Below hopefully you'll find some interesting articles associated with indoor cycling (a.k.a. spin or spinning). We've got articles on indoor cycle training techniques, correct hydration, how to setup your spinning or stationary bike, articles providing biometric information on some of the rides we offer and occasionally we'll feature a cycling club or individual that uses our products. We even have a thought provoking series of posts that looks at cycling from the perspective of Chinese medicine.
If you have comments on a particular article we'd love to hear them. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, identify the article and we'll post those comments that are appropriate.
By Yafei Zhu, Ride Fit™ Customer Support. Posted April 20th, 2014
After chatting several times with Dan (a new Ride Fit™ customer), I was reminded of a quote from Oprah Winfrey that appeared in O Magazine a few years ago, "People never fail to amaze me. They face the unimaginable with a shot of grace and a rush of adrenaline; they steel their nerves; they summon their cool or anger or faith or whatever it takes to pull them through, and they go onto live another day".
Dan's tale is one such story and inspires us not to give up in the face of adversity.
By Gary J. Hawkins, Founder Ride Fit™. Re-posted January 3rd 2014, originally written October 2012.
With New Year's Resolutions still fresh in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to remind you that the Ride Fit™ series of indoor cycle training videos are ideal for helping you loose weight. However, like many things doing one thing in isolation is not going to help - you need to adopt a more holistic approach to be successful.
By Gary Hawkins, Ride Fit™ Founder, December 7th, 2013
By Tilda Loftin, Ride Fit™ Coaching Advisor and Co-Owner of Vital Effort Fitness, November 23rd, 2013
After a long bike ride or after a hard workout on your turbo trainer or spin bike your body can feel sore and tight. Regular stretching exercises might not release enough tension and you might feel like you can't recover fast enough. If this is the case, then foam rolling might be the solution for you! The foam roller can give you fast relief and help you get back on your feet quickly! I'm not going to lie, however, it's not the most comfortable thing to do but the results are amazing! As the old saying goes, "there's no gain without pain."
By Gary J. Hawkins, Founder, Ride Fit™. Posted November 20th, 2013
We received a great question from Bill R. and thought we'd share our answer to him for those who might be asking themselves the same question. So Bill's question was as follows, "I was looking for another Ride Fit™ video with heart rate announced on the screen like Fiesta Island Fun but could not find one. Do you offer such a title?"
By Greg C. Moriates, Guest Contributor, Athlete and Coach. Posted October 20th, 2013
We all love the change of seasons. Fall brings us a beautiful backdrop of leafs changing color, cooler temperatures and less humidity. These are perfect riding conditions. But wait-a-minute! For the cyclist, that also means less daylight = less outdoor riding = TRAINER HELL!
By Georgina Spenceley, Guest Contributor and Owner of Spenceley Sports Therapy. Posted October 19th, 2013
By Gary Hawkins, Ride Fit™ Founder, October 10th, 2013
Our newly released thirteenth indoor cycle training title, Pick It Up! (purchase HERE) represents a little bit of a departure from our earlier titles. For one thing Pick It Up! puts the focus on high-cadence, light-resistance tempo riding. This is the first Ride Fit title to focus exclusively on these cadences and it's designed to encourage users to strive for higher cadence levels for reasons that will be explained below. Secondly, the workout features "rolling-road" rather than first-person video footage. This happened a little by accident. We were scouting new shooting venues in Central California and came across the June Lake Loop just north of Mammoth Lakes off Interstate 395. Since the scenery was so stunning, we did not want to waste the opportunity of filming segments of this drive and without riders on hand, filming was done with a vehicle mounted camera. A YouTube trailer for this title can be found below - as always we'd love to hear your feedback.
By Tilda Loftin, Ride Fit™ Coaching Advisor and Co-Owner of Vital Effort Fitness, October 5th, 2013
The Fall is approaching, days are getting shorter and the weather is starting to get colder. After the outdoor season is over, hopefully you'll all get some much needed rest and then be ready to kick off Fall/Winter training. This is a good time to add some extra strength and resistant training to your exercise schedule. Strength training will not only make you stronger and a better cyclist, it can also prevent injuries so it's definitely an important part of your training regime.
