Flycycle at the Verve

There’s a new fitness gym at the Verve called Flycycle. It’s basically a studio devoted to spin classes with a spin (sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun). Anyway, here’s what they have to say about their classes:

“…we take indoor-spinning to the next level by combining dynamic 45 minute full-body workouts, neon lighting and the latest beats. Our adrenaline-charged high intensity sessions are specially designed to strengthen your body, tone your core and burn calories.”

Ordinarily, this is the sort of gym I stay far away from. I’ll be honest – I’ve never liked spin classes and the only association I have with bikes are leisurely rides through a picturesque countryside. My Mamil husband has been trying to convince me to get on a bike for the longest time and I have resisted thus far.

Then a friend asked me to join her. Keep her company – she said. Stupidly, I did.

Signing Up for Flycycle

I must be getting old because I managed to bungle up the sign-up process which was clearly too tech-savvy for the likes of me. For newbies, this is the order that things must be done in:

  1. Sign up to create an account
  2. Purchase miles – in other words, buy a pass for your class. 1 mile = 1 class.
  3. Book a bike – reserve your slot for your desired class at your preferred date and time.

You cannot book a bike until you purchase miles. You cannot rock up on the day to attend a class without booking a bike first – although you could do it on a smartphone if there are still empty spots available.

Newbie Package

If this is your first time ever, you can purchase the “first fliers” package which gives you two classes for the price of one.

Newbie Welcome

First timers are encouraged to attend class 15 minutes earlier so the studio manager can help you get acquainted with the way things work. They’ll show you how to adjust your bike, where to get your towels and weights, and how to clip in and clip out of your pedals because you’ll be riding with cleated cycling shoes.

If you don’t know what cleated cycling shoes are, they are just special biking shoes that have these clips under the ball of your foot that clips onto the bike pedals so your foot doesn’t slip off while you’re pedaling. The Mamil has them but that doesn’t mean I know anything about getting them on or off the bike. Plus it’s so dark in there, I don’t even know what I’m doing half the time.

Perhaps it was my air of confidence or maybe I was supposed to flag down the studio manager personally but I didn’t get the welcoming memo. Thankfully, I was next to a lovely lady who showed me all those little things.

  • Bike Seat – needs to be hip height.
  • Distance from Bike Seat to Handlebars – should be the length of your forearm from elbow to fingertips.
  • Handlebar Height – needs to be slightly higher than your bike seat.
  • Clipping in – align the ball of your foot onto the pedal and push down and forward until you feel it “click” in.
  • Clipping out – twist your heel to the side until it comes lose.

Paying to Get Tortured

It was only a beginners class and I thought I was dying! I mean, I can’t believe people pay to have this done to them. Oh wait, I did that.

I left the Polar Beat at home so these were the stats I managed to record with the Apple Watch:

Flycycle

I must confess that this is probably not even an accurate depiction of the workout because I cheated. Instead of increasing the resistance by full turns like I was supposed to, I did three quarter half alright! quarter turns. If we had been a group of bikers on the road, I would have been left in the dust a long time ago. Our instructor would tell us to pick up the tempo, but my legs just would not go faster. I couldn’t even match pace at my reduced resistance! And that threw me out because I couldn’t follow the rhythm – if everyone counted 4, I probably did 3 actually make that 2.

They say that you can dissociate your head from your body and imagine that the pain your body endures is not really happening to you. I tried that. It didn’t work. Maybe I wasn’t trying hard enough. The only light at the end of the tunnel was that the class runs for 45 minutes. Not that it stopped me looking at my watch every two minutes to count down the minutes to the end of class. And now I have one more “mile” to go before I can officially hang up my cleated shoes.

District 21: The Sky Trail

I finally had a chance to get on the Sky Trail in District 21! Unfortunately, I didn’t bring a camera or a GoldPro, so I didn’t get any pictures of the challenges, except for this video which a friend took for me:

The sky trail is one big loop of challenges with two short-cuts that allow you to get back to the home base more quickly. Since I wasn’t sure when I would ever get the chance to do this again, I was determined to make it all the way through.

