Let's Ride Y'all - All Things FireCycle Abilene, Cycling Tips, Motivation & More

An ongoing Blog Series by FireCycle Peeps

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New(ish) to indoor cycling? Here are five ways to instantly feel confident!

April 16th, 2023. 

Author: Katie Content Writing. Editor/Content Contributor: Christine Curtis-Carr

Citation: Nina Rose Pena

At FireCycle Abilene, we make it easy to start your indoor cycling workouts.

Indoor cycling can be intimidating if you're new to it but don't worry.

We got you.

Trying something new can be scary sometimes, but our knowledgeable instructors will guide you through your first indoor cycling class and help you take your first steps on your fitness journey.

Even our instructors were new once, too. Instructor Nina tells us about her first indoor cycling class, "My first spin class was scary as hell as I didn't know what to expect. It was with Christine, and my mom brought me to the class. After the ride, I felt on top of the world and like I had accomplished something! By ride # 3, I was hooked!"

Now Nina commands the stage, motivating and inspiring new and experienced riders.

And if this is your first time taking a FireCycle Abilene class, you can look forward to an unforgettable riding experience.

We want you to feel confident as you start your indoor cycling journey. Remember, you're only a beginner once. And like Nina, you, too, will find yourself hooked.

With these five simple tips, you can instantly boost your confidence and get the most out of your next indoor cycling workout.

1. Know the basics.

The basics of indoor cycling are simple; our instructors will walk you through them before your first class.

We recommend you get there early for plenty of time to set up.

You'll be clipped in on the bike and turning the pedals to generate resistance. Yep, just like an outdoor bicycle, but it is a bit different.

Before you begin, familiarize yourself with the basics of indoor cycling.

We review all the basics before your first ride, so you'll feel confident and ready to start.

Start with your bike setup.

Your bike setup can make or break your ride, and we want to help you find your best setup to get the most out of your ride.

When you clip into the bike, your instructor will check your seat settings to ensure you're close enough to the handlebars and your knees are slightly bent. This will ensure you don't hurt your elbows or wrists and can pedal smoothly. Once you have adjusted your bike, review the numbers to remember how to quickly adjust your bike on your next ride.

Adjust the resistance and intensity of your workout while you ride.

It's easy to adjust the intensity of your workout. When you ride at FireCycle, you can take what you need from each ride.

We encourage all of our riders to ride at their own pace. All choreography is an invitation to move and is entirely optional.

You can perform any movements in the saddle.

Sitting is never quitting!

In fact, most new riders stay “in the saddle,” aka sit in the seat most of the rides, just finding the rhythm first.

Turn the resistance knob to the left to ride easier and to the right to make it a little harder.

Your instructor will offer modifications as you ride, so you choose what moves feel right for you and what moves make you feel the strongest.

Proper posture is the key to a smooth ride.

Proper posture includes:

Relaxing your upper body.

Bending your elbows slightly to protect your wrists.

Pulling your shoulders away from your ears.

Keep your back straight and your chin up.

Relaxing your upper body will allow you to focus your energy on your lower body for the best possible ride.

Our experienced instructors will take the guesswork out of it and ensure your first ride is successful!

If you know the basics of indoor cycling, you'll be fully prepared before you start your ride. Instantly boosting your confidence.

Also, if you are reading this and already feel overwhelmed, don’t sweat it!

We will walk you through every step of the way.

2) Prepare for the ride.

Before your ride, take a few minutes to learn about the instructor's style, the music, and the type of workout you'll be doing. This will give you a good idea of what to expect and help you feel more confident.

You can read each instructor's profile on our website under the Instructor section.

Every indoor cycling studio is different.

Even though you'll be riding to music in most classes, the rides can be geared toward other goals, such as riding in the power zone, hitting your metrics, endurance, or rhythm riding.

And rhythm riding is what we do at FireCycle Abilene!

Rhythm riding.

Finding the beat is about riding to the rhythm of the music.

You can feel it by tapping your hands or matching the instructor's leg speed.

At FireCycle, we're a rhythm-riding studio, which means we ride to the beat of the music.

Our bikes do not have devices that show number zones, and the music, along with the instructor, guides your movements as you ride.

There is something extraordinary and liberating about moving to the beat of the music in a dark room with your riding community on a bike that goes nowhere.

Faster songs lead to movements like sprints, and slower beats guide us through climbs.

The music guides our movements, leading us to listen to our body and get the best workout.