Here are some tips on how you can make the most of your strength training and be a stronger cyclist next season.
By Dr. Joseph A. Sheppard, Guest Contributor and Chiropractor. Posted September 22nd, 2013
By Yafei Zhu, Ride Fit™ Customer Support and Tilda Loftin, Ride Fit™ Coaching Advisor and Co-Owner of Vital Effort Fitness, September 13th, 2013.
If you've downloaded the latest version of the Ride Fit™ Training Guide (and we very much hope you have), you'll know we currently don't include any training plans. I explained to Ole that one reason for this was that the wide ranging abilities of our individual customers makes it almost impossible to offer a limited number of training plans that fit all needs. I pointed out, however, that one of the cool things about the Ride Fit™ series is that the rides are "calibrated", which is to say assuming you maintain the same gearing/resistance mappings from title to title then the workouts get progressively harder as you transition from Beginners, through Intermediate to Advanced. However, Ole's question set us thinking!
By Simon Wilkinson-Blake, Ride Fit™ customer and new to indoor cycling, August 27th, 2013.
Now From The Man Himself
I'm new to indoor cycling, having been introduced to it reluctantly because I fell off my road bike a couple of months back and fractured my pelvis. My doctor has just cleared me to start eight weeks of indoor cycling before going back out on the open road.
By Gary J. Hawkins, Founder, Ride Fit™. Posted July 19th, 2013
When we started Ride Fit™ a little over a year ago our aim was to bring affordable, structured and entertaining indoor cycling workouts to anyone that had access to a computer, tablet, iPad, smart phone, game console or DVD player. Our downloadable and DVD based indoor cycle training videos provide just this, allowing you to workout at home, in the fitness center, at a hotel gym or anywhere else you can take a portable media player. As we like to say, "Experience real rides, anywhere, anytime."
That being said, having talked with many of you over the last year we've realized that some of you want to enhance your workout experience further by having the ability to collect, store and review your workout data. To that end, about six months ago we started the process of integrating our workout videos with the folks from TrainerRoad. Now that process is complete we'd thought we'd formally share this exciting news with you.
By Gary J. Hawkins, Founder, Ride Fit™. Posted July 16th, 2013
We always get a little excited when an unexpected package arrives - unpacking the smallish box revealed a Fitbit Flex. We had no idea where it came from or who sent it but it was clearly marked for the attention of Ride Fit. We jumped at the opportunity to put this stylish little device through its paces and do a review.
By Gary J. Hawkins, Founder, Ride Fit™. Posted June 22nd, 2013
When I originally thought of a "Featured Club" spot for the Ride Fit™ blog I was thinking of road cycling clubs. That being said, recently The Technion Sports Club has been trialing our product in a new indoor cycling area in their fitness facility. Located in Haifa Israel, The Technion is one of the world's leading technical universities with some thirty-thousand students studying for degrees and doctorates in science, engineering and related fields such as architecture, medicine, industrial management and education.
By Brian Maldonado, Guest Contributor and Owner of Précis Velo. Posted May 15th, 2013
The time to take the bike out for the inaugural Spring ride is approaching, the moment of truth. The transition from trainer to road riding should be seamless as far as technique is concerned. Practice the pedaling technique I discussed in the last article on the flat segments of road and keep the eyes on the road ahead. Wally will be nipping at the heels and follow through with the movement of the torso, the hike of the hip and driving the knee upward and then forward.
By Georgina Spenceley, Guest Contributor and Owner of Spenceley Sports Therapy. Posted April 23th, 2013
You may think that once your body has stopped moving it's stopped working, but it hasn't. After exercise and during the all important rest period is when your body works to replenish glycogen stores and repair damaged muscle fibres. Your body works hard to adapt to the challenges placed upon it, making you fitter and stronger, so it's important to get post-exercise nutrition right; arguably more important than your pre-exercise nutrition and in-training fueling. If your body gets the nutrients it needs, when it needs them, it will be ready for the next session or challenge sooner; if it doesn't you could face fatigue and under-performance in your next workout.
