Justtttt Rollaxin'

Ola Bikergang!

Well, it’s finally happened .. I’ve spin-jured myself ( get it!). I suppose this is due to my own stubborn nature and my refusal to believe that my knee pain was something more serious than a slight discomfort when I stepped out of bed in the morning. .. and I guess my decision to continue to spin despite this pain was likely a poor life choice ( should have listened to you Dion!) It really is true what they say you know.. if you listen to your body when it whispers, you won’t have to hear it scream. And hey, guess what? It is only when you choose to neglect that whisper for too long does the Universe step in and decide to turn up the volume.

This all being said, spin isn’t the direct cause of my injury. If anything, continuing to spin with a knee cap that felt as though it were about to pop off was only the cherry on top of a lifestyle spent overindulging in too many fitness classes, and was only compounded by my decision to lend a deaf ear to my chiropractors advice in terms of rest, rehabilitation, and injury prevention. How often do you visit your preferred physiotherapist or chiropractor and readily agree to do all of the exercises they have recommended for you and then go home and do absolutely nothing? Hands up!! I realized yesterday that my foam roller is still in the trunk of my car, the exact place I left it almost a year ago when I moved into my current apartment… whoops.

All of this in mind, I would like to take a brief moment to reintroduce the blog and to state my intention regarding the information I share with you. This blog is for you. It is here to motivate and challenge you. Together we will dive into the science behind spin mechanics ( so the next time Erin and Nate tell you to push your heels back you understand why). We will explore the relationship between diet, exercise, and motivation. And most importantly we will learn not to judge, but rather to  support one another regardless of our personal health goals and lifestyles. Perhaps you spin because you want to work up a pre-brunch appetite, and perhaps you do not, and in either way, it doesn’t matter.
This blog is not here to change you. You are already perfect. It is here to motivate and encourage you to embrace the lifestyle that fulfills you and keeps you smiling. Here at YYC Cycle we are in the business of connection, and I will do my best to connect you with the information you need in order to guide you along your personal path to wellness. With growth comes change, so get ready to be challenged, to break your habitual lifestyle, and to be open to mystery!  Let’s begin with a simple challenge- for the month of June I ask that you try at least one new teacher or class time at YYC ( have you seen the new YYC passport? It’s your personal ticket to spin paradise!)
So here my fellow spin enthusiasts is where I ask you- are you listening to your body and ensuring that you take the time to indulge in self care following those many pumps and dips? Perhaps you’re in the camp of bikergang members like Marco, Christine, Alison, and Taryn and your go to is an epsom salt filled soak in the tub, or maybe you’re just like Laura Berg and you prefer to dip into the pool of cold pressed juice and restorative yoga. How many of you choose to use your foam roller as your go to post-spin method of restoration? Nobody? Thought so.

And so, mostly because i'm great at finding anything to do except use my foam roller when I have spare time, and i'm just itching to get back on the bike, I have made the commitment to attend at least one rollax class per week. What's rollax you ask? There's only one way to find out! You can choose to join me as I stalk Justin Tan at either Junction 9 on Monday evenings at 7:15, or at Yoga Santosha on Sunday afternoons at 2:00 pm to engage in a little rollaxin’ ( quite possibly the most unrelaxing experience ever). After dragging Kyle to class on Sunday afternoon I reached out to Justin to see which body parts he suggests you introduce to your foam roller in order to keep that spin bod well maintained. ( FYI: I am going to directly quote Justin on this for fear of misinterpreting what he says and causing all of you more pain than intended).

Justin, what do you believe to be the the body parts that require attention after a spin class?

“Hard to say the best muscles as spin is pretty all encompassing. Dependant on the individual we could spend time rolling the erectors of the spine, or into the upper trap and shoulder complex. However most commonly the go to muscles to open up post spin would be the hip flexor Tensor Fascia Latta (TFL), quadriceps mm focus on lateral quad, hamstring complex focus on bicep femoris, glute complex (Maximus and Med). Would also consider spending time into the shin (tibialis anterior) and calf complex (gastrocnemius and soleus)”

… and if none of that made sense to you then just join me on the mat next weekend :)

That’s all for now, but please reach out to me with your questions, send me any information that you believe would benefit your fellow biker gang members, and look out for a fun new feature each month. Let’s do this together, change can be scary but what’s life without a little excitement?


