OCBC Cycle: New Spin Ride segment offers training with CRU instructors
Julia Ho picked up spinning at homegrown fitness group CRU by chance in 2014 during a visit to Singapore and after moving here in 2016 to attend flight school, she started attending spin classes more regularly.
Determined to fulfil her childhood dream of becoming a pilot, she enrolled in Singapore Flying College, with her only prior flight experience being a brief session in a Cessna 172 aircraft in a flying club in Malaysia.
"For six months, I was buried in books. Then I did my flight training in Australia and that lasted almost a year before I could obtain my commercial pilot's licence," Ho, 32, said.
"Flight school was not easy and like many who pursue flying as a second career, having to worry about finances and job security was extremely stressful."
She eventually got her commercial pilot's licence in December 2018 but when the pandemic hit a year later, she was met with yet another stumbling block. Opportunities to fly became limited so Ho took the time to pursue other interests while finding alternative sources of income.
"I've always wanted to join CRU as an instructor," she said. "I knew that if I wanted to do this I would need to dedicate two months for training and the pandemic allowed me that.
"When the pandemic hit, I was not able to fly as often so I was not sure what was going to happen. Three months in, I realised the need to find something on the side. That is when I applied to be a spin instructor."
With air travel slowly returning, Ho is back in the skies. When she is not flying, she spends her free time teaching spin classes at CRU.
Pedalling on an indoor bicycle is "more than just a workout but one with a sense of community", said Ho.
"It got me through the toughest of times. The studio felt like a safe space to do and be whatever I wanted at that moment. Every time I come to this space, I know I can get a really great workout for my body but also be in my own space in my mind."
She recalls meeting a new rider who had no prior experience and was very intimidated before her class.
"She wasn't sure if she could do it. I took her through the entire 45 minutes and she loved it. She started to invite her friends and now they are all my regular riders. She has since completed over a hundred classes in six months and she spins daily now."
"It's the progress of my riders that I won't forget and will never take for granted."
Ho will get a chance to connect with more budding cyclists as she is part of a group of instructors from CRU that will be conducting the OCBC Cycle 2022's inaugural Spin Ride segment, which takes place from May 7 to June 6.
CRU co-founder and managing director Calvin Ding said: "Under the energy-filled guidance of our instructors, each spin session motivates participants to ride as one pack, whether you're with friends, family or even strangers. We are certain participants - both seasoned and new indoor cyclists - will enjoy it."
The event's virtual rides will take place in that same period and will feature categories from past editions, namely the 100km, 200km, Mighty Savers Kids 5km virtual ride and The Straits Times virtual ride - which has been lengthened from 23km to 60km.
In-person cycling also returns after a two-year absence with the OCBC Cycle Speedway Championships and a new 20km City Ride which will take place on May 7 and 8 at the Singapore Sports Hub. Up to 2,000 participants will feature in the latter category.
Those who sign up for the event between now and April 10 also stand a chance to win a Birdy R20 foldable bicycle worth $4,549.
All participants will also receive a complimentary 30-day access to CRU's suite of workout videos which include cycling, boxing, HIIT, yoga and meditation on the CRU TV app.
Registration ends on April 25 or when all slots are taken up. More info can be found at ocbccycle.com.