By Dr. Joseph A. Sheppard, Guest Contributor and Chiropractor. Posted March 17th, 2013
As a dedicated athlete, I have pushed myself to the mental and physical limits during every aspect of my workouts including training techniques, technology and nutrition. I've searched the periodical journals and World Wide Web for any natural advantage to improve performance and aid in the recovery and repair of damaged muscles post workout. The use of compression clothing has been shown to increase speed, improve performance and aid recovery. While more typically associated with runners, the use of compression clothing for cycling is becoming ever more mainstream. In fact, I've been told by fellow cycling enthusiasts the lobby at a team hotel during a pro bike race will be full of riders wearing compression socks and tights. Case in point, SKINS (a leading gradient compression sportswear brand) just recently announced its 2013 partnership with the Belgian professional cycling team Lotto Belisol, and its support of the ladies cycling Wiggle Honda team.
By John Kaufmann, Ride Fit™ customer and Ultra Weekender, Posted March 15th, 2013
The odd thing about my training is the fact that I have never participated in an official event. When my family is away visiting Grandma (Bachelor Ultra Weekend) I'm a loner, out on my own at 3am for unsanctioned 50 km trail runs or solo back-to-back century days on Friday night and Saturday morning.
The process started about 5 years ago after I was fed-up with being out of shape and fat. I was happy with my life but knew there was much more out there. At the behest of a co-worker and, of course, my awesome wife I began my journey from 250lbs down to 170lbs.
After suffering through some dreadful and dangerous winter rides in North Illinois, I decided I needed to bring it inside and buy a spin bike and/or trainer.
By Kimberly Burnham, PhD, Guest Contributor and Author of the upcoming book, "Bicycling for Food". Posted March 11th, 2013
Alive a tree is full of growth and vitality. Dead it is stiff as a board. The same is true of your cells. What brings life, growth and vitality into your cells?
In Traditional Chinese Medicine the wood elements are the liver and the gallbladder. A healthy liver and gallbladder contribute to adaptability, flexibility and speedy cellular repair.
Learn from Kim how paying attention to your emotions, your body and surroundings, combined with visualization and stretching can help maintain these vital organs.
By Greg C. Moriates, Guest Contributor, Athlete and Coach. Posted March 10th, 2013
You've all heard the old saying, "there's more than one way to skin a cat". Well, the same goes for the definition of Training Zones (TZ). In this article, Greg Moriates, athlete and coach, provides his take on this subject. This includes the definition of the zones, a testing method and how to translate the results back into your own personal TZ's.
By Anne Samplonius, Guest Contributor and Cycling Coach. Posted March 6th, 2013
By Georgina Spenceley, Guest Contributor and Owner of Spenceley Sports Therapy. Posted February 27th, 2013
It has long been believed that exercising on an empty stomach encourages more fat burn, keeping you on the lighter side of the scales, but research suggests that this may not be the case. Not only that, but exercising fasted can also result in reduced exercise intensity and endurance levels, meaning your session may not reap the benefits you intended.
If you make the time to include a carbohydrate snack pre-workout, you could soon see your energy levels rising, and your waistband loosening.
By Gary J. Hawkins, Founder, Ride Fit™. Posted February 20th, 2013
While Plantar Fasciitis (PF) is more often associated with running it can also affect cyclists. Case in point, it's something I suffer from periodically and I can assure you running is nowhere in my past or future. Having mild PF currently, I've been doing some research and in recent weeks came across a number of sources with lots of potentially useful information. Thus, knowing that some of you may also suffer from this problem, I thought it might be helpful to summarize some of the potential solutions that are available. As you know from previous posts I'm not a medical doctor. The information given below is just that - a place to start your own research into this potentially uncomfortable problem.
