swēt ride: Everything you need to know about Del Ray’s only indoor cycling studio

swēt ride: Everything you need to know about Del Ray’s only indoor cycling studio

We’re moving to Alexandria’s adorable Del Ray neighborhood the same time as its first indoor cycling studio. It must be fate.swetridebikes

Remember the old HomeMade Pizza Co. on Mount Vernon Avenue? The cool folks at Barre Tech decided to turn it into a cycling studio! It officially opens on Saturday, November 15 (you can register for classes beginning Wednesday morning), but I was able to get a sneak peek of the studio and take a class taught by co-owner Kat.

The workout lasted around 45 minutes (full of hills, sprints, and good jams), after which we were treated to some bubbly and yummy treats.

Here’s a rswetridecupcakesundown of what you need to know:

  • $24 per ride, with discounts for multi-ride packages.
  • Cycling shoes are a must. If you don’t own them, you can borrow a pair for no added cost.
  • The studio is cozy. There are a few cubbies to put your stuff, one bathroom, and 15 bikes.
  • They have newest Schwinn bikes with awesome computers that track your cadence (RPMs), calories, time, and other fun stats. You can even sync it with your heart rate monitor (bonus: swēt ride will have heart rate monitors for riders to borrow!). Eventually, these stats will sync with your account online so you can track your progress.
  • Their teaching method focuses on RPM, which is my FAVORITE because it really pushes you to your limit and you get the best workout.
  • The class ends with a cold, eucalyptus-scented towel!

Just another reason to get excited about our big move!




Wonks on the Road: The Austin Top 5

Lexie was #killinit in Austin a few weeks ago for SXSW and now it was my turn to spend time in the city known for its barbecue, live music, and, most importantly, active lifestyle. Here are five ways to stay active and healthy in Austin, Texas.

1. PureRyde – Most indoor cycling classes have you sitting on a stationary bike for an hour. PureRyde, on the other hand, takes it up a notch by using RealRyder indoor bikes, which more closely simulate outdoor bicycles and put your core and balance to the test. Allegedly these bikes burn more calories and, like your actual bike, you can lean into turns and move from side to side as you pedal. While I’m not convinced that these bikes are for me, I did enjoy PureRyde’s luxurious studio and fun playlist. [thanks to Erik, videographer extraordinaire]

2. Town Lake – The people of Austin obviously love being active, as the trails are crowded with cyclists and runners. Don’t feel like lacing up your running shoes or getting on a bike? Find a cute dog and enjoy the sunshine with a long stroll around the lake.

Meet Lillian, my tour guide around Town Lake.

3. The Salt Lick – Okay, so this has nothing to do with fitness (unless you count the bocce ball court), but they have awesome brisket and the best peach cobbler on the planet. Om nom nom.

4. Black Swan Yoga – Choices abound at this popular yoga hub, which runs on a donation basis and offers plenty of class options across 4 different studios across Austin. Or, if you can’t make it to an actual class, check out their online video classes. Their class  titles are straightforward with names like mellow, sweaty, and power. Their mellow class was a fantastic way to spend a Sunday morning and release all my muscles that were tense from cycling and bootcamp.

5. Conscious Cravings – After all the BBQ and margaritas, I needed something a tad healthier to fuel up between meetings and workouts. This vegetarian food truck near UT has filling wraps packed with protein of the non-meat variety (think tofu, seitan, legumes), as well as salads and smoothies.


Pedaling for a Good Cause

Diabetes sucks and, according to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population—have it. Each year the ADA hosts the Tour de Cure, a series of fundraising cycling events held in 44 states nationwide. So, in the wake of our semi-fame from the Washingtonian mention, I’m going to use our newly increased readership as an opportunity to flack for a colleague that’s riding for a good cause.

The National Capital Tour de Cure will be held on June 2, 2013 with the starting location at Reston Town Center. The distance ranges from 14 to 108 miles. It’s a ride, not a race, so whether you’re an occasional rider or the next Lance Armstrong (minus the doping thing, of course), there’s something for everyone.

You can find full information about the ride here, including how to start your own team. Or, if you’re feeling particularly generous today, support our colleague’s efforts here.

-Kristine & Lexie

2013: My Year of “Yes”

As January comes to a close, I thought it timely to (finally) share my one, and only New Year’s resolution. While many of us resolve to eat fewer candy bars and more veggies, drink less alcohol and more water, watch less TV and do more exercise, I have resolved to make 2013 my year of “yes.” While I strive, as I do every year, to be a little healthier than the prior 12 months, I have a feeling that 2013 will be a big year and needed a simple mantra that could complement and adapt to each passing day.

“Yes” and “no” are simple, yet powerful words. They inherently embody the positive and the negative. In reflecting upon 2012, I found that the “no” was a little too present in my vocabulary. Therefore, I am making a conscious decision in 2013 to say “yes” to those things that can enhance my experiences and contribute to my well-being.

