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The Full-Cycle Experience

BY Hayden Gamble | June 30, 2017 | Feature Features

CycleBar debuts in Aspen and writer Hayden Gamble takes her first spin.
The CycleTheatre is designed with state-of-the-art audio, video and lighting technology to create a multi-sensory experience.

I experience a slight moment of hesitation as I turn the corner. It’s a few days post-Food & Wine and my body isn’t quite ready for what’s to come. I begin to second-guess what I’m doing. I just embarked on a four-day eating extravaganza where I consumed my weight in meat, wine and every chocolate dessert imaginable. The nerves are high, maybe the highest they’ve ever been.

I take a deep breath as I approach CycleBar’s newest location in Aspen. (There are more than 200 already around the world.) I hope for the best and enter into my doom. My nerves subside as I’m greeted by a team of cheerful, energetic and welcoming people. A delightful, high-ponytail, twenty-something fits me with biking shoes and hands me a complimentary water bottle. Before I have time to hesitate, everyone claims a bike and I know there is no turning back.

I clip in. The lights dim. An electric blue illumination consumes the room. The music cues. And we’re off.

The instructor’s enthusiasm and motivation pulls me in right from the start. We get a good pace and steady rotations per minute going, starting off in lower gear for a warm-up. The music picks up, and with it our speed. Before I know it, we’re 15 minutes in and pedaling uphill, switching off between standing and sitting. I can feel the burn slowly rise in my quads as my breath gets shorter. The real work out has begun.

At 30 minutes in I’m ready to give up, but the energy of the class and my instructor is enough to keep me going. I reach moments of exhaustion, and turn to her for motivation as she continues to make the movements seem effortless and attainable by anyone. “This is your only workout for the night everyone! Pedal hard. You got it!” she yells out. My quads are aching and begging for a rest. Along with my speed, my breathing accelerates to the point where I can barely catch it. The sweat trickles down my forehead.

To my demise, I hear those dreaded words, “Pick up your rpm one more level. You’ve got in in you; one last push everyone! ” My body cries out in protest. The song switches to The Black Eyed Peas’ Pump It, and suddenly I can feel one last bit of energy to finish strong.

I follow my instructor’s lead and start indulging in the music. The feeling of an upbeat underground club with music bumping and people dancing in unison to one rhythm is much like the CycleBar experience, but with a killer workout to top off the fun.

We’re at 40 minutes and as we begin our descent, the lights dim lower and we transition into a meditative cycle. The instructor encourages us to stay mindful of our surroundings and pay attention to how both our mind and body feel. It was this moment, this tranquil ending to the class that centered me and gave me a sense of invincibility for the rest of the day.

We’re off the bikes and I’m rewarded with high fives and an ice-cold towel—no better feeling after a sweat-packed workout.

The fusion of cycling, up-beat tunes, amazing instructors and state-of-the-art technology makes for a one-of-a-kind work-out. The CycleBar experience is a rejuvenating and healing therapy for mind, body, spirit and soul. So, for those first-timers who are hesitant about trying out a class: relax, enjoy and rock your ride.

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