By Kimberly Burnham, PhD, Guest Contributor and Author of the upcoming Book Bicycling for Food. Posted February 14th, 2013
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are three water elements: the Bladder, Adrenals, and Kidneys. These organs are found in the mid to low back area. The adrenals sit like a little cap on the top of each kidney, the right a little lower than the left. Excess fluid in the body can be removed from circulation by the kidneys, flowing through the ureters (tubes) into the bladder and then out of your body.
If you look around what water elements do you see? Are you near a fountain? Do you have a bottle of water handy as you ride? Can you see a river, a reservoir or lake? Does your ride take you near a body of water or are you watching a virtual bike video with an element of water?
There are several visualizations you can do while riding outdoors or while training indoors on a turbo trainer or stationary bike.
By Brian Maldonado, Guest Contributor and Owner of Précis Velo. Posted February 7th, 2013
In the previous article I covered the basic elements of the pedal stroke, which was subdivided into quadrants. Essentially, the legs need to accomplish opposite tasks; as one leg pushes down on the downstroke the other needs to pull up, when one leg pushes back on the backsweep the other needs to scoop the frosting forward. Perhaps more importantly, I hope you had the opportunity to practice relaxing the arms and shoulders as you rode on the trainer. If you made gains in this area, then you may be ready to take advantage of the next step in improving your pedal stroke.
That next step calls for a bit of visualization and creativity. Let's take a trip by an imaginary swamp (bear with me). Wally (a friendly sort) is the resident alligator; he does enjoy nipping at the heels of unsuspecting cyclists. The instinct to Wally's nip will be to move the upper body away from him, hike the hip up and pull the foot from his grasp. When done correctly Wally will have to look elsewhere for a snack.
By Kimberly Burnham, PhD, Guest Contributor and Author of the upcoming Book Bicycling for Food. Posted February 5th, 2013
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, which includes acupuncture, acupressure, herbs and exercises, practitioners talk about five elements and the colors associated with your organ health and the meridians in your arms and legs.
Here is how you can use this information on your ride.
By Gary J. Hawkins, Founder, Ride Fit™. Posted February 3rd, 2013
On Saturday February 2nd 2013 we attended the Toby Wells YMCA who hosted a 10 hour BIKE-A-THON. The Toby Wells YMCA is one of a number of YMCAs in San Diego County. This BIKE-A-THON raises money to promote sports participation for the less fortunate in the community. Part of the money raised goes to people who would not normally be able to afford having their children take part in activities such as swimming lessons, summer camps, youth basketball, and so on. Part of the money goes to fund the YMCA Outreach program. This program offers physical education to local schools that lack the funding and resources to provide PE as part of the school curriculum. The YMCA buses students from six different Elementary schools to their facility and each child receives swim, gymnastics, and fitness lessons. Each child also receives a free youth membership for a year, at the completion of the program.
By Gary J. Hawkins, Founder, Ride Fit™. Posted January 21st, 2013
It's funny sometimes how a customer service enquiry, leads to a conversation, leads to finding out that several riders within the Sandringham and West Norfolk Cyclists (SWNC) are using Ride Fit™ videos to maintain winter conditioning, and all of a sudden you're thinking of a "Featured Club" spot on the website.
So here it is, our first "Featured Club" posting. Fellow Ride Fit™ users please meet the Sandringham and West Norfolk Cyclists.
By Becky Bernstein, Guest Contributor and Co-Founder of Relaj. Posted January 15th, 2013
Indoor training, spinning classes, and a power ride outdoors have one thing in common: they all require proper hydration! Do you drink water only after you feel thirsty? If so, you may unknowingly be living in a dangerously dehydrated state.
By Gary J. Hawkins, Founder, Ride Fit™. Posted January 11th, 2013
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is one of the most anticipated tradeshows of the year. Held each January in the Las Vegas Convention Center over 3,000 exhibitors showcase a wide range of innovative products. With all the buzz the show is creating, we'd thought we'd look at some new and exciting cycling related products.
