Our Blog

A Tribute To Chris DeMelis

Chris had a specific bike she liked to ride. She dabbled with the front row. She started riding doubles occasionally. She was strong and happy and quickly became a staple in our studio.

But more importantly, Chris was a supporter of those around her and a giver of positive energy. She was SO proud of Melissa when she received her nursing degree. She was the first to tell us how much she loved a playlist or class. And she would affectionately push her best friend, Kristin Higgins, to go faster in a sprint;) There was always a sparkle in her eyes as she would congratulate our various life events.

Chris loved being a nurse in the pediatric ICU. She taught us about premie care, shared success stories and baby pictures, and demystified holding a 3 lb baby. We were ready to join her to be “baby rockers”. She was SO VERY proud of her four talented children and loving husband. The list goes on.

Chris DeMelis passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday and our team is HEARTBROKEN. She was so special.  We are grateful for the love and support she gave to all of us at Cycle Town and the Hingham community at large. We cherish that we had the opportunity to know her and add joy to her life. As we grieve, we know she would want us to push forward, play great music, and have fun on the bike. So we will. We love you, Chris.

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Rider Spotlight: Jane McGovern

When your health is taken away from you, the determination to live is fierce.  We see that on the bike with Jane.   The best part, we also see lots of joy.  Joy in conquering challenges and letting go while moving to music.  We are sooo glad her craving for health and wellness landed her on our bike.  Meet Jane McGovern and learn about her Pink Ribbon Pilates and Wellness workshop this Sunday 10/14 for those battling cancer and those now cancer free!

 

Tell us about yourself, your fam, and your interests.

My husband Gary and I have been married for almost 32 years and have lived in Scituate for 23 years (though you’ll never take the Jersey girl out of me!  Yes I have met Bruce Springsteen). We have three adult children, each completely different and wonderful in their own way. We are beyond thrilled to be grandparents to Julia Grace, who is now 8 months old. I babysit her on Tuesdays and Thursdays and it is the highlight of my week! I am a Certified Pilates Teacher and teach private and duet apparatus lessons in my home studio.

 

What first brought you to Cycle Town? What has your fitness journey been like?

I have never been an athlete, but I have always been active, playing tennis, running, etc. I first came to Cycle Town two years ago because I loved spinning and I love good, loud music and I had heard that Cycle Town had both. I wasn’t disappointed! I immediately loved the energy and good vibes in the room.

Spinning at CT helped me to train for the Pan-Mass Challenge in 2017. As a cancer survivor, it was one of the most fun and meaningful weekends of my life. I literally had tears streaming down my face as I attacked the hills in Wellfleet, thinking about how only a few years earlier I could barely walk after my reconstructive surgery, and here I was flying up these challenging hills to help other people like me. I am riding again in 2019 to celebrate being 10 years cancer free.

 

What motivates you?

Being a cancer survivor, I am motivated to stay strong and healthy for my family. I had 6 surgeries in almost 2 years, and I always had to work hard to fight my way back to fitness. I also want to be a good role model for my daughter, who unfortunately inherited the BRCA 2 gene from me. I want her to see that she can get through the worst, even cancer, with some knowledge, courage and a sense of humor.

 

You’re a breast cancer survivor. Congrats, we are so happy to see you healthy and strong! You’re now helping others with wellness and healing. Please share how your journey led you to your mat and your upcoming workshop this Sunday the 14th.

I dabbled in Pilates over the years, but never considered becoming a teacher. After I was diagnosed at age 46 in 2009 with Stage IIIa breast cancer, my fitness declined rapidly. I found that Pilates was the best way to keep me strong without injury.

Once you become a cancer survivor other people reach out to you, and you get drawn into the survivor community. I try to give back by offering 3 free Pilates apparatus lessons to survivors. This Sunday, Oct. 14 I have organized my second free, two-hour workshop designed specifically for breast cancer survivors to help them adjust to their body’s “new normal.” If that is for you, PLESE COME! We will focus on how to get and stay strong after treatment.

 

What do you like about riding at Cycle Town?