According to the District 21 website, there are 23 challenges, but I honestly cannot remember half of them. The only ones that really made an impression on me were the ones I struggled with – like the tyres. There is something mentally unnerving to watch the two people ahead of me attempt the challenge only to bail halfway and take the shortcut passage home. By the time it was my turn, I had to question the wisdom of getting on. Then again, who knew when I was ever going to get another chance at this. If I didn’t at least attempt it now, it could be a whole other year before I got another chance at it.

The first thing to go wrong was that my shoe got stuck and I couldn’t pull my foot free to move forward. By the time I made it to the next tyre, my other shoe was stuck despite my best efforts to step with the finesse of an elf. I was more than halfway across when the tyre I was on started spinning around in a circle, tangling my safety rope. If I didn’t spin back, I couldn’t move forward because my safety rope would be snagged. So I waited for the tyre to complete its arc and return me back to the original position. Except it didn’t. It stopped moving and I was a like a boat caught in a dead calm unable to move forward or backward.

It’s funny how your brain stops thinking when you get scared. Even though I could have let go of the tyre completely and hang by the safety rope as I untangled myself, the thought never occurred to me while I was stuck in that predicament. After swiveling around for a bit, I managed to get enough momentum to swing back and move forward. There was a point when I considered backtracking except that I was more than halfway across and I would have less to cover if I continued moving forwards.

Image Source: Timeout

Image Source: Pinterest District 21 - Tyres District 21 - Rope web

District 21 - Rope tunnel

Image Sources: Pinterest, Timeout, Youtube.

The other memorable challenge was the one with the pulley system. It was one of the last challenges where you have to step on a board and pull a rope to move the board across to the other side. The difficulty with this challenge was the stiffness of the pulley. If you pulled too hard, the board would jerk and you could lose your balance. If you didn’t pull hard enough, the board wouldn’t move.

Now that I’ve ticked the Sky Trail box at District 21, it’s time to stretch the boundaries yet again and move on to the next target – the Extreme Challenge at SkyTrex. They say that fear keeps you alive. Well, I feel alive because I feel the fear. It feels incredibly empowering to face the fear, go through it and come out the other side.

“I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” – Dune

Related:

Jungle Janes: The Return to Bukit Tabur West

Can it be nearly 14 years ago that I last hiked Bukit Tabur West?

Jungle Janes at Tabur West

Hiking Permit

A new regulation came into effect a couple of years back and you now require a hiking permit to hike at Bukit Tabur (East and West) which you can get from the Forestry Department in Cheras:

  • Address: Km 11, Jalan Cheras, Cheras, Selangor, 43200 Kajang, Malaysia
  • Phone: +60 3-9075 2885
  • Opening hours:
    • Mon to Thu – 8am to 1pm; 2pm to 5pm
    • Fri – 8am to 12.15pm; 2.45pm to 5pm

Tabur West Starting Point

Park your car here. There is a concrete platform marking the trail entrance.

About Bukit Tabur West

Bukit Tabur West is both physically and technically challenging. It is not a hike for the acrophobics so if you are afraid of heights, this trail is not for you.

There is no warm up. The trail launches straight into a relentless ascent that takes you through 6 mini peaks before the round trip descent to your starting point.

Hiking time depends on how fast and fit you are. We are average hikers – we are neither iron ladies or a sedentary bunch and it took us about 4 hours.

Jungle Janes at Tabur West

Jungle Janes at Tabur West

Jungle Janes at Tabur West

Jungle Janes at Tabur West

Jungle Janes at Tabur West

Jungle Janes at Tabur West

Jungle Janes at Tabur West

Jungle Janes at Tabur West

Jungle Janes at Tabur West

Jungle Janes at Tabur West

Jungle Janes at Tabur West

Jungle Janes at Tabur West

Jungle Janes at Tabur West

Jungle Janes at Tabur West

Jungle Janes at Tabur West

Jungle Janes at Tabur West

Jungle Janes at Tabur West

Jungle Janes at Tabur West

Jungle Janes at Tabur West

Jungle Janes at Tabur West

At the Final Peak

Jungle Janes at Tabur West

Final Descent

There is a patch of mossy forest near this part that you can check out before making the trek home.

Jungle Janes at Tabur West