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GIVE'R: Zoe's Animal Rescue Society

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Our GIVE'R charity is all about spreading love through wet kisses and furry hugs. Find out why the Bikergang is showing some sweaty support for them at the Friday night GIVE'R class!

What does Zoe’s Animal Rescue Society do?
Zoes takes in unwanted, stray, injured, sick dogs and cats and gets them any care that they need, including the very important spay and neuter! Once they are medically and behaviorally ready, we find them a FURever home. In the past, we have also rescued a pig, a goat, a chinchilla, and a guinea pig! All beings deserve kindness.
Another aspect of Zoe’s is our Helping Hands Program, where we help low income, isolated and/or marginalized individuals access vet care, food, and shelter so that they can keep their animals. We are strong believers in the well-documented therapeutic effect that animals have on people, and we stand behind the no-mamas-left-behind rule, meaning that if we take kittens or puppies, we will not leave the mom. Instead, she will be spayed and returned to her owner or taken into our care.
We also provide education in schools and communities to teach about the basic needs of animals and safety around animals.

What's the difference between adopting and fostering?
We take adoption seriously, and hope that it is a lifelong commitment for the new family. When you adopt, you are now responsible for that animal's needs and costs. Alternatively, when you foster with us, Zoe's is responsible for the animal and we provide you with support and all the supplies, including rides to the vet for your little one if necessary. We also cover all vet care. That being said, we stand by our motto that "Once a Zoe's animal, always a Zoe's animal" and are always willing to do what we can for the animal, even after adoption. 
To adopt from us may seem like quite the process, but we take this commitment quite seriously. You fill out an application on our website and if it is a good match you are contacted for a meet. Then, if you have animals, the animals meet. If all goes well, we call 3 references and then a volunteer will do a home check. We have a 3% return rate, so we feel like this process is worth it, but we understand if some people don't want to go through it. In such cases, we suggest places like the Humane Society where you can adopt off the floor and are still helping an animal in need.

Why adopt? We say adopt because it will change not only your life but theirs. It is so rewarding to see your adopted animal blossom and feel safe. Knowing that their fate would not have been the same without you fills your heart with a type of meaning and joy that I can't describe; you just have to experience it. 
 
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How does Zoe’s create PAW-sitive change?
The most rewarding experiences are seeing families take what we teach them and put it into action. That skinny dog you saw shivering in the cold is now the chubby, shiny dog, snoozing comfortably in his doghouse. That mama dog you fixed and brought home to her family after 8 weeks away is now raising her puppies so they can be safe and find homes, wagging her tail and getting head pats. The families who chose to breed and would never alter their animals are now coming to us, requesting that their same dog be altered. Families that once didn't acknowledge us, scared of what we were there to do, now come smiling to greet us as we have shown them kindness and respect. This all makes us feel like we are doing something right. All beings deserve kindness, and we believe that we are improving lives of animals and people simultaneously.

How can our community help if we're unable to foster or adopt an animal?
Help by being a responsible pet owner, and spread the word about the importance of spaying and neutering. Lobby our government to bring about harsher laws for animal abuse and neglect. Attend or share events of local rescues and animal welfare groups. Follow our Facebook page; we’d love you as a volunteer!

How does the YEG Cycle Bikergang support Zoe’s through a GIVE’R class?
We are so, so excited to be associated with such a generous benevolent organization such as YEG Cycle. The money that they raise for us will literally mean more animals lives saved! More families that get to stay together! More positive change in our community!

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Ride for Zoe's Animal Rescue Society at Whyte & 124th on Friday's at 6:40pm!

Zoe's Animal Rescue Society on social media:
http://www.zoesanimalrescue.org
https://www.facebook.com/Zoesanimalrescue/
https://www.instagram.com/zoesanimalrescue/





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TURN IT UP: Soundcloud X YEG 124TH

The new studio is almost ready for you to ride in, Bikergang. While you're waiting, start rocking out to the sounds of our newest Motivators!

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Motivation by Motivators

From the OG's to our stellar new Mo's, here's what inspires them to ride with YOU!