Like? Love! I love the positive, fun vibe. I love the instructors, all wonderful in their own, unique way. I love that you are encouraged to ride as part of a team, but given permission to do your own thing at the same time. I love the theme rides… especially the Hamilton theme ride! But most importantly, as a Pilates teacher, I love that every instructor focuses intently on form, and how to protect the spine during an intense spin class. It is so important!

 

Favorite move on the bike?

I love combining single backs with crunches, especially during a fun song. It feels like dancing on the bike!

flyer

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Rider Spotlight: Rob Taub

Everyone needs a Rob in their life!  Robbie Gold, as we affectionately call him, is ALL HEART.  He has a magical way of making you feel good about who you are and what you’re doing.  He just tells ya and he wears it on his sleeve.  Get to know this rock star who brings good vibes to the world each day!

 

Tell us about yourself, your family and your interests.

My wife Mary Anne and I, both from NY, met after college and moved to Milton in the late 70’s and have been married now 38 years. We raised our two children there, Alexandra and Adam, and 11 years ago as empty-nesters moved to Hull – and Living the dream! Interests are our children, grandkids, and Elvis our Golden-Doodle; our friends and neighbors; and many, many years of live Dead concerts. Other interests are being outdoors at every opportunity, walking the beaches, and gardening, which is obvious if you’ve driven past our home on Center Hill in Cohullam.

Positive energy… you have boatloads of it! Where do you find yours and how do you grow it?

It comes from surrounding myself with upbeat people – family, friends, neighbors, the Riders at Cycle Town and even the couple sitting on the bench outside CT with their Yellow Lab … anyone who makes me smile and laugh. A great deal of positive energy also comes from lifting people up, which is not only what I have been doing for a living since Grad school, but what I do for the pure enjoyment and satisfaction and the “positive energy” derived from having my hand in on others’ successes.

What do you like about Cycle Town?

First, I LOVE all the instructors and staff, and the great camaraderie of “all for one and one for all” that they and all their rider participants share. That ATTITUDE clearly prevails … and too, as one instructor put it so well, “you don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great”.  Second, IT WORKS! I’m in better condition both mentally and physically than I’ve been in a decade.

What has your fitness journey been like?

Since beginning a year ago, I have rocked nearly 150 rides, lost 24 lbs., and with the loss of 4” off the waist, gained a whole new wardrobe. I have to thank John for pushing me to get started. After weeks of nudging he finally bought me a ride, and I took him up on it. John’s advice to me at the start? Check my ego at the door. I did. Were it not for John, I would not be in the condition I’m in, both mentally and physically.

What motivates you on and off the bike?

What mostly motivates me on the bike are the 30+ Riders around me. On AND off the bike it is the challenge of getting the job done; and it certainly helps to have a team of 30+. Getting this particular job done, that of finishing Cycle Town’s 50-minute choreographed-cardio-interval workout, is one I did not know would be possible just a year ago. The instructors’ relentless encouragement for the entire 50 minutes is also a great motivator – makes me just want to yell “WAHOO!” at every interval. At 66 years old, my experience with Cycle Town’s passionate and inspirational instructors and Riders both, has given me faith that, on OR off the bike, the only person who can tell you that “you can’t” is yourself … AND YOU DON’T HAVE TO LISTEN!

Favorite move on the bike?

Favorite move? The heavy slow climb from 70 to 80 to 90++ which takes all I have to give. My next favorite move? Unclipping … and another job well done!

robg

 

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Rider Spotlight: Sarah Ellis

When Sarah rides she smiles ear to ear.  She makes her health and well-being a priority because she knows acutely the need to keep in touch with the joy of the every day.   That’s it: seek out the joy of the everyday.  That’s her power.

Tell us about yourself, your fam, and your interests.

I moved to Hingham almost seven years ago from Charlottesville, VA. We moved here after my husband finished law school at the University of Virginia and took a job with a law firm in Boston. We have three small children – two boys (7 & 6) and a little girl (almost 20 months – ahh!) – that keep us very busy. We love Hingham; it is such a great town to raise a family. I am very involved with Foster School, my Giving Circle and St. John’s Episcopal Church.