“And suddenly you know: It's time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”

I wish I knew how to be patient, like they do. I wish I could push harder and stand taller every time I’m shoved and pressured and slammed against immovable forces too strong to fight. I wish I knew the taste of clouds, still swollen from rainfall.


Hello my favourite bikergang,

Well, there is nothing like a minor surgery to make you stop and reconsider everything you’ve ever believed to be constant in your life. With my minor surgery came an overwhelming sense of doubt, doubt in the path i’ve chosen in life, doubt in the relationships i've created, doubt in regards to my self worth, and ultimately, an overwhelming emotional response to my vanity. With this sudden insurgence of doubt I also discovered a second component in my life that I hold to be my absolute saving grace.. and that my friends, is refuge.

Have you ever stopped to consider why you chose YYC over the numerous other fitness facilities available in Calgary? I have, and do continue to question why I am so undeniably committed and loyal to our beloved spin studio. This thought process got me wondering, what exactly do I love about YYC Cycle, and what truly keeps me motivated to return week after week?

In the Buddhist tradition it is understood that as individuals we are summoned to find refuge in three simple places: the Buddha ( wisdom), the Dharma ( truth), and the Sangha ( community), and to my understanding, of these three places of refuge, it is the Sangha that provides us with an undeniable sense of comfort, community, and ultimately, a sense of belonging. When I realized this, I intrinsically knew that the reason I love YYC so much is not only because of the incredible motivators , or the passion and energy of the staff, but of the feeling of complete contentment that washes over me every time I enter those doors ( even when i’m swollen and puffy faced from a super fun surgery). Well, all of this got me thinking, if I feel this way.. maybe others do as well. And so here, I offer you a small glimpse into the life and remarkable transformation of one of these above mentioned motivators, Kyle Williams.

Read on :)

Kyle Williams has made the unbelievable journey from a tumultuous life riddled with addiction to a path of wellness, health, and a commitment to the breaking of societal stigma around addiction. If you haven't yet had a chance to check out one of Kyle's classes I suggest you do, you just never know what change it may spark in you.

Kyle, what originally motivated you to walk through the doors of YYC Cycle?

I first came to YYC Cycle when I was still working at a nightclub. The classes worked with my schedule and groups of us would go and get a good sweat on. I was hooked. I think in my first two week intro package I went everyday if not twice a day. I think it was a chance occurrence that YYC happened to be the first spin class I ever went to, but the sense of community is what kept me coming back. Even if I went a month without spin, walking back through those doors always brought a sigh of relief and feeling of being home.

… and what keeps you coming back?

I think it just happened to be chance that YYC was the first spin studio I ever went to. I had plenty of friends that went to other classes at different facilities. The thing that I find compelling about the bikergang is that it's such a strong family. The support is undying but there is also a level of competitiveness that comes along with it. I'm a competitive guy and I am always trying to push myself; the bikergang is a safe place to do that. Whether I'm teaching or taking a class, there are always people around you expecting that you're giving it your all and I think the "all in this together" kind of attitude is part of what made me want to be a motivator.

What do you find unique about each studio?

I spin all over. I love all three studios for different reasons. KNST is kind of a more intimate setting, I like its rustic and original feel. MARDA is close to home for me and most of my friends spin there. AVDA is my home studio, I was brought on when it first opened and I feel like the music blasts there and classes always sound so good. You can catch me at MARDA for 7AM classes on Thursdays and twice Fridays down at Avenida. I try to pick up as many classes as I can though.

When is your favourite time to spin? What advice would you give others who find it difficult to find the motivation or time to include spin in their schedule?

I often thought that I was strictly a morning spinner. But now that I've been teaching evening and afternoon classes I've realized that anytime is a good time to get on the bike for a sweat. With the amount of classes that YYC Cycle offers it's hard to not be able to fit it in. I would say step out of your comfort zone and try a new motivator. Or someone you haven't tried in a while. Constantly pursue your favourite class... it's out there.

Lastly, how do you maintain balance between life on and off of the bike?

I feel like I'm the wrong person to be asking about balance. I am constantly on the go and very much of that seems to be on the bike. Whether it's hustling to work on my fixie, training to ride from St. John's to Vancouver or teaching a class, my life is often observed from the saddle. I wouldn't have it any other way though.

Kyle Williams

You can catch Kyle on the bike or learn more about his incredible journey here: https://www.gofundme.com/ghdf7k-aspire-to-inspire

Until next time,