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"My motivation comes from a variety of places. I think a large part of it, is me really just motivating myself on the bike, dealing with things that are going on in my life that I just need to work out. It also comes from the Bikergang. They motivate me to be the best that I can be up on the bike, because it is so important to me to let them know that their goals, intentions and dreams are 100% possible. Sometimes we get lucky and they share their stories, other times they are trying to work things out on their own. Either way, it motivates me knowing that I can help them to achieve anything they want."
Ruhee
@ruheekassam

"Motivation for me is a feeling and vibration that runs through my body. I get it from the Bikergang, my community and the people that surround me. It's addictive and contagious."
Kelli
@kellikinch11

"I find my motivation from the people I surround myself with. I am consistently striving to better myself and I am inspired by the amazing people I meet at YEG Cycle. They are all so passionate about what they do, and it motivates me to keep going and never give up on my goals!"
Alex 
@alexboisclair

"What motivates me is what I love, which is having the choice and the ability to live my dreams and make it a reality. I find motivation in the power of choice, we have the power everyday to change, grow and achieve. It starts with the power of choice and decision. I look at every day as a new day, the start of something new, a clean slate to create. It doesn’t what happened yesterday, last week, last year; live in the now! 
It’s up to the decisions we make and the choices we make that shapes us. One of my favourite sayings is; “the biggest risk you could take in life, is not taking one” - Denis Waitley
Don't let the fear of other opinions influence your decisions; see other people going out and crushing their goals and dreams is what puts a fire in my soul!"
Caleb Jansen
@cjjansen1 

"My MO-Motivation comes from a variety of different places. Firstly, it’s a blast being up there and knowing that a group of people around me are also having fun is the best. Secondly, feedback from the Bikergang has continually shaped me and what my class has become. Thirdly, Katrina - a fellow Mo & mentee - is someone who is still relatively young in her own journey as a Mo, but that hasn’t stopped her from having an enormous impact. Her creativity, desire to try new things, and constant encouragement has continually pushed me and driven me to try and keep up with the amazing things she does at the studio."
Nathan
@nmlehman

"We are lucky to be in the business of happiness - a business that has led many amazing people into my life! While the easy answer would be to say that every single person motivates me, what I have come to learn most recently is that each of these people that have walked into my life have taught me to find motivation in myself. My daily motivation comes from this space inside of me that is driven to show up as the best version of myself everyday. I don’t believe in the idea of depending on people to motivate and change you, I am a firm believer that every tool you will need to grow and evolve in this life is waiting inside of you, wanting to be tapped into. As every moment passes, as we walk different paths and roads, we meet different people who continue to inspire and unleash the next motivation that we are needing, but have yet to tap into." 
Oliver
@olly.gram

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"What motivates motivatordao? Well simply, it's me. I'm very hard on myself and always see setbacks as the greatest motivation. There are times when I feel out of sorts, have a long day at work or when something didn't go as planned. In those moments when I press cancel on my workout, I honestly feel like crap. Bouncing back by working out my frustrations and any trace of negativity at the gym or on the bike is the best way to recover and uncover that positive me that I may have lost momentarily. I don't always feel motivated but I am aware of that feeling and don't stay for too long. Comparing myself constantly to myself makes me strive for a better me." 
Dao
@motivatordao

"My motivation comes from accepting that I am not perfect; never will be. And this acceptance is facilitated by knowing that the sun brings new day; a new opportunity to grow.
There are some days where I lack self-love, self- control, emotional intelligence; this can easily bring me down, affecting how I treat myself and others. But I continue to be motivated to overcome those internal demons, and while I will fail along the way, tomorrow always presents another chance to try again." 
Yasmeen
@yaaasskween

"I find my motivation in growth. I am incredibly motivated when I am able to look back and see the progression of where I started, where I have come, and where I have left to go. I use this reflective motivation in everything I do: physically and mentally. I think that being able to recognize room to growth is so motivating!" 
Katarina
@katarinadreisbach
 
"Helping people is what motivates me! Everyone is on a different journey and we are all dealing with separate challenges. Being a part of the bikergang means banding together to create positive change! Whether we put a smile on each other's faces for one class, one day, or even a whole week, it all makes a difference! For me, motivation comes from spreading happiness!"
Erin M.
@ecn_mcisaac

"Regardless of whether it's the best of times or life is throwing inevitable obstacles my way, I commit to checking my busy mind and ego at the door. When I show up physically and clear myself mentally before heading into a ride, I am able to support for every single person who made a conscious effort to bring themselves here."
Stephanie
@stephgmendes

