#HBSummerShare Finale! Congrats to All!

We hope all of your enjoy every minute of #HBSummerShare, we definitely did. Hopefully it has inspired you to challenge yourself and others to not only ride more but enjoy life as well. We want to thank you for sharing your summers with us! You have #RAISEDTHEBAR!

10 Weeks of Instagrams #HBSummerShare

10 Weeks of Instagram #HBSummerShare

Jess will be emailing all riders that rode 45 or more rides during the 10 weeks so you can pick up your #HBSummerShare towel. And now for the big reveal of the riders with the more rides!

The top three riders are…..

1. Caitlyn Kerrigan with 87 rides
2. Jaclyn Johnson with 85 rides
3. Katelyn Cunniff with 80 rides

Not only do these three riders win a #HBSummerShare towel but the Grand Prize Winner, Caitlyn Kerrigan, has won a complimentary unlimited month of free riding. The two runner up winners, Jaclyn Johnson and Katelyn Cunniff, have both won an entire week of unlimited riding. Congrats ladies!

#HBSummerShare Towels!

#HBSummerShare 2015 Towels!

Remember to ride every day like its Summer Share! Stay active, keep challenging yourself and take yourselves to new heights. You created and successfully committed to a summer with sharing.

10 Weeks of Twitter #HBSummerShare

10 Weeks of Twitter #HBSummerShare

Tweet us your favorite moments of this summers #HBSummerShare @the_handle_bar!

by amy frankenthaler

HB Summer Festival on Tour with Two Kick-Ass Rides: #HBonTour

#HBonTour

Ride Details:

FENWAY- Kendrick Lamar & Drake Ride: 8/3/15 at 5:00PM + 6:00PM with ELISE

SOUTHIE- Charlie XCX & Lindsey Sterling Ride: 8/4/15 at 5:45PM with JESS

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Kendrick Lamar and Drake Ride

 Album 'To Pimp a Butterfly' by Kendrick LamarDrake

Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) hasn’t played Boston in a while, but has been active in the festival circuit the past year. He recently headlined at Bonnaroo this year and will be playing the Outside Lands (8/7-8/9) music festival in San Francisco. Drake (@Drake) needs far less introduction has he has become quite famous the past couple years. He’s dropped “If You’re Reading This Its Too Late” early in 2015 and has been on fire all year. Drake has a busy August and September he will be playing Festivals in Canada: OVO Fest (8/2-8/3) and The Squamish Valley Music Festival (8/7-8/9) and then….Music Midtown Festival in GA (9/18-9/19), Landmark Music Festival in DC (9/26), ACL Music Festival in Austin, TX (10/2) and Route 91 Musical Festival in Las Vegas (10/2-10/4). Both Kendrick Lamar and Drake are rap-tastic and we can not wait to see how Elise brings these two together!


Artists similar to Kendrick Lamar: J. Cole, A$AP Rocky, Big Sean, Childish Gambino, Wiz Khalifa

Artists similar to Drake: The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa, J. Cole, Kid Cudi, Jay-Z

Reserve your saddle today! Click here

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Charlie XCX and Lindsey Stirling Ride

  Charli XCXLindsey StirlingJ

ess is bringing these two bad ass chicks together for an energy filled ride! You have definitely heard Charli XCX (@charli_xcx) if you have spun at The Handle Bar this Spring/Summer. Charli XCX was featured in Icona Pop’s ginormous hit “I Love It”. She’s about to go on a huge tour with the Bleachers with Jack Antonoff, they actually will be swinging by the House of Blues in Boston 9/14/2015! Lindsey Stirling (@lindseystirling) combines classical music with EDM, hip hop and probably more into just magic. You can catch Lindsey Stirling in a ton of festivals this August including Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco (8/7-8/9), The Billboard Hot 100 Musical Festival (8/22-8/23) in Jones Beach NY and some smaller venues in between.

