HB Summer Festival on Tour with ODESZA #HBonTour

HBonTour

Ride Details:
FENWAY Odesza Ride: 7/15/2015 at 5:00PM with SARAH C
SOUTHIE Odesza Ride: 7/17/2015 at 5:45PM with SARAH C

Odesza Album Cover for 'In Return'

Odesza (@odesza) was just recently in town at the House of Blues (HoB), but in case you missed them, they will be back at the HoB on November 14th! If you’d like to hear them sooner grab a saddle this week with Sarah C! Just to get you up to speed on Odesza’s music, some of their more popular songs are: “Say My Name (feat Zyra)”, “Sun Models (feat. Madelyn Grant)” and “All We Need (feat. Shy Girls).” See the Spotify playlist below to for just a small taste of their amazing music and to get you pumped for the rides.

Fun Fact: Odesza was formed in 2012 (only 3 years ago) at Western Washington University in Seattle, WA

Similar Artists:  Flume, Banks, Purity Ring, Glass Animals, Broods, Kygo

Reserve your saddle today! Click here

Have suggestions on where to take the #HBonTour? Liking the tour so far? Let us know! Tweet us @the_handle_bar and we’d love to hear your input and awesome ideas!

Odesza

by amy frankenthaler

OFFICIAL KICK OFF – HB Summer Festival Rides – #HBontour

Introducing The Handle Bar’s Summer Festival on Tour Series! We will highlight a Themed Ride/Bar Fight a week ahead of time to provide you with details on where, when and details about the artist(s). All summer long we’re paying homage to our favorite artists on this year’s festival ‘circuit’. These are the names and groups you might see on the 2015 lineups at shows like Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Coachella, Austin City Limits, and even Boston Calling!

Cara is starting out the series with a Sam Smith ride… originals, remixes and mashups featuring the artist will get you moving. Join Cara for the first stop on the HB Summer Festival Circuit: Thursday 7/2 at 5pm in FENWAY – SAM SMITH RIDE.

Reserve your saddle today! Click here

HBonTour

Next Ride Details:

Monday 7/6/2015 at 7:00PM with Candice in SOUTHIE

Album 'To Pimp a Butterfly' by Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) hasn’t played Boston in a while, but has been active in the festival circuit the past year. He received headlined at Bonnaroo this year and will be playing the OUTSIDE LANDS music festival in San Francisco Short in August. Candice’s ride could be the Kendrick Lamar festival experience you have been looking for! We’d like to welcome you to the first HB Summer Festival on Tour Ride starring Kendrick Lamar!

Just to get you up to speed, some of their more popular songs are: “King Kunta”, “Alright” and “m.A.A.d city.” Please refer to the embedded Spotify playlist below to for just a small taste of their amazing music and to get you pumped for this ride.

Similar Artists: J. Cole, A$AP Rocky, Big Sean, Childish Gambino, Wiz Khalifa

See him star in Taylor Swifts “Bad Blood”:

Reserve your saddle today! Click here

by amy frankenthaler

What you need to know about: Road Cycling!

by amy frankenthaler

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Spring is in full swing here in Boston. We are finally hitting 70 degrees, the sun is out and we are all trying to do more things outside! Spinning indoors all Fall and Winter has got us itching to cycle outdoors! It is definitely a sign of spring when those Hubway bike stations start popping up around the city (a sight for sore eyes).

I asked one of our Handle Bar instructors, Ashley Wagner to chat with us about her road cycling experience, the difference between indoor spin and road cycling. Ashley picked up road cycling right after college and made the bold decision to ride CROSS COUNTRY. Cross Country on a bike saddle, this girl must love to cycle (both indoors and out!!).

What is Road Cycling? Tell us about your experience on the road and across the country? 🙂 

Road cycling is one of my favorite things to do (beside riding inside at The Handle Bar of course 😉 ). When I ride outside I like to tour. Touring means I am not racing but using the bike to ‘tour’ an area. It is one of the best ways to explore. I love it because you get a better prospective then you would in a car, but you can cover more ground then you can on foot. Also who doesn’t love being outside on a beautiful day and getting a little exercise while you are at it!

How did you get into cycling?

