out on a school night

the handle bar boston / elizabethcraneswartz.comI'm not going to lie. when boston bloggers posted this event I thought it was a fun night out at an actual bar. with big girl drinks. you know, like biker themed decor with cocktails called 'the harley' or 'motor oil' (these exist BTW). but then I read the description... I'll spare you the dialog of my internal debate but the end result was 'what the heck, why not?' so I signed up for an evening of sweating and spinning at the handle bar. there's two in boston and this was at the newer fenway location. and because I'm not the most athletic (or in shape) I brought along my younger daughter for moral support and accountability. actually abby's been asking to try spinning because running bothers her knees and this would be perfect for her summer training. I first tried spinning way back before abby was even born but I just couldn't get into it. my friend had insisted I try at least three classes before I gave up - one instructor was super zen and quiet, the second was like a drill sergeant barking orders, and the third was OK but his music sucked and he didn't push enough. I'm like goldilocks - I want fun, energetic, encouraging but not too pushy, and did I say fun? the handle bar boston / elizabethcraneswartz.com you guys! I was impressed from the moment we walked in off the street - bright and spacious with clever branding throughout. we checked in with Jess, the owner, and picked up our cycling shoes ($2 to rent but I recommend buying if you're planning to spin frequently) and then headed in to the bike 'studio' which looked more like a nightclub than your average gym. the staff was very hands-on getting us setup with the equipment, explaining what to expect and how get the most out of the class. I was a little skeptical that our motley crew of boston bloggers, with varying degrees of spinning experience (and ages - abby's almost 16 and I'm not almost 16), would all succeed in the same class but it truly doesn't matter - for every set we were told how to increase the intensity or how take it down a notch. handlebar and the music! jess had a killer playlist, matched perfectly to the energy and pace. (pro tip: check out the handle bar's blog and subscribe to their spotify playlists!) this goldilocks is definitely interested in trying more classes. I love that you can reserve your bike up to a week in advance, they offer great 'bulk' discounts and if you bring a friend her first class is free. if anyone's up for some spinning, let me know and I'll meet you there!

full disclosure: we were offered a complimentary spin class but all opinions expressed are 100% my own