 

Artists similar to Charlie XCX: Ellie Goulding, Grimes, Icona Pop, Sia, Purity Ring, Lana Del Ray

Artists similar to Lindsey Stirling: Skrillex, David Garrett, Escala, Taylor Davis, Audiomachine

Reserve your saddle today! Click here

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Have suggestions on where to take the #HBonTour? Tweet us @the_handle_bar and we’d love to hear where you would like to go on tour next!

by amy frankenthaler

#HBSummerShare 2015: Commit to a Summer Worth Sharing

by amy frankenthaler

1

Have you signed up for #HBSummershare yet? If Not Now? When? #HBSummerShare starts June 1st, you have only a couple more days to take advantage of this fantastic deal: $400 for 10 weeks of UNLIMITED riding. How will you #raisethebar this summer?

We were able to reach out to four of our awesome HBriders that both won #HBSummerShare last summer Alisun Kovach, Dayna Isley, Becky Anzalone and Nicole Castillo. Thanks again ladies for sharing your experiences with us, we love our #HBFam! We had them reflect on their experience last summer with HBSummerShare:

 

1)What inspired you to sign up for #HBSummerShare last summer?

Becky Anzalone: I signed up #HBSummerShare last summer as a way to hold me accountable for my workout routine. I find it hard in the summer months to keep up with a consistent routine with the lure of outdoor patio drinking.  I already found myself spinning a few nights a week so it made sense (as well as the cost-savings of being able to have an unlimited pass to spin classes).

Nicole Castillo:I was training for a half-marathon, and I wanted to step up my game. Spinning made a huge difference, because I am able to achieve a much harder cardio doing it than running. Also, the competition was just so fun! And pretty much I’ll do anything for free swag. 🙂

Alisun Kovach: I never participated in any kind of challenge before, I thought the #HBSummerShare sounded really fun, and seemed like a great way to prioritize working out during the summer. Plus the potential to win a free month of unlimited riding and a free shirt had me sold!

Dayna Isley: I ran my first half marathon in May last year. Running, as it turns out, is not my favorite. I needed a change, and #HBSummerShare seemed like a good challenge.

2)Describe your experience. What was the best part about #HBSummerShare last year?

Becky Anzalone:I am so glad I participated last year! One of my good friends also did it with me, so we could both motivate each other and use it as an excuse to see each other more often.  I also loved having the board up on display – talk about accountability! It was also a great way to see how you were stacking up versus other riders. The competitive element was really motivating! I also really enjoyed the social media aspect and tagging my instagram pics and tweets with the #HBsummershare.  It’s a great way to stay connected with other HB riders/instructors.

Nicole Castillo: It was incredible! A friend (Valerie Abeille) and I did it — she was at Fenway and I was at Southie and we could watch each others’ progress on the leaderboard. It was hard at times to stick with it because I would “fall behind” when I went on vacation. But, knowing I had a goal to reach, got me to hit spin at times when I normally would just skip it… like before I got on the airplane for a summer vacation, or early in the morning after a late night out.

Alisun Kovach: Participating in the #HBSummerShare was awesome. Since I was at the studio so much, I got to meet a lot of new people and was able to get to know the girls who work there too (love them all!). I also loved that you got points not only for going to classes, but also for posting on instagram (truth be told, I didn’t have an insta account until the challenge started, and now I can’t get enough of it). It was fun walking around and finding random things that would remind you of the HB, and therefore remind you to get your butt to class, and like I said, prioritize working out, even when all you really wanted to do was lay at the beach all day.

Dayna Isley: I had been spinning some at the Handle Bar in Southie since it opened, but #HBSummerShare really kicked things up. I learned that I could spin a lot–even in the morning!–and really love it.  By the end of summer, I could even make it through both sets of arms in Elise’s hour of power Saturday classes. I felt stronger and had fun in the process.

3) Are you signed up for #HBSummerShare this summer? If so, what are you looking forward to most?

Becky Anzalone: I signed up for my second #HBsummershare for this summer and I can’t wait until it starts.  I am excited to have an unlimited pass to ride all summer long and stay motivated by all the amazing riders at the Handle Bar  (I have a couple friends who I plan on riding with this summer as well!). I’ve tried other spin studios over the years across the city, but the sense of community at Handle Bar, is part of what keeps me coming back.  #HBSummerShare is a prime example of why I love spinning at the Handle Bar.

