info@yyc-cycle.com

The New Kid on the Bike

I walk through the doors of YEG Cycle at 7:30 on a Sunday morning, and ask myself for what feels like the hundredth time, what the heck am I doing? It’s early, too early. I should be curled up in bed, dreaming of coffee, not at a studio that I assume is filled with people comparing their six pack abs, fixing their perky blonde ponytails, and exchanging the latest recipes for kale chips.

 

The girl at the front desk hands me a form to fill out and a pair of shoes with metal clips on the bottom. “Don’t put them on until you get into the spin room,” she warns me. “The floors are slippery, and you could fall.”

 

Fabulous, I’ll just add that to the list of potential ways I can embarrass myself here today.

 

I allow my friends, who come to the studio regularly, to usher me into a very dark, very loud room and show me to a stationary bike that I am then instructed to “hop on.” All around me people are talking, laughing, stretching, setting up their bikes – looking like they belong.

 

Caleb, who my friends have assured me leads a very tough class (perfect), walks into the room and reminds everyone to grab weights, water, and a towel. He shouts into a microphone, with a level of enthusiasm that I am physically and mentally unable to get on board with,

 

“SUNDAY MORNING HOW’RE YOU DOING?!”

 

Great, I’m doing great. I’m in a room filled with strangers, about to willingly participate in cardio at 8am on a Sunday. It took me seven minutes to clip my feet into these pedals, and I’ve already accepted that fact that I may never get them out again. I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing, and this is probably going to be the most embarrassing experience of my life. But yea, I’m doing great.

 

The perky ponytail people ERUPT in cheers.

 

50 minutes later I emerge from the darkness dripping in sweat, face looking like a ripe tomato on a hot day, nauseous, exhilarated, out-of-breath, proud, confused as all hell, and completely and totally addicted.

 

WE ARE NOT IN THE BUSINESS OF SPIN

 

Hi, my name is Sarah. I’m a 26-year-old female living, studying and working in Edmonton, Alberta, and I’m going to be honest with you, I am not in ANY way, shape, or form an athlete. I made the basketball team in grade seven, only to quit mere weeks later in favour of retaining my role in the school play (after making my parents buy me brand new, expensive court shoes obviously). I snowboard, but a lot of the time that just involves tumbling haphazardly down a mountain, and come on, anyone with a pair of goggles and a death wish can do that.

 

If you had asked me on Sunday, March 26, 2017, if I thought I would still be spinning eight months later, I would have laughed in your face and poured myself another glass of wine. With the exception of yoga, I’ve never stuck with a form of fitness for longer than a few months. Yet against all odds, here I am eight months later walking through the doors of YEG Cycle almost every day.

 

I know what you must be thinking:

A.) YEG Cycle is some sort of a cult, and this girl has CLEARLY been brainwashed.

OR

B.)  The workout must be DAMN good.

 

If you’re thinking B, you’re not wrong. But although the workout is exceptional, and I can now wear a crop top with only minimal discomfort, it is not the driving force bringing me back to the studio day after day.

 

The company originally began as YYC Cycle in Calgary, with three studio locations, and has since expanded to Edmonton. In the two years since YEG Cycle’s opening, the two Edmonton locations and upwards of 100 weekly spin classes have provided a platform for an incredible community to grow and flourish.

 

At the heart of this community exists a dedicated group of women, passionate about health, wellness, and the betterment of themselves and others.

 

In my time at the studio I have witnessed unrelenting passion, and have felt unconditional kindness from these women. I have become a part of something much bigger than I could have imagined, and it all began the first time I hopped on that bike.

WE ARE IN THE BUSINESS OF PASSION

 

Like many people (and self-proclaimed couch potatoes), I was wary of spin classes (and exercise in general). Why would I want to pay money to sit on a stationary bike, surrounded by sweaty strangers, while someone much fitter than me yells at me to “PEDAL FASTER” for 50 minutes? I had seen spin classes at the gym, and to be honest, they didn’t look like anything to write an Instagram post about.   

 

Kylie Morrison, Exercise Specialist at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital and Motivator at YEG Cycle, was initially “anti-spin” because of unsatisfactory experiences with classes at her gym. But as someone who has been active all her life, after researching the various motivators Morrison decided to give YEG Cycle a shot. “I chose Robyn because she’s a trail runner and I’m a trail runner,” says Morrison. “I remember thinking it was the coolest thing, and leaving being like I will never say I hate spin again.”

