A perennial favorite on the list of best bike cities, Portland reigns supreme when it comes to two wheels. So it should come as no surprise that there’s no shortage of cycling studios for us fair-weather riders in search of a good workout during the winter months.
Enter Burncycle, which opened in fall of 2013 and offers full-body spinning, integrating hand weights, push-ups and core work on the bike. Jessi Duley, owner/instructor, pint-sized powerhouse of positivity and self-professed spin-class fanatic, opened its doors just three short weeks after giving birth to her first child– how’s that for dedication?!
Apparently she also made Santa’s “nice” list last year because Burncycle just got more bikes in time for the flood of New Year’s resolution riders (yay for no more wait-lists!).
Duley wants riders to feel empowered and ready to seize the day, and her goal for the studio is to “do everything with intention so you can lock in the zone, be present and earn your sweat,” as embodied in the mural that greets you when you walk in the door.
But what can you expect when you come to class?
Well, for starters, smiles at the front desk from the ladies who will get you set up with rental shoes, fitted on your bike and teach you how to clip in.
Next, there’s the matter of Burn etiquette. If you want to join this pack, you’ve gotta bring a good attitude, give it your all, focus on the 45-minute task at hand and bring enough energy to help rock the room.
Or if you’re a little low on the energy part, you can always rely on your pack-mates; just don’t pop a squat in the front row if you want to do your own thing that day.
As far as the ride itself, there are three things that set Burncycle apart (and may feel Soulcycle-esque for those of you who are familiar):
First, the room is dark so you can get in the zone. Second, you’ll use some small dumbbells in the second-to-last segment of each ride to give your upper body some lovin’. And, last but not least, there’s the pack mentality where you’ll feed off one another’s energy as the ride progresses.
Our firecracker of an instructor, Kira, led us through a series of energetic jumps, tap backs, runs and sprints interspersed with all kinds of push-ups, dips, presses and crunches for a heart-pounding, ear-thumping dance-party of a workout.
Between affirmations she worked the lights to set the mood during different songs and encouraged us to pedal away our worries for the week. And before I knew it, we were onto our weight segment and swinging towels around our heads to rally for the final few minutes of class.
Final verdict? Party with this pack, and you’ll leave sweaty and smiling.
What to know before you go:
- New riders get their first class free in January (resolution, anyone?!)
- Otherwise you pay a $18 drop-in fee for one class or can buy a package for multiple classes
- You’ll also need a pair of cycling shoes; bring your own or rent a pair for $2
- Expect to have a blast; the room’s dark, the music’s loud and the energy’s through the roof
- Refrain from wearing loose clothing that could get caught in the bike; I like capris and tanks
- Hydrate before, during and after — and fuel up with a light snack 30 minutes before class
- Bring a positive attitude, an open mind and prepare to feel the burn!
Want to hit up a class and experience the feel-good vibes yourself? Visit BurncyclePDX.com for more information.