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"Where my motivation comes from is knowing that I have the ability to create a positive connection with everyone that walks through the door at the studio. YEG Cycle is a safe place for the Bikergang to not only sweat together, but share 50 incredible minutes in a room full of people from all different backgrounds. For me, the best part of this is that we are gifted with the platform to bring everyone together to help find positivity and strength on the days when they may need it most. I just want to positively impact someone’s day, and hope that they continue to spread that - it's a butterfly effect!"
Chelsea 
@cschelly

"I find my motivation in the feedback from both the Bikergang, and motivator and mentor Nathan. Every time I doubt myself, the Bikergang is there to lift me back up again and remind me why I do this. Nathan never ceases to inspire, amaze, and push me."
Katrina
@katienele

"Find that answer, chase that dream, live your life, with no regrets. The Bikergang. They are the reason I do what I do everyday. The reason why I push myself to be better. Knowing that in any second you could be the best part of someone's day. Spin has helped me through some of the most difficult times and knowing that I could be helping someone get through theirs is so powerful. Seeing the smiles on the Bikergang faces, whether it's from their favourite song, move or dumb thing I've said. Keeps me coming back for more!"
Natalie 
@nataliematt3

"I am definitely a GOAL-GETTER – setting goals for myself is my favorite form of motivation. Putting short and long-term goals as well as BHAG’s (big hairy audacious goals: a shoot for the stars kind of goal) into writing is what really drives me to get out there and GET AFTER IT, whether that’s in the studio or in my own personal life."
Lindsay
@lindsaycox_
 
"Motivation for me comes from change. The definition of insanity is, "Repeating the same action and expecting different results". If you don't like something, you can't sit back and expect it to change on its own. My motivation comes from people giving a shit and deciding to work for change. Ive seen so many changes in bikergang since I started, mentally, physically and emotionally. This drives me!"
Greg
@zookeepergreg
 
"What motivates me is: the end result to what I am working for and the feeling that I know will be waiting once it is complete."
Celine
@celinehargreaves

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LOCKER ROOM TALK: Caleb's 3 Ways to Get Physical

New month, new weather (no more snow!), new goals; the transition from grey skies to warmer months ahead can definitely be a motivator for summer season. If you’re striving to get back into the strongest physical version of yourself, the key is BALANCE. As someone who loves being on the bike all day every day, Caleb has three hot tips to balance out spin with other workouts so that your body is happy!



"Spin is a good start, but you can't burn yourself out with it... People give up on spin cold turkey because they only did spin."

Riding will get you toned, but there are so many other ingredients that go into the strong body recipe. I like to think of a healthy lifestyle like baking a cake (and lets make it gluten-free so I can eat it!). You can’t just add flour to a baking tray, put it in the oven and expect to a cake to bake. A list of ingredients, whether one more or five more, is needed; it’s different for every recipe, just like the ideal workout combo is different for every person and every lifestyle. My top three ingredients are resistance training, yoga and foam rolling; without them, I couldn't show up happy and healthy on that bike!

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RESISTANCE TRAINING 
 
THE COMMON QUESTION
"I'm riding, like, 6 days a week. I just don't know how to tone up."

You want to crush those 3 or 5lb weights for a full weight track? Cross train! Focus balancing out spin by complimenting it with resistance training; I wouldn’t be able to push and pull through spin or survive a weights track if I didn’t work on building strength beyond the walls of the spin room. I have been lucky enough to work with some amazing trainers in YEG: Chris Tse from Blitz; Phil Daly from FirstLine training; and Shara Vigneault from SVPT. They don’t just focus on lifting weights, but body form, and work on your weak areas to bring them back stronger then before! Whether it’s with a trainer at one of Edmonton's personal training studios, group classes, or at the gym, resistance training is my top pick to balance out with how many times I ride that bike.
 
GET BENDY: YOGA
THE COMMON QUESTION
"Yoga? Not for me. I'm not flexible."

Yoga is not just about being flexible, it’s about taking the moment to slow down, love your body and give it an added stretch! And most importantly, try it again! And invite me to go with you! It took me years to find a place I felt comfortable, instructors that I understand and understand my body. So give it another shot, ask questions and be open about anything and everything!