 

Becky Robinson, local fitness instructor and Motivator at YEG Cycle, is one of several other motivators who remember feeling the same way. “That was something we all had in common when we were in motivator training,” says Robinson. “Everybody across the board was like I had done a spin class and I hated it.”

 

If you attend a spin class at your local gym (which I admittedly have not), I am told that your instructor will act as your guide. He or she will tell you to ride at a certain pace, when to sit, and when to stand. At YEG Cycle, motivators (the studio’s version of instructors) tell class members to ride to the beat of the music, and encourage everyone to make as much noise as possible while dancing to a variety of movements under the glow of colourful lights.

 

But although there are stylistic differences, both types of classes are still guaranteed to provide you with a sweat-inducing workout. So what is it then that makes a spin class at YEG Cycle so different than a spin class at the gym?

 

“It starts with your entrance when you come into the studio,” says Linda Suurhoff, Lab Assistant at the University of Alberta Hospital and Motivator at YEG Cycle. “It’s not just about the class.”

 

Through the time he spent instructing spin at various gyms, YEG Cycle co-founder Andrew Obrecht discovered that spin had the potential to become so much more than just a kickass workout. “The bike became a platform to what happened in that room,” says Obrecht. “It was a platform to connection, positivity, passion, and community.”

 

Obrecht co-founded YYC Cycle and YEG Cycle alongside his two business partners Grady Topak and Warren Matzelle, with the vision that the studio would provide more than a bike-centered workout. “I wanted to create a community of people that came to my classes,” says Obrecht. “So I started calling people the Bikergang.”

 

Since the time of the studio’s opening, the Bikergang has grown at a rapid rate, and continues to grow daily.

 

“It’s so much more than those bikes,” says YEG Cycle Assistant Regional Manager and Motivator Jasmyn Ellis. “It’s the people that make this place so special.”

 

WE ARE IN THE BUSINESS OF POSITIVITY

 

I began attending YEG Cycle regularly in April of 2017, and at first is WAS because I wanted to lose weight, get in shape, and not feel guilty about how many beers I was consuming on any given Friday night. My friends had been attending the studio for months, and the change in their physique, skin, and overall temperament was noticeable. What I quickly realized however, much like Obrecht and many other motivators and Bikergang members, was that it was more than the workout that was bringing me back. Although I did (and still do) enjoy racing and grinding my stresses away on the bike, it was the people I was coming to see.

 

Rarely before had I been a part of such an unconditionally positive community. Here were people who were genuinely excited to greet me as soon as I walked in the door, who celebrated my successes and triumphs as if they were their own, and who’s motivational discourse stuck with me long after I hopped off the bike.

 

“It’s empowering. It’s light,” says Ellis of the atmosphere at the studio. “You can find your best self walking into this place.”

 

As a woman, it can often be challenging to find a community of likeminded women who work with you, rather than against you, yet this is what I had found at YEG Cycle. The women at the studio were inspiring me daily, and as I learned more about them, I discovered that these women exhibit the same level of passion and enthusiasm in many other areas of their lives, that they do at the studio.

 

To clarify, there are several male motivators and employees at YEG Cycle, and my praise of the female motivators is not meant to degrade the males in any way. Every motivator at YEG Cycle has something different and exciting to offer, and every motivator contributes in a unique way to the positive atmosphere facilitated at the studio. As a woman, I am simply struck by how motivated I am by the females, both on AND off the bike.

 

Here are women pursuing careers in the health and wellness industry as nurses, fitness instructors, and lab technicians; starting their own businesses; building and maintaining healthy relationships; continuing their education at post-secondary institutions; working as educators; raising children; pursuing successful careers; challenging themselves daily; and leading joyful, well-balanced lives.

 

These women do it all, and STILL willingly give their time, energy and compassion to the Bikergang each and every time they step into the studio.

 

“No matter what day you are having, one of your Bikergang members is likely going through a worse day, or going through something just as hard, if not harder,” says Celine Brossart, Registered Nurse and Motivator at YEG Cycle. “Although you show up for yourself, and you give it your all, you know that somebody in that room may really need you, and you’re doing it for them. So as much as we love doing it and it’s a job, it’s so much more than that.”

