Hey all! I’ve been SO BUSY FINALLY living life again after grad school that I have so much to catch you all up on! Today I’ll start filling you in on some awesome REI Outdoor classes I took in June!
Intro to Road Cycling 6/8
Since I got real road bike in Jan, I thought this would be a good class to take to learn more tips on how to improve form, get questions answered about training and what to look for in new gear (clip ins, shoes, and maybe a new bike sometime next year….). Not only did I get ALL of that, but I ended up being the ONLY person in the class! (Disclaimer: this is NOT a normal thing to happen, but I’ll explain how this amazing chance occurred below!)
Originally there were 3 people signed up for the class (including myself). When I arrived, apparently one person dropped out after the 48hr drop period ended and the third person was running late. When the 3rd person arrived, she took one look at us and said, “You look like legit bikers, I was signed up for this class as a gift and I think they signed me up for this as a mistake. I don’t even know how to ride a bike.” Long story short, that person was transferred to the other “Intro to Biking (How to Ride a Bike for Adults)” class going on that day, while my instructor and I went on a near 30 mile bike ride.
We went along the American River Trail, did some street riding, and stopped a couple places along the way for breaks (cuz riding hard in running shoes = feet fall asleep). My instructor and I rode side by side most of the time at a good clip, but still able to hold a conversation. He told me all kinds of tips about riding, answered all the questions I had, and told me that my bike is a bit short (lengthwise) for my body. He said its fine for now, but I “sit up” a bit more than usual.
Who this class is for: If you have NEVER been on a road bike before, are pretty new to biking rules of the road, have a beginner fitness level etc… this class is for you. Normally, the ride is 6 miles out, stop for hour lecture, 6 miles back. Had I known, I would have taken this class in Jan when I was given this hand-me-down bike. Since I’ve been riding and had already done a sprint triathlon on this bike, if this class were like “usual”, it would have been too slow paced for me, especially since I would be among 7 other people of a variety of fitness levels.
What is SUP? SUP = Stand Up Paddleboarding. What is SUP Yoga? Doing yoga on a paddle board! You work your core SO MUCH MORE! If you love yoga and are looking for a new challenge, try SUP Yoga! I LOVE IT! This class was held at Willow Creek at a local State Park (had to pay to park) from 6:30-8:30 in the evening, but it was still 90 degrees out (so hot…).
How the class is structured: First we had introductions, all 15 of us: 1 yoga instructor, 1 safety officer, 13 students. Our yoga teacher had us break the ice by sharing our “guilty pleasure”. Many people said food types or shows, but I said “I’m taking guitar lessons to specifically learn how to play and sing all the Taylor Swift songs”, which people seemed to like. Yes I like Taylor Swift 🙂 And guitar lessons is another thing I need to blog about…. Anyway after ice breakers we were briefed on how to properly use a life vest, paddle board, carrying equipment in/out of the water, rules etc.. This took maybe 30-40 min.
Then it was time to get in the water! There are bungee cords attached to the top of the paddle board, so you can carry gear like water bottles, strap your shoes underneath when you are on the board etc. Very handy! Since this is a SUP yoga class, we only paddled out maybe 100 yards near a little rock island area to start our yoga class. We only use the life vests to paddle out and back, not during our yoga session (so it goes under the bungee in the meantime).
It was SO awesome being on the water, feeling the breeze, water at your finger tips (during some modified poses) and it is way more challenging to do balance poses! A few people fell in during the course of the class (all in good fun) and it was kind of funny going into a warrior pose and then hearing “Splash” “giggle”. We did about a full hour of yoga and then at the end, she opened up the opportunity for people to do headstands/forearm balance poses on the paddle board. Honestly this is probably the best place to practice that since you fall into water instead of on the hard ground. I didn’t want to be soaking wet on the ride home, so I opted out, but my next SUP Yoga class is in the morning followed by an intro to SUP class right after, so I’ll be sure to try then! (and I’ll be dry by the time I go home)
Who this class is for: Anyone looking to expand their yoga horizons!
Why you should take REI Outdoor School classes:
- After each class you get 20% off coupon for REI or Novara brand item (no expiration!) after you fill out the class survey (rank quality of course, content, instructors).
- Discounted classes for members (usually $20+ off depending on the class). So join here (one time $19 cost)!
- Annual refund: For certain full priced items purchased, you get 10% back, so it all adds up! Like GUs!
- Learn a new skill or hone one you are looking for additional instruction!
- Meet new people and have fun!
Depending on your area, you might have lots of classes offered or a limited selection. Being in Sacramento, I’m fortunate to have access to ALL kinds of classes, whereas in the Monterey Bay area, they didn’t offer much at all (they had maybe 2 types of classes and not very frequently). So check out your local area on REI Outdoor School Classes online here.
Future Classes I’ll blog about:
- Morning SUP Yoga
- Intro to SUP
- Sunset SUP tour
Have you ever taken an REI Oudoor School course?