Last weekend was a big one for holidays. On Sunday it was Valentine’s Day. On Monday it was Presidents’ Day, and we all had the day off! So we got in two really fun cycling adventures.
The Valentine’s Day Soul Cycle Massacre
Some friends of ours offered (like actually suggested) to have the Dude on Valentine’s afternoon/evening so we could go out. We nearly bit their hands off with excitement, so at 3pm we delivered our eager little man into their care and skipped away down the corridor for 5 hours together!
Our chosen date was a spin class at Soul Cycle. Which is kind of weird but was perfect for us. For those who have avoided the hype so far, Soul Cycle is a chain of spin studios around the US known for the ‘experience’. I heard someone describe it as like being in a nightclub. Bearing in mind my half-hearted night-clubbing career was a long time ago, I was curious! The Husband saw it as perfect Ironman training so we went.
Our studio was in SOMA in SF. We got lucky with parking (I don’t know where you’d park usually). The studio was bright and stylish in yellow and white, it looked great. I’ll be honest though – everyone there was VERY cool. I have never felt so middle-aged, frumpy and suburban in my whole life. I was wearing my fave running skirt, which I have happily worn to spin classes here on the peninsula, and an orange running top. But no, I should have been wearing grey capris and a black sports bra. I should also have been twenty years younger! This is totally MY chip on my shoulder, the staff were friendly and someone helped us set up our bikes, which I believe they do for all newcomers. The instructor was also really welcoming and accommodating to newbies throughout the class which I really appreciated.
The class was 45 minutes long. It was HOT! They pack the room full of people and there’s no air conditioning and we got HOT!! I’m not sure that’s sensible really. (Oh, so I am middle-aged and suburban!). But seriously….aircon is a good thing. The instructor was a bit like a DJ in the way he talked, which made me giggle but he was pretty good. There were some super-fit people in the room, the Husband and I definitely weren’t able to do the whole workout. After about 30 minutes of thrashing our legs, we did some arm work using weights. Killed me. So overall the class was really good, but I’m not sure it was dramatically better than my spin classes at my local gym.
Afterwards, dripping with sweat, we hit up the showers. Nice toiletries, everything you need was provided but VERY little changing space. It was a little weird. I guess that’s what happens in a city centre spin studio. Overall it was a good experience (and first-timers get a bargain rate of $20 including spin shoes) and we really enjoyed it!
We also came out the class absolutely ravenous, which resulted in far too much sushi being consumed an hour later.
The Presidents’ Day Iron Horse Trail Expedition
Ever since the Dude and I cycle-toured the 26 miles of the Iron Horse trail last summer, he’s been asking to go again, this time with Daddy. So we decided to cycle a 20 mile stretch of it on Monday. The Dude is older, he has a bigger bike (‘with gears, Mummy!’) and he cycled 26 miles on a smaller bike without gears on the american river trail. So we were confident he could do this, and if he couldn’t, we’d sit in a cafe and the Husband could get the car! No pressure, just fun.
The Husband dropped us off at the south end of the trail in Pleasanton at 8.30am. He then drove up to Pleasant Hill, parked the car and hurtled south, getting in some Ironman training. We had a leisurely coffee/snack and then started heading north. We ended up meeting perfectly about 5 miles north of Pleasanton and then all cycled together.
I really like the Iron Horse trail. It’s not beautiful but it’s very pleasant and very safe. We had lunch in Danville and enjoyed the leafier, prettier stretch up to Walnut Creek. To keep our Dude encouraged, we went from park to snack to park to lunch to park to snack to park. By the time we got to Walnut Creek, his legs were tired, so the Husband did the final miles back to the car whilst we played in a park and picked us up. 20 miles done. The weather was gorgeous (I got a bit burned, missing a patch on my back) and we had an awesome day out
It’s been nice being back on the bike, I haven’t done much riding since my century ride. Once my bum stops hurting, I’m hoping to do a little more!