Cycle Strength at Cry Baby House

At a Glance:

Address: 2112 Zeno Place,
Venice, CA 
Price: one class/ $30, 10 classes/ $250, introductory month unlimited/ $125
Length: 75 minutes (55 minute and 90 minute options also available)
Sweat scale: high
Energy level: high

*Please have your own road bike to participate. Otherwise, contact the studio prior to experiencing this class*

Over the past several months, my life has been more and more focused on running with Nike Run Club. My times have progressively gotten better along with my health and overall happiness. While others have encouraged marathon training, my mom keeps reminding me, “You can swim, you can run, you just need to bike better. Why not try a triathlon?”

I’m always on the hunt for crazy fitness adventures. When I heard about Cry Baby House, a triathlon and endurance-training center, the wheels of my brain started turning! Nestled in the heart of Venice, CBH hosts road bike classes that can’t hold a candle to spinning. Don’t believe me? Keep reading.

Pre Sweat

I arrived at the studio 15 minutes early to get set-up. It’s frankly intimidating how many of the attendees are athletes who’re training (CBH also serves as host for the UCLA Triathlon program). I had to convince, actually beg, someone I knew who already trains at Cry Baby House to accompany me. I was so nervous that my legs started uncontrollably shaking as I filled out the short waiver. I put my stuff in a locker and headed inside. The owner, Reilly Smith, had gone out of his way to set up a bike especially for me (basic pedals, not clip-ins), so thankfully that was all taken care of. I took a seat and prayed a little that I didn’t fall off or throw-up.



It was 6:30 am and several screens and buttons were before me as I started pedaling. At first my brain and body felt a little fuzzy and everything seemed so complicated. The warm-up lasted ten minutes and I finally got situated. I realized the monitors delivered both individual statistics and a layout for the overall workout. The gears of the bike seemed to be the most basic, yet most difficult thing for me to initially conquer.

As I kept on chugging, Reilly asked me about my previous experience on a road bike. Moderate? I said, forgetting to mention about all the back roads biking my parents had me do growing up. He assessed my body pretty quick; rightly asserting my biggest problem was my behind. He offered that if I needed to get off and walk for a minute at some point, I could. No way, I thought. My butt would later regret not admitting defeat while the rest of my body applauded this decision. So an hour later, I did not get off that bike. I’d overcome multiple hills, increased plateaus, and several interval periods to finish a workout called “The Knuckle Sandwich”. Then I turned to Reilly and said, “I don’t quit.” Mission accomplished.

I’ll be upfront and admit I do have a bias. I really don’t like spinning. I’ve memorably had some bad experiences (all my own fault) at several studios and I’ve pretty much determined that these are not the classes for me. Why would a road bike be any different?

For starters, it’s a very unique perspective on biking. With spin you are constantly striving for more cardio (faster and faster and faster) as opposed to CBH’s digital CompuTrainer bike class in which you are seeking to build strength and stamina. My favorite part of the workout was that I didn’t have to create the resistance on the bike myself, so the hills- they felt real.

It’s also not a race, which for me was refreshing. I’m not competing to burn the most calories or to get a better spot closer to the instructor. You can really only compare yourself to well, mostly you. Everyone had different goals in their mind; mine was just not to die. I left the studio with my held high and thoughts about a possible triathlon in the distant future. Maybe my mom isn’t so crazy.



Post Sweat

It’s worth mentioning that CBH has fantastic bathrooms and showers (which were fully stocked) and a small kitchen, if you like to prepare your own post-workout fuel. Otherwise, the location is so close to Abbott Kinney that options for eating and shopping are practically endless.

Tricks of the Trade

  • Don’t forget to bring towels, I left mine in my locker and ran back ASAP.
  • BYOB (Bring your own Bottle) There’s several water stations throughout Cry Baby House.
  • If you have padded shorts, I suggest you wear them!
  • They have a FREE run club, Mondays and Thursday mornings at 6:15am, it’s a great way to meet their regular crew!

photos courtesy of Cry Baby House and John Jefferson


mccall About the Author: McCall is an Actress/ Makeup Artist (currently working for Sephora), living in the heart of West Los Angeles. She is addicted to dark chocolate, Arctic Zero Dairy-Free ice cream, and a good dose of movie theater popcorn (specifically at The Landmark). Her ultimate ClassPass adventure would be either trapeze or horseback riding lessons. But overall, she’s down to try anything. If you see her at a class, or even at work, feel free to say hello!

Follow McCall on Instagram and Twitter: @mccallschenthal

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