It also allows you to have a more interconnected experience, not stopping to look at your phone or a screen in front of you.

Of course, your personal metric devices, like Garmin, fit bit, etc., are always welcome. Just silence any beeping.

No cell phones are allowed during the ride, and need to be put in a bin in the back.

Instructor's style and music.

FireCycle Abilene has the most incredible instructors in Abilene.

At FireCycle Abilene, we are proud to have the most fantastic team of instructors who work together towards a common goal.

To uplift and motivate our riders on and off the bike.

Each instructor brings a unique style of rhythm and choreography, making every ride a one-of-a-kind experience.

As we encourage individuality within our unique model, each ride is tailored specifically to you, ensuring you have the best possible experience whenever you book your bike.

Get to know our instructors and their styles and preferences here at firecycleabilene.com.

You can also find our ride schedule on our website and Instagram telling you the instructor and ride theme.

Yes, we love a great theme ride and playing different genres of music.

We even take requests from our riders.

Nothing keeps you coming back like knowing you'll hear your favorite song on your favorite theme ride!

Knowing what to expect will increase your confidence before entering the studio!

Join our email list, and follow us on social media to get to know our instructors and check out the different theme rides throughout the week. We also want to get to know you, so DM us or email us anytime.

3) Set Your Goals.

Setting goals will help you stay motivated and on track, especially if you are new to indoor cycling.

Take a few moments to consider why you're starting your indoor cycling journey and what you'd like to get out of your rides.

At Firecycle, every new goal starts with taking small actionable steps and building good habits.

All within a supportive community.

Write down 1 or 2 goals you want to accomplish within your first month of indoor cycling.

Sometimes just making it to class is your goal, and we get that! For us, that is a reason to celebrate.

We believe in you. And we are here to support, motivate, and cheer you on. 

If you want to lose weight, add variety to your workout routine, release stress, and have fun, we can help you reach your goals.

FireCycle is a place to find your inner light and let it shine while also getting an excellent workout. Setting your goals before you come to class helps to motivate you and gives you a purpose for all of your rides.

Skyrocketing your confidence!

Whatever you want to achieve, we are here for you and fully support you.

4) Get Comfortable.

The key to feeling confident is to be comfortable, and wearing the right clothes is crucial to having a comfortable, effective ride.

Wear workout clothes that you're comfortable in and that won't distract you during your ride.

Also, ensure you have plenty of water and a towel nearby (we provide clean towels and even partner with Blue Jug to provide alkaline water - just bring your own bottle).

Wear something comfortable that you can move in.

Avoid clothes that restrict your movement, like jeans, or make you too hot and uncomfortable, like sweatpants or cotton.

We will work up a sweat during the rides, so finding light and breathable clothes is a must.

Padded shorts are unnecessary for our classes, but padded bike seats are available if you need extra padding. And if you prefer padded shorts, by all means, wear them.

My favorite spin outfit is high-waisted leggings, a good supportive sports bra, and a light tank top.

I also wear socks and sandals to make it easier to change into my cycling shoes, and on a cold day, I wear a little jacket.

However, after the first two songs, I am warm enough to take off my jacket and toss it on the floor.

Cycling shoes.

We clip into the bikes, so bring your cycling shoes, and if you don't have your own, that's okay because we have shoes you can borrow. Plus, if it's your first class, your instructor will ask you ahead of time for your shoe size and get you a pair ready. Our bikes fit Delta and SPD clips, and we love TIEM shoes!

Although if you need more ankle support, deltas are an excellent choice.

You can build confidence by showing up in your favorite outfit and shoes.

Again we provide clean towels, water, and shoes, so we always have your back when getting comfortable.

5) Celebrate your success, and be prepared to have fun!

Celebrating your wins will boost your confidence and help you feel more secure in the class.

Celebrate your successes.

Whether mastering a new move or pushing yourself to your limits, give yourself a pat on the back for your accomplishments.

At FireCycle, you got us, and we got you!

Share your wins with your instructor.

We love to hear about your progress on and off the bike.

As a new rider, learning new choreography and getting comfortable moving in and out of the saddle takes time.

Take it at your own pace. Listen to your body.

Every cue is an invitation to move, and we offer modifications for everything during the ride.

Have Fun.

Every class has the greatest music of all time, and no matter your level, you will always have fun moving and groovin' to the beat.

Give yourself time and grace.

Before you know it, you'll be jumping out of the saddle and doing tap-backs for days.

