Fostering The Culture Of Fitness

Fitness Adventure, class 1: Turnstyle Cycle

Posted by Will Allen

Oct 3, 2014 10:20:00 AM


UPDATE (Oct 5 @ 9:20 PM): Read Caroline's corresponding blog post here:


On Monday night, Caroline and I went to the first class of our Fitness Adventure, a "RealRyder" spin class at Turnstyle Cycle in Cambridge. For those of you that have been to traditional spin classes, this is a spin class with a twist: the bikes actually twist, or rather steer and lean back and forth, adding an additional stability component to the workout. 

As a cyclist myself, I thought this would be a nice and easy start to our adventure. I was mostly right...

When I first arrived, the woman at the desk very quickly said hello and got me checked in. When I told her it was my first fitness class ever, let alone first spin class, she very graciously gave me an introduction into the RealRyder bikes. After her introduction, Rich Downing, the co-founder and president of the studio, introduced himself to me. I must say, I was very impressed with how friendly they were.

Not long after that, Caroline arrived. As she's also an instructor at Turnstyle, she gave me the grand tour of the place. In addition to spinning, they also offer TRX classes, which has its own studio. When we entered the spinning studio, I was very surprised by the style and the setup. I've never been in a spinning studio before, but I expected straight, organized rows of bikes. This studio was set up with the instructor platform and "cockpit" in the center, with the bikes set up in a semi-circle around the instructor. Behind the instructor is a Turnstyle Cycle logo with lights that change color. Cool.


As Caroline and I began warming up, my first reaction was there's no way to tell if I'm going faster or generating more watts compared to anyone else. The competitor in me was not satisfied. Caroline explained it was not about competiting, but about pushing yourself and getting into the rhythm of the music. Hmmmm, ok...

After warming up for a little while, Rich got the class going. The lights in the studio went off, except for the big Turnstyle logo light behind the instructor bike. The music came on and off we went! Rich had prepared a playlist of music to instruct the class to. During the sprint intervals, we'd be pedaling at 130 rpm, the beat of the music. Other times we'd crank the resistance up for hill intervals at 65 rpm.


As an athlete, I find I'm very goal oriented - finish in a certain time, hit a certain pace, etc - so when Rich called out a pedal cadence, I focused on hitting it as close as possible. I learned after the fact that it was by no means the most important thing, but merely a recommendation.

At the end of the spinning portion, Rich ended the class with some stretching, which I was glad to do as cycling (as well as many other sports) can shorten muscles and reduce mobility. It felt great to stretch out after an intense class. 

After stretching, the lights came on and the class was over. I very quickly realized I was the sweatiest kid in class. Pretty standard!

My biggest takeaway from Turnstyle Cycle (the business) was how friendly everyone was, beginning when I first stepped through the door. My takeaway from the class was the goal isn't always to compete. Sometimes the journey is the outcome.

Our journey continues soon! Make sure to subscribe to the blog to stay up to date on our adventure! Have a class you recommend? Have you had a different experience at Turnstyle Cycle? Let us know in the comments.


About this blog

Writing about the culture of fitness in Boston, events, training ideas, nutrition, local athletic clubs, and more! Interested in becoming a contributor to the blog? Send us a message and let us know!

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts