My take: I left the class sweaty, a little sore, and 80 percent more excited for the day than I had been when I got there. Participating in training inspired by a convicted felon definitely helps with the motivation.
The pitch: "You’ll be singing, grooving and moving, while getting some serious sweat on. It will be the most fun you have on a bike, so leave your inhibitions at home, and get ready to belt out some tunes."
The workout: Like most sane people, the only time I ever actually sing at karaoke is after 1am. But one Friday night, I left work at the decent hour of 6pm, armed with only a bottle of water, and headed to Cycle Karaoke at Crunch Gym with the intentions of sitting through a full hour of karaoke -- on a stationary bike. It was two days before Valentine’s Day, and the ride theme was “Badass Breakups.” I showed up -- solo, I may add -- and hopped on my bike in the front row. The class is set up like a normal cycling studio, but the room’s monitor displays lyrics on screen -- just as it would at your typical karaoke joint. The class instructor dons a headset for singing along, and walks around the room with a portable microphone so everyone’s voice can be heard. During the first song -- Backstreet Boy’s “Quit Playin’ Games With My Heart” -- I had stage fright, barely whispering into the mic when it came by. But by Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable,” I was shouting out the words with the best of ’em. Unfortunately, this was also when all of our hill climbs, sprints, and tempo rides were catching up with me, and I could barely breathe, let alone sing. Although the terrible combination of trying to sing while breathless made me sound like a dying animal, it was oddly comforting knowing I wasn’t the only one in the room suffering.