ready to help us. Once you turn the corner past the check in desk, there is an open space with lockers, doors leading to the restrooms and a shoe wall. I LOVE the shoe wall. When you reserve a bike online, you can request shoes and enter your shoe size. Your shoes will be waiting for you and hanging under the number that correlates to your bike number. Genius and super easy!
Sara and I changed into our shoes and headed into the studio. The studio is smaller than the ones I am used to but you don't even notice it when you get on your bike. There are about three rows, stadium seating style, and enough space between bikes where you don't feel as though you will sweat on your neighbor (or vice versa).
Our instructor, Katie, greeted us when we walked into the studio and asked us to grab a set of dumbbells. You could choose from 2, 3, 4 and 5 lb weights. My gut was to grab the 5 lb weights but Katie recommended 3 lb weights given the arm series would be about 5 minutes long. I would find out later that she was right!!
As always, Sara and I had bikes in the front row. Anyone who cycles with me knows I have weird quirks when it comes to indoor cycling. One of them is that I like to see my peddle strokes in the mirror so I like to sit in the front row. Luckily the bikes were the same Schwinn bikes we have at Community Fitness with one difference - NO MONITOR. Sara will tell you that not having a monitor, for me, is like not having rose at a summer barbecue. What's the point of going?!?! Luckily, Sara reminded me that this was a good opportunity to get through a class based on feel rather than numbers. Sometimes it's good to relinquish control and just go with it!
When class started, I knew it was going to be FUN. The lighting in the studio is perfect for a fun cycling experience. It accommodates everything from a dark, focused ride to a motivating, pumped up ride. I LOVED it. If you workout with me, you know that music, energy, lighting, ALL of that helps push me. Katie got us kicked off right away and showed us the three different positions we would incorporate into the workout. I'm not going to lie, the first few minutes of the ride were hard for me. I could not focus. All I could think was 'what gear does this feel like?', 'would this be a 4 or is this really a 2?', 'how many RPMs am I REALLY peddling? It feels like 95-100 but what if it's 75-80?!??!'. Fortunately, Katie is a force to be reckoned with and she brought me back to the present with her energy. She is literally the perfect balance of a peppy cheerleader, your favorite late night dancing buddy and powerhouse motivational speaker. She went from pushing us up hills to dancing around the studio to giving the best motivational speech to one of my favorite songs (Bon Iver's Skinny Love).
Most of the songs were straight riding but there were two songs that were the dreaded choreography rides. If you know me, You know that I am not the most coordinated person. Coordination while biking and keeping up with the beat is just a recipe for disaster. My biggest fear is that I will fall off the bike. Katie had us doing a few basic push up type moves on the bike for the first song and then move into a few hip movements for the second song. I think it's safe to say I didn't do all the movements, I didn't keep up with the beat and I was more than thrilled when each song ended!
After about 30 minutes Katie had us grab our weights and led us through a 5 minute arm series that included biceps, triceps and shoulders. It was a series that felt too easy at first but by the end felt good but not too challenging. I always struggle with weight series on a bike since it is difficult to switch out your weights. A bit of a bummer since I like to use different weights for my biceps vs. my triceps vs. my shoulders. (Tabata has spoiled me!) But aside from that small note, it was a good arm series and nice to get in something difference in the middle of the ride. After that, we went through 3 more songs to wrap up the class.
I will say, by the time class ended, I felt as though I had been there for 15 minutes. It literally flew by. Riding without a monitor was also a good reminder for me to consider different types of rides and not be so numbers driven. I found I didn't push myself as hard during the class at City Cycle because I didn't have the numbers to motivate me. But since then, I have actually made a conscious decision to cover up my monitor for at least two to three songs per class at Community Fitness so that I can learn how to push myself based on feel. So if you're heading to City Cycle and are used to the monitors like me, I'd recommend preparing yourself mentally or doing a few rides with the monitor covered up.
All in all, Sara and I had a blast. Katie was AMAZING and I look forward to going back to City Cycle when it works with my schdule.