 

 The positive mindset these women exhibit is carried forth into all aspects of studio life. I have been given everything from a hug on a bad day and career advice over coffee, to the last of Robinson’s Oil of Oregano when I was feeling sick.

 

“I do my best to interact with everybody, because it’s so important to me to build that connection,” says Brossart. “That’s what it comes down to truly. The human connection is so amazing, and the business would not be anywhere without it. That’s what sets us apart.”

 

WE ARE IN THE BUSINESS OF MOTIVATION

 

I initially began attending YEG Cycle for the promise of a killer workout, but every person who enters the studio, hops on that bike, and clips in for the first time has his or her own personal motivation. Maybe he gave in to a friend’s forceful nudge, or she had a personal goal to lose 10 pounds. Maybe he wanted to change up his stale workout routine, or she simply wanted to try something new.

 

Whatever the reason, we’ve all been there. We’ve all had a first ride.

 

Entering a studio filled with strangers, and actively participating in a new form of fitness can be intimidating (believe me, it took me weeks to realize that I was supposed to be riding to the beat of the music - I’ve been there). But whether you’re walking into the studio for the first time or the five hundredth time, it doesn’t matter. You will be met with a warm welcome either way. Everyone at YEG Cycle, staff and Bikergang alike, knows how it feels to be the new kid on the bike.

 

“You look at your shoes, and you’re like what the hell am I supposed to do with these things,” says Ellis recalling her first class. “I remember being like ‘Oh my god, I don’t want to ask for help. Everyone else knows what they’re doing.’ I didn’t want to be new, and it’s terrifying. But I laughed at myself, because that’s the only way to do it, to laugh.”

 

It can be overwhelming, but once you get the hang of the weird shoes, the hand positions, and the movements, you forget that you’re working out because you’re having SO much fun. The best part about it is that there’s no competition involved. Everyone else in that room is there to cheer you on.

 

“Know that you’re supported and you’re not alone,” says Primary Consultant for Children’s Autism Services and YEG Cycle Motivator Stephanie Mendes. “My hope is that we are a studio full of people who are very eager to hold your hand and support you through it.”

 

It’s simultaneously comforting and encouraging to know that every motivator at YEG Cycle once sat where I do now. These women whom I look up to all had that first-time experience, and were inspired by the strong role models who led their classes.

 

“I remember thinking that Dao was a really inspirational person,” says Robinson of one of her first motivators. “Then finding out that she was a Principal at an inner city school, and has kids.”

 

Although Dao has since moved on from YEG Cycle, her legacy lives on through women whom she’s inspired. For many, like Robinson, this inspiration has grown into a desire to motivate others.

 

“One common thread is: I want to give back to those who have given to me,” Obrecht speaks of the answers he receives when interviewing potential motivators. “Or, I’ve experienced such a change in my life through this, and I just want to be able to give that back.”

 

This cyclical desire to give back has birthed a community of women who are taking charge of their own lives, and encouraging other women to do the same. As Obrecht states, “Our powerful women are inspiring other powerful women in that room.”

 

“I meet people now who are in that spot that I was, and I get to do that for someone else,” says Ellis. “It’s full circle, and it completes my life.

 

WE ARE IN THE BUSINESS OF OVERCOMING

 

Unfortunately, no matter how many inspirational quotes we post on Instagram (#BLESSED), and no matter how many expensive bath products we lavish upon ourselves, it’s inevitable that we are all going to have bad days (or weeks, or months, or years). It used to be that when I was having one of those days (or weeks, or months, or years), I would hide under my covers and binge watch Friends with an assortment of gas-station-goodies close at hand to soothe my wounded soul. Now, I’ve found an outlet through a community of women who support me no matter what kind of day I’m having (okay fine, sometimes I still binge watch Friends while eating seventeen different flavours of ice cream, you caught me, it’s called #BALANCE people).

 

I’ve gained the most from classes I attended on days when I didn’t want to go, or didn’t feel like I could do it, because when I step into that spin room I am given an opportunity to focus on myself, to challenge myself, and to grow stronger. I am given a 50-minute, guilt-free escape from whatever might be troubling me that day.

