Friends! Happy Valentine’s Week!
Hope you’re parked by a chunk of chocolate…
Wait ‘til you hear about a new exercise option we Louisvillians have. Before you say, “Not interested”, please allow me to present my case… Because trust me, if I can do this anybody can do this.
As if last December could be any busier with all the Christmas shoppers wreaking havoc on the road, our kids excitedly discovered a new cycling/spinning class that just opened. It’s name? CycleBar. (It’s near Trader Joe’s in the Shelbyville Road Plaza.)
The plot thickened when these same kiddos told us for the first two weeks CycleBar was open, classes were free. They jumped at the opportunity. One by one, they began telling us how much they liked the classes…
Didn’t take long for Hubster (my better half) to try a class. He’s an avid cyclist while I practically still need training wheels. Honestly, the more he told me about it, how you get to have your name up on the board and see how you compare with the rest of the class (gulp), I quickly blurted out, “This is not for me.”
Half a second later, he said, “Well, you may want to retract that statement as I believe some certain Santa may have purchased a package of classes for you for Christmas.” Alrighty then.
Off we went. (By the way, you do not have to have your name up on the board if you don’t want to. Hallelujah. You’ll receive an email immediately after class with your stats.)
Upon arrival, CycleBar’s gracious staff greeted us. One gal made sure I could find my shoes (They provide them for you if you don’t have any as everyone must clip in), helped us sign in, etc. There are lockers for your belongings, huge water bottles you can fill, and lovely, clean, fluffy towels awaiting you on your bike.
Riders of all ages, shapes, and sizes attend. Check your pride and insecurity at the door: Judgment is non-existent. A huge plus!
If you need help adjusting your bike or clipping in, the staff and/or the class’ teacher is happy to help. Being pampered is just another benefit.
I’m generally not a fan of group exercise, but, our kids, and now John, reassured me the classroom, a/k/a CycleTheater containing fifty bikes, is nice and cool and dark. Only YOU can see your bike’s screen with your time, your speed, your gear, and “IT IS YOUR OWN RIDE” as the teachers reiterate.
What’s so awesome about this little fact is I can happily tool along next to John while his bike is practically smokin’. He usually doubles my miles, but who cares? We’re both getting a workout and it’s something we can do together. Had we been out on the street on bikes, he’d have long left me in the dust.
Before I share a few more benefits of this experience with you, I want to introduce you to my new friend, Katie Kanapell Ryser. Katie’s the Owner of CycleBar St. Matthews.
We grabbed a Starbucks last week as I was interested in learning how someone so young (she’s only 37 years old!) could pull off bringing such a huge endeavor to town. You’ll see it was no simple journey getting here either…
Clip in, ‘cuz we’re going for a ride….
Katie and her husband, Fred, lived in New York City for several years. They had their two children while living there who are now almost five (Freddie) and three (Carolina). Katie’s parents live here and are beyond thrilled they’ve moved to Louisville!
Before we got into how CycleBar came about, Katie candidly shared her past with me because she believes if it can help anyone else out there who’s struggling, all the better. She’s a beautiful vision of making her former misery her ministry.
Early into their marriage, Katie realized she was drinking too much. She needed help, and good news is, she got it. Greater news is she’ll celebrate her seventh anniversary of sobriety in May. We praise you, Lord.
While in New York, Katie tried several spinning classes via Soul Cycle and Fly Wheel. Something led her to research spinning classes in Louisville should they move here. Nothing turned up like what she was looking for… She firmly believed we needed a high-end fitness class offering a strong cardio’ workout.
Further research helped her discover CycleBar, headquartered in Cincinnati. How Katie was able to get the rights to open one here, is nothing short of a miracle. Katie is one determined young lady.
Happy to report she’ll be opening two more CycleBars in Louisville: Springhurst, opening after Labor Day this year, and one in the Highlands, opening next year. Here’s her St. Matthews’ boutique:
If you don’t live in Louisville and want to see if CycleBar is in your town or closeby, go to the main website, www.cyclebar.com and click on “studios”. Last I checked there are over one hundred and eleven locations.
Prior to opening in St. Matthews, thanks to friends and a boatload of networking, Katie interviewed over one hundred people. She was able to staff her store as well as hire eleven teachers.
She brought in a professional spin trainer for the teachers. These eleven brave souls were baptized by fire in a one-week boot camp for….nine hours a day. Gutsy!
John and I’ve met several of the teachers. They are all wonderful. One fun connection we have is with Jady Koch. He not only teaches classes at CycleBar, he just so happens to be the lead pastor/rector at St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church, preaching powerful sermons. (Sweet Sidebar: Jady performed the marriage of our youngest son, Woody to his wife, LT.)