Coming to your first class is a celebration.

Booking your first three rides is a celebration.

Showing up and moving is a huge win.

Instructor Nina says, "One thing that helped me was to keep coming and riding. Slowly but surely, learning to trust my body just enough to challenge myself in the ways I needed to. Over time I was able to cycle bigger, take bigger turns, and honor the joy of movement. As an experienced rider and instructor, I practice tracking my wins, big or small, so I can look back and have a tangible track record that reminds me, " Hey, I am actually doing it!"

Don't expect to be an expert right away.

Even if some of the moves are challenging, take them step by step and remind yourself that you are there to learn.

Remember, you are only a beginner once.

At FireCycle Abilene, you gain a supportive community to help you feel comfortable and confident every time you step into the studio. Indoor cycling is a great way to get an intense workout, but it can be intimidating if you're new to it.

But don’t worry. We take all the intimidation out of stepping into the studio for the first time.

And with these five tips:

Know the basics

Prepare for the ride

Set your goals

Get comfortable

Celebrate your success

You'll surely gain the confidence to make the most of your next indoor cycling session.

About FireCycle Abilene.

Our superstar instructors are here to make your first ride a breeze and motivate you to return for more. And our community is supportive and uplifting.

So what are you waiting for?

Book your bike now and experience the joy of moving with the music on a bike that goes nowhere.

DM or email us if you need any assistance with booking. BOOK ON VAGARO, OUR BOOKING AGENT.

We will see you in the studio. Let’s ride y’all! 

Why I Started FireCycle Abilene…the real reason

April 1, 2023 (Author: Christine Curtis-Carr, Editor: Katie's Content Writing)

“I started dreading going to work. It wasn’t “burnout” either; it was more of an “I don’t belong here” anymore. A part of me just wanted to pretend, like my circle still fit into a square, but it didn’t.”

Hello, I’m Christine Curtis-Carr, owner of FireCycle Abilene, the premier boutique indoor cycling studio in Abilene, Texas.

The story behind why I started FireCycle might surprise you. But I need to tell you my story because when I made that decision three years ago, I started on a path to empowering the riders of FireCycle to reach their full potential both in the studio and in their lives. To let their inner light shine a little brighter.

There are so many reasons why I started FireCycle, but out of all of them, only one stands out.

You see, my goal was never to be a full-time entrepreneur, and if I am being honest, I thought I would serve as an Executive Director until I retired and own a small indoor cycling studio on the side. Both were fulfilling, and I loved the difference I could make in teachers' and riders' lives. Plus, keeping FireCycle Abilene small allowed me to serve as director of Abilene’s education foundation and still have time for myself.

Before I became known as an indoor cycling instructor (aka “the pusher”), I was the Executive Director of our local education foundation, serving the students and teachers in our school district. And even though I loved this leadership position and spent many years cultivating it, I could feel a spark inside me trying to ignite and a voice whispering, this isn’t it. Not anymore.

Somewhere between late 2019, the shutdown, and finally, in December 2021, I shifted.

Something or someone was off, and I suspected it might be me. I started dreading going to work. It wasn’t “burnout” either; it was more of an “I don’t belong here.” I wanted to pretend my circle still fit into a square, but it didn’t. People ask me about my decision to leave a career and a leadership position; I had spent many years creating.

Was it one person, one thing, or the pandemic?

The truth is it was all of it and also none of it. The more I got curious about the whisper, the more the spark ignited, and the more I realized what I wanted to create and bring into the world. The gifts I had to offer no longer fit with the organization I had tied myself to. And wow, it was a great organization.

You see those memes “people don't leave companies; they leave bad work environments” or “bad bosses,” but the people at the foundation were terrific. Surely that could be enough, right? A fantastic team, board, and teachers to serve? I wanted it to be, but by the end of Dec. 2021, I knew it was a lie.

The change was already happening.

I was a director but morphing into the leader of my indoor cycling studio, cheering my riders on and creating a solid supportive community. My identity was changing until it no longer aligned with who I was. My spark was burning brighter, and that whisper spoke a little louder. I realized I could no longer hide my light. A wise woman once said, “It's time to ignite the light and let it shine!”

So I had two choices, make peace with the fact that if I stayed, I would be playing my life small (according to what I wanted), or go ahead and invest in what I knew to be my calling: Impact that moves mountains—inspiring others to let their lights shine.

