If you’ve known me for long, you know I love “Journey Rides.” If you’ve recently discovered ICA, you’ll soon discover how we love inspiring students through motivational rides such as these.
What is a Journey Ride? I like to think of them as rides in which a challenging profile, combined with empowering coaching, compels the rider to look inward and examine his thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations during the ride. Often incorporating visualization, they transcend the physical act of riding an indoor bike and become metaphors for challenges faced outside of the cycling studio. During the course of the ride, the rider develops a much greater sense of self, often leaving with heightened confidence and a desire to take on any challenge the world throws at them! Journey rides are magical!
Another thoughtful definition is this one by Master Spinning® Instructor Luciana Marcial-Vincion, co-owner of Charleston Ride in South Carolina:
A Journey RIDE is a Spinning experience that delivers a specific message through the compelling art of storytelling. The story is rendered through the profile, music, visuals, coaching language and creative room ambience elements. Journey rides weave together the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual realms to trigger thought, share ideas and explore life possibilities.
I interviewed Luciana and her partner Rebecca Young last year about how they empower their instructors at Charleston Ride. As a result, they have an extremely tight-knit group of passionate coaches that are motivated to continue learning and growing, and, as a result, keep members coming back to fill the saddles again and again. You can listen to that interview here.
Watch this short video of the upcoming Journey Rides this summer/fall at Charleston Ride. If you are anywhere within reach of Charleston, SC, get in your car and drive to Charleston Ride for one of these events. You will be in for a special treat! Not just because the profile and coaching will no doubt inspire and amaze you, but you’ll get to meet and ride with some of their great coaches. (If you do go, make sure to let us know.)
Here are the Journey Rides scheduled at Charleston Ride in August and September. Take note that certified Spinning® instructors get a discount! I sure wish I could be there.
Creating and leading these types of emotional rides has been one of my favorite things since I became a Master Instructor for Spinning® back in 1997. I’ve written about them here at ICA and have hopefully inspired many of our members to either create their own or to take our Audio Master Classes and put their own twist on them. In the near future, I’ll be giving you some tips on overcoming the fear and doubt the many instructors encounter when thinking about teaching a journey ride. Too often those fears keep these instructors from experiencing what Luciana, her coaches at Charleston Ride, and I know to be one of the most amazing experiences one can have as an indoor cycling coach: profoundly changing lives through inspiration.
The best place to start, I believe, is with detailed profiles and coaching that are laid out on a silver platter for you. After you do a couple of these, you’ll gain the skills and courage to create your own. Following are some of the always inspirational and sometimes emotional profiles that we offer on ICA for our members:
Maya’s Courage, by Billy Coburn
This is a recent profile which Billy put together in the days following Maya Angelou’s parting from this earth. It is astounding in its depth and its ability to inspire, just like this amazing woman was wherever she went. Billy has created a masterpiece with this profile. Be prepared for lots of emotion; be prepared for students who hug you and won’t let you go. Be prepared to deal with some of your own doubts and fears. Be prepared to change some lives—maybe even your own.
Energia Magica, by Jennifer Sage
This magical ride is one of Jennifer’s signature profiles. It is one long epic climb with a focus on the mind-body connection, in which you inspire your students to visualize nature around them as they climb and to draw energy from their surroundings as the hill becomes more and more challenging. This ride is truly representative of bringing the outside inside.
The Ride of Intention, by Jennifer Sage
The deeper purpose of this ride is to instill in you, the rider, the cyclist, the knowledge that you are not just a passive player in reaching the top of this, or any mountain; nor should you just “hope” you can make it. Rather, I want you to come to the realization that you should be an active participant in your success, no matter your goal. Nothing you do should be left to chance. You do this by setting a goal from the outset, attaching your desire to it, and believing with your heart and soul that you will accomplish what you set out to do regardless of the challenges that lie in your way. With this belief firmly entrenched as you begin your quest, doubts will recede, problems will become non-issues, and you take every step necessary to arrive at the top. Reaching the top of these two steep climbs becomes a metaphor for taking personal responsibility in making all things in your life—good things like your goals and dreams—happen.
You know what we call this? We call it intention!
How Big Is Your Why , by Jennifer Sage
This is not just any ol’ “New Year’s Resolution” ride; this profile is a Revolution! It challenges your students to set goals and to change the way they think about achieving them, by finding their most compelling reasons for wanting to achieve their objectives – your biggest WHY. As you read this profile, imagine your own personal goals as an indoor cycling instructor, and envision yourself taking the steps to becoming even more inspiring and helping even more students. While motivating your own students to reach their goals, you too will be achieving a milestone in your own coaching—that is how powerful this profile can be. (By the way, this may be a New Year’s ride, but really, it can be impactful at any time of the year.)
Reverie, by Jennifer Sage
On the surface this is an aerobic interval ride, but the underlying objective is to help riders enter a dreamlike “reverie” as they work–also known as a state of “Flow” or being “in the zone.” The reverie is inspired through the music selection and coaching, guiding students to trust you enough to let them ride on their own for most of the final 12-minute interval. Instructors looking for profiles for “endurance” classes will really enjoy this one.
The Delicious Ride, by Jennifer Sage
One of the biggest request for profiles that I get is for endurance rides, perhaps because some instructors have a challenging time making them seem more appealing. Some are unsure how to make them seem more appealing to their students. As long as I’ve been a master trainer, I’ve noticed that there is a fear about teaching a class at an aerobic intensity, especially for newer instructors who are afraid of alienating students who might be expecting their butts to be kicked. Fear no more, because I think I have the ride for you. This profile uses clever coaching and even body language to show your students how “delicious” this training zone is and how beneficial it can be. When you teach this profile, you’ll help your students transcend the fact they are even riding a bike!
Wish you could access these profiles?
All ICA members have access to the detailed audio and written profiles for these six journey rides, plus dozens more profiles with objectives that are focused more on fun, physiology, or technique (not to mention hundreds of educational and inspirational articles). Learn more about joining the Indoor Cycling Association.
timely article. I am working towards one long hill at the end of August, and Energia Magica looks like what I’m aiming for. I use Stranglehold in my climbing profiles too 🙂