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Give it Up for GIVE’R: Little Warriors!

The studio energy is already on a spin high for this quarter’s new GIVE’R charity! Maybe it’s the thrill of water bottles cheering and hype towels waving after one of these killer Friday night classes, but it actually gets a little deeper than that.

Ever wondered why you feel so good after helping someone out? The practice of generosity releases endorphins in the brain that aid in improving mood, decreasing stress, and building social connections. You’re doubling up on the feel-good release of physical spin and the even better feeling of giving back to your community. We’re in the business of happiness, and you, the Bikergang, bring that statement to life every time you spin in support of our GIVE'R charities.

Our draw in January revealed YEG Cycle's newest GIVE'R charity; we have two months left to sweat in support of Little Warriors!

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Little Warriors is a national, charitable organization committed to the awareness, prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse. A big part of Little Warriors is the Be Brave Ranch, which is a long-term facility to help children who have been sexually abused by providing a variety of therapies run by clinical professionals. To help the children who access Little Warriors, we can support this charity every Friday night, 6:30pm, at a discounted drop in cost of $10; all proceeds from January 6 to March 31 go to this GIVE'R.

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One of our Bikergang members, Dallas, took his generosity a step further and held his own charity class last Sunday for Little Warriors. With about 35 riders in his class, this charity ride raised $1430 separate from YEG Cycle's GIVE'R donations. Dallas was able to connect his passions for charity work and spin; talk about being in the business of community!

If you're riding with us for Friday night GIVE'R classes, please make sure to hold your bike by registering on Thursdays 12am. We'll see you on the bike!

Find Little Warriors on social media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/littlewarriors
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LittleWarriors 
Instagram: https://instagram.com/littlewarriorscanada/

If you're interested in holding a charity ride of choice, please email oliver.kodershah@yeg-cycle.com





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YEG Off the Bike: Meet Your Mo'

Meet Dao.
Full-time mom, full-time educator, full-time inspiration - she's a true powerhouse on and off the bike. Here's a sneak peek into the life of Dao.

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Why do you love motivating?
I see it as sweat therapy, both for the Bikergang and myself. Sometimes I laugh at the fact that this is also a job! When I'm up on that bike and look out into the room, I see that we have more in common than we do differences, and that creates a place with powerful energy. I absolutely love to inspire others to focus, dig deep into who they are, and help discover potential. I really feel those moments in class where people just "click", surpassing a mindset of self-doubt. That's powerful, and I capitalize on that to push them even more. The Bikergang's hustle and determination is undeniable. Week after week I see people push past barriers and get so much stronger, confident and empowered. It's truly been a value added to my life.
Let's not forget about the music! Riding to hip-hop, R&B, reggae and dancehall is so authentic to who I am and I love it. The music alone makes me feel badass! 

What wakes you up every morning?
It’s honestly the people I'm surrounded by. As an Assistant Principal, I work at an inner city school with some of Edmonton’s most vulnerable children. Myself, along with the entire staff of dedicated teachers and support team, work tirelessly (and at times to our own detriment) so that the kids and their families have the best shot at life. Knowing that everyday I have a vital role in impacting someone's life is enough purpose and motivation for me to pop out of bed each morning. My family is also my reason and my WHY. I consider myself pretty lucky. My parents are the definition of survivors and they sacrificed a lot for my brother, my sister and me. I can only hope that how I live my life will make them proud, and that I can leave a legacy for my son so that he believes anything is possible in life. I wake up for all of THIS.

How do
 you stay Stronger Than Yesterday?
I love high intensity workouts and heavy lifting with my trainer, Becky, from Hogfit. Her program is so effective in leaning me out, and in building strength and muscle. When I can, I also get my butt out to 6am runs at November Project – they’re such an inspiring group. I make sure to always have these 1-3 hours to myself every single day. Working full time with a family can be very busy, but if I devote that necessary time to myself to build a stronger me, I'm happier and more effective at doing things for others. It’s more of an ability to prioritize versus having to balance everything. 

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What’s your pre-spin or post-spin routine?
I usually listen to my playlist in the car before I get to the studio. I'm sure the car next to me looks at me funny when the beat drops and I'm pumping and dipping. Post spin brings the "spin high", so I like to spend a little more time to myself to soak that all in. I'm never in a rush to get anywhere after a class. 