Nicole Castillo: I’m not… because I have the VIP membership… or I totally would! I am still going to hashtag and post. The Handlebar ladies of twitter are already in full force. I’m excited to join them. I’m at @niccastillo1017 I’m all about the social media engagement. Last year, I did a top 10 things I learned from #HBSummerShare. Let’s see what I come up with this year. 🙂

Alisun Kovach: I haven’t decided if I’m singing up yet, but I would really like to win a beach towel, so I probably will!

Dayna Isley: I signed up for #HBSummerShare again because it was so motivating and fun last year. Because I like spin, I know I’ll stick with it; and if I ever feel like slacking, the challenge will keep me motivated. It’s also a great deal when you break it down. Bring on June 1!

An Instagram posted by Becky last summer for #HBSummerShare. A great example of the hashtag social media challenge in action.

An Instagram posted by Becky last summer for #HBSummerShare. A great example of the hashtag social media challenge in action.


If you still aren’t convinced, we’ve put together a list of the top reasons to participate in #HBSummerShare.

Top Five Reasons to Join #HBSummerShare 2015:

  1. Stay in Shape and Motivated all Summer long with a Steal of a Deal                       Each studio will track those participating in the riding competition. It’s officially bikini season, we have to keep that beach body we worked so hard to get! Can’t give up now, keep that beach body all summer long with #HBSummerShare. Ten weeks of unlimited riding for just $400 lets you stay in shape and save for those amazing summer adventures.
  2. #HBFam + #HBCommunity Support (Forever and Always <3)                                Join the #HBFam this summer not only in the saddle, but whereever your summer adventures take you! Simply, by tagging #HBSummerShare in a Facebook post, Instagram or tweet, your #HBFam will be right there with you. We, also, encourage you to make some new #HBSummerShare 2015 friends and meet up both on AND off the saddle. This is strongly encouraged in any and all challenges this summer..after all…“You CAN Spin With Us” 🙂
  3. Adjusted Summer Schedule- Just for YOU                                                         We know you’re busy, its summer, its warm…you want to be on the beach. We have tailored our weekend schedules to accommodate just that. Please take a look at your home studio’s schedules because weekend times have been added and changed for the summer effective this weekend. All the more reason to squeeze in a ride or two with your unlimited #HBSummerShare package.
  4. Prizes (Who doesn’t like prizes?)                                                                          We like prizes! If you participate in the riding competition and ride 45 times in 10 weeks…that’s just 4-5 times per week…you win a beautiful #HBSummerShare 2015 beach towel. Think of all those at the beach or pool envious of that gorgeous towel you EARNED. The top four rides will win FURTHER unlimited riding packages.                                                                              If you participate in the hashtag/social media competition, you have a chance to win a prize EVERY week of the competition. Each week, our favorite hashtagged post will be announced and the winner will receive a gift from 1 of our favorite local spots. The sponsor and prize will be announced at the start of each week, and to get you started  – here’s what we have for our first 4 weeks of the competition:

    Week 1 Prize: Handle Bar embroidered Backpack or duffle (of your choice)

    Week 2 Prize: A tasty gift from a tasty place! $50 to Tasty Burger

    Week 3 Prize: Feeling feisty? Post to win $50 to Loco Taqueria and Oyster Bar in Southie!

    Week 4 Prize:  A Perky Gift from our new Fenway neighbor! Pavement Coffee $50 gift card

                                     More prizes to be released next week!

  5. Competition                                                                                                                                             Challenge your friends, family, neighbors, mailman, new and old HB friends and more importantly YOURSELF to ride more, ride stronger, ride proud. Share the link to this blog with anyone you want to see sitting on that saddle next to you.                                                                                                                           This is your summer, your time to shine, to kick ass, so take charge! The summer of you is waiting…so grab a #HBSummershare package and watch yourself transform in just 10 weeks. The challenge starts June 1st, so act fast.

Click here to purchase your #HBSummerShare 2015 purchase.

Once the #HBSummerShare kicks off on June 1st, we’ll be following your progress riding AND sharing your Instagrams/tweets to keep you motivated and on track all summer long. Be sure to tag #HBSummerShare in your posts!

