This would be my first time trying a cycling class. It was only for 15 minutes, but probably the last time doing so, so I figured it worth documenting here.

This was part of a unique advertising campaign hosted by Tourism Taiwan. They invited locals to “Discover the beauty of Taiwan through an immersive, fun-filled cycling event”. So a large group of us gathered at the newer cycling studio: “Cyklys Vancouver”, ready for a work out. We came dressed in tees and yoga pants, ready to sweat, and boy would we.

Check-in included signing up and exchanging your contact information for a pair of rental shoes. These were specially designed Velcro runners that would help secure you on to your chosen bike, later.

In groups, the entire studio waited for their turn. While our’s loomed over the bikes we staked a claim to, we sipped on our choice of red or white wine; as nibbles were passed around on trays. Meats on sticks and seafood on crackers, not quite the warm up I envisioned when I RSVP-ed for this unique experience; but I wasn’t about to turn down the ability to drink while exercising. In fact, I found a way to keep my drinking hands free with a make shift wine glass holder, on the actual bike.

When it was our turn to go, we geared up and locked ourselves in. The bottoms of our rental shoes clipped on to each stationary bike pedal. This is so that not one overly enthusiastic cyclist would ride too hard and fall off; a fail safe I had the pleasure of testing out first hand, by accident.

The mini class began with an introduction to Taiwan, promoting it as the ideal travel destination for those who appreciate the country side and like the idea of sightseeing through cycling. This included a promotional video, some recited statistics, and a speech from an ambassador of the Taiwanese consulate.

The actual cycling portion began with our charismatic instructor introducing himself and the studio we were within today. Keeping in mind this was just as much so an introduction to their cycling services, and we were all potential future clients. “Cyklys Vancouver”
celebrated themselves as Vancouver’s most innovative indoor cycling studio, with the lower mainland’s “finest spin instructors” pairing their talents with motivational music and video. They also boast a metric tracking system that links your bike and your ride to your fitness account, allowing you to track your progress and recap your work outs. And for those intimated they do reassure that their “low-impact workouts are adaptable for any fitness level, from beginners to advanced road cyclists”.

A single class costs $24, although if you plan on committing to a certain number of them, the set ride packs does save you a couple of dollars. And for those dedicated to multiple return visits a week the monthly pass at $169 is definitely the way to go. Each admission includes the use of their equipment and facilities, including the M3i Keiser bikes, cycling shoes, towels, and amenities to clean within after showers. Still not convinced? You can take them up on their complimentary 1 hour introduction classes, available on Tuesdays at 4 PM, Wednesdays at 8 AM, and some Saturdays at 3:30 PM. And from their your first 5 classes will cost you $70, a savings of $50!

But back to the class at hand, our instructor took us through a warm up, filling the silence with light banter. And when the count down ran we were off. Our experience took us through a video-graphic tour of Taiwanese’s scenic country side. There was also music to accompany this ride, it too Taiwanese inspired and themed. Although, to be honest I was so focused on my ride time and the stats that I could yield in this faux race, that I hardly took any of it in. Where we ranked, screens read how many pedal rotations we took, and how many calories we were losing; everything was calculated and tracked. All arranged with colour coding and flashing highlights to keep you achieving. All broadcasted on one of the many screens we were pedalling towards.

I quickly gave it my all, and quickly ran out of steam. But there was our instructor encouraging us through bouts of faster pedalling, and moments where we were asked to pedal up on our feel. It was helpful, and past all my sweating and all my moaning we finally hit the 15 minute mark, and were asked to do a cool down, with continuous and slower pedalling. The end result had me huffing and puffing and feeling light headed. I gave it my all and vowed to not do it again anytime soon.

Although with the information I gave out earlier, emails were sent reminding me of my good work, suggesting I return again for more. Maybe… it’s not the most unenjoyable way to work out.

889 Expo Blvd, Vancouver BC, V6B 1C4