Yoga: it helps me stretch, loosen, and most importantly, breathe. Spin hits us with flashing lights and loud music, but with yoga, I can take time to reflect without my phone and without music; my mind is more at ease, causing my body not to not tense up. As someone who always has to be doing something, be around people, or be listening to music, I’ll fall asleep with headphones in most of the time. Yoga is the one hour where it’s just me, my breathe, my thoughts – nothing else. Pure bliss.
When I was first introduced to yoga, I was intimidated. I had know idea what to do with my breathe; even though I had to breathe just like they were telling us to, I ended up not breathing at all and got super light headed. But don’t fear the yoga mat – Experiment! It took me months to find the right class with the right style of yoga that works for me. Stereotypical OMMM yoga isn’t my calling, that’s just not who I am. I need something chill, with light music, light stretches and a few jokes. I’ve committed to Revive and Restore once a week with Dani Parks – she’s incredible. I could be here for hours listing why she is such an inspiring, person, friend, instructor and mom! Her classes are relaxing, as challenging as you make it; you have options of different variations if you want more or less intense of a stress, and wicked mellow jams (Chainsmokers remix got me hooked). 
Bree Guhle is another amazing instructor – she was the first person that got me into any sort of yoga/stretching routine that I was excited to do! Her classes allow me to not only stretch my body, but challenge my muscles and build strength in areas we ignore in the gym or during spin. I noticed right away doing yoga how tight my hip flexors and strangely enough my ankles were. Bree works with a large number of athletes, so she focuses on doing what’s best for your body, giving you alternative poses to adjust to what your body needs. I leave feeling sweaty, accomplished and energized, ready to hop on the bike for out next ride!

ROLL IT OUT!
A must have in anyone’s gym bag- or a tennis ball for a “softer” touch. I always carry a lacrosse ball with me. It’s the little things, something as simple as a lacrosse ball that’s in my bag. I’ll drive it under a knot on my body – it hurts like hell but releases built up tension. The secret to that final release? Essential oils. I use Saje products all the time to roll on sore muscles. Foam rolling is my necessary to-do thing before bed – I’ll focus more on the big muscle groups, legs, quads, calves and hips. They’re are what I use the most and are usually the tightest for me!

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My backpack holds my life - I could literally fit a small child (or Dao!) in it. I like to have as much stuff easily accessible. Here’s what’s in mine: 

Water Bottle
Saje Pain Release stick
Saje Muscle Melt body butter
Davines Hair moulding cream
Two sets of headphones
At least 3 snapback hats
2 Outfits ( usually to sweat in)
Halls
Advil
Loose Change
2 BioSteel Protein bar
2 packs of Skittles
Lacrosse Ball

What’s in your gym bag?




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TURN IT UP: Soundcloud X Caleb

"Lights flashing, music high, sweat dripping - the hustle on. This is what sends chills down my neck and through my spine! Music is the force that drives, pushes and speaks to us in so many different ways. There is nothing better then driving on a hot summer day, windows down, aviators on and your favourite song comes on the radio; you want to pump and dip on the steering wheel, drive your hand to crank up the volume, open your sunroof and grab your phone [when you're parked of course ;) ] to take an Instagram story of that moment! I think we’ve all been there! I’ll let you in on a little secret… I can sing along word-for-word to a lot of the songs that I play in class, but I can’t name the artist! My music style tends to change a lot. I love that feeling when sweat is pouring down your face and a song that you haven’t heard since 2005 comes on, magically driving you to make two turns up to the right! That is what I live for! I choose beats that I hope inspire, push and energize you during our 50 minute hustle. I love finding remixes of well-known songs, songs that aren’t extremely over-played, or just FUN, intense tunes with a catchy beat; basically anything that we can sing along to. I play pretty much everything (except country). Be warned, I’ll throw the odd Nickelback song in, as well as anything from the Top 40 and old school Taylor Swift remixes, to the Lion King and t.A.T.u. These tracks and your energy in class makes me want to jump off my bike, run around and high five each of you! I always love getting song requests and can find a remix of pretty much anything. Is there a song you want to ride to? Let’s make it happen. Chat with me around the studio or send me a message on Instagram! Let’s Ride!" Caleb @cjjansen1

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FOOD2FUEL: Mo' Style

Our motivators know what’s up when it comes to keeping their bodies healthy and ready for class. Meet the man who balances between the Monday & Thursday night bike, and his kitchen cooking up a storm!