I actually starting spinning inside and really liked the workout I was getting on a stationary bike so the natural next step was to take it outside. I told my sister about wanting to try road cycling. Naturally, my sister who is awesome… but a little insane, immediately found this summer cycling program called Bike and Build and convinced me to sign up. In the spirt of go big or go home, having no outside cycling experience, I signed up for a 3 month long bike tour across the country (yes 0-4000miles).

I had 6 months to train, which was a god send. The hardest part surprisingly wasn’t the fitness but was feeling confident on a bike, on the road, with cars. I like many of you, hadn’t ridden a bike since I was 10 so my skills were pretty rusty. I was able to figure it out with only a few minor falls and come June was had quit my job and was ready to ride my bike every day.

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Tell us about that how was the trip?

Turns being a little crazy paid off, it was the time of my life. If you have the time I would 100% recommend doing it. Obviously there were some growing pains at the beginning but I was so happy to be riding my bike, exploring, and being outside every day it didn’t really matter that my butt hurt. We Went from Portsmouth, NH to Vancouver BC. I was fortunate enough to ride alongside the Great Lakes, and over the Rocky’s thought Glacier National Park and put some serious miles on my bike. I learned a lot about my body and what it can do. I also learned a lot about cycling, which is something try to bring into my classes at The Handle Bar.

Is there a difference between a Spin Class and Road Cycling? What is harder? 

Honestly, I think spinning inside is harder. This is because you are in control. I am always so impressed when I see riders turn it up one extra notch or really give themselves a challenge. When you are outside you have a hill and you have no choice, you have to get over it. Inside, it takes much more mental strength to turn up that hill and intentionally make your ride harder.

For someone that has never road cycle before: How would you recommend transitioning from indoor cycling to the road? 

There are two things that are hard for people when they go from sinning to the cycling; clipping in and cars. Luckily for Handle Bar riders you already have practice clipping in, which will really go a long way. Before setting out on the street with cars and obstacles I would try clipping and unclipping a few times to be sure you know your peddles and your shoes. The other challenge is cars. They are big, fast and could squash you like a bug. This can be especially tricky in cities like Boston with few bike lanes and windy roads. When first starting out I would recommend a bike path, one of my favorites is the southwest corridor that goes through Jamaica Plan and Roxbury it is nice, and wide and off the street and a great place to get started.

What are some tips you have?

  1. Wearing a helmet is cool. I know it is a hard struggle to especially right after I have showered but my brain is too important to be vain.
  2. Get a rain guard, you never know when it is going to rain and having this on my bike with make you so much more comfortable.
  3. Start with a buddy! It was great to have my sister with me. She laughed at me when I fell over at a stop light because I couldn’t unclip in time. I also had someone with me when we road 30miles in the wrong direction in Indiana and we had to hitch hike our way to the guest site for the night. It is a great sport but it can be little intimidating to get started if you have someone with you it will make it a little easier and more fun when you stop for an ice cream break!
  4. It’s ok to fall, lets face it…it’s going to happen. You are going to feel so much better when you finally do and realize it isn’t that bad. (But be safe out there please!)
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Ashley taking her own advice about falling!

You can catch Ashley teach in Southie on Fridays at 7:15am and 4:30pm OR on the roads of Boston cruising on her bike. So be sure to hop into one of her classes or tweet at her (@amwagner23) if you have more questions about road cycling! As always if you want us to dig a little deeper into anything Handle Bar related, please reach out to us!

See you in the saddle!

2015 Kickass Summer Concerts

By amy frankenthalerProcessed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

Planning trips this summer? Concerts? Us too! Well you are in luck, we did some research (Thank you Ticketmaster!) find some of the most exciting concerts/festivals in and around Boston this summer. Feel free to click on the name of any concert you are interested in and you will be directed to the ticket page!

5.3 Tori Y Moi at Paradise Rock ClubScreen Shot 2015-05-01 at 12.10.17 PM

5.8 Of Monsters and Men at Orpheum Theatre

5.21 Nico and Vinz at Paradise Rock Club

5.22-5.24 Boston Calling at Boston City Hall Plaza

-Featuring headliners: Beck, Pixies, My Morning Jacket

6.9 Lana Del Ray – Endless Summer Tour at Xfinity Centre193171a

6.10 Florence + the Machine at Blue Hills Pavilion

6.17 Edward Sharpe + Magnetic Zeros at The Lawn on D

6.20 Tori Kelly at Paradise Rock Club

6.23 Flume at House of Blues (Hey Spin music!!!)

7.1 Imagine Dragons at TD GardenScreen Shot 2015-05-01 at 12.00.17 PM

7.24-7.26 Newport Folk Festival in Fort Adams State Park, Newport Rhode Island

-Featuring Headliners like The Decemberists, Lord Huron, Brandi Carlisle (one of our favs!)