Tweet at us when and why you chose to sign up for #HBSummerShare to @The_Handle_Bar for twitter AND instagram!  Doing the #HBSummerShare for the second year in a row? We want to hear from you too, share your experiences just like Alisun, Dayna, Becky and Nicole. We may just share some on and before the #HBSummerShare kickoff June 1st.

As always, see you in the saddle!

The new LEADERBOOK for #HBSummerShare2015! Keep track of your progress and competition!

The new LEADERBOOK for #HBSummerShare 2015! Keep track of your progress and competition!

A city, a studio, a community

By Falon Sweeney

There are two things in this world I enjoy more than anything else: traveling and fitness. However, the ease with which the two go together is pretty variable from place to place. Some places (mostly in the US), it’s super easy to fit in your daily sweat; and others, it can be a bit more difficult—like when I tried to go running in Ecuador and got chased by a few vicious dogs. That made me sweat. But no matter what, I try my best to stay active and explore how others incorporate fitness or just general activity into their daily lives.

In the past year I’ve had the chance to explore the fitness scepicstitchnes in Boston, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. I can say with confidence—no matter how fit Forbes ranks us—that Boston is the most “fit” for fitness. The charisma of this city makes it so easy to be active whether you love it or you hate it. We can walk almost everywhere and have some of the most scenic running and cycling routes. We are the home of the most popular marathon in the country. But most of all, we have the best sense of community I’ve yet to come across. We are #BostonStrong and we have been for much longer than a mere four months.

Outside of New England, Bostonians have a reputation of being abrasive and unwelcoming—something about our harsh accents and great driving skills. But just like one can’t actually park his car in Harvard yard, one can’t condemn our sense of community, either. We’ve got each other’s back no matter in time of tragedy or just daily life.

Boston’s group exercise scene is a growing community within a community. It’s an awesome mix of inspiration, support, and sweat. At The Handle Bar we are constantly building our community and welcoming riders old and new to come join our party. Bring a friend, or two, or five and see what we’re all about. Whether you come for one of our Glo-cycle class (August 29!) or a casual ride during your lunch break, we can guarantee you’ll have a blast—and manage to get a great workout in.

See you in the saddle–we’ve got your back!

Vacation like a pro—5 tips to stick with your healthy lifestyle on vacation

By Falon Sweeney

As we reach the final stretch of summer, many of us are either returning from or just setting out on a well-deserved vacation before the brisk autumn air sets in.  Vacations are arguably the hardest times to stay on track with a healthy lifestyle, for good reason. Family, friends, food, and drink—all day, every day. We all face the pressure to give in and temporarily “give up”on our healthy habits, either from family members or ourselves. Because, come on, we’re on vacation. But with a few minor tweaks to your mindset, you can indulge guilt-free and ensure you stay on track with your healthy lifestyle upon your return from paradise. 

If your hotel or rental has a kitchen, stock up on healthy staples and snacks to munch on. This way, you’re not eating out every single night. Not only will this keep your nutrition in check, but it will save you some serious dough—something the entire family is sure to agree on.

Feeling anxious about how you’re going to get those workouts in without disrupting family time? Relax. You are on vacation, aren’t you? Instead of trying to squeeze fitness in whenever you have a moment away from the fam, plan active days with the whole group. That way, everyone’s getting some exercise—not just you. Try going for a hike, throwing a Frisbee around on the beach, or even swimming in your hotel’s pool. If your family is down to try out a few fitness classes, the OmFinder app uses your location to find yoga, Pilates, and cycling classes nearby. Many places have great deals for newcomers, so do your research!

Be the bartender. Before you jet away, spend a few minutes on Pinterest and come up with a few guilt-free cocktail recipes. If you check out our “Retox” board, you’ll find some of our favorite drinks that are sure to please.

Indulge responsibly. We’ve said it once before and we’ll say it again. Where’s the fun if you don’t indulge every once in a while? Before you sail away, think about what you might want to indulge in and try to plan for it—but don’t overdo it with the planning. Just be mindful.