How do you treat yourself?
I'm a sushi addict and have it quite often at my two favourite places in Edmonton: Japonaise Bistro and Izakaya Tomo. I also love pies and donuts. I have convinced myself that with the amount of exercise I do, all of these treats are worth it! 
 
What’s your go-to track to ride to?
I absolutely love Night Life by Papa San. I play it near the end of my set with the lights out as a reset; this song really invites the Bikergang to get personal and push past limits, struggles and challenges they face on and off the bike. I love the lines "Let me live my life/I'm sleeping good tonight/Good vibes till morning light." The deep, soulful reggae beats mixed with these invigorating words make it the perfect moment in my class for that recharge, often allowing the opportunity for an emotional release or for tears of futility. It's truly a transformative time for me as well! 

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Where can we find you in the community?
My 5-year-old son is obsessed with this city, and we love to explore (or as he says, "go on adventures"). We are really everywhere; he’ll lead hikes in the hidden trails of Whitemud Park, stopping anywhere where there are rocks and a body of water. We love to go swimming at Queen Elizabeth Outdoor Pool (and YMCA pools on winter days), and go to festivals like the Fringe, Street Performers and Heritage Days in the summer. He also joins me on many of my workouts, and now he's just waiting to get older so that he can come and spin!
 
We're not in the business of spin classes - what are you in the business of?
Passion lays the foundation of who I am. Since day one, that has been the word that drives me in all aspects of my life, including every time I step into that room. I don't ever play it safe. Ask anyone. When I do something, I do it whole-heartedly, full out and with every ounce of effort. Creating that space and room for overcoming and betterment is always in the forefront. Community is also huge for me. Having the privilege of teaching the GIVE'R class has been such an honour. We are now on our 5th local charity, and I can't be more proud of our incredible contributions to date. 

Let us in on a secret - what’s something the Bikergang doesn’t know about you?
I'm the oldest motivator at 36 years old!

RIDE WITH DAO
FRIDAY 6:30pm (GIVE’R)
SUNDAY 9:15am

“Teaching the Friday night GIVE’R class is the perfect decompressor for the week, and Sunday morning is the best way to re-energize!”

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Bikergang Birthday Bumps: 10 Original Bikergang Stories

We're still celebrating our first birthday, and you, the Bikergang, are the key in creating this community. To celebrate, 10 Bikergang members who have been with us since January 2016 are excited to share how their sweaty rides have turned into something bigger. Click on their images below to see who these fire-starters are!

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Bring Your Waterbottles Up High and Cheers to Our One Year!

It’s been 365 days of sweat, smiles and spin, and we’re still here, stronger than yesterday. But what has defined that strength – the workout, or the feeling that comes up after your body has settled?

On the surface, spin is physical. Your legs challenge the push down of added tension, your body enters a balancing act between keeping the beat and moving through counts of 4, 8 and 16 in a HIIT, and the muscles in your arms pull back with force as you breath through chest presses on a 5-minute weights track. But at some point, you realize that this all works you mentally. Fifty minutes of moving your legs on a bike with 42 other riders turns into a space filled with magnetic energy, where you have the opportunity to dig in a little deeper on mental and emotional levels.

Whether you’ve just clipped into your first class or you’ve been on this journey with us for the past twelve months, I challenge you to be open to experiencing any emotion that comes up during your ride. Each motivator is there to guide you, the Bikergang community in that spin room is there to support you, but you hold the power to make one of two choices in those 50 minutes: unleash the courage to take a risk, or hold back in fear of uncertainty. The next time you find yourself in a battle between pushing past your limits and wanting to stay in the confines of your comfort zone, decide what small shift you can make in that moment. Maybe you’re chanting the mantra “yes I can and yes I will” until the end of the track. Maybe you make the slightest turn up with your tension. And then maybe you turn it back down. The point is that you trusted yourself to experience the unknown, no matter what the outcome.

Ride with your chest proud and high five your neighbours, Bikergang; it’s time to turn the page and take on another twelve months. Thank you for trusting this process and bringing your all in this past year. The energy you create is electric.

Big love.
Stephanie