Some of my interests are exercising, volunteering, cooking, traveling and reading. Mostly I enjoy being with family and friends.

What first brought you to Cycle Town? What has your fitness journey been like?

I had not done any spinning classes prior to coming to Cycle Town three years ago. I was intrigued by the type of workout and wanted to really push myself to do more. I always played team sports growing up. After college I attended a number of different gyms where I gravitated towards group classes. My favorite classes were step aerobics or cardio classes because of the fun music and enthusiastic instructors. When my kids were little I had a hard time finding time to work out. Now that my oldest is seven I have made a commitment to getting into better shape. I like to rotate between Cycle Town, Hingham Yoga and the Bar Method for my workouts because they offer a very different type of burn.

What motivates you?

I am motivated by being the best version of me. I find that I feel better and have more energy on days that I work out.

This has been especially tough year and a half, and I feel that working out, and Cycle Town, were a big factor in my recovery. After having my daughter, I was very sick; there were long periods of time where I struggled to do much of anything. I was a shadow of my former self, and even with great medical treatment, my recovery was very uneven and difficult. I have wonderful friends and family, and their patience and support were big factors in my recovery, but internally, it was crucial for me to find personal motivation to help me move forward. Working out became a great motivator – whether it was the adrenaline or the constant reinforcement of great teachers, or the desire to be part of a group, I’m not entirely sure, but I found a very important part of myself in these classes. For a long while, I went to the earliest class so that I would just get out of bed, and without any time to dwell on the day or second guess myself, I would cycle or do another class. It set the table for my day, and eventually my weeks, and, to me, was a big part of pulling myself through my illness and becoming “me” again.

What do you like about Cycle Town?

I really love all the instructors. They have a positive energy and they are always motivating me to work harder on the bike. Even on the days where I don’t feel as motivated, I walk out of class feeling invigorated. Unlike at other workouts, the Cycle Town instructors seem to love their jobs and they always deliver with an awesome workout. One of my favorite aspects of the workout is when an instructor calls out a rider. I love that the instructor knows everyone’s name and encourages them throughout the ride. It really makes me feel like part of the community. I also love the social aspect of Cycle Town. I have a number of friends that work out here and I love coordinating classes and scheduling a coffee date or juice date afterwards as a reward for working hard.

Favorite move on the bike?

I really like moving around on the bike. Lunges and figure eights are my favorite even though I am not always sure that I am doing them correctly.

You are known for your love of throwbacks. Any favs you want coming out of our speakers soon?

My all-time favorite Cycle Town moment was during one of Kristen’s Thursday classes when she played Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ and dedicated the song to me. The band played that song at our wedding and it has always been a personal favorite. Nothing beats sprinting to the lyrics of a classic 80’s song.

 

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FU CANCER RIDE NOV. 3

There are many ways to fight Cancer. One is with money and another is with love.

On Friday, November 3rd we will do both. We are having an FU Cancer Ride. We will also have a large board in the studio where you, our riders, can get personal and pin a note– share a story, a name, a memory, or just an FU comment to cancer. Whatever you want. We’re calling the board: FU Cancer, We’ve Got Something To Say.

This particular ride has been 15 months in the making. We are honoring the journey of one of our own team members, Kirsten Ward, as well as others who have suffered from cancer. Kirsten bravely wants to share her story. We want to raise awareness about early detection. We want to raise money for cancer research. And we want to bring our rider community together on an issue that has touched us all on some level. Ride and fundraiser details are at the bottom of this post.

In July 2016 Kirsten found a lump in her breast. She immediately went to see her doctor. Following a biopsy, she was told she had Stage 2 breast cancer. And it was fast growing. She’d had a clean mammogram just 5 months earlier. There were tears, shock and disbelief. Kirsten was given a 13 month treatment plan that included chemo, a double mastectomy, radiation and then more chemo. She would lose her hair. She would be so very sick. She would undergo surgery. But she would obliterate the cancer. Game on. FU Cancer!!

