6 Things I’ve Learned From Indoor Cycling

Hi! I’m Abby, an indoor cycling instructor at StarCycle Lake Oswego.

Like many people, I have worked out on and off throughout my entire life. I did ballet, Pilates, kickboxing, weight lifting, running—I tried it all. Some workouts I enjoyed, others not so much.

The routine I landed on was three gym workouts and one yoga class per week, but I had always believed that I would never be that person. I would never “love” working out or feel the cult-like adoration for a particular type of exercise class that some of my friends had.
Enter StarCycle.

My First Real Foray Into Indoor Cycling

One day, I decided to change things up. I downloaded the ClassPass app and signed up for a few different fitness classes in Eugene, Oregon, where I lived at the time. One of those exercise studios was StarCycle Eugene.

To be perfectly honest, I was not super excited about it at first. I had tried other indoor cycling classes, and some of them were okay. But I had seen reality TV shows where people go to a crowded, bougie indoor cycling studio lit up with screens and a boot camp-style instructor yells at them. This was my basic nightmare, but I decided to try it anyway.

The first thing I noticed was that the lobby was sleek and bright and the staff was welcoming and friendly. When I entered the studio, it was dark and candlelit. There were no screens in sight. The instructor made an effort to learn my name.

Then, the music was loud and bumping. The message throughout the class was encouraging and inspiring. I found it to be just the right amount of challenging, and I left the studio dripping in sweat and optimism. I realized I could be that person after all, and I couldn’t wait to go back.

Two and a half years, a global pandemic, and 250 rides later, I became a StarCycle instructor at the StarCycle Lake Oswego studio.

From just after my first ride in February 2020 to post-instructor training in June 2022.

6 Things I’ve Learned from Riding at StarCycle

Here are six things my indoor cycling journey has taught me.

1. Don’t stop until you find your thing.

As I mentioned above, I had tried many different types of workouts before I made it to StarCycle, including other indoor cycling classes. But it took finding the right studio at the right time with the right instructors for me to find my fitness groove.

So if you’re not there yet, keep going. And if you know about StarCycle but haven’t quite hit your stride, here are a few tips:

  • First things first—if you haven’t clipped in for your first ride yet, book your bike now. Your first class is on us!
  • Change up your class schedule. I used to take evening and weekend classes exclusively, then I switched to early morning classes instead (hello, 6 a.m.). It took some time to find a routine that worked for me, but once I did I found I had more energy both on and off the bike.
  • Try riding with a new instructor. Even if you love the instructors you usually ride with, it’s always great to get variety in your rides. StarCycle encourages their instructors to be themselves and bring their unique personality traits to the table, so you’ll find something new and inspiring with each and every person you ride with.
  • Bring a first-time rider with you! Riding with someone you love and seeing them experience the magic of indoor cycling for the first time can be fun and encouraging for both of you. You can book a ride for yourself and your guest at the same time through the StarCycle website or app.

2. Trust the bike and trust yourself.

When I first started indoor cycling, I had a really hard time trusting the equipment and believing in my body’s abilities.

I felt like if I caught the beat with the instructor my feet would fly out of control. I imagined that if I came up and out of the saddle with my hands at position three I would become airborne, like that scene from E.T. I worried that if I closed my eyes during isolation I would lose my balance. I felt like if I fully rested my hips on the handlebars during stretching—well, you get the picture. Anxiety much?

Then one day, I heard an instructor say, “Trust the bike.” I didn’t realize until that point that my fears and difficulty keeping pace stemmed from a lack of trust—not only in the bike, but in myself.

So I trusted. I trusted myself to adjust my resistance knob as needed. I trusted my muscles to stabilize me. I trusted my ability to balance. And I trusted the bike to support me.

When I let go of my fears and assumptions, I was able to keep pace and push myself much further. I carried that lesson with me off the bike, and it gave me a greater sense of self-confidence as a result.

3. You can do hard sh*t.

This is one of my favorite messages I’ve heard from my StarFam. Short, strong, and to the point, it is one of my favorite in-class reminders, and it is something I remind myself of often even when I’m off the bike.

Now, instead of thinking, “This is hard, I need to change something or quit,” I tell myself, “This is hard, and I can do hard sh*t.” Then I keep it moving, and I like myself all the more for it.

4. It’s okay to cry (really).

It’s OKAY to cry, and it ISN’T just you.

When I was just a few rides in, I got very emotional mid-class and began to sob (I’m a crier, okay). At first, I used my towel to wipe away my tears and tried to hide my face. But then I realized that everyone else in the darkened studio was so focused on riding to the beat and following the choreography that no one even noticed that I was getting emotional. So I let it all out and just kept riding.