7.28 Ryn Weaver at The Sinclair

8.6 James Taylor at Fenway Park

8.7-8.9 Zac Brown Band at Fenway Park

-Who doesn’t love a little country in the summer?300x221_zbb

8.28-8.29 Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean and more at Gillette Stadium

9.12 One Direction at Gillette Stadium

…Oops, how’d this one get in here? 🙂

Feel free to check out our Handle Bar Spotify (Playlist May ’15, see below!) to listen to any of the artists (many of whom are played during your rides!). You will mostly likely catch one or maybe all HB instructors and staff at any of these concerts. Great music makes a ride, we love finding new music to help you find where the rhythm meets the road. So let this inspire you to get out there, get a ticket, find #HBinRealLife and enjoy! Hope to see you out there!

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!

Who raised the bar in July?

Beatrice Rossa!

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We are so excited to recognize Beatrice’s hard work and commitment to her body, herself, and her fitness goals. When The Handle Bar opened in her building, Beatrice saw a chance to make the changes in her lifestyle she had been wanting to make for years. An on-again, off-again group fitness participant, Beatrice knew that The Handle Bar could be all that she needed to finally get motivated–and stay motivated. Since her first class at The Handle Bar, Beatrice has lost over 10 pounds, but most importantly has regained the self-confidence and energy she had as a 20-something. Congrats, Beatrice! You–and all of our riders who are achieving their fitness goals–are what keep our wheels spinning.

So, Beatrice…

Everyone has their own unique fitness journey. What has your experience/journey been like with spinning?

Before the Handle Bar I was at my wit’s end with my increasing weight and lack of motivation to do anything about it. I had experience taking classes in the past and knew that they really helped me get fit and motivated. When I heard that the Handle Bar was opening in my neighborhood I was so excited because I knew it was exactly what I needed.

How do you fit fitness into your everyday life?

Before the Handle Bar, work took over my life and I had time for little else. But I knew that had to change if I was going to commit to getting healthy. In the beginning I tried to take the 6am classes to make it fit with my work schedule. But I am not a morning person at all and after the 3rd day in a row I realized I couldn’t keep it up. I was relieved to see that the Handle Bar has 7pm classes, which is perfect for me. I plan out my week in advance, register for classes online, and commit to leaving work in time to make it. It took about a month of figuring out what schedule works best for me, but I am proud to say that I am at the Handle bar 4-6 days a week. So glad I bought the 40 class package, totally worth it!!!

What goals has The Handle Bar helped you achieve?

I feel more energized, fitter, self-confident, and I lost 10 pounds!

What’s your favorite way to retox after a long week?

I have a weakness for chocolate, so I indulge once or twice a week now, rather than everyday like I used to. Good thing I know I can still give in a little and work it off at the Handle Bar 🙂

Do you have a favorite class at The Handle Bar?

My preference is the 1 hour classes on the weekends. I know that I will burn off the most calories and can still have time to enjoy my weekends.

What is your favorite music to spin to?

One of my favorite things about The Handle Bar is the awesome music and moving to the beat. I kinda feel like I’m in a club with the dim blue lights and the occasional DJ JI love to move to anything by Ke$ha or Britney.

What are your thoughts on using bike shoes? Had you ever used them prior to riding with us at The Handle Bar?

At first I thought it was a weird idea, kinda like bowling shoes. But once I tried it at the Handle Bar, I totally got it. The ride was smoother and my sense of security while standing on the pedals was so much better.  I went online and ordered myself a pair pronto.

What motivates you?

Believe it or not, it’s actually being an inspiration to others. I love telling people about how excited I am about the Handle Bar and how committed I’ve been about sticking to a schedule. There is nothing better than seeing that you can help motivate others with your actions to change their lives.

What words do you live by?

Life’s too short, so make the best of it!

Take Positivity for a Spin

I think it’s safe to say that we all want to be happy.