By Brian Maldonado, Guest Contributor and Owner of Précis Velo. Posted December 31st, 2012
The goal for the session may be to "to reach this or that heart rate or this level of exertion" or "this wattage". As you embark on your pedaling effort, you may want to ask yourself "Just how well am I pedaling the bike", "Does it matter?" or "I have a smooth pedal stroke anyways".
By Gary J. Hawkins. Posted December 8th, 2012
In my recent blog article, The Benefits of Cross Training, I discussed why many sports professionals believe that cross training can be effective for a lot of athletes. It potentially helps to address a number of issues including the rehabilitation of injuries, improving overall fitness, promoting recovery, enhancing motivation, getting a break from formal training and experiencing the enjoyment of participating in another sport.
Thus, when I was recently introduced via e-mail to Stephan Aarstol from Tower Paddle Boards I jumped at the opportunity to join him for lunch at one of the cool bar/eateries in Pacific Beach, CA - the Cass Street Bar & Grill. Not only was I interested in hearing about Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP), which is one of the fastest growing water sports in the USA, but I wanted to learn more about this highly successful serial Internet entrepreneur.
By Gary J. Hawkins. Posted November 24th, 2012
You know when a workout is not likely to go well when the day after Thanksgiving your wife compliments you on how rotund (not a word you hear too often) you look this morning and within ten minutes of starting your workout your heart rate is rapidly climbing out of Zone 3 into Zone 4. Add to this the insult of the fact that you're only doing our Beginners workout “Hola Madrid”. So was the case this morning when I hopped on the trainer for a little after holiday ride.
By Gary J. Hawkins, Ride Fit Founder. Posted November 15th, 2012
As you may have seen earlier in the week, we announced the launch of the world's first outdoor live action elliptical training video in conjunction with ElliptiGO. I'm sure some of you had not heard of the ElliptiGO prior to this announcement so I'd thought I'd introduce the product. I've personally ridden this bike a number of times and can tell you it's a lot of fun and a great workout. Unlike a conventional road bike, it won't get you from A to B as fast as possible on two wheels (although it goes up hills like a whippet). It is designed to be a cross-training device. So what is the ElliptiGO all about?
By Gary J. Hawkins, Ride Fit Founder. Posted November 14th, 2012
According to Wikipedia, cross training refers to an athlete training in a sport or sports other than the one that the athlete competes in with a goal of improving overall performance. If you're a runner, the number one reason for cross training is injury prevention. If you're a cyclist (indoor or outdoor), however, you already under take a low impact sport so why consider any form of cross training?
By Yafei Zhu, Ride Fit Customer Relations Officer. Posted November 2nd, 2012
I know most cyclists would rather be out on the road. There's nothing better than the wind in your face, beautiful scenery rushing by, the thrill of chasing down another rider or the feeling of achievement of recording a new personal best on your favorite hill climb. That being said, there are some very good reasons to do at least some of your cycle training indoors - even when the weather is nice enough for riding outside. Then factor in the times when the weather is horrid or you're too busy at work to make it home during daylight hours and already you might start to see the benefit of training at home. This article will hopefully convince you that a turbo trainer should be part of every keen cyclist's arsenal of training tools.
By Gary J. Hawkins, Ride Fit Founder. Posted October 31st, 2012
The other day a potential customer asked whether the Ride Fit series of indoor cycle training videos can help you loose weight. It would have been simple just to answer "yes" but it's not quite that straightforward. Doing one thing in isolation is not going to help you loose and sustain weight loss - you need to adopt a more holistic approach to be successful.
By Gary J. Hawkins, Ride Fit Founder. Posted September 14th, 2012
In my last couple of blog articles I’ve presented workout data collected while undertaking several of the Ride Fit workouts. The other day a customer asked at what point would it be appropriate for him to use our Advanced videos on his spin bike. This started me thinking that really it’s possible at any point assuming you make some simple adjustments to your workout routine. To illustrate, I thought I’d contrast working out to the same video under different workout conditions. My chosen workout title was the Advanced Ride Fit title, Un Paseo En Bicicleta Perfecta.