For a long time, I assumed that I was the only person who had this kind of experience on the bike. Then one day, I heard a StarCycle instructor tell a fellow rider that she called one part of the studio her “crying corner.”

The rider said, “Me too!”

Taken aback, I asked, “Wait, both of you have cried during class, too?”

They both nodded and the StarCycle member said, “Oh, multiple times.”

I explained that I had thought it was just me, and they shook their heads.

“No, girl—we’ve all been there,” the instructor said, and it’s true. We have all been there, maybe not in the middle of a workout class, but we have all. been. there. Somewhere. And it’s okay to go there at StarCycle if you need to. It’s okay to cry!

5. There are many ways to be “fit.”

Like many of us, I have struggled with negative self-talk and obsessed over body image.

When I started indoor cycling, I saw my body change, and not in all the ways I imagined it would. I felt toned, and I felt strong. For the first time in a long time, I began to feel happy with myself and my body. Not just because of the way I looked, but because of the way I felt: fit, content, and proud of all the miles I’d put in.

StarCycle is for everybody and every body—it doesn’t require anything of you other than that you show up. This means showing up physically and showing up for yourself. When you let go of judgments and expectations, you may be surprised to learn how much you can get out of your workout, even beyond the superficial.

6. Community means everything.  

During some of the hardest times I’ve had over the past two and a half years, going to StarCycle was the best part of my day. Visiting the studio allowed me to get out of my head, catch up with my favorite instructors, and connect with other riders in my community. It felt like home.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we all became acutely aware of the importance of community and how difficult it is to become disconnected from one another. I was grateful to be able to go for runs around my neighborhood and use the gym in my apartment complex, but nothing compared to synchronized push-ups or taking it out of the saddle in unison during a big beat drop. When the studio near me reopened, the relief in the room was palpable.

If I’m feeling stressed out or just need to see a friendly face, it’s a relief to know I can sign up for an indoor cycling class at StarCycle and walk out feeling better than when I walked in. Community is everything, and there is no replacement for it.

The Moral of My StarCycle Story

Since I began riding at StarCycle, I’ve learned a lot about indoor cycling, but I’ve learned even more about myself.

I’ve learned that not all of the assumptions I’ve made about myself are true. I’ve learned that I can—and do!—love fitness. And I’ve learned that I can have fun even when things get hard. I’m so grateful to StarCycle for teaching me these lessons and helping me find the power within myself to take on new challenges.

If you would like to make StarCycle part of your health and fitness journey, follow us on Instagram and find the studio closest to you.

Let’s ride!

The StarCycle 2022 Holiday Gift Guide

Here it is, the most wonderful time of the year! Or so the song goes. For some of us, gift-giving is second nature. But for others, shopping during the holiday season can cause a lot of stress. 

No matter which camp you belong to, we’ve got you covered! We put together a list of ten gifts that are perfect for everyone on your list this year, including an item or two to treat yourself with (we won’t tell!).

StarCycle Holiday Beanie

Nothing says the holidays like a cozy, waffle-knit beanie. Our special-edition unisex beanie comes in a neutral ivory color that matches everything and folds over to reveal a leather embossed patch featuring our signature star emblem. Whether you are shopping for an outdoorsy adventurer or a classic homebody, this beanie is sure to make them smile.

Theragun Mini by Therabody

Instead of giving the athlete in your life a massage this year, give them daily ache and pain relief with the Theragun Mini. This portable device uses three levels of percussive rhythm to work out all those knots and tight spots that can be hard to stretch. Now in Black and Desert Rose, the Theragun Mini is sleek, lightweight, and rechargeable, plus it has Bluetooth capabilities so you can link it to the Therabody app! 

StarCycle Cycling Shoes 

Our indoor cycling shoes make the perfect gift for seasoned and new riders alike. Our StarCycle cycling shoes are available in three styles:

If you select the cleats option when you grab a pair, they will arrive with LOOK Delta cleats (compatible with all StarCycle bikes) already installed. Then all your loved one will have to do is clip in, check out, and ride!

StarCycle Candle 

Burn bright with one of StarCycle’s signature candles. Our candles are available in matte black and festive white, making them a versatile gift or stocking stuffer. And now you can choose between a fresh Volcano Blue or comforting Holiday Bliss scent, or you can snag one of each!

StarCycle Coffee Tumbler

We all know that person who finishes their morning beverage in one gulp or walks out of their house with a lid-less mug. Protect their hands (and car interiors!) by giving them a StarCycle Coffee Tumbler. This tumbler keeps liquids hot or cold for hours and fits most cupholders, making it an ideal vessel for your coffee and tea lovers who are always on the go.

