In­door cy­cling, prac­ti­cally ad­dict­ing, here’s to your bet­ter health

RSWLiving - - Contents - BY NICK CILETTI

In­door cy­cling, prac­ti­cally ad­dict­ing, here’s to your bet­ter health

Round and round, sweat bead­ing on your fore­head, the beat of mu­sic, tucked away from crazy driv­ers, all while burn­ing hun­dreds of calo­ries and en­joy­ing an hour with your bud­dies. Sounds per­fect, right? It’s no won­der that so many of us are in spin or in­door cy­cling classes―they’re prac­ti­cally ad­dict­ing, re­duc­ing stress, your waist­line and the im­pact that run­ning has on knees and an­kles. A quick in­ter­net search shows gobs of places to get your spin on, ei­ther at a gym or spe­cialty stu­dio, a dozen or so just in Fort My­ers, un­told num­bers in pri­vate ses­sions for groups or com­mu­ni­ties.

Lo­cated off of McGre­gor Boule­vard, for ex­am­ple, Cy­cle Sta­tion in Fort My­ers opened a cou­ple of years ago as SpinCrazy, is to­day con­sid­ered a top South­west Florida des­ti­na­tion for folks want­ing to put the pedal to the metal. “Each ride is so ex­cit­ing and the amount of en­ergy from the mu­sic and the pas­sion that my rid­ers bring to class is amaz­ing,” ex­plains Jennifer Jensen, Cy­cle Sta­tion owner. “It makes all of the hard work so worth it. “We are al­ways one ride away from be­ing in a bet­ter mood.” Jensen’s classes typ­i­cally last 45 min­utes, so no ex­cuses about time re­stric­tions. And the best part is not hav­ing to worry about show­ing poorly next to a more sea­soned rider ped­al­ing so fast you’d think a lion was eye­ing him as lunch. “We al­ways say we are your guide, but it’s your ride,” Jensen says.

And if you’re look­ing for some­thing that re­sem­bles more of a dance party on wheels, Cy­cle Sta­tion has ex­actly that. “We play ev­ery­thing!” ex­plains Jensen. “Each time we teach a class we know how im­por­tant mu­sic is. Mu­sic re­ally can make or break a

We are al­ways one ride away from be­ing in a bet­ter mood.” —Jennifer Jensen, owner of Cy­cle Sta­tion, Fort My­ers

ride, un­for­tu­nately. We try to throw in a lit­tle bit of ev­ery­thing.”

South­west Florida has dozens of gyms of­fer­ing in­door cy­cling ses­sions/in­struc­tion. Erin Cantwell teaches at Around the Clock Fit­ness in Fort My­ers and has been spin­ning for al­most a decade, for in­stance. “Spin has been such a mo­ti­va­tion in my work­out rou­tine,” Cantwell ex­plains. “It chal­lenges me to be bet­ter and im­proves my car­dio and en­durance. I push my­self to work harder while I push my stu­dents in class.”

Cantwell’s typ­i­cal classes are about an hour, with warmups, sprints, climbs, in­ter­vals, jumps and a cool-down. But she’s not just an in­struc­tor, more like a DJ, us­ing the right mix of mu­sic to mo­ti­vate. “The per­fect playlist has to have a va­ri­ety of songs and styles to keep ev­ery­one in­ter­ested and chal­lenged,” she says.

For triath­letes and avid out­door bike rid­ers such as Bill Valenti, spin class pro­vides a good com­pro­mise and an even bet­ter work­out, with­out the sun and other risks. “Sixty min­utes in class passes quickly and it’s a qual­ity work­out,” he says. “Bik­ing the same amount on the road takes a lot of prep, travel time, cleanup and, of course, the dan­gers of be­ing in traf­fic.”

Valenti started spin­ning in 2012. At first it was just a way to squeeze in some ex­tra miles, but he was quickly hooked. “Ca­ma­raderie,” he says, “tends to be strong in class. We all ex­pe­ri­ence the fun, ef­fort and en­ergy to­gether. We get and give a lot of en­cour­age­ment to one an­other.”

Valenti says not only has spin­ning helped him as a triath­lete, it’s also al­low­ing him to re­con­nect with him­self. “I be­lieve spin is a great stress out­let―I know I’ve walked in and out of class a com­pletely dif­fer­ent per­son.”

I’ve walked in and out of class a com­pletely dif­fer­ent per­son.” —Bill Valenti, triath­lete and in­door bik­ing en­thu­si­ast

Cy­cle Sta­tion ( pic­tured) is a top spin­ning des­ti­na­tion in South­west Florida. It's fun and much safer than dodg­ing driv­ers.

Bill Valenti ( pic­tured) says spin­ning al­lows him to re­con­nect with him­self, a per­fect stress re­liever.

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