Meet Steven.

Alright, let’s be honest. Who doesn’t love a man who can cook?! 

Luckily for me, my mom encouraged my kitchen creations from a young age. Now, I actually enjoy cooking and trying out all kinds of new dishes that fuel my family. I also have quite a few dietary restrictions, so knowing exactly what I am putting into my body - every ingredient - is crucial for daily success. Sometimes, I worry most people don’t realize that coming to a spin class (or lifting weights, going for a run, practicing yoga, etc.) is only going to get them so far. It’s great to get sweaty and I strive to be active almost every day. But it’s just as important, if not more so, to eat well and choose healthy foods to ensure you are getting adequate nutrients, fuel, and energy. It’s a definitely a balancing act!

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What's the most important meal of the day?
All meals are important (seriously, I really like food), but my MOST important meal is breakfast. My day starts off with eggs, gluten-free toast, a banana with peanut butter, and water. Then, coffee. If I don’t get in a proper meal in the morning, I am setting my body, brain, and mood up for failure. 

How do you fuel for what you body does with dietary restrictions?

My two biggest dietary restrictions are gluten and dairy. Neither allergy is new; I've had to become more creative about what I eat and how I cook for almost ten years. It's safe to say I eat ALOT of food. My body works hard, so without all 5 meals and a ton of water, my entire day can feel really off. My go-to proteins are chicken or turkey, and I always make sure to have some rice, sweet potatoes, and quinoa readily available. Our fridge is usually stuffed full of veggies, too.

The one craving that you can't kill is ... 
Chocolate. Given my dairy allergy, I shouldn't have it, but I still do. (Almost) everything in moderation, right?

Do you have a pre- or post- spin treat? 
These protein banana muffins from Nutritionist in the Kitch are definitely my favourite. They're easy to make and freeze well. I always make sure that we have some in the freezer so we can just toss a few into a bag and go. For this specific recipe, I use Vanilla Vega protein powder. 
http://www.nutritionistinthekitch.com/vegan-protein-banana-muffins/ 
If muffins aren’t your thing, I highly recommend checking out Christal’s Energy Ball book. It’s an ENTIRE book of energy balls – no oven required. I’ve made a few recipes so far and all of them have been awesome.
https://www.amazon.ca/Energy-Balls-Improve-Physical-Performance/

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How do you prepare the need to fuel for your day?
Our household is like every other household: we have a lot on the go at all times. Typically, my wife and I spend a few hours on Sundays grocery shopping and meal prepping. Unless I'm trying out a new dish, our grocery list looks similar week to week. I pre-make weekday lunches, snacks, and protein portions, and the same for suppers. It literally eliminates the dreaded thought after a long day of, "Great ... now what are we going to have for dinner?". Sure, sometimes we feel like last-minute tacos or going out for a bite, but having healthier options prepped suits us. Meal prepping once a week also makes the daily grind that much easier. 

Do you have any favourite food spots in the city?
LOVEPIZZA! If you haven’t been yet, go … NOW! They have one of the best gluten-free crusts in Edmonton. Come on, who doesn’t love pizza?!


Steven’s tips to fuel with success:
1.     PLAN! It really makes a huge difference. 
2.     Keep it fun! Follow the recipe ... or don't!
3.     Drink lots of water!  
RIDE WITH STEVEN
MONDAY 6:30pm
THURSDAY 7:45pm



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REAL TALK: A Spin on Therapy

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Mental health has always been a seemingly taboo topic in terms of acknowledgment, discussion, and therapy. Even now, I struggle to piece together words to help you understand my personal experiences with it. I grew up in a South-Asian family that heavily emphasized academic excellence above all else, so coming to terms with my mental health posed an even bigger obstacle for me than expected. As someone who has always prided myself on being an over-achiever and has found success as a result of hard work in my adolescence, clinical depression and high-functioning anxiety hit me like a ton of bricks in my first year of university. As a dancer of over 20 years, I see movement as my main source of stress relief but as dance shifted from a simple hobby to an important responsibility and occupation in my life, I found myself falling out of love with the art of dance and sinking deeper into depression. It began to take a toll on my academic life and my personal relationships. Having recently jumpstarted a career in empowerment and activism, I felt as though I was letting down both myself and my community. I was expected to inspire people and to act as a catalyst for positive change in society, yet I was unable motivate myself on the same level – living in fear of this kind of failure made my anxiety skyrocket to new heights. I was in need of a new outlet; something that would benefit my body and spirit physically, mentally and emotionally, something that would allow me to channel the negative energy surrounding me into something productive and positive, something that could re-ignite my passion for life. I needed to be stronger.