Lastly, keep it real. If you screw up and have dessert every single night, whatever. It’s in the past and I’m sure you enjoyed every bite. Just being mindful about your decisions makes all the difference—that way you’re more apt to make healthy decisions and enjoy the less-than-healthy ones.

See you back in the saddle!

A great ending or a fresh start? Enter August with gusto

Happy August!

For some reason, August always seems like one long Sunday. It’s the last month before a new season begins and for many the end of vacations, a lighter work schedule, and spending time with loved ones, just as Sunday marks the end of the weekend and the last day before a brand new week. You can view August—just like Sunday—as the end of something. OR you can view this month as the beginning of something completely new and exciting.  I choose the latter.

However, August is also a time of reflection. It’s a chance to acknowledge that these sweet summer days are coming to an end and to think about what you’ve done in the past few months. If you set goals, did you meet them? Did you make time to see an old friend? Did you spend a few lazy days by the beach and forget your worries? Did you try something new?

august

That last question there is a loaded one. Really, think about it. In these past three months, through the heat waves, the thunderstorms, and the beach days, did you find time to take a step out of your comfort zone and experience something totally new? Stepping out of your comfort zone doesn’t necessarily mean you had to have gone skydiving or moved cross-country (though if you did, that’s awesome!). It can be as simple as finally trying a vegetable you thought you’d never enjoy or even taking a different route to work in the morning.

The point is—if you are constantly doing and seeing the same things day, after day, after day, it can get old, real fast. The monotony of everyday life can really run us down and sometimes it can be very sneaky. We have learned to love routine, plans, and micromanaging, and often times we are too busy looking at the details. We fail to see the forest for the trees.

If you consciously choose to do something new each and every day—no matter how small—you will be able to better shape the “big picture”. You are making those small choices and avoiding monotony with the notion that the proverbial bigger picture exists, and that you have at least some control over how it turns out. Because at the end of the day—or the season, the week, or the year—it’s not the details that we reminisce about, it’s the overall experiences we have. So I challenge you; do one thing each and every day that you did not do the day before. And if that seems like too big a challenge, do that one thing you have been telling yourself you’d do all summer. Because before you know it, Labor Day will have come and gone and you’ll still be daydreaming about all those things you “wish” you could’ve done.

Dream it. Do it. Live it.

By: Falon Sweeney 

Handle the Heat

It’s day four of Boston’s third heat wave of the summer. And it’s only mid-July? Yikes. Just thinking about anything fitness related makes me sweat. So I could just sit here, think about working out, and then call it a day, right? Nope. Even in this oppressive heat, it’s still important to #earnyoursweat. That said, we have to be extra in-tune with our bodies before, during, and after our sweat sessions. Here are a few tips to help you beat the heat and stay fit: 

 Fuel: High temps add some serious stress to our bodies that are already working hard during a workout. That’s why it’s so important to make sure we are fueling our bodies with only food that will make us better able to work intensely in the heat. I love to cook, but when it’s hot out, the LAST thing I want to do is slave over a hot grill or stove, or dare I say, turn on the oven. So with three modes of cooking off the table, how on earth are we supposed to cook healthy food? Two words: Don’t cook.

 Feeling limited by the heat of the stove and the repetitiveness of salad after salad? Try out this Watermelon Gazpacho recipe to keep you cool and to refresh your dinner menu:

Ingredients:

6 cups seedless watermelon, cubed

2 medium cucumbers, seeded, diced

4 inner celery stalks, diced

1/2 small red onion, diced

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

 

1. Puree 4 of the 6 cups of watermelon in a blender

2.  Add 2 of the 6 cups of watermelon along with all other ingredients to a bowl

3. Add watermelon puree

4. Garnish with fresh mint

Serves 4

Source: The Crankin’ Kitchen

Instead of a hearty breakfast of eggs and bacon, start your day with this energizing green smoothie.

Hydration: I cannot begin to stress how important it is to not only rehydrate after a sweat session, but to also pre-hydrate if you know you’re going to be working out. Thirst is your body’s way of letting you know it’s dehydrated. If you’re thirsty, I would recommend waiting a while to workout so that you can assure that you’ve properly pre-hydrated. To make sure I’m getting my daily two liters of water, I carry around a water bottle at all times. On hot days like these—especially when you’re going to be working out—you probably want to drink a bit more than what’s recommended. For women, it’s about two liters (68oz) per day, and for men three liters (101oz).

