StarCycle Puts Indoor Cycling in the Spotlight

StarCycle is one of Santa Barbara’s hottest new fitness studios. Courtesy photo.

“It’s a dance party on a bike, like when you’re at a wedding and your jam comes on and you don’t care what anybody thinks — you just get up there and move your body.” That’s how co-owner Dani Stone describes the workout at StarCycle. The La Cumbre Plaza fitness center is part of a new breed of indoor cycling studios that use music and choreography for a physical and mental approach to cycling.

At StarCycle, the lights go off before the 45-minute full-body workout begins.

“The most appealing part to me has been that we work out in the dark, which allows you to really focus on yourself and just ‘do you,’ — modifying as needed,” said Julie Sorenson, who joined the gym on an introductory membership in March 2019 (StarCycle opened on February 28) and recently completed her 170th ride.

“The community there is incredible, and the instructors are super motivating,” she said. “It’s empowering. I can feel the positive energy in the room when I ride. The full-body workout (with weights) has also helped me heal from a shoulder injury.”

Another big appeal for members is that childcare is always available. Moms are the target demographic for the studio, explained co-owner Kayla Johnson-Neal, a personal trainer and fitness professional who’s been working in the industry for 24 years. “With young kids, they are maybe at a phase in life where they aren’t that challenged, so the challenge of doing this workout is like they’ve climbed Mount Everest. It is so fun to watch.”

Themed music rides, ranging from holiday specials to boy bands, Coachella, Stagecoach, and special “naughty rides with explicit lyrics” are also part of the attraction, as is the warm, welcoming atmosphere, where clients are greeted with smiles and hugs.

“I’ve never seen results like this in all of my years of experience. And we’re only a year in now. People have melted,” Johnson-Neal said. “But you know what I love? Weight loss is not what they talk about. Somebody came up to me yesterday and hugged me and started crying and saying, ‘I’m a better wife and a better mom because of StarCycle.’ She’s lost weight, but that’s not where the focus is, and that’s what I think is so cool.”

Tips from Kayla:

  • Find something that you love. “Love” might be an extreme word, but find something that you don’t hate. I’m always telling clients that you need to find a workout that’s going to make you a little bit excited to show up.
  • You don’t have to go all or nothing. It’s just consistency. Maybe it’s kickboxing; maybe it’s Zumba. Just be consistent in that movement.

For more information, visit starcycleride.com/studios/santa-barbara.

Originally published in Santa Barbara Independent on January 21, 2020.

StarCycle co-owner Kayla Johnson-Neal, right, has been in the fitness industry for 24 years, courtesy photo.

Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide 2019

 

2019 Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide, SB Independent, December 5, 2019.

Uptown Santa Barbara, 2019 Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide, SB Independent, December 5, 2019.

2019 Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide, SB Independent, December 5, 2019.

Uptown Santa Barbara, 2019 Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide, SB Independent, December 5, 2019.

2019 Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide, SB Independent, December 5, 2019.

Downtown Santa Barbara, 2019 Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide, SB Independent, December 5, 2019.

2019 Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide, SB Independent, December 5, 2019.

Downtown Santa Barbara, 2019 Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide, SB Independent, December 5, 2019.

2019 Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide, SB Independent, December 5, 2019.

Downtown Santa Barbara, 2019 Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide, SB Independent, December 5, 2019.

2019 Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide, SB Independent, December 5, 2019.

Downtown Santa Barbara, 2019 Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide, SB Independent, December 5, 2019.

2019 Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide, SB Independent, December 5, 2019.

Santa Barbara Waterfront, 2019 Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide, SB Independent, December 5, 2019.

2019 Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide, SB Independent, December 5, 2019.

Santa Barbara Waterfront, 2019 Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide, SB Independent, December 5, 2019.

2019 Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide, SB Independent, December 5, 2019.

Montecito, 2019 Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide, SB Independent, December 5, 2019.

2019 Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide, SB Independent, December 5, 2019.

Montecito, 2019 Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide, SB Independent, December 5, 2019.

2019 Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide, SB Independent, December 5, 2019.

Goleta, 2019 Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide, SB Independent, December 5, 2019.

2019 Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide, SB Independent, December 5, 2019.

Goleta, 2019 Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide, SB Independent, December 5, 2019.

2019 Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide, SB Independent, December 5, 2019.

Santa Ynez Valley, 2019 Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide, SB Independent, December 5, 2019.

SB Style File: Holiday Stress? Try Coloring Inside the Lines!

Excerpt from "100 Things to Draw With a Triangle," by Sarah Walsh.

Excerpt from “100 Things to Draw With a Triangle,” by Sarah Walsh.

When young children need to “settle down” there’s something very calming about focusing their energies on a coloring book, which is probably why adult coloring and doodling books have become so popular.

I finally got around to trying out some of the coloring books and, I have to say, coloring inside—or outside—the lines really is a great stress reliever. It’s also a fun gift idea.

Here are some of titles to check out, all of which are widely available at local bookstores and craft stores:

20 Ways to Draw a Star and 44 Other Far-Out Wonders from the Sky and Galaxy_cover_web_large

20 Ways to Draw a Star by Studio SSS – A new take on the world of sketching, doodling, and designing that encourages you to take a step-back and think about all the different ways to draw something.