Shine Bright Mug

Encourage your loved one to “Shine Bright” with this classic matte black mug. Perfect for coffee, tea, or hot cocoa, this mug is a great option for slow mornings this winter and beyond.

Life Elements Signature CBD Bath Bombs 

We love a good bath. Help your loved one reach peak relaxation with these CBD bath bombs. CBD can help your muscles recover, your mind relax, and give you goodnight’s sleep, while oatmeal, goat’s milk, and honey soothe and soften your skin. Bonus points for compostable packaging, which makes this a zero-waste product!

Lightning Bolt Jogger Set 

Nothing has become more popular this year than matching sets, and we have a super cute and edgy one in store. Our Lighting Bolt Jogger Set includes a matching zip-up hoodie and jogger-style sweatpants in black with white lighting bolts on the arms and legs. With a feminine cut and a rock and roll flare, this set is perfect for lounging around the house, running errands, or slipping over your workout clothes as you head to an indoor cycle class at StarCycle!

CB2 Sedona Small Zafu Pillow

Give the gift of mindfulness with this meditation pillow. This sturdy buckwheat hull-filled cushion provides the perfect support for seated meditation. Plus, it is wrapped in a neutral linen upholstery that will fit in perfectly with any home décor.

StarCycle Class Pack

Support someone’s fitness journey this year with a 4- or 8-class pack, or go bigger with one month of unlimited classes! This is the perfect gift for indoor cycling newbies as well as riders who have been to StarCycle before and just need a kickstart to get back on the bike in the new year. Reach out to your loved one’s local StarCycle studio for details.

To see all of our newest merch as soon as it hits the shelves, follow our StarCycle Brand Instagram account: @STARCYCLERIDE

Happy Holidays, 

The StarCycle Team

New Studio Announcement: StarCycle Chesapeake Opens November 2022! 

Calling all Virginia indoor cycling fans—we have an exciting announcement to make. 

StarCycle is opening its newest indoor cycling studio in Chesapeake, Virginia on Thursday November 3! 

Keep reading to learn about StarCycle Chesapeake’s Grand Opening Celebration, discounted classes, discounted memberships, and the studio owner herself. 

Grand Opening Celebration

StarCycle Chesapeake will be hosting its Grand Opening Celebration Thursday November 3 – Sunday November 6, 2022.

StarCycle Chesapeake is offering $5 Grand Opening Rides during its Grand Opening Celebration. BOOK YOUR BIKE now and come see the new studio for yourself! Here is everything you need to know.

When to book and when to arrive: 

We strongly recommend booking your bike in advance and arriving 15 minutes before class begins to get set up, especially if this is your first class with us. The hardest part is showing up—after that, we’ve got you covered! 

Where you can find us: 

StarCycle’s Chesapeake studio is located at 520 Belaire Ave., Chesapeake, VA  

23320, just off Volvo Parkway.

What to Bring: 

  • Water bottle
  • Athletic clothing (Spandex leggings or shorts are ideal)
  • Socks
  • We have shoes available to rent in-studio but if you prefer to use your own, they should be Look Delta compatible shoes!

Special Offer: Discounted Memberships

For a limited time only, StarCycle’s Chesapeake indoor cycling studio will be offering their founding memberships at a discounted rate. Sign up soon to take advantage of this exclusive offer and start your StarCycle journey. 

Meet Lea, the Owner of StarCycle Chesapeake 

Lea Barlett lives in Hampton Roads, Virginia with her husband Tony. She has been teaching health and fitness classes since 2012 and has earned certifications in HIIT, Pilates, Circuit Training, Aqua, PT, and of course, indoor cycling. 

Lea first fell in love with indoor cycling because it was a full-body, low-impact workout. Then she fell in love all over again when she visited StarCycle’s indoor cycling studio in Lake Oswego, Oregon in 2021. Lea loved the workout she got at StarCycle, but even more captivating was the feeling she got from being a part of something bigger. To Lea, StarCycle was not like other fitness centers she had been to—it was a lifestyle. 

Lea decided it was time to introduce the East Coast to this West Coast company and invite her home state of Virginia to clip in, check out, and ride!

Onsite Childcare 

In addition to beat-driven, 45-minute indoor cycling classes, StarCycle Chesapeake will be offering craft-based childcare with skilled caretakers at select times. That way, your little one can stay safe and entertained while you enjoy a sweaty, tech-free workout. 

Check out StarCycle Chesapeake’s class schedule for available StarKids Lounge spots! 

Keep Up With Your StarFam

Want to stay in the loop? Follow StarCycle Chesapeake on Instagram and sign up for their newsletter for updates, free classes, special offers, and more news you don’t want to miss!