 

“I went every single day for probably a month straight,” Ellis recalls her discovery of YEG Cycle. “Sometimes twice a day, because it was my only time where it was me time.”

 

Regardless of what you’re going through in your life, in the spin room you’re in control. You are in charge of how hard you push, how much you work, and how you feel about yourself. On days when I don’t feel like I’m enough, spin gives me an opportunity to prove myself wrong.

 

“Spin is not for just a workout,” says Mendes. “The added benefit is that it’s a workout, there’s the physical fitness aspect to it, but the mental, emotional, and spiritual side to fitness in general pays such a big role in lives that I don’t think they should be ignored.”

 

Spin gives me the confidence I need to face bad days head on when they occur. This is not to say that now every time I am facing a challenge in my life I run straight to the doors of YEG Cycle, but rather because of what I have accomplished in that studio, I am safe in the knowledge that I am strong enough to overcome anything life throws my way.

 

“We work under the understanding that everybody is facing a hard battle,” says Obrecht. “Everybody is going through something, and everybody’s battle is just as powerful as the next person.”

 

It is this understanding that provides a platform for support within the studio. Though these women might not know the details of every Bikergang member’s life, they don’t need to. Their genuine care for everyone in that studio is apparent to anyone who listens to, and watches them on that bike.

 

“The things that our motivators say, and the environment that they create for the Bikergang really empower people to make decisions for themselves, for the betterment of themselves and their own lives when they leave that space,” says Obrecht.

 

The motivational discourse that these women deliver has made me feel sexy, strong, and capable. It has pushed me to dial up my tension and work harder on the bike than I ever believed I could.

Not only that, but this discourse has affected my life beyond the studio walls. Because of these women I have re-examined who I want to be, how I want to treat people, and how I want to live my life.

 

“I want people to know, it’s not just about support inside that studio,” says Suurhoff. “Whatever they take from the class, I want them to take something and put it towards their life, not just in that moment in that class.”

 

WE ARE IN THE BUSINESS OF AUTHENTICITY

 

Over the past eight months, I have witnessed countless Edmontonians enter the studio and clip in to those pedals for the first time. In my 130 or so rides, the classes have been few and far between when I haven’t noticed someone new. What’s incredible, is that although the studio has served as a sort of fitness “big bang,” this coming together of people does not depend upon conforming to any sort of stereotype. YEG Cycle celebrates diversity and individuality, and ultimately brings out the best in every person who walks into the studio.

 

“You can walk in here and be anyone you want to,” says Ellis. “None of us know who you are. This is your first step in here. This is like a fresh start.”

 

YEG Cycle’s celebration of diversity extends not only to the Bikergang, but to the motivators, and everyone else who works at the studio as well. The motivators at YEG Cycle are encouraged to express themselves through their music choices, their class styles, and how they interact with with the Bikergang. “The whole point is to express your individuality,” says Brossart.

 

Some motivators might choose to play solely Electronic Dance Music, whereas others will change up their music styles daily, playing anything from Top 40, to Rap, to old school Rock and Roll. The advantage to this freedom is that although some motivators might not craft playlists that suit your musical tastes, with over 30 different motivators, chances are there are going to be some who will.

 

“If you don’t like my class, you’re totally entitled to not like my class,” encourages Robinson. “You might like somebody else’s. Go out there and find your motivator.”

 

Robinson’s eclectic music taste often generates unpredictable musical medleys. I’ve heard everything from Billy Joel, to Marilyn Manson, to Footloose, Flashdance, and Grease in Robinson’s classes (and loved EVERY second of it).

 

But musical preference isn’t the only factor that determines which classes Bikergang members choose to attend. Other factors include schedules, the studio locations, and the personal style of the motivator.

 

“I tend to be very honest with my Bikergang,” says Erin McIsaac, Registered Nurse and Motivator at YEG Cycle. “I’ll get on the bike and be like ‘Hey guys, I just had a whole bowl of macaroni and cheese, so I’m full of dairy and carbs, so we’ll see how today goes.’ Some people might call that an excuse, but I just call it honesty because it’s real life, and I bet you anything three of those other people in the class just had macaroni and cheese before they came to class. Now they’re not feeling alone.”