Kirsten was lucky in many ways. She has an amazing positive attitude, with a healthy touch of sarcasm built in. After trying on wigs she said, no thank you, I look like a stripper. So she went bald and proud. Kirsten sent me a picture of herself every Wednesday from her chemo chair. It got real.

kirstenchemo

She has the most wonderful, supportive family you could ever dream of. You know them because they ride all the time… shout out to her amazing husband Tom, sister Eileen, and daughters Mariah, Grace and Josie. Our team also sprang into action with a meal train every Wednesday. We take no offense that her favorite meal from us was purchased from Whole Foods :)  Ha, apparently we’re better on the bike than in the kitchen!

Lunch Date

Kirsten has something to say. In her own words…

“Kirsten, you have a cancer in your breast.” Those eight words spoken plainly, yet kindly by the nurse who was tasked to make those dreaded phone calls changed my world forever. The days that immediately followed were some of the worst I’ve ever experienced. My own terror and grief, my three daughters’ tears, and my husband’s calm fortitude in the face of trying to hold it together for all of us made up those days and nights. We quickly rallied. We gathered information and facts, we spoke to endless doctors, nurses, family members and friends who had been there; we formed a plan.

The weeks and months that followed were a blur of chemo treatments (16 in all), surgery, radiation and now, more chemo. On January 3, 2018 I will have my final chemo treatment and on February 27, 2018 I will have my last surgery to rebuild my new breasts. I AM NOW CANCER FREE!!

CANCER SUCKS, FU CANCER!!! During every week, every treatment, every invasive procedure, these words went though my head. I quickly realized I needed this mantra to keep me strong, keep me fighting. For I was fighting…for my life.

Yes, the last fifteen months have been an ordeal, a horrible time in my life that I want to forget and put behind me. And yet, they have been a wondrous gift. Yes, a gift. The love, care and support I have received from my doctors and nurses, my fabulous husband, daughters, parents (birth and in law), siblings (birth and in-law), extended family, and friends near and far have been nothing short of miraculous. People are good. I always believed it but never have I seen or felt it more than these past months. It gave me a strength I never knew I had. I was, and am, humbled, and will be eternally grateful. Eternally.

 

wards
Our dear Kirsten was absent from Cycle Town for a year. But now she’s BACK and we couldn’t be more thrilled. She’s feeling good and she is cancer free. This ride is to honor her and the VERY MANY OTHERS like her. In our community we know many.  In your life you surely know many.  ALL proceeds will go to Dana Farber Cancer Center at South Shore Hospital in the Cancer Research Fund.

Here’s our ask: Come ride with us. It’s going to be really, really special. If you can’t ride, donate. And buy a pin and put a note on our FU cancer board. (It will be up later this week).  We all have friends and family who have been impacted by cancer. There are two ways to fight—with money and love. Do both with us.

Our FU Cancer Ride is Friday, November 3rd @ 6:30pm. It’s going to be heartfelt. After party to follow. Ride is free with a donation to Dana Farber. Ride registration and donation information will come out later this week, stay tuned.

The final takeaway (as it relates to breast cancer). Ladies, do regular self-exams. Like right now. It potentially saved Kirsten’s life and it can save yours. Also, keep up with your standard screenings like mammograms and doctor’s visits. Don’t ignore symptoms.

KG kirsten Pig Tails

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Oktoberfest Challenge

Cycle Town Army, challenges make you unstoppable. Or you’re just addicted to stickers, we can’t tell which. Either way, Oktoberfest is our next challenge for the month of October and there’s a sweeeeet prize! Here’s how it works:

First, you pick a challenge level of 12 days or 16 days during the month of October.  12 days of riding gets you two entries in our raffle prize and 16 days gets you five entries.  Sign up in the studio.

Next, crush your challenge and have a fantastic time doing it throughout October.  Sticker up!

Lastly, you will be entered into our raffle to win our grand prize.