I remember the day I finally decided I would leave. I cried a lot. Yes, from relief, but also because I knew I would have to take the time to grieve the loss of this identity, this chapter I had created, cultivated, and the work I had at one point deeply cared about. I also loved serving our teachers. Truly. With my whole being.

I knew what waited would be precisely where I needed to be, but the transition would be tough. I’d have to give up control to create. I’d have to stay firm in my resolve and not give into the fear telling me I was crazy. It was the boldest and kindest act of self-worth I had ever done for myself. I felt terrified, secure, and excited all at once. And I knew without a doubt it was exactly my next right move.

Still, that’s not the real reason I started FC.

After leaving behind my old identity and job, I fully embraced my calling to create an impact that moves mountains. I cultivate this in other ways besides cycling, but this blog is about FC so I will keep it on topic.

And when folks discover I own a cycling studio, they ask me the same basic four questions…

1. I tried spin once, and I hated it, lol. Well, not really a question. Still, cycling is not for everyone, but only people who haven't tried FC say they hate it. For real, try us. Our instructors and overall vibe are what you are looking for.

2. Have you tried Peloton? Yes, I have tried Peloton, but I don't own one. I understand the hype, but I want to encourage you to try FireCycle Abilene; we aren’t your average spin studio. We also LOVE peloton riders, so bring your shoes. If you ride at home (any program), a live in-person ride is an excellent way to mix up your routine since you don’t have to have a membership to ride with us.

Picture this; you come to class one evening after a long day and are greeted by an instructor who helps you set up your bike to your specifications, no guessing! The lights go down, and the music goes up. The room darkens, and it's just you on your bike, moving to the beat of the music. Forty-five minutes fly by, and you let go. The ride ends, and you feel refreshed, energized, and ready to tackle your to-do list or not be so deflated when you get home to your family.

3. Spin hurts my hiney too much. Sore Saddle is a thing that usually goes away in three rides. Try one of our cushions, but stick with it. That is part of getting stronger. Trust me. No one would be into it if the sore saddle were a forever thing, lol.

4. Why did you open an indoor cycling studio? So this is THE question! And the answer I give can vary depending on how close I know you, but I typically say, “I wanted to bring rhythm riding to the Abilene market.”

But that isn’t the truth. Well, not exactly.

The truth is I created FireCycle for YOU.


I know. But yes, I mean YOU. If you’re reading this and you have never set foot in our studio, YES, I am talking to you. If you come once and never again, I am talking to you. If you have been on a bike at FireCycle, 600+ times, I am also talking to you. Because somehow, the universe has brought us together. And I know Why.

Just after my 41st birthday, I looked up in the mirror and thought, who is that? Not physically, I still looked the same, but my inner light was dim. I was hiding, and I knew it, but I also didn’t know how to brighten my inner light.

I’ve always enjoyed working out hard; I’ve trained for marathons, half marathons, races, and bike races. I love to sweat, and I love the feeling I get when I sweat and push my body so hard that I get out of my head.

But when I say I created Firecycle for you, this is what I mean. FireCycle is a place where you can unplug whatever is going on in your life and find some frickin’ clear space in that head of yours.

Whether you are experiencing loss, grief, celebration, joy, or just going through the motions, you can bring it all into this space on a bike to nowhere, in the dark, to some killer music with people who want to see you succeed.

And even if you have nothing going on and are here for the calorie burn, guess what? You can be grateful that you can move your body. Because what you do for a living, if you are a CEO, in between jobs, a mom or a dad, married, a caregiver, going through a divorce, a college student trying to find their way, struggling with infertility, single, can't find two matching socks to save your life, living with your parents, or your dog just died, whatever - all those identifying markers don’t mean a damn thing in the middle of a tap-back, double-push combo. All that matters in this room is that little light inside of you. You know the one, the real you. The one who says if I can do that double tap back push, what else could I do?

Or did you forget about her?

Well, in here, she is in the driver's seat.

That is the primary reason FireCycle exists and why reading this matters. We can’t replace all the other stuff, like caring for your mind, body, and soul. We can't take away the pain of life or reach your goals for you, but we are a place where effort, while we sweat our butts off, pays off because somewhere between the ride and the joyful movement and the music and the fun, you remember what makes you light up. So yes, I created FireCycle for YOU. THE REAL YOU. THE ONE WHO IS SMILING WHILE READING THIS.

Let your light shine. Let’s ride y’all.

- Christine ♥️