Inspired by the The Heavy Metal Truants — who complete a strenuous cycle ride from London to Donnington each year and have been donating to children’s charities since 2013 — the wonderful mob from Download organized a very special one-off heavy-metal spinning class this week [for metal heads and beginners] at the ostentatious 1Rebel fitness studio in the heart of the City of London, near the famous green Gherkin.
Once the official mascot of Download Festival had arrived at the 1Rebel studios — the Download Dog — we got ready for an intense 45-minute session with an incredibly energetic expert instructor named Val.
“You know you’ve chosen some difficult tracks here…” Val told us when we got up onto our pedals [even the Dog] — “So this ain’t gonna be easy…” she warned.
Our session focused on endurance, strength, intervals and high-intensity bursts — all set to an amazing soundtrack that had been hand-picked to inspire us to work harder and go for gold.
We did our blood-and-guts seated hill sprint to ‘Walk This Way’ and Val told us to synchronize our pedaling to those instantly recognizable rhythms.
Our screamingly painful standing sprints seemed to work best when pedaled to some of the heavier tracks, for example, well-known numbers by System of a Down, Mastodon, Steel Panther, Slayer, and Rob Zombie. Sweating and feeling totally exhausted, we finally reached a very welcome plateau followed by a warm-down ride to a ballad by Aerosmith.
Val seemed very pleased with our efforts and the fact that we all survived was a miracle in itself. Almost everybody said that — actually — they would love to do it all over again.
The Heavy Metal Truants are cycling 186 miles to Download this year. Their total donation to charity so far is £338,000 and their most successful ride was in 2016 when they raised £102,00.
The annual three-day Download event is held at Donington Park in Leicestershire and this year will be held on June 9-11. The 2017 festival boasts System of a Down, Biffy Clyro and Aerosmith amongst many other must-see acts.
Tickets for Download Festival are available now from downloadfestival.co.uk/