 

I’m thankful for the variety of personalities and motivational styles displayed by the motivators at YEG Cycle, because like every person, every day is different. Some days I need an inspirational speech and a swift kick in the butt, and some days all I need is for my motivator to tell me that she just ate a bowl of macaroni and cheese so I know that I’m not alone.  

 

“Now I’m at a point where it’s like this is who I am, and the people who show up are the people who appreciate and want to take what I can give them,” says Mendes. “If they don’t show up that’s great because that means somebody else at the studio can give them what they need.”

 

WE ARE IN THE BUSINESS OF HAPPINESS

 

Maybe you’ve read this far, and you’re thinking that despite everything spin just isn’t for you. And you know what? That’s completely fair. Just because I enjoy this particular form of fitness, does not mean that you will too. While I’ve tried cross fit, weight lifting, running, and various other forms of fitness, I’ve discovered that these activities are not for me. You couldn’t pay me enough to run five days a week. It’s just not going to happen. So I get it; spin is not for everyone.

 

But remember, at YEG Cycle we are not in the business of spin.

 

We all crave human connection and a sense of belonging, which is often satisfied when we find people to share our passions with. And if you aren’t into fitness, (by now you know that eight months ago I sure wasn’t), I’m sure you’ve found this connection in other areas of your life.

 

I have found an incredible connection that feeds my soul, and I have found it at a spin studio, which trust me, is the last place on earth I would have ever expected to find it.

 

The entire YEG Cycle community has become an insurmountable support system for me, but it is the women at the studio that have ultimately had the most impact on my life. Everyday these women make me feel proud of who I am, while simultaneously embodying everything that I still hope to become.

 

So maybe you’re not into spin, but as a human being I’d be willing to bet that you’re into passion, positivity, motivation, overcoming, authenticity, and happiness.

 

“What do you have to lose?” Asks Ellis. “The hardest part is walking through the doors, and I swear to god that’s it.”

 

After all, what can be gained from a bike? Defined calve muscles and a healthy heart, yes. But what can be gained from a group of strong, confident, inspiring women?

 

Everything.


info@yyc-cycle.com

WE, THE BIKERGANG: Chelsea

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Hey Bikergang!

If you’ve been frequenting YEG Cycle the last few months, there’s a good chance you’ve probably seen my smiling face around the studio. While I haven’t been part of the Bikergang for very long, it’s quickly grown to hold a huge place in my heart and has become my happy place!

My first class was nothing short of a disaster.  After having stalked YEG Cycle on social for many, many months, I finally booked into a class with some friends (shout out to Greg and Megan for their “Night at the Movies Team Teach!”). Earlier in the day, I had experienced my very first panic/anxiety attack at work, and that left me feeling all sorts of overwhelmed and discombobulated. I really wanted to cancel the class (after all, how easy is it to tell yourself you “can’t” do something when you haven’t even tried it? Too easy. We are so quick to sell ourselves short!). Thankfully, I didn’t cancel my ride. Sure, it was not ideal - I was off beat, I was confused when they did pumps and dips and OMG a hover? No thank you!, and my heart wasn’t really in it, but I knew after those 50 minutes that this was going to be something I didn’t just like, but I really loved and would eventually crave.  The energy in that room is just SO contagious, and as a self-proclaimed positivity junkie, I knew I’d need a daily dose of that in my life! 

I’ve been on my personal health and wellness journey for just over two years.  It's had it’s ups and downs, and during it I’ve really tested my strength and resilience through dealing with a shoulder injury that I have had upwards of 10 years. I’ve fought the battle of trying to heal the injury (an old soccer injury from my teens!) while being active and trying to become the best version of myself, all while not making the injury worse.  I started my journey doing an intense circuit style workout program that satisfied my need for high intensity exercise and routine, but I quickly realized my shoulder couldn’t handle it, and ended up quitting it after almost a year of doing it daily.  It was devastating to go from being incredibly active to being limited in my activity (I was told at first to only do low intensity steady state activities at the order of my physiotherapist and chiropractor), and though I tried many different forms of exercise, gyms, programs and classes, it wasn’t until I came to YEG that I was able to crush a 50 minute workout, be exhausted and dripping in sweat, and have the insane endorphin rush that came from it, without the class hurting my shoulder. I obviously couldn’t use the weights, but that was the only thing that I had to modify.  From that moment on, I was hooked. I did my 3 week intro offer, and then jumped right into 6 months unlimited and haven’t looked back!

