There’s Indoor Cycling. There’s Outdoor Cycling. Then, There’s Power Ryde.
It was probably a solid 3 years into my indoor cycling obsession that I finally learned how to work my abs during class. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was taking Flywheel up in Chicago and a visiting instructor queued the class to use our abs to pull our knees up towards our chest during a heavy climb, like a vertical crunch. Mind. Blown. I almost cried when I thanked him at the end of class. He never returned… Weird.
The sad part of this story is that it took me 3 years to realize that by engaging your abs, not only are you getting a full body workout, but you are less likely to injure yourself. By stabilizing your trunk, it takes pressure off your lower back, and makes it a bit easier to do those heavy climbs without relying solely on your quads and hamstrings.
For cyclers that have discovered Power Ryde in Loveland, there is no avoiding core activation and stabilization. They have RealRyder bikes, which move side to side, simulating (and exaggerating) what it’s like to ride on the road.
Let me backup and just say that I have never been to such a challenging cycling class before. Ever. Sure, it challenged me physically by holding left, holding right, pulsing, and simply trying to ride straight without swaying (the struggle was real). But it also challenged me mentally. This was truly a humbling experience. I consider myself a fit person. But as I struggled to stabilize the bike for a solid 60 minutes (while it seemed effortless by those around me) my ego took a bit of a blow. It reminded me of why I’m not good at golf–some sports take practice.
The owners, Meg and Casey Hilmer (a super fit and accomplished mother-daughter duo) prepared me well for this humbling experience. They told me that it typically takes a few tries before you get comfortable with the RealRyders, and to just try my best. I had to continually remind myself of this during class.
Despite the challenge, this class was seriously fun. Casey’s class is entirely beat based, and her playlist was killer, shifting cadence with each song and delivering a full body workout.
So, if you’re a fan of cycling and like the idea of getting even more out of your 60 minutes in the studio, you should consider venturing to Loveland to give the RealRyders at PowerRyde a try. But I can’t wrap things up just yet until I talk more about the women behind the studio. And I should first mention that it took me until after my visit to realize who exactly I had met that day.
Casey and Meg Hilmer seem to have it all. To pull notes from her bio: “Casey graduated from the University of Michigan where she majored in Psychology with a pre-med emphasis carrying a 3.64 Overall GPA/3.83 in her Major. She placed fourth in the Columbus Marathon at age 19 with a time of 2:54:52 (or 6:40 minute miles), being the top female in her age group and the #1
ranked marathon runner in Southern Ohio in 2009.” And now, she and her mom run this super cool fitness studio together and clearly have a ball doing it.
I learned shortly after that day that it has actually been a long ride for the young, bubbly, energetic Casey Hilmer and her business partner (mom). Tomorrow, July 13th, 2018, marks the 15th anniversary of when Casey was attacked while running in her Indian Hill neighborhood. 13 year old Casey was out for a run and only four-tenths of a mile from her house, with her father pacing .25 miles behind her on bike. Her 17-year-old neighbor who she recognized from the bus was walking towards her, and as she ran wide to pass him, he grabbed her and dragged her into the woods. He pierced her lung and liver, missing her jugular vein by only a millimeter, and slashed her face, neck and side. As he put the knife to her throat, Casey managed to kick him away from her as he ran off into the woods. Fatefully, her father was at her side moments later. She physically recovered from her injuries in a month, but the emotional healing took years. To quote James Arthur Ray: “In your life’s defining moments there are two choices – you either step forward in faith and power or you step backward in fear”. Casey didn’t step forward. She leaped for a force that makes her someone you should know. Hear more about Casey’s story as told by Cammy Dierking, Channel 12 news anchor, in her “People You Should Know” segment here, or read her bio here.
Aside from teaching and overseeing 30 weekly classes a week at Power Ryde, she is extremely cause oriented. To date, she has raised over $63,000 for various organizations. She also a motivational speaker. She speaks to students, teachers, and corporations about everything from overcoming PTSD, how to be fearless and fight for your life, and what it’s like to be a small business owner in her 20s.