The Rec Center offers group indoor cycling six days a week.

After hanging around ASI fitness classes for their first couple weeks, I came to one conclusion:

The people in Breakaway are by far the hottest.

I used to reserve the stationary bike for gym days when I felt like a sissy and didn’t want a full- impact workout. Then, I asked my friend Melissa the secret to her svelte legs.

“Five miles on a bike machine, yo,” she replied.

Now, my newfound appreciation for indoor cyclists has me upping the resistance, piling on the intensity and admiring my own gams as I walk past mirrors in the locker room.

Still, one hour of indoor group cycling sounded more like a 60 minute wedgie than a challenging workout experience. Those weighted flywheel bikes aren’t as smooth as the ones in the cardio wing, and they don’t have nice cushiony seats like my road bike.  I thought it catered mostly to older people, probably because of my interviews with other studios.  It  attracts an older crowd, but Poly students are eager to try it. It’s also more popular with dudes, as opposed to some fitness classes that are totally lady- centric, like Zumba.

You'll be riding one of these.

At first, I had trouble getting to know the bike. The bikes have adjustable seats and handles.  Find the right fit for you.  The instructor was more than happy to help out, and breezed through a quick demonstration before class. It takes some time, but fixing the levels to fit your bod can make or break your workout. Before I figured out how to use it properly, I felt like the bike was riding me, not the other way around.  It can be a really painful experience.

I took my first class with Erin. K, who changes her hair bimonthly (kind of like Ramona from Scott Pilgrim versus the World) and is pregnant, which means she kicks extra butt. Erin mixed it up with about three categories:  sprinting (super fast pedaling on a moderate level), hill climbs (high resistance), and “going upstairs”, which means getting out of the saddle and shifting weight to your arms. Spin instructors also use isolations and interval training. It’s a total- body workout.

This particular brand of indoor cycling leaves music choice completely up to the instructor; mine played mostly Top 40 hits and remixes, including a very savvy Refugee All Stars’ mash- up of The Bee Gee’s “Stayin’ Alive”.  The instructor syncs cycling to the beat of the music, so you really get into it.  The indoor cycling studio at our Rec Center has a disco ball. It’s like a dance party on a bike.

ASI offers two brands of Breakaway, Breakaway during the day and Club Breakaway.  So what’s the difference?

“I don’t know what the difference is between Breakaway and Club Breakaway,” said  Erin during a day class.  “Is it that I’m supposed to have club music playing during Club Breakaway?  Is it the disco ball?”

She thinks for a minute.  “I’m keeping the disco ball.”

Now, Breakaway is my fave exercise class. I’m officially obsessed with biking. I ride my bike for fun sometimes.  Occasionally, I participate in San Luis Obispo’s monthly Bike Night.  I’m planning on biking across the state of Oklahoma.  I watched Breaking Away, that 1979 movie with Dennis Quaid (ps- it’s really good!).

Megan and Erin K. are my two favorite instructors because they play popular music loudly and don’t tell dorky stories (sorry, I’m a tough critic).  Megan is a sophomore at Poly!

Because bikes are limited, sign up for spin 24 hours in advance here at the Pro Shop, located downstairs behind the front desk of the Rec Center.  ASI offers Breakaway 6 days a week.  Check schedules for availability.  But on the DL, the Saturday morning class at 10 never fills up all the way.

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