Harman Baweja has been both a close friend and a mentor to me in dance and life for ten years now.  He introduced me to YEG Cycle in January 2016, after revealing to our dance community that he had spent the past eight weeks training to become a motivator. I attended his “Friends and Family” trial class and was instantly hooked. After confiding in him about my ongoing struggles with depression and anxiety attacks, he encouraged me to apply for a front-desk position with YEG Cycle so I could experience a change in scenery and work-place dynamic in addition to meeting a new network of fitness-forward individuals and of course, for the spin perks. This leap into the world of fitness and positivity gave me confidence that I had only ever felt while being onstage. I found myself immersed in this community of beautiful, motivated people who would hop on the bike not only to stay healthy, but also to motivate the people around them. I found myself entering this room of 42 bikes, flashing lights and pumping music with no expectations each day and leaving feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world. People close to me saw a difference in me not only physically but mentally; I was able to overcome obstacles and deal with life's curveballs in ways that didn't involve me isolating myself or cracking under the pressure.

When I clip in, the only person I have to impress is the incredibly strong and resilient woman looking back at me in the mirror. The bike has given me the opportunity to sweat out my doubt, ride through my fears, crush goals that I never thought I could set in the first place and to emerge into the world as the best version of myself. YEG Cycle is special, plain and simple.  The buzz of new riders expressing their nerves entering their first class, the triumphant cheers after completing that seemingly impossible six minute weight track, the sense of accomplishment after FINALLY receiving that 50 class water bottle, the sea of bodies pumping and dipping in unison - this experience is unmatched. YEG Cycle has taught me the importance of SHOWING up in my life and I can happily say that spin, along with other coping mechanisms, has allowed me to finally come to terms with/conquer/manage my anxiety and depression. I will forever be indebted to the motivators who have consistently challenged me to reach my potential, for the crew and Bikergang who have become family, for the key leaders and manager for supporting me through my ongoing struggles with mental health and of course, to the stationary bike for giving me a new opportunity to shine and grind each and every day. You want MY advice on how to de-stress and grab mental health stigmas by the handlebars? Let go of your inhibitions, take a deep breath, leave your troubles at the door and just RIDE. I am stronger than yesterday, I am seizing opportunity today and I am ready for tomorrow.

Love always & love all ways.
Sarah Dharshi

 


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Big Lives Behind the Desk

He's our #1 handyman, a tall glass of positivity, and keeps us laughing with his quick wit, all while rocking out all of the necessary things that happen before, during and after your class. Say hello to one of the biggest smiles in our space!

Meet Mattie.


What wakes you up every morning?

Opportunity! I have my entire life ahead of me to accomplish whatever I set my mind to. Life is too short to spend it sleeping. People who know me will agree I take this saying a little too seriously at times... BUT, the world is full of problems in need of solutions and my goal in life is to one day say I helped solve one of them.

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We're not in the business of spin classes - what are you in the business of?
Defeat. Not in the way that you would think of, but in learning from your defeats. The lessons you learn from your biggest fights are the most important, and they help you OVERCOME future obstacles. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not enough, that you can’t achieve a goal or become successful in a facet of your life, because you CAN. Why, when you feel out of breath with nothing left in the tank can you continue to push forward? It’s a question without an answer, but for me that’s how you live life. There’s always something left in your tank and there’s always a solution if you’re willing to motivate yourself to find it. “It ain’t about how hard you hit: it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. It’s about how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done” Rocky Balboa

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Tell us about the life behind the desk!
My life behind the YEG Cycle desk is just plain fun. There is no better word to describe it. I come to work with a smile on my face and leave with an even bigger one. The people I am surrounded with, both Bikergang and YEG Crew, are the sole reason for this. They are what makes YEG Cycle the amazing place it is. Everyone has an amazing story to tell and the energy they bring is off the charts. All I can say is thank-you for making this “job” one of the best experiences of my life.