I’m convinced Jady must’ve loved the game King of the Hill growing up, because he takes us on forty-seven hills during our fifty-minute class. (Perhaps a bit of an exaggeration.)
Jady says he has a newfound appreciation for all the coaches and fitness teachers he’s had in the past, never realizing how much advance work goes into coordinating a class. He said “Teaching has been a great way to meet a cross section of the community and a wonderful way to encourage people in their (our) daily quest for a healthy and fun lifestyle.”
Here’s a pic of my Valentine with Jady before class…as in no sweat yet!
Another teacher we’ve enjoyed getting to know is Paige. We’ve taken her early class a couple of times. Last time her husband was in there with us, as her student. He’s from Germany and they met at Southern Seminary where they’re students. They’ve been married for a year. Don’t you love a love story? Hey, it’s Valentine’s Week!
One addition to the cycling part of class is each bike has a weighted bar across the top. A little over halfway thru’ the class, the teacher will show you how to lift it, working all the muscles in your arms as well as your core. While the bars are only four or six pounds (I hear there are eight pounders coming soon), with enough reps, they feel more like four hundred pounds!
Finally, here are just a few more benefits to encourage you to give this a try:
5+ Benefits of Spinning/Cycling:
1 – The Bible tells us we’re to take care of our bodies. Exercise is an excellent way to do that.
2- Believe it or not, sweating is a benefit, because it’s so cleansing for your body to get rid of all those impurities, detoxifying you during your workout.
When you try a class (and I know you will!), you may wish to tote along an extra shirt because the one you ride in becomes a bit damp. We take the euphemism, “Horses Sweat, Men Perspire, But Women Merely Glow” to a whole new level. (Showers are also available if you’re going to work or to another function from there.)
3 –A cardio’ workout of this caliber will kick your metabolism into gear. (Translation: potential weight loss!) It also strengthens your heart, your lungs, and increases your bone density, hugely beneficial for all ages.
Katie tells me there’s a guy who’s been coming to CycleBar who’s lost forty pounds and is determined to lose sixty more for a total of 100 pounds! He keeps her updated weekly. Amazing!
4 – Fellow cyclists report having more energy, and less stress, improving their mental disposition.
Recently two co-workers whose department was undergoing an inordinate amount of stress randomly showed up in the same noon-time CycleBar class. When they saw each other, they burst out laughing, knowing they were both there for the exact same reason…to de-stress.
Another gal who’s been attending CycleBar classes has a condition that leaves her exhausted and often depressed. After taking several classes, she’s lost fifteen pounds, feels amazingly better, and her depression is gone. Wonderful!
5 – Spinning inside is SAFE. It keeps you off the road.
John and I have several friends who’ve had terrible bicycle accidents. Some, more than once. We live near River Road and my worry-meter rises significantly when John takes off from our house on his bike. Like I said earlier, the fact that we can ride together, inside at Cycle Bar is yet another benefit.
The music the teachers select is another fun facet to CycleBar, offering a wide variety of songs and styles. Occasionally the teacher will ask you to bend down or press down on the handlebars to the beat of the music, while riding. (Here’s where I could be Steve Martin’s understudy in The Jerk.) Oh, but it’s FUN!
Beyond enduring technical issues, and an occasional maintenance issue with the bikes, Katie said they’re coming up for air on the learning curve. Her attention to detail and passion for the product is what makes it function so well.
CycleBar further spoils its’ customers by always having fresh bananas and oranges for you after class, gum to grab on the go before or after class, and lip balm…come on now!
CycleBar is always offering specials. They now allow couples to share packages which John and I are doing as are our oldest son, John Jr. with his wife, Diana. (They were the two elves who gave us the packages for Christmas.)
Here’s what’s available right now:
Why don’t you and your Valentine or friend or co-worker try a class? CycleBar offers several classes per day with Intro’ classes for beginners. Checkout their website: https://stmatthews.cyclebar.com
Y’all keep Katie, and her sweet family, and this new business-for-fitness in your prayers.
You’ll be thrilled to know next week we have a break from fitness to talk about Book Club, followed by part 3 of our 4 fitness landing us on the back of… a Harley. Huh?
‘Til next time!
FYI: Don’t miss Ken Davis’ must-read, Fully Alive. It’s for anyone considering a fitness/lifestyle change. He takes you along his highly intense journey and amazing transformation. You will laugh and cry ‘til you’ve bruised a rib. Here’s the link for more information.