I am dedicated to my fitness routines. Yoga will forever remain my passion, but in my exercise journey I have begun to say “yes” to a variety of different activities. Recently I have become mildly obsessed with spinning. Despite years of aversion to running, I find myself enjoying a short 3-mile escape from the daily grind. Boxing gave me the ability to be aggressive for a short 60 minutes. The punching bag embodies my obstacles, and after an hour of extreme cathartic release, I feel extremely liberated. Kettle bells, TRX, CrossFit and many more are on my 2013 “yes” list and will have accompanying WorkoutWonks musings.

My dad is an outstanding role model and provides some of the best advice I have ever, and probably will ever receive. The one nugget of wisdom that has particularly resonated with me is that the only thing that is constant in life is change. 2013 has already, and stands to have much more change. In acknowledging that fluctuations in the continuum of life and varied experiences are what make the journey worth exploring is without a doubt the most valuable insight I could have.

I encourage you to say yes to a meal or drinks with an old friend, yes to a concert on a school/work night, yes to an otherwise intimidating new fitness class or yes to a spontaneous vacation. It is because of those things to which you say yes that your life will change for the better. Some experiences may less than exciting, but some may end up lighting up your day, week, month or year. You never know unless you just say “yes”.

CAVEAT: There are a handful of things to which I will always say no. For an abbreviated list, see below:

  • I will not take candy from a stranger in an unmarked white van.
  • I will not wear high heels every day.
  • I will not cheer for Notre Dame (as a dedicated Boston College alumna).
  • I will not be convinced that yoga pants do not qualify as real pants.

Yoga Pants


A Thanksgiving Thank You List

In addition to Turkey, football (go Redskins), and eating your weight in mashed potatoes, Thanksgiving is also a day for thinking about what we’re thankful for. Here’s my fitness-related gratitude list.

1. My workout headband. Not only is it sparkly and bright enough to double as Christmas garland, but also functional for keeping my hair out of the way during workouts.

2. My ball chair. I’m talking Dwight Schrute-style.

3. Coconut water. It’s a post-workout and post-hangover magical elixir.

4. Ayesha’s cycle circuit class at Off Road Indoor Cycling. It’s an hour and fifteen minutes of cycling and bootcamp-style insanity. You won’t be thanking her during the class (in fact, you’ll probably be convinced that she’s trying to kill you), but you will afterward.

5. This is last on my list, but certainly not least. Many friends agree with me that the cold, lavender-scented towels handed out at the end of class at Biker Barre are one of DC’s best workout perks.



Disco Inferno Failure

As I sit at my childhood desk in the beautiful Arizona, I reflect upon my first full day back on the home front. Upon my arrival I was greeted by blue skies, sun shining and civil engineering that made sense. Freeways have speed limits that are at least 60 MPH, all surface roads are perpendicular and are rarely one way streets. To celebrate my mom’s birthday we ate at a phenomenal restaurant that is the epitome of a “dining experience”. If you are ever in the Grand Canyon state I insist that you carve out a solid two and half hours and dine at Binkley’s. Today began just as sunshiny as yesterday, but soon, the unicorns and rainbows disappeared.

Whenever I am home, my parents are always generous enough to me get a week pass for the Village. It is my parent’s health club and when they ask nicely, the Village allows us children to return and embrace healthy lifestyles. After checking out their extensive online schedule (wasn’t feeling Pilates Barre, Crossfit, Fluid Fusion or Kinesis) so I stuck with what I know – spinning. Opting for the 60 minute Cycle to the Rhythm I arrived early, snagged my bike and set up. To start with the positives, instead of traditional lighting there were black lights which I like because they make me look tan and my teeth nice and white. Nice lights, smooth ride on the bikes, a comfortable saddle and the room was nice and warm so sweating out last night’s dinner wasn’t going to be an issue.

Positives aside, the music would have made my parents super happy. It was basically the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever with some questionable house music mixed in. Now Disco Inferno and Boogie Nights wouldn’t have been an issue if the class had any coordination with the beat of the music. Vince, the instructor, had us doing the same 4 minute interval for the entire class. Never once was there a queue to match pedal strokes to the music and apparently when he said the number 3, that meant for us to speed up which I would have known if there was ever an explanation. To give Vince the benefit of the doubt, it certainly seemed that most people had been to his class at least once before. My assumption is that they understood his somewhat spastic instruction and inclination to yell despite the fact that his microphone was functioning on all cylinders.

Did I sweat, yes. Did I work hard, yes (thanks to my own tension increase since Vince only suggested we do so every 30 minutes). Will I be going back to Vince’s class this week or ever again, no. I will use my 10 day mooch pass to explore the other instructors and classes that the Village has to offer. It is supposed to be 80 and sunny this week, maybe I will get into Fluid Fusion(trendy water aerobics)? Mariah swears by it.

 I wore all black today. I am switching over my wardrobe to only black exercise clothing with the occasional neon accessory.