As we are big advocates of “everything in moderation,” we can absolutely sympathize with your need to retox every once and a while—especially in this crazy heat. But alcohol—just like caffeine—dehydrates you. So, if you decide to end the day with a cold one, make sure you have a glass of water or two for every alcoholic beverage you consume.

It’s definitely tough to actually want to sweat more in this heat, but we hope that you’ll still join us for a sweat session or two this week. Come in for any of our midday classes for half price on any day the temp reads higher than 90°.

Stay cool!

-Falon 

 

It Starts With Food

On Monday, I finished my first pleasure read of the summer. A great stride, if I do say so myself. Every semester I find myself needing a stronger prescription for my contacts. I blame the hundreds of pages per week I’m required to read. That’s why it’s unlikely to find me reading anything more than online health and fitness articles and the occasional Sunday Globe front page until at least midsummer. This summer, however, is a little bit different. My interest in health, nutrition, and fitness has kicked into high gear, so you can almost always find me reading up on the fitness world’s latest and greatest. So, naturally, my first pleasure read was about food and its mind-blowing impact on our health. 

Note: When I come across something I love, I talk it up. Big time. Not because I’m an aspiring saleswoman, but because I truly believe in the value of whatever it is I happen to be raving about and want the whole world to reap its benefits. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always play out like that. But, I do believe that if I talk about something enough, the right people will listen.

So, without further ado, my thoughts on It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. 

ISWF

It Starts With Food (ISWF) is exactly what I have been looking for in a health book. It explains all the trappings of healthy lifestyle (and diet) and why they matter. It debunks the motives behind trendy gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free diets, and explains why we feel the way we do when we eat certain foods—something that I’ve been struggling to grasp for a long time—in a simplified yet oh-so-scientific manner. In my humble opinion, it is a book that would do worlds of good for the hundreds of thousands of Americans suffering from lifestyle related diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, and even some kinds of cancer. If you want to understand the effect of what you’re putting into your body has on your health or are just seeking some motivation, seriously, read this book. Or at least a few of the creators’ blog posts (http://whole9life.com/category/whole-30/).

The book encourages you to make lifestyle changes, rather than failing on diet after diet. It offers a solution many dietary and lifestyle issues, should you so choose to listen. The creators wrote the book in conjunction with the development of a 30-day no-cheat program that recommends no added sugars, vegetable oils, dairy, or grains. Oh, and it claims to change your life.

I know what you’re thinking—don’t all diet gimmicks make that claim? Yes, but…Whole30 is different. Just read the hundreds of success stories on their website (http://whole9life.com/category/testimonials/), and at the beginning of each chapter. Whether you lose 20 pounds or simply discover more about your body and it’s response to certain foods, it just might, in one way or another, change your life.

What it is not: An over-complicated diet book with meal plans, cheat days, and unsustainable requirements that makes promises it cannot keep.

The Best PartISWF’s authors created the Whole30 program to show you how good you are capable of feeling. The program asks that you make various dietary changes for only one month as a science experiment, if you will. If you can make it through the 30 days and want to continue with the lifestyle changes you made, hooooray! If not, that’s O.K., too. But at least you know how you could feel with a little bit of effort. Heck, you don’t even have to do the program. But at least you will be able to understand the emotional, hormonal, and immune reactions you have to certain foods.

I finished ISWF with a new understanding of why my body does what it does. Why it doesn’t shed pounds when I restrict calories and exercise like a maniac. Why I crave sugar after dinner. Just about everything except for why my eyes are blue. I embarked on my first Whole30 journey with my best friend on Monday, July 8. Four days in and we are going strong! I’m going to continue spinning at The Handle Bar and see what impact a change in my diet will have in addition to my regular exercise routine. Reading this book and starting its 30-day challenge is my own way of raising the bar. How will you raise the bar this summer?

Falon Sweeney