What’s the prize?  Okay, it’s heaven and exactly what you need after you rock your challenge.  You’re going on a trip.  One night lodging at Mirbeau Spa for two people, two 60 minute massages, and dinner at the Bistro and Wine Bar restaurant at Mirbeau.  Winner will pick travel date between November 2017 and January 2018.  Challenge ends October 31 and winner will be selected at random and announced by Nov. 3.

Game on!  Pick your challenge and add you name to our posters.  You can even start planning what date you want to travel this winter ;)

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Introducing Melissa

Rider turned rock star is the best way to describe our newest instructor! She started quietly in the back row. It was a new Cycle Town hat and the enthusiasm she felt wearing it that got her to try the second row. Finally, Melissa came to one of Cassie’s rehearsal rides last summer and dutifully perched herself on a front row saddle to support her good friend. And there was no going back. By the time her innate sense of rhythm, commitment to our style and laser focused energy crossed our radar screens as true instructor material, Melissa already had close to 200 Cycle Town rides under her belt.

With a face made for beauty pageants and an uber bright smile, you might think someone let the sun shine into our purposely dark studio. You will totally dig her badass music choices and deliberate, in your face moves…in fact we love her knack of making you vulnerable to want more of whatever it is she’s selling on that bike!

Outside the studio, Melissa is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree at Simmons College for Family Nurse Practitioner. She anticipates graduating summer of 2018.

You can catch Melissa Monday’s at 5:30am starting June 5th; across a wide range of upcoming 6:40am pop-ups; and then Tuesdays at 8:30am & 9:40am when we move to our summer schedule. Her Community Ride is already available on the schedule for Tuesday, May 30th at 6:40am…sign up now for this FREE class to meet the latest addition to the Cycle Town team!

Welcome Melissa!

Melissa_blog post

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Rider Spotlight: Grace, Halle, and Maeve

Affectionately called our “Littles”, they are the youthful faces that warmly greet you at our front desk. Who knew high schoolers could be so driven and responsible, plus be total rock stars on the bike! Grace, Halle, and Maeve have spent nearly a year with us and we’ve gotten to watch them navigate the college application process. Pedals were turning extra fast there for a while as they anxiously waited for those acceptance letters. Now they’ve got news to share, so you too can join the celebration before they head off to school in August.

 

Let’s cut to the chase. You each now know where you’re headed to college. Share your news!

Grace: I’ll be heading to Boston College in the Fall in the Connell School of Nursing! I’m so excited for all the football and hockey games and can’t wait to meet new people and take advantage of all the new opportunities I have!

Halle: I’m headed to UVM this fall! I am very excited to go because not only have I wanted to go there since I was a kid but I’m a big skier and love the snow and being outside.

Maeve: I chose BC because it gives me the best of both worlds. I’ve always been wicked close with my family and have never imagined shipping out to say the West Coast for college, but I want to experience this new chapter away from home as well. With BC I am close enough that family is reachable, but far enough away that I don’t have to see them 24-7;) I also have always imagined myself going there since my dad graduated from BC, and told me all of his favorite memories there. Go eagles!!

 

What kinds of sports and fitness have you been involved in as you’ve grown up?

Grace: I used to be a part of the rowing team at the high school but after my sophomore year I was injured and had to stop. Ever since, spinning has been a huge part of my weekly routine and can’t imagine what I would have done without it. I also run often and just finished the NYC half-marathon in March!

Halle: Growing up, I ski raced in Southern Vermont and played club and town lacrosse. Also, my lacrosse coach is a personal trainer at CrossFit and likes to make up insane workouts for us.

Maeve: Growing up I tried many different sports. I played basketball since first grade until I stopped sophomore year, I swam competitively until eighth grade, I have played volleyball since sixth grade, and I rode horses up until seventh grade. But it wasn’t until Cycle Town that I started “working out”.

 

What about Cycle Town hooked you?

Grace: Cycle Town hooked me because not only can I count on getting a great workout every time I come but the people I’ve met through Cycle Town are some of the most genuine and caring.  The Cycle Town community is one I’m proud to be a part of.