We’re still in the dead of Edmonton winter – how do you keep life exciting during this time of year?
Baby it’s cold outside, but I LOVE it! Why? It’s because it’s hockey season! I have played hockey my entire life, and like spin, it’s a place to let go of everything weighing you down. Hockey will always have a place in my heart because it taught me that you don’t have to be the best to succeed. You must work hard and have the determination to overcome whatever is in your way. You’rer always stronger than you think you are. Don’t ever forget that.

What’s your go-to track to ride to?
My go- to track is ODE to Oi by TJR because it is one of the first songs I ever rode to in Nathan’s class. Riding to it still leaves a mark in my memory because it was the first time I ever felt a release on the bike. When you are able to reach the headspace where everything melts away and you are able to focus on the present, it’s amazing. You can let go of the stress weighing you down and just ride. On paper, it felt weird to “pump” and “dip” on a spin bike but man it felt good to just let go of all stress and just ride.

Let us in on a secret - what’s something the Bikergang doesn’t know about you?
It's hard to say, since I NEVER EVER stop talking. However, one thing the Bikergang probably doesn’t know is that I work two jobs (construction worker and YEG Cycle Key Leader), and I play on two hockey teams and a dodgeball team. I am also in Civil Engineering at  University at the U of A, and set to graduate this April 2017 as a Civil Engineer. Lastly, I have a Siberian Husky named Sarge and cannot wait for University to be complete so I can spend some much-needed summer camping time with him, my girlfriend Mariel, and of course my family!

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FOOD2FUEL: YEG Community

Happy love month, Bikergang!

Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine by thy food.” I'd incorporate spin into this quote; you, your team and 50 minutes on that bike acts as a necessary pick-me-up for when we’re dwindling down from the demands of our big and busy lives. But the best medicine? A combination of the two: spin and nutrition. Without food to keep our bodies and brains fueled, we’re missing out on the potential power that we could bring to those hovers and climbs. Every time I leave the studio, my body needs to refuel with some feel-good food. I’m notorious for forgetting to bring something to eat post-class, so if I’m not jetting home right away, I’m craving one of my favourite YEG food spots – kb&co!

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Kristina, kb&co's owner, found inspiration for her space after reflecting on her own big and busy life of working, being a mom, and all other fun activities in between:
"On the days that work and life didn’t have me running around, I’d spend my time in the kitchen creating meals that were amazingly tasty and good for you as well. I would tell my husband over and over that I must get this into the mouths of others. I wanted others that are at the mercy of life’s demands to have food like this accessible on the fly. If others struggled with digestion issues, I swore this was the answer. If you wanted sustainable energy, this would give you that. I wanted to change the way we think about food as it doesn’t have to be boring. I wanted to inspire people to eat well themselves, and most importantly, make them feel well! And so, that’s where it all began. I believe my passion had met my purpose with kb&co."

From smoothies to salads to the healthiest version of a sloppy joe, my tastebuds light up every time I eat at the downtown community's plant based café. I'm an avocado aficionado, a serious lover of the creamy green filled with Vitamin B to increase mood and energy levels and Potassium to lower blood pressure and get rid of excess sodium. Naturally, my go-to pick is the Balsamic Berry Avocado Toast. My sweet tooth can't resist the display of superfood treats to indulge in, so it's guaranteed that I'm leaving with a Raw Cinnamon Roll or Trail Mix Cookie. It's absolutely satisfying to eat and know that the ingredients will keep me going, not take me down on a sugar-crash before spin!

Menu aside, what I really value about kb&co is that I can trust that what is going into my body is wholesome and nourishing, and that it's created by people who are excited to share their passion for health with others. I'm driven by people who create community with health in mind; at YEG Cycle, it's through spin, and with kb&co, it's through nutrition. Kristina connected three of our studio's pillars with her space at kb&co:

BETTERMENT. 
"Anytime I hear a guest at kb&co say, 'I feel so good after eating your food', I get goosebumps. I’m changing the way people feel. That’s incredible. For the betterment of the people. I love that."
PASSION. 
"Man do we ever have it. You can feel it when you visit the store. We love what we do and we believe in what we do."
POSITIVITY. 
"This is a must! Being positive never ever hurts. We strongly believe that being positive brings on positive results. We’re all in this together."