Now, you’ll find me at one of the two studios almost daily.  In just over two months, I crushed my 50th class, and even upgraded to 2 pound weights where I can *almost* do the entire weight track. My arms and shoulder have never felt stronger! I’ve sought out classes at YYC Cycle when I was in Calgary for work for a few days. I drag myself out of bed for 6ams when I know I can’t make it after work due to other commitments, or 8ams on the weekend because it’s become my form of “church”.  I’ve grown so much as a person since my YEG Cycle journey started. I’ve learned to appreciate my body for what it is capable of in that moment and time, and really, really make strides in my self-love and body positivity progress when I rock a sports bra or crop top in every class. You have to love what you’ve got, right?! I started my journey for the sole purpose of losing weight, but I’ve learned that the most important thing you can get out of physical activity is a sense of happiness and enjoyment.  If you aren’t enjoying the process, you certainly aren’t going to stick with whatever program, or class you are part of.  You need to love it, to crave it, to want it.  I certainly feel that way about YEG and all of the good vibes radiating through the studio!

I started coming daily to get my sweat on and fuel that desire for an intense workout. Now I come to share laughs with the crew, to sweat out stressful days and leave in a better mood, to share a piece of my happiness with my friends and introduce them to spin, to constantly grow and challenge myself and my physical capabilities and become “stronger than yesterday”.  I know it’s cliché, but I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, and finding myself part of the Bikergang came at a time when I needed it the most.

Chelsea

Connect with me on Instagram!
(@its.healthy.chelsea)



info@yyc-cycle.com

TURN IT UP: Soundcloud X One Hit Wonders

Check out the schedule - this wild Motivator duo has you riding all summer! Hit play on Celine & Jasmyn's One Hit Wonder playlist to keep you going until their next team teach this Saturday, July 8.

info@yyc-cycle.com

Time to Soak Up the Sun!

There is no better time than now, to reset and reenergize!

Hello beautiful souls! My name is Grace. I work as part of the team at YEG Cycle, and also as a Registered Nurse who is passionate about people, health, and 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, best to do it SAFELY!

Let’s clip in!



Summer is arguably the best season of them all. The blazing sun sharing all of its light and energy with us; this is the season to care for your body just even more.

This starts with protecting your largest organ. You guessed it, your skin.

S U N S C R E E N – This is now your companion for the next couple of months. A healthy body is balanced inside and out. Protect your skin the same way you are protecting your heart, lungs, and brain. Aim for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that contains SPF of 30 or greater; it will protect against ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This is a priority! Exposure to UV radiation causes genetic mutation in the skin that disturbs the natural replication cycle of the skin, causing the skin cells, named melanocytes, to replicate rapidly. The results could be malignant tumors that can sometimes progress to skin cancer. After sweating it out on a fire ride at YEG Cycle Bikergang, be sure to reapply your sunscreen before sun exposure! Healthy skin is always in season.

Keep things R E L A X E D, especially when you are engaging in physical activity. Wear loose, light-colored exercise clothing to reflect the heat from the sun. Another option is to invest in a high tech material designed for exercising. Most exercising companies have a variety of options, so take the time to do some research and identify companies that work for your lifestyle and your budget!

A great sweat riding it out to at the studio can sometimes feel like a little dip in the pool. Water / Sweat tends to collect in areas on the body where skin-to-skin interaction is high - this causes friction between the two surfaces. This is commonly referred to as “C H A F F I N G”. Stress no more, Bikergang - I’ve got you! There are two methods to combat against this. The central theme of both is creating a barrier!
  1. Keep things cool and dry. Avoid wearing wet clothing items for too long, ex. YEG-workout gear. If you are not able to change between your spin doubles, use baby powder as a barrier to dry things up. The only warning with this is that the powder can clump and in of itself can become a chaffing promoter.
  2. Keep things lubricated. Repel moisture by using a lubricating barrier. Two of the best options are Vaseline, or my personal favorite, BodyGlide!
If none of these work and now you have really irritated skin, Aquaphor, or some ointment will do the trick. If the irritation intensifies –burning, painful, red, can’t walk or cycle without bursting into tears – be sure to head to your family Physician or Dermatologist. They may or may not provide you with a low dose topical steroid cream to help remedy the situation.