Halle: I was immediately hooked at Cycle Town because of the sweat and music. Nothing feels better than walking out of there drenched in sweat.

Maeve: The thing that hooked me at Cycle Town was definitely the music. I had never experienced a fifty minutes of brutal physical activity that was FUN. The music made the time fly, and now I dread having to workout outside of spin haha.

 

What advice do you have for fellow high schoolers starting out riding?

Grace: My best advice would be to keep with it. I remember the first time I came I had a really hard time but every time I came back it got better and better and now spinning is one of the best parts of my day.

Halle: For any highscholler starting out, if you need to sweat it out or find some new music, this is the place for you.  The great people make it even better.

Maeve: If I were to give other high schoolers starting out any advice it would be to stick with it. I have seen incredible changes in my body since I started riding here, but you have to trust in the process. I felt awkward on the bike at first, but after a few classes I started to get the hang of it.

 

Favorite move on the bike?

Grace: My favorite move on the bike is the sprints

Halle: My favorite move on the bike has to be a straight climb or squats!

Maeve: My favorite move on the bike is definitely the lunges (and figure eights). I love when the whole class is hitting the beat so perfectly, and this move makes the heavy weight that much more bearable.

 

Favorite song(s) to ride to?

Grace: My all time favorite song to ride to is Whip it.

Halle: My favorite songs on the bike range anywhere from upbeat house and edm to a classic 70s/80s throwback.

Maeve: Recently, I’ve loved riding to Slide by Calvin Harris. Some of my favorites are Pour Some Sugar On Me, anything Britney, and the Rihanna remix of Pony.

 

desk girls chat

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There’s a Carb for Everyone

Here’s something we all have in common: To perform our best and feel good, we need to fuel with carbohydrates for our workouts. All of us have different dietary needs and preferences but rest assured, there’s a carb for everyone!

Our instructor team works mighty hard up on that bike and pays extra close attention to properly fueling before and after rides. There’s wide variety in what we like/need to eat, but we all follow the same basic principles for success… because they work.

Here they are, courtesy of Dr. Chris Mohr, Sports Nutritionist & Exercise Physiologist:
1. Your body needs carbs to fuel your working muscles.
2. Protein is there to help build and repair.
3. Timing is critical so plan ahead! Get a combination of the two in your body 1-3 hours pre- workout and within 20 minutes post-workout. And remember, target a 3:1 ratio of carb:protein.

Our instructors are sharing favorite pre- and post-workout food combinations for fueling our bodies and hopefully will inspire some new ideas for you!

Amanda
We’re here to crush beats and energize, right? So fueling (and enough sleep!) is a big part of my exercise routine. My carb intake is mainly centered around my workouts and my morning and mid-day meals. My body doesn’t feel good eating a lot of carbs in the evening. Pre workout I typically have coffee, half a banana with a teaspoon PB or almond butter, a Lara bar (evening classes about an hour before), or a hardboiled egg. For post-workout, timing is important, especially on those double days. I need to eat within 30-45 min after workout to fight off the crash. My go-to’s are scrambled eggs, bacon and whole wheat toast. Also granola, fruit and Greek yogurt (Cabot vanilla bean is my fav!). Don’t forget to hydrate. Following this fueling plan keeps me energized!

Anne
Full disclosure: I’m not always a great “fitness” eater. Eating before and after a workout isn’t what my stomach or appetite always want. But I’ve learned (especially when I was pregnant) how important it is, so I do my very best. The trick for me was to find things that are relatively easy to digest…and things that appeal to my sweet tooth don’t hurt either :) A banana or Kashi Go Lean cereal are two of my pre-workout go-to’s. And my 5:30am riders know that I am rarely without coffee early in the morning! Post-workout, the best and most painless way for me to refuel is to drink my protein and carbs…a smoothie with almond milk, chocolate, banana, and peanut butter is a great treat. And you’ve heard it before, but CHOCOLATE MILK is a savior! Then once I’m home, an hour or two later, I’m ready for the solids….usually it’s multi-grain toast with peanut butter or an omelet with avocado, green veggies, and cheese. No eating or workout plans stick unless you find things you like, so the key is finding what works for you!

