Recently, indoor cycling classes have significantly increased in popularity. Carefully selected professional instructors teach an intense cardio workout that is intended to inspire participants both mentally and physically, making the classes desirable to a variety of age groups and levels of athleticism. In 2016, Novato opened its own CycleBar
studio in Hamilton Field.
San Marin students and faculty alike are devoted members of the CycleBar community.
“It makes me excited, and helps me remember that I am human, and other people are
dealing with similar issues,” English teacher Shannon Ward said in regards to the
atmosphere at the studio.
Lead instructor Samara Vespia began teaching at CycleBar when she moved
with her daughter to the Bay Area a few years ago. She has developed a passion for
her job, as well as a deep relationship with the people that she teaches. Vespia said that, in her worst times, taking cycling classes kept her going.
“Everybody was wonderful and supportive,” Vespia said. “They got me on the bike and
kept getting me to come back. In the dark room I could sweat and cry at the same time.”
Students at San Marinalso feel strongly about the environment created atCycleBar. They describe it as an “excellent way to start the day” and say that the mood of the studio keeps them going.
“The class can be very challenging, but it is such a motivating environment that it
is easy to push through,” senior Macy Anderson said. “I love the way I feel afterwards—it is very rewarding.”
The classes allow riders to choose the difficulty of the workout, making it inclusive
to all levels of experience. The bike has a variety of gears that provide the opportunity for a challenge with an intense climb, or decreased weight with a faster pace.
“I think it is a really good option for high schoolers who want a fun and interactive cardio workout,” Anderson said. “You can choose the difficulty of your class by picking your pace so it can be a very manageable workout, regardless of your athleticism.”
On top of the physical strength that spin classes can help participants build, they can
also provide emotional benefits. Vespia said that the classes are designed to make participants feel good, no matter what they are going through, and that the
positive energy is contagious among the class.
“I did not have an easy time in high school,” Vespia said. “If I had something like this, it
would have been a great way to release, especially because I am so artistic and think outside the box.”
Vespia feels that as a high schooler, having a way to connect to music would have been a valuable outlet to have, on top of the relief that exercise provides. Junior Lauren Houlahan has experienced similar benefits from the classes.
“I would definitely recommend it. It is a great way to get exercise and release stress, which is good for all of us,” Houlahan said. “I often feel more motivated throughout the
day, in terms of schoolwork, and I bet that many others would have the same results.”
In addition to allowing riders to detach emotionally, instructors experience their
own benefits from the teaching process as well.
“These classes are how I get up-I try not bring my stuff into the room,” Vespia said. “I
love that sweat and tears are the same thing, they are both salty water.”