I don’t think I need to remind you of this next point. But just in case…. Keep on drinking the elixir of life, W A T E R. During the summer weather you deplete your water stores rather quickly. How? - You guessed it, through sweating. Between the invigorating classes at YEG Cycle to the blazing summer sun, you won’t be able to keep track. So Bikergang, keep your Swell topped up between your rides.

On that same note, keep in mind two pertinent details when trying to balance out your water stores:
  1. Replace your electrolytes: Sweating causes an electrolyte imbalance. Primarily, we lose salt. Where salt goes, water goes. If too much water leaves your body, you can become dehydrated. It is crucial to balance water and electrolytes to maintain a functional body for your rides and prevent heat exhaustion from occurring.
  2. Heat Exhaustion is exposure to high temperatures, coupled with high humidity and strenuous physical activity. In hot weather, the body cools itself by sweating. The evaporation of your sweat helps maintain a balance in your core body temperature. When hot weather and high humidity are paired with strenuous physical activity, the body is unable to efficiently cool itself. This results in your body overheating.
Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion may include:
  • Heavy sweating
  • Increased thirst
  • Weak rapid pulse
  • Faintness
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Pale or flushed face
If you think you are experiencing heat exhaustions, perform these activities:
  1. Stop all activities and rest
  2. Move to a cooler place
  3. Remove tight or heavy clothing
  4. Trade caffeine for cool water or sports drink (Gatorade, Powerade)
  5. Cool yourself by spraying or sponging yourself with cold water, or use a fan
Seek medical attention, calling 911, if your signs and symptoms worsen or do not improve within an hour!
  1. Fainting
  2. Confusion
  3. Seizures
  4. Fever of 40 degrees Celsius or greater.
It is important to take note of these symptoms so that what could merely be heat exhaustion does not escalate to a heat stroke, a life threatening condition.

I encourage you all to continue boosting your mental/physical immunity - let's get those endorphins circulating! Sending lots of love and light to you all Bikergang. I hope to catch you around the studio, whether that is off or on the bike.

Grace, RN.

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*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.



Grace's Links
Skin Cancer: 
http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information

Chaffing Products: 
https://www.bodyglide.com/shop/body/
https://www.aquaphorus.com

Heat Exhaustion:
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heat-exhaustion/basics/definition/con-20033366

info@yyc-cycle.com

WE, THE BIKERGANG: Lesley

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I was walking along Whyte Ave one afternoon and noticed the YEG Cycle spin studio. As I enjoy riding my road bike, I thought that I might like to spin. I checked out the website and registered for the Introductory 2 Week package.

I showed up a bit early for my first class and watched as others arrived. Oh my goodness, they are all so young... very young! I was blessed to have Greg as my motivator and he sensed that I was nervous. He showed me where to grab a towel, weights (who said anything about using weights!) and how to set up my bike. He smiled and said to have fun. After 50 minutes of spinning, I was drenched in sweat, but actually smiling. Greg said to keep coming back and to experience other motivators, as everyone is unique. Over the next two weeks, I met the lovely Robyn and the ever so hilarious Oliver.

I soon realized that by signing up for the 5:15 class I was forcing myself to leave work on time. Due to some staffing issues I had become a hostage to my job which was affecting all avenues of my health... mentally, physically and socially. The more classes I took, the better I felt. I was being greeted by my first name and a smile from those attending the front desk. It is difficult for some people to realize the power of "Hello", but believe me, for some people that might be the only conversation of their day.

I still found myself thinking of my age... I had to be 20-35 years older than most. Yikes! What am I doing here???

When I mentioned to co workers that I was spinning, I heard comments about their body size and how they would feel uncomfortable to try it out.  I quickly recognized that we all have crutches that hold us back from trying something. Whether it be size or age - HOW SILLY... WHO CARES! People are here to SPIN, not to judge anyone.

I am happy to say that I have done 60 classes and still looking forward to my next class.

Do I sometimes lose the beat - YES.
Do I use 2 lb weights - For sure.
Do I belong here - YOU BET!

Lesley

info@yyc-cycle.com

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/





info@yyc-cycle.com

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?




info@yyc-cycle.com

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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