Cassie
Hey riders! I’m excited to share with you some of my favorite go-to meals while I’m on the go! First I’ll mention I’m celiac and allergic to many things: gluten, dairy, and corn. While many people often respond to my allergy list with, “then what do you eat!? spinach?”, I love the challenge and have found many delicious meals and substitutes that are “Cassie Approved”. My all-time favorite to-go meal is protein pancakes (banana, oats, protein powder, and eggs). They’re so easy to make and I cook a bunch in advance and grab some to take with me while on the go. If time permits, nothing beats a good egg, bacon, and sweet potato home fries breakfast or a yogurt with granola, honey, and some fruit after a good sweaty ride. I ALWAYS keep snacks with me in the car in case I forget to bring my post workout meal with me or I don’t have time to go home. My favorite on-the-go snacks include: Cliff, Lara, and Kind bars, cut up carrots and celery, apples, almonds, and turkey/beef jerky. General rule of thumb, make sure you replenish your muscles you just exhausted after a workout, and most importantly EAT ENOUGH throughout the day and drink PLENTY of water (1/2 body weight in oz. AT LEAST!… YES that’s a lot of water but your body seriously needs it!). Now go and enjoy those carbs!

Erin
Hey Riders, if you fuel your body with the RIGHT foods – your energy will be through the roof as you climb, sprint and crush those beats in class! While currently studying to be a nutrition coach, I’ve learned that every BODY is different and unique and what you put in it is a direct connection to how you FEEL. And don’t you want to FEEL like the rock star you are?? Before I teach, I will either slice up an apple with some almond or cashew butter or make a smoothie. I’m loving the combination of bananas, blueberries, almond milk, plain Greek yogurt and ice thrown together in a blender. I also love plain Greek yogurt with chopped nuts (handful), a drizzle of honey and cinnamon. One more great fueling option before a ride is Ezekiel toast with almond butter, sliced bananas & cinnamon. If you are a salty person instead of sweet, spread avocado & diced tomatoes on the toast with some bacon. YUM! After my class, I’ll have a Larabar (Lemon is my fav!) and a small iced coffee with almond milk. Within 60-90 minutes, I’m enjoying my favorite post-workout meal: diced sweet potatoes, chicken sausage, peppers, onion all chopped and sautéed in coconut oil. DELICIOUS! I also like mini egg frittatas (muffin size which can be made in advance for on-the-go). I have them with sliced avocado, a side of berries and turkey bacon.

Kristen
Fueling has turned into its own sport in my house! My kids know when I’m teaching based on what we’re having for dinner. For me the key to success is mainly the timing of when to eat. Also eating enough carbs. Before the rooster classes I have coffee and a banana or Kind bar. Before our mid-morning classes my go-to’s include eggs, avocado, French toast, fruit, or protein pancakes. Also lots of water before class. After class chocolate milk saves the day! Immediate refueling has a huge impact on how I feel the rest of the day. About 90 min after class I have a meal and try to stay true to a 3:1 carb/protein ratio and also eat foods that will really fill me up. My favorites are quiche, pasta with pesto and chicken, turkey or tuna sandwich with avocado, or a good ‘ol PB&J. Lately I’ve been in love with quinoa (cooked with chicken stock), roasted Brussel sprouts, and any protein on top. My biggest advice to riders is to eat or drink a carb-protein combo right after class. I know you’re not immediately hungry but mind over matter on this one– just do it to gain energy and avoid that low energy/ famished feeling later.

Natalie
I love that my experiences as an instructor at Cycle Town have helped me to see eating in a new light. I think so much more deliberately about how to provide energy to my body before a ride and about how to replenish my body after a ride. Before a ride, I drink lots of water and eat either a Kind bar – - the almond coconut one is addictive – - or a Lara bar. I even make Lara bars at home with Medjool dates, nuts, dried fruit, and coconut oil. After a rooster ride, I have either plain Greek yogurt with cereal or granola, peanut butter and honey on Ezekiel bread, or a bacon and cheese breakfast sandwich on an English muffin. After my weekend double or my evening class, sometimes I go right for a chocolate milk. Then I like to eat chicken with rice and veggies or quesadillas with salsa and avocado.

