Beyond Appearances

"Look up more than down. See more than say. Listen more than speak. Hope more than dread. Believe more than criticize. Yes more than no. No more than maybe. Laugh more than cry. Love more than hate. See. More. See."   -TKG

Hello Biker Gang!

I recently returned from my solo trip to Australia and it made me realize how difficult life can become when you have to turn autopilot off and actually make decisions on a daily basis. While that may sound silly to you, just imagine a life where you were unable to habitually plan your days based on classes, work projects, never-ending timetables, and competing deadlines... it's quite hard! Well, my overuse of vague responses and my inability to commit to a plan made me realize that sometimes it's just better to live in the moment and say yes. Let's do it together? Yes? Yes! For the next month, week, or even day, try to use yes more. A friend asks you to meet them for a last minute coffee? Say yes! A motivator you haven't had the opportunity to ride with invites you to join their class? Yes! Think of all of the fun people and opportunities awaiting you :)  If you're truly brave, write to me and tell me how your yes adventures went! And keeping in line with this yes attitude, please enjoy the post below from YYC Cycle Key Leader (and blogger), Rachel Antony.


'Beyond Appearances'

Have you ever had a friend or colleague do something out of character and then you judge them for it?  Thinking, “who are they, they never do that.” We all do it, we put the people in our lives in certain boxes making it easier to know what to expect from them and feeling like you know who they are. It could be the human tendency to prefer the status quo, the familiarity and comfort in the norm, and usually the need to pass judgement on people at all times. 

I always find it surprising when I find out which boxes people have put me in; not necessarily how I would see myself. When I think about how I would describe myself it always starts with while sometimes I like this, sometimes I do that, when I feel like it I do this, one time I did that. But when you go to describe someone else, you’re like, she does this, says this, dresses like this, acts like this, and thinks this. Bam. Judge-y much? If I had a nickel for every time someone was surprised I listen to country music…
We are always striving towards growth and change, and to do that you need to get out of whatever boxes are holding you in. Just because other people don’t think you can do something, doesn’t mean you can’t reach those goals or make that change. In the same way, when you start to put people in the box you are used to seeing them in, take a second and open that door for them to grow in your mind. We are all working towards a better version of ourselves, and the best way to do that is with the support of our community.

I read in a relationship article one time that you shouldn’t use absolute words when arguing because it creates negative energy within your relationship. Words like never and always. I think it’s a good habit to get into when you are talking about yourself too. So before you say “I never do 6am spin,” give yourself the chance to set your alarm for 5am and crush those inner doubts. Like I said before, it’s better to use the “sometimes” than the “always.”

Wait, let’s do this. Sometimes I like country music, sometimes I do spin, when I feel like it I bake things, one time I decided to try out to be a motivator, other times I am taking too many Instagram brunch photos. There are a million ways to describe me, and I like to keep switching it up to keep people on their toes.

- Rachel Antony

Hello October!

It’s okay to be carried every now and then you know, even strength needs a rest.
-Tyler Knott Gregson.

Hello my beautiful (and handsome) Bikergang and hello October!

I don’t know about you, but I find these Autumn months to be more of a transitionary period in my life than the ever famed January. There just seems to be something in the wind, and in the way the leaves aimlessly dance about that causes me to truly wonder just what i’m doing with my life. Perhaps this is nothing but a simple nudge from the Universe, a slight suggestion that I begin to truly pay attention to my surroundings and to live for the moments rather than for the expectation of outcome…or perhaps it really is time to just begin anew.

While I may be infantile in my understanding of life, I do know one thing, and that is this… life is going to pass us by regardless of our ability to truly savour it. And so, in every effort to simplify this hectic life we all lead, I offer you the following suggestion via the ever talented Mary Oliver:

  • Pay attention
  • Be astonished
  • Tell about it

But really, tell me all about it , I want to get to know all of you! If you have an idea you really want to share, or if you have something you would like me to include in an upcoming post than send me an email and we can connect!

Your challenge for this month is a simple one. Try to remember the very reason that caused you to enter the doors of YYC Cycle (and I know that for the majority of you it was a result of your secret crush on Warren, so give me the other reason). Early last year I found myself complacent and in need of a change but I didn’t know exactly how to achieve this. I am a habitual creature, I live for routine and for the expected (I am that person who reads the last page of a book before I even get half way through). So, in order to stir things up in my life I created an idea jar, a jar that I filled with an abundance of “ideas” that I have always wanted to try but never quite found the time or person to do so with. Well, one of those ideas was trying a spin class, and after my first class (with Warren, by complete chance), I was hooked.

So there you have it my gang, there’s my motivation, now send me yours!


Speaking of motivation.. have you ever wondered just why certain genres of music really resonate with you and others do not? Well I did, and so I asked our resident music specialist to shed some light on the connection between music and motivation. Interested? Read on!

Musical Moves! 
Written by Elle McAndrews, MTA, MT-BC


As a motivator at YYC-CYCLE, I often get those happy ‘feels’ when I get to create a playlist for the Bikergang. When I’m sitting at home finding tunes to spin to, I’m often dancing around my house, on the couch, at the kitchen table or wherever! When a track catches my ear, I cannot help but groove it out in my body.

As an accredited Music Therapist it is my job to find out what kinds of music my clients enjoy. When we are listening to or making music together, the response will be greater if the client enjoys the music. The motivation factor increases. This means I am learning many genres of music on the guitar or piano in order to reach my clients more effectively. Back to the spin room…
When you are in spin class and a favourite song comes up, you are more likely to work harder, and feel those good vibes during that track. Which brings me to the big question: How does music motivate us?

Music activates our sympathetic nervous system: airways open, heart rate accelerates, and muscles are primed to move. These are all excellent physical processes that need to happen when you get your spin on Bikergang!

Music affects the coordination of activity within and across different parts of the brain: Studies examining patterns of electric activity across the brain when listening to music suggest that brain signals become synchronized which is crucial for cognitive, motor and perceptual processes. This means that when you listen to music while working out, your brain signals become synchronized with the music allowing you to plan and execute your next move accurately, and get in sync with the beat. Is your criss-cross game strong? The music is definitely a part of that accurate coordination.

Music has the ability to draw our attention away from negative aspects of a task.
Your physical and mental endurance is enhance by music. So next time you are in the thick of a serious hover or a badass HIIT* track, focus on something you like about the song and forget about the temporary discomfort you feel and track will be over before you know it.

Music is able to connect you emotionally and enhance your mood: can I get “HELL YES?” You probably already know what song makes you cry when you are driving in your car - Adele makes me shed tears every time I listen to her, and you know what tunes get you in the mood to dance, party, get it on (oh that surfboard Bey!) exercise, work, relax, and sleep.

Got a request? I love when the a Bikergang member comes up to me and asks me the name of a song I had in my playlist, or even better when they give me suggestions or request of songs they would love to hear in future playlists. I am listening to you! If you ask, you shall receive unless the song is not spin appropriate - sorry death metal lovers, I still love that you love death metal!

Have a music related question? You can email Elle at or find me on Instagram @mcpeaches.

*HIIT - High Intensity Interval Track