Ever since I saw a post on twitter about a new start up in London offering pool biking, I’d been dreaming of the day I’d finally get in the saddle… in the pool… in the saddle… Nevermind.
I was living in Dubai at the time though which meant that dream would only come true once I moved back to England. I hardly felt in a position to complain given I had direct access to the beach just a 20 minute walk away and my new-found love of synchronised swimming was flourishing at a class I attended every Saturday evening.
Pool biking is a quirkier version of spinning; without the hill climbs and finally, after more than six months of being at home, I booked to go to the session with my friend Suzi. Unfortunately I’d booked a bleary-eyed 7.15am class without realising until the class was over. Thankfully the team at Aquallure were understanding enough to reschedule us onto the evening class later that day.
Our instructor Natalia adjusted the bikes to fit our height before effortlessly plopping them into the water. She started the music, smiled at the two fresh faces in front of her along with a handful of semi-seasoned pool bikers before shouting: “Let’s go!”
My dad is an avid cyclist and to counter his enthusiasm, I’ve unknowingly avoided cycling all through childhood and even into adulthood. I blamed it on never feeling “at one” with the bike; a thought which was confirmed to be true when I fell off on a family route in the Forest of Dean just two years ago, aged 26. Thankfully pool biking was different and didn’t instill fear into me. Water is my safe place and since the bike was stationary, I deduced that not much could go wrong.
Natalia guided us through 45 minutes of aqua cycling involving fast leg movements, followed by slow. My friend and I kept giggling and pointing out each other’s mistakes as we went along. Next Natalia guided us along a sequence of legs and arms working out simultaneously. This proved to be a little like patting your head and rubbing your tummy. You can do one, but both together take a bit more concentration. Suzi often pointed out that my legs had stopped spinning round – much to my disapproval.
Out of the saddle, we were challenged to keep our upper body still while sinking into a squat between the seat and the handle bars. The catch was we had to keep rotating our legs round and round and round. This was a little harder than anticipated but Suzi and I both made it! Phew!
Poolbiking at Aquallure was a workout for sure. It had all the hallmarks of a good exercise session without feeling exhausted afterwards. Energized would be the word I’d opt for. I loved the novelty of it and if it was offered closer to home, I’d definitely be adding this to my monthly ‘keep fit and have fun with friends’ regimen.