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A happy body is a healthy body, and a healthy body is a balanced body. You lead big lives, Bikergang, and YEG Cycle is always here for your dose of spin medicine, but remember the second component of the happy body equation: nutritional health. Regardless of where you fuel up, I'll meet you before (or afterwards) on the bike!

Big love.
Stephanie








info@yyc-cycle.com

Cold Weather & YOU!

The cold weather is still kicking around, and we're taking any steps we can to fight away sickness that takes us away from being at our best.
Our resident crew and registered nurse Grace is here to educate us on how to stay healthy off the bike, so that we can stay on the bike.

How does the cold weather affect your health?

Hello beautiful souls!  My name is Grace. I work as part of the crew at YEG Cycle, and also as a Registered Nurse who is passionate about helping change and bring about life. I am hear to share topics related to health and wellness to ensure that you, yes, you Bikergang, are at your healthiest off the bike to ensure a great ride on the bike! As a note, all topics mentioned in this post should be discussed further with your primary Physician before enacting any changes. Change is always something to embrace, so it's best to do it SAFELY!

Alright, let’s clip in!

During the winter months, more people tend to gather in warm indoor spaces like YEG Cycle. Contained areas make a perfect environment for bacteria and viruses to proliferate and spread. This constitutes to a rise in coughs, colds, and the dreaded flu! Some of the ways to reduce your chances of getting ill include but are not limited to…
  1. GETTING YOUR FLU SHOT!
    • This seems like a no-brainer. Protect yourself and others around you. Specifically small children and older adults.
  2. Washing your hands prior to any activity that involves your mouth, nose, and/or eyes.
    • Wash your hands with mild soap and water. Or, use an antibacterial antiseptic solution, hand sanitizer.
  3. When you sneeze, D.A.B.
    • Sneeze/Cough into the crook of your elbow and Destroy All Bacteria!
    • When you blow your nose, sneeze, and/or cough, the extra force gained allows the virus to travel several more meters by attaching to tiny air particles.
    • Cold and Flu viruses can also be spread through direct contact. Direct contact meaning, the virus resides on a surface, you touch it, and then give it direct entry into your body.
Scenario: You head into the studio and high five a fellow Bikergang member who just touched the door handle leaving the change room. Unfortunately, the handle they just touched has cold/flu viruses residing all over it. Not knowing this, you then touch your face (mouth/nose/eyes) with that same unclean hand. – Hello Cold/Flu #UnhappyBikergang
 
Without any hesitation, the winter months just seem to sap the moisture right out of our body. To combat against this, increase your water intake! Water is the elixir of life. As a Bikergang member this becomes a necessity for your rides. A well-hydrated body allows you to pump and dip to the beat of the music and sweat out toxins. It is ESSENTIAL for you Bikergang to replenish your body with a lot of water because of all the hard work you put in. It will drastically improve your chances of fighting illness and crushing whatever fitness goals you may have for yourself.

Another pro tip is to moisturize your skin regularly to lock in as much moisture as you can to prevent further drying of your skin. I suggest using a very versatile oil, like coconut. While cooking a delicious healthy veggie sauté, why not lather your skin & hair some coconut oil. You will glow & shine bright like the diamond you are.

Bask in your glow longer by heading outside and soaking in some vitamin D – sunshine! Vitamin D helps ensure strong bones and teeth. A strong frame makes for a fun, smiley, strong ride. At the very least, take a 25-30 minute walk daily. Maybe park farther away from the studio on sunnier days and walk over. Or, after your awesome ride at YEG Cycle, take a stroll with a fellow Bikergang talking about your favorite moments in class. You could also discuss with your primary Physician about Vitamin D supplementation. Just note that less sun exposure makes us S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

Last, but certainly not least, exercise! It is a great way to relieve stress, keep warm, and boost your mental/physical immunity. Why not join us and other Bikergang members today for a fun ride at YEG Cycle! We will be sure to get those endorphins circulating.

If you have any questions, comments, topic ideas and/or concerns that you may want me to explore, send them in! I am more than happy to do so. Sending lots of love & light to you all Bikergang. I hope to catch you around the studio, whether that is off or on the bike.

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Grace, RN.

Grace's links for:
The Cold: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000678.htm

The Flu: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/spread.htm
S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder): http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/basics/definition/con-20021047





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