Women Involved: Laree Schouweiler

Several of the women I've interviewed for my blog series: Women On Bikes, are much more involved with bike riding besides just getting out on a bike. I'm connecting with wheel builders, coaches, competitive athletes, and so many more. I feel that they need a new series of blog posts to share more of what they do outside of riding a bike, hence Women Involved.

I know Laree from working at the Co-Op (You'll find that many of the local women I interview are all based around my working at the Co-Op and having exchanges with them at the checkout.) Laree is the owner of Reefuel, and you can find out more information by clicking these links: Reefuel on Facebook and Reefuel (official website)

I felt that doing a feature on a local indoor cycling class was fine for this project, not only showing support for a local business but also for the fact many local bike riders are taking this class. So here you go! More about indoor cycling at Reefuel. Check out the website and learn more about the instructors, class schedules, and much more!

So for those of us who live under a rock-tell us more about indoor cycling and what it’s all about!

Indoor Cycling was made popular in the early 90s with the start of Spinning. Although, Spinning is trademarked, the philosophy of indoor cycling is to bring outdoor riding...INDOORS. Each class can simulate hill climbs, flat roads, sprints, etc with the adjustment of your tension. A 45-minute ride can burn any where from 350-500 calories, depending on the work load.

What inspired you to bring indoor cycling to Decorah? 

Indoor Cycling was something I felt would be a great addition to an already active community and one that utilizes outdoor riding to the fullest extent! I wanted to open a studio where they could still get their cycling "fix", in a fun, high-energy and challenging atmosphere. 

What was your first experience with indoor cycling like? 

My aunt and uncle are extremely active in the fitness world in the Twin Cities - both teach spinning and indoor cycling classes at gyms throughout the cities. My first experience was at 19 when I took my Aunt Laurie's class at a local YMCA. I remember not having ANY idea what to expect! It was definitely challenging and increasing my tension was something I avoided! I just wanted to make it through. I try to draw on my first experience when I teach and try remind first timers that there is a learning curve.  

What are common misconceptions about indoor cycling? 

I think the misconceptions about indoor cycling are the classes are too difficult and/or it is only working your legs. In reality, classes can made to be as challenging as each participant would like. Each instructor creates a sequence of movements for class, but the participants can increase the tension for their desired workload. Plus, indoor cycling is an amazing workout, not just for your legs, but also cardio-wise and upper body as well. There is stability involved when moving on and off the saddle for hill climbs and other standing postures which draws a lot on using your core (similar to riding outdoors) and rest hands on the bars requires slightly more weight in the upper body (triceps/shoulders). 

What suggestions would you give to someone who hasn’t taken indoor cycling, but wants to? 

If they have questions regarding classes or would like to see the studio, to drop me a line. Otherwise, throw fear aside and jump right in! Reefuel sees all walks of life finding success. It is such a low-impact exercise that can help with building strength, weight-loss and all-around better physical health.  

What is your favorite thing about indoor cycling? 

I LOVE THE SWEAT. Outside of my love for heated yoga (maybe Reefuel's next venture?), nothing produces a sweatier, all over workout like Indoor cycling. 

Tell us about your business, Reefuel and why you are so passionate about it. 

I want people to know that Reefuel is NOT a gym - we are an all encompassing indoor cycling and yoga studio that draws on pushing you to YOUR next level, not your neighbors. I hope that you would find a more personal experience at Reefuel, rather than moving from machine to machine at a gym. Reefuel hopes to create an inviting environment for those new to physical activity, encourage those who have started their journey and challenge seasoned athletes to take their mind, body and spirit to their next level. Reefuel wants eliminate the boundaries placed on fitness by offering a wide variety of exercise classes and coaching to serve EVERY body.