By Gary J. Hawkins, Ride Fit Founder. Posted August 28th, 2012
My last blog article, Example Workout Profile for Un Paseo En Bicicleta Perfecta, created quite a lot of interest from our users. Thus, I thought you might like to see another example workout profile, this time derived by exercising to the Ride Fit Intermediate title, Spin Around Madrid.
By Gary J. Hawkins, Ride Fit Founder. Posted August 9th, 2012
You can experience your individual workouts and monitor your overall training program at a whole new level by monitoring your heart rate and other key performance indicators (KPIs), such as cadence, speed, generated power, etc. To that end, I recently fitted one of the Ride Fit test bikes with speed/cadence and power sensors, plus I wear a heart rate monitor (HRM) while undertaking a workout. I'll save a description of the bike sensor equipment for a future blog article but suffice it to say I can now collect all critical ride parameters for a given workout. Combine this with the ability of a cycling analysis program like GoldenCheetah and all of a sudden you can learn so much more about your performance on any given day and over time.
By Alex Grint, Ride Fit Contributor. Posted May 25th, 2012
Making sure you are properly hydrated for your indoor cycling workout or spin class is essential; ideally you should hydrate yourself before, during and after your ride. Long workouts (whether at home or within an indoor cycling class) will take a lot of fluids out of your body, which need replenishing. One simple way to help you tell if your body is properly hydrated is by monitoring urine volume and color. A large amount of light colored, diluted urine probably means you are well hydrated; while dark colored, concentrated urine probably means you are dehydrated.
By Alex Grint, Ride Fit Contributor. Posted May 22nd, 2012
Indoor cycling (a.k.a. spin or spinning) is one of the most popular forms of cardio exercise today. Before you start your workout it’s important to ensure your exercise bike is appropriately adjusted. If you’re working out as part of a class then your cycling instructor will help out. However, if you’re on your own it’s good to know a few guidelines that will ensure the appropriate setup of an upright or recumbent stationary bike. This is not only important for comfort but also to make sure that you are optimally transferring your energy to the bike and that you are doing it in such a way that you won’t injure yourself.
By Yafei Zhu, Ride Fit Customer Relations Officer. Posted April 7th, 2012
So now you've found an excellent source of indoor cycle training videos (sorry could not resist the plug), all you need to do if you want to do indoor cycling is set your road bike up on a cycle trainer. The cycle trainer, also known as a turbo trainer, is a piece of equipment that makes it possible to ride a bicycle while it remains stationary. A trainer consists of a frame to lift your back wheel off the ground, a clamp to hold the bicycle securely and a mechanism that provides resistance when the pedals are turned. In the vast majority of cases resistance is created by a roller that presses up against the rear wheel. A number of different mechanisms have been developed to provide resistance to the roller turning, and hence to the user pedaling. The main types of trainer based on these different mechanisms will be briefly reviewed below.
Extracted and modified from an article by Gretchen M. Ashton, CFT, NBFE. Posted February 11th, 2012
Abstracted from the Ride Fit Training Guide. Posted January 11th, 2012
Ride Fit videos display a digital dashboard that typically includes a target resistance setting, and/or the text-based instructions will inform you what resistance setting is recommended. Resistance settings used on Ride Fit videos fall into the following categories:
By Gary Hawkins, Ride Fit Founder. Posted December 15th, 2011
I got back into cycling fairly late; a second knee surgery forced me to give up racquet based sports and look for low impact way of keeping fit. I needed something else to combat middle age spread! As a teenager I'd ridden a lot (in and out of work for one thing), so I decided to try cycling again. I started with Spinning®, and while many instructors were very good I found I also wanted exercise programs that I could do any time to fit my schedule and that were more focused on providing a "road like" riding experience.
By Gary Hawkins, Ride Fit Founder. Posted November 15th, 2011
Indoor cycling (also commonly referred to as spin or Spinning®) came about in 1987, when Jonathan Goldberg (aka Johnny G), a South African-born cyclist, installed a handful of stationary bikes in his garage, devised a training program to simulate outdoor riding and invited cycling friends to join him as he trained for cross-country bike races.