We all have our own idea of what happiness is and one day—if we’re not already there, of course—we’ll get there. We all have dreams and aspirations and are working hard to make them all a reality. But, sometimes we get stuck. 6cdb3c989a9e977b154fd48c031a5da0We all hit the occasional speed bump, and sometimes these setbacks can really stand in the way of our progress. What if I were to contend that the size and duration of such setbacks are products of our mindset not only in times of adversity, but at all times? Could a positive attitude make all the difference?

I say, it could. Now, this is not to say that you have to be peppy and upbeat shout-it-from-a-mountaintop positive all day, every day. It’s actually the exact opposite. It’s more about who you are on the inside, rather than the outside. It’s entirely possible to give off positive vibes without even uttering a word. You might think that you’re just not that kind of person – that it’s just not in your DNA to be happy everyday. But even the most pessimistic of us all can easily turn things around. If you train yourself daily to see the bright side, regardless of the situation—good, bad, big, or small—you will find it even easier to be happy every single day. You’ll be able to experience happiness daily. Instead of happiness serving as your ultimate goal, you’ll be able to use your happiness and positive attitude as a means to achieve whatever personal or professional goals you might have. And the best part? This happiness and positivity will shine through you onto those around you. Bettering the world begins with bettering yourself. 🙂

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 

Who raised the bar in June?

Marcus Springer!

At The Handle Bar, we hope to provide our riders with a place to achieve their fitness goals and constantly improve by raising the bar higher. For some, raising the bar might mean just showing up to class two times in the same week, and for others it could mean reaching weight loss or other fitness goals. No matter how high you set the bar for yourself, we hope that each ride makes you stronger, both physically and mentally. To honor our riders’ commitment to improvement, we choose one rider every month who has made some serious progress towards achieving whatever goals he or she has been working towards, whether goal setting was a conscious choice or it just “happened”.
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This month, (for the first time ever!) we are proud to announce that rider Marcus Springer has really raised the bar! Marcus is totally new to spinning and has hit the ground running. In just about a month, he has lost ten pounds and is well on his way to achieving his ultimate fitness and weight loss goals. Did we mention that Marcus has two young boys–one of whom, a newborn–and runs two companies. Talk about staying focused on fitness while making time for family and other responsibilities. We are so excited for Marcus and are happy to be a part of his fitness journey. Congrats, Marcus!

So, Marcus…

How did your journey with indoor cycling begin?

I started spinning when The Handle Bar opened. I had never done it before and was curious.  I found it pretty hard at first but after the fifth time I was able to keep up with the resistance etc. Now I love it. I am addicted and getting noticeably stronger.

How have you been able to juggle accomplishing your fitness goals and spending time with family (including the new baby!)?
I only go first thing in the morning.  I take the 6 and 6:15am classes during the week and the 8:30 class on Saturday and the take Sunday off.  That schedule works well for all concerned…The newborn is basically up every three hours so I just have to roll with it. :). I try to go six times a week. I have missed a couple of times but am able to keep to that schedule pretty well.

[How] has The Handle Bar helped you in accomplishing your goals?

I was rapidly becoming an overweight slug so I was looking for an activity that I could do in the morning that was a group activity in order to get fit and lose weight.  The gym doesn’t really work that way and spinning is ideal.  Since I started I have lost 10 pounds of my goal to get a 1 in front of my weight for the first time in 15 years…20 more to go… Goal is to get to 195 lbs by Thanksgiving.

Do you have a favorite/hardest class at The Handle Bar?
So far I like all the classes. Elise, Tim and Meg are all really good. Those are the ones that stand out in my mind.
What is your favorite music to Spin to? 
I don’t really have a favorite. Whatever they play I kind of ride in to the music.  It is really a lot of fun. The 45 minutes passes by pretty quickly now.
What are your thoughts on using bike shoes?
Bike shoes are critical to spinning in my mind as you have to pull the pedal up as well as push it down which you wouldn’t be able to do without bike shoes.
 
“I think The Handle Bar is a great addition to the Macallen building complex.  It makes it so easy for me to achieve my goals of getting fit and weight loss.  I generally go to the gym after spinning to do free weights for a half hour. After all that I can be back in my apartment by 7:30 to make breakfast for the boys and get the day going.  I have two companies of my own that I run in addition to the two boys. In order to do that you absolutely have to be fit or you’re screwed.  The Handle Bar is definitely the answer for me!”
See you in the saddle, Marcus!