Toni
While carbohydrates are often viewed the enemy of many Type 1 diabetics, if you are an athlete (and all of you who ride at Cycle Town fall into this group!) you must consume some sort of carb to fuel your fitness. I find that I can keep my blood sugar in check by choosing an energy source closest to its birthplace: dirt, plant, tree or chicken. Bananas and peanut butter (not of the Skippy-ilk but the kind whose ingredients are solely “peanuts”) are a fab pre-workout meal. And coffee. (sometimes expresso –watch out!). Post-ride I always, always, always run for eggs, veggies and cheese…scrambled in a wheat tortilla, layered in a quiche, or eaten straight from the fry pan with a spatula. Yup; done that. If you view your body as the well-crafted machine it is, and what you pour down it has the intention of keeping it running at optimal level, there are only smart choices.

larabar3   bananas 

 proteinpancakes

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Don’t Skip The Carbs

We are often asked what’s best to eat before and after riding. So we’re going to share some research and expertise of a renowned sports nutritionist and exercise physiologist. In a separate post we’ll share our instructor’s go-to foods for successful fueling.  #RideStrongFeelGood

What should I eat before and after workouts?

Nutrition expert and exercise physiologist Dr. Chris Mohr lays it out. He says, first, don’t skip the carbs. Let’s say that again, don’t skip the carbs! Carbohydrates are fuel for your muscles. The harder your muscles are working, the more carbs you need to keep them going and going. A question is when to eat them.

Pre Workout Nutrition
Generally it’s best to eat 1-3 hours pre workout, depending on how your body tolerates food before exercise. Here are some examples, notice that each include both carbohydrate and protein.

• Peanut butter and banana or PBJ sandwich (light on the PB)
• Greek yogurt with berries
• Oatmeal with lowfat milk and fruit
• Apple and peanut or almond butter
• Handful of nuts and raisins (2 parts raisins, 1 part nuts)

Carbs are the fuel. Protein is what rebuilds and repairs your broken down muscles.

Post Workout Nutrition
Dr. Mohr provides a great analogy. Imagine your muscles like a sponge. When well fueled, they’re like a wet sponge. However, during training you’re using the stored energy in your muscles, comparable to wringing out a wet sponge. Just like a dry sponge can absorb a ton of water… your muscles are like that dry sponge post workout and can better absorb more nutrients. It’s time to REFUEL. And do it quick, like 20 minutes post workout.

As soon as you can post workout, you want to get carbs and protein into your body. You should refuel quickly even if you don’t feel immediately hungry. This will give your muscles the ability to replenish the glycogen they just lost during exercise and help your tired muscles rebuild and repair. Generally after riding a class, the carb:protein ratio you should be targeting is about 3:1.

Some examples include:
• Low fat chocolate milk (a Cycle Town favorite!  Stay tuned, we’re going to start offering it!)
• Greek yogurt
• Turkey on a whole grain wrap with veggies

The key with these foods is that they offer mainly carbs and some protein. In the case of chocolate milk, it also helps to hydrate.

Dr. Mohr’s take home points:
1. Your body needs carbs to fuel your working muscles.
2. Protein is there to help build and repair.
3. Timing is critical so plan ahead! Get a combination of the two in your body 1-3 hours pre workout and within 20 minutes post workout.

If you fuel right, you’ll feel better and perform better on the bike and after class. Your body will be able to work harder and longer, building lean muscle and increasing your calorie burn during your ride.

Our Cycle Town instructor team takes fueling very seriously because we like to rock out and work hard on the bike! We have learned (sometimes the hard way!) the importance of proper fueling and how dramatically it affects how we feel and perform. There’s a carb for everyone! In a follow-up post we will share each instructor’s favorite carb and protein combinations.

Many thanks to Dr. Chris Mohr and his expertise on Eating Before and After Your Workout.

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