Whenever I try a new workout or venture into a different gym, I'm always a little nervous and intimated. I imagine I'm not alone in feeling this way. I like being in my comfort zone and knowing what I'm doing, so I really had to convince myself to attend the class. But I'm SO glad I did.
The studio is only about a mile or two from my office so I had plenty of time to arrive, change clothes, and get familiar with the bike before the 6:00 class started. This specific studio is "clip-in" only, which means you have to either bring your own clip-in shoes or you can use the ones the studio provides (no regular tennis shoes allowed). Most places make you pay extra for shoe rental, so I was pleasantly surprised when Pure Ryde told me they were included with the class (as well as a free towel rental).
I was one of the first riders to show up so I had a few minutes alone with the instructor, Aimee. She was very friendly and helped me properly adjust my bike and clip in my shoes. I've never clipped my shoes into any bike before, so it was a feeling I had to get used to. I had about 15 minutes before class started and slowly peddled to warm up my legs while others arrived. I noticed Aimee helping a few other people, so I felt more comfortable knowing I wasn't the only newbie.
There were 24 bikes in the room, with the instructor in front on a stage facing the class. Once everyone arrived, Aimee kicked everything off with a great warm up. There is a tiny computer screen at the front of your bike that shows your speed (RPM's) and the instructor guides the class to keep each individual's RPM's within a specific range during certain songs. She also has you adjust your resistance from time to time to mimic hills and increase your heart rate.
One thing I really enjoyed about the bikes and was not expecting was that they rotated from side to side. I was imagining stationary bikes but these could actually veer from left to right, giving you a great arm and core workout as well. Their website describes the bikes as "state-of-the-art equipment allowing you to experience the most dynamic indoor cycling classes around. They are the only stationary bikes in the world that allow riders to move in three planes of motion throughout the workout. As a result the workouts are more dynamic, intense and incorporate more muscle groups during use than a traditional indoor cycling bike." Most people view spinning mainly as a leg workout, but these bikes work more muscles and help tone the entire body.
The music was upbeat and extremely motivating and I loved that the studio turned off the lights during class (with dim light on the instructor). My only complaint was the comfort level of the seats. I imagine this to be the same at any studio because most bicycle seats are not very tushy friendly, if you know what I mean. They did have seat cushions at the front of the studio, but I was already clipped into the bike and too stubborn to go get one. Next time I will grab one and hopefully that will help! I'm a bit sore in the bum area today.
I will definitely be back for my 4 remaining classes! It was a great workout and good change of pace from my normal exercise routine. I'm not sure I'd be willing to pay $20 something dollars for a class, but thankfully I am a member at Gold's Gym where they have certain spinning classes scheduled on their calendar. I may test those out soon!
Pure Ryde still has their Groupon up here. They have studios in 3 other locations in addition to Austin: Oxford, MS, Bethesda, MD, and West Bloomfield MI. I highly recommend it and encourage others to try it if you haven't already!