What to expect at your first XCELL bike class
By Jackie Arcana
Bring with you:[unordered_list style=”green-dot”]
- Place your list items here
- Your own bike
- Bike shoes if you use them, running shoes if you do not
- Water or electrolyte drink
Provided by XCELL:
Bike trainers and stands
Workout, music and motivation
Take the Beltway 215 to Stephanie South
Make your first left at the light at Paseo Verde and Stephanie
You will see the building immediately on your left, drive past divided road median and make a U-turn into parking lot.
Parking is at the back of the building
We are located on the second floor with stairs or elevator access.
6:00 – 7:00 PM Monday
5:30 – 6:30 AM Wednesday
6:30 – 7:30 PM Thursday Effective April 2nd, 2015
Arrive 15 minutes early to get assistance setting up your bike. There will be black mats lined up with bike trainers and stands on each one. More experienced students often help set up the room and are also good sources of general information. There is no assigned seating so take any open spot.
The instructor will set your bike up the first few times and teach you how to do it yourself. Always ask for help if you are unsure. The instructor or student helper will give out blue towels for under the bike trainers. This is in case you sweat onto the mat. You can then use that towel to wipe up the excess. White towels will be placed on your handlebars for wiping sweat away from your face.
The bike trainers apply resistance to the rear tire. It is different from outdoor riding in that way we use the gears. If you were outside riding you would use the big chain ring to go DOWN hill. In class, we use the big chain to simulate going UP hill.
We have a simple easy to understand cuing system that is as follows:
Small chain ring means you use the smaller ring on the rear cassette. If you have 3 rings or a triple, you will use only the middle and large rear cassettes. The big chain ring is the larger ring on your front cassette. “Rings” are up front. “Cogs” are in the rear. Small chain ring means riding in the small ring in the front. The fine tuning is all in the front cogs. We use a system that goes like this:
The top– largest gear on front cassette. Instructor usually tells you to start 3 from the top small chain ring.
H1– That means go to one gear harder
E1– that means go one gear easier
If instructor says H3, that would be 3 gears harder, E2, two gears easier.
It sounds strange at first but everyone catches on pretty quick. If you don’t understand, just ask the instructor or even your neighbor.
Class starts promptly with a warm up of approximately 10 minutes. The class then moves into intervals or specific skills. A set may be given as 3 x 5 minutes moderate effort, 3 from the top big chain ring on 30 seconds rest. This means and instructor always explains that you will put your bike into the big chain ring 3 gears from the top work at a moderate intensity for 5 minutes, rest 30 seconds and repeat 3 times. Do what you can. The main thing is to make improvements for you, not to compare yourself to others. No one gets dropped and athletes of all levels can get a fantastic workout. No two classes are the same. Take at least 3 classes before you decide if it is for you or not. Many know it is for them after just one! If you are very uncomfortable in your saddle you may need an adjustment. Talk to the instructor because some amount of discomfort is normal but intense pain in saddle area is not.
It is common courtesy to keep chatter to a minimum during hard sets so as not to distract others who are trying to focus on the set.
After class, please put your trainer away in the designated area. Hydrate well and stretch. Have fun. Many have made significant improvements to their cycling times and many more claim their stress disappears during class. I hope you too will find it rewarding.