100 Things to Draw with a Triangle_Cover Large

100 Things to Draw with a Triangle by Sarah Walsh – Think of all the possibilities! Stars, snowflakes, trees, gifts and more! Doodle your way to getting into the holiday spirit, this book includes 112 pages of art prompts and inspiration based on one simple geometric shape, a triangle.

adult coloring book

Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Patterns by Blue Star Coloring – A book to let you relax, decompress, and let your inner child out to play for a while.

Change Your Life One Doodle at a Time_Cover_Web_Large

Change Your Life One Doodle at a Time by Salli S. Swindell – Making small changes through this fully illustrated, interactive art doodle journal is about embracing change in many ways, and seeing it as a positive force. Features 150 art prompts.

Portable Color Me Happy_Cover_Large

Color Me Stress-Free, Color Me Fearless, Color Me Calm, Color Me Happy – by Lacy Mucklow and Angela Porter – Organized into therapeutically­ themed chapters, these books examine the benefits of putting pencil (or crayon, marker, and ink) to paper and offers adults an opportunity to channel their anxiety into satisfying, creative accomplishment. Also available in smaller, portable versions that fit perfectly inside a stocking!

9781633220515_Cover_WebLarge

Doodling for Bookworms by Gemma Correll – Your favorite book nerd will love this great activity book filled with literature-themed prompts from Shakespeare, George Orwell, and Jane Austen.

9781633220522_Cover_WebLarge

Doodling for Tree Huggers and Nature Lovers by Gemma Correll – This sassy journal is packed with more than 50 fun and inspirational prompts, doodling exercises, and outdoorsy factoids—perfect for those who love the great wide open.

enchanted_forest

Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford – Fall under the spell of the #1 New York Times Bestseller with a magical coloring book that takes you through an enchanted forest to discover what lies in the castle.

Tangled Gardens

Tangled Gardens Coloring Book by Jane Monk – This book helps you create a warm and inviting garden while you wait for spring to return.

Tangled Treasures Coloring Book_Cover

Tangled Treasures Coloring Book by Jane Monk – Jump into the relaxing spell woven by Zentangles with the meditative action of coloring.

Happy coloring!

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on December 17, 2015.

Cocktail Corner: Holiday Gift Guide

Wine Sweaters by Skedouche (courtesy photo)

Wine Sweaters by Skedouche (courtesy photo)

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg |
From cocktail kits to barware, here are some of our favorite gift ideas for anyone who loves cocktails.

1. Julibox Membership

Fruit of the month clubs are great, but wouldn’t the drinkers in your life prefer a cocktail of the month instead? Enter Julibox, where each month they’ll get to try two great cocktails. Designed by world-class mixologists for easy home preparation, packages include ingredients for two of each cocktail.

2. The Drunken Botanist

There’s a good reason that Amy Stewart’s The Drunken Botanist is on so many “best of” year-end lists: growing cocktail friendly plants is a hot trend right now, and this fascinating concoction of biology, chemistry, history, etymology and mixology is a really fun read.

3. Crystal Head Vodka

Talk about a cool gift! The Crystal Head Vodka bottle was designed by none other than Dan Aykroyd (with John Alexander) and it’s the official vodka of the Rolling Stones’ 50th Anniversary. This is the perfect gift for the rock ‘n roller in your life who likes to drink the good stuff.

Tray by Rock Flowers Paper (courtesy photo)

Tray by Rock Flowers Paper (courtesy photo)

4. Cocktail Trays by Rock Flower Paper

As any hostess knows, the secret to great cocktails is at least 50% presentation. These beautiful trays (available at Santa Barbara Museum of Art Gift Shop) are available in a variety of designs to brighten up your presentation and make your cocktails shine.

5. Wine Bottle Sweaters From Skedouche

Ugly holiday sweaters are a seasonal tradition, so why share the tackiness with your wine bottles too! A perfect Secret Santa gift, these sweaters are guaranteed to generate laughs.

6. Amina Ceramic Tile Coasters

Give your drinks a taste of Santa Barbara with these handcrafted ceramic tile coasters (available from The Santa Barbara Company).

7. The Gentleman’s Guide to Cocktails

This retro-inspired cocktail guide includes suave cocktails for the debonair men (and women) in your life. Author Alfred Tong teaches you how to mix a margarita with mojo, a gimlet with grace, and a piña colada that packs a punch (Available at Industry Home).

Courtesy After Five Catalog

Courtesy After Five Catalog

8. Personalized Bar Signs

For the home bartender who has everything, look to the Goleta-based After Five Catalog for personalized bar signs for every style and taste.

9. Saddle Leather Cocktail Shaker

Add a monogrammed initial to this beautiful leather cocktail shaker and you’ve got yourself a thoughtful and practical gift for any cocktail enthusiast (available at Pottery Barn in La Cumbre Plaza).

10. The World of Pinot Noir

The delicious world of Pinot Noir is coming to the Bacara Resort Feb. 28–Mar. 1. Why not treat your loved ones (and yourself) to a delicious weekend of grape immersion.

Cheers!

 

Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”