My obsession with the Torqboard

When I was home for Thanksgiving I went through some childhood diaries. I don’t remember writing that often but evidence shows I was an avid archivist. There are probably 20 diaries in my parents’ garage. I was clearly an insane child because I would write the entry in one color pen and go back a month later and copyedit it in a different color. Always be improving, I guess.

I came across this entry from the 4th grade, I was nine:

“I am very, very nervous about my math citywide test. Why? you ask Belle. [Editor’s note: My diary was French, I guess]. Because it’s TOMORROW!! I hope I get at least a 98Plus above all of the other children (that’s how they mark it). “

childhood diary

Nicole, age 8

I don’t love how 8-year-old Nicole approached this. She doesn’t want to pass, or “do well” she wants to get a score “above the other children.” But maybe someone explained it to her that way? We can hope, I mean, I was just a kid! But the way it’s written, well, it’s not great.

I remember 98+ was the highest score given. There was no 100 grade. One year, I misread the letter home that included my grade. I thought I received a 76 but as it turns out, that was my raw score. I had gotten 76 questions out of 76 right, or at least that’s why my third grade teacher explained to me through my loud tears.  8 year old Nicole was instantly hysterical at the thought of doing poorly on a test. Charming, I am sure.

This brings me to the Flywheel Torqboard.

Until spinning was made trendy, I didn’t really like it. I complained my butt hurt. I thought it was boring. But a few years ago the TV show GIRLS gave me a free SoulCycle class and I gave trendy spinning a try. I thought it was pretty cool. I went a few more times, but Soul wasn’t for me. The bikes are too close together and the room is too hot. I also don’t have a sense of how well I am doing relatively to any sort of expectation. Maybe that’s not the point for some, but for me a sense of improvement or performance is a strong source of motivation. (See above childhood tantrum).

I tried Flywheel a few years ago but it wasn’t until I went to Ryan Makely‘s Taylor Swift-theme ride that I fell in love, both with him and the Torque board. Since I can’t run, spinning has been an insane amount of fun. I can actually get a super sweaty great workout. The Flywheel bikes are amazing and the room isn’t claustrophobic.

What makes Flywheel different is the Torque Board. Torque is a moment of force. More specifically in Flywheel, torque is a measurement of weight against the wheel. The Torque Board takes into account your speed (RPMs) and the weight against the wheel (resistance) and gives you a score. (Remember how much 8 year old Nicole valued a good score!) You can choose to have your score posted on the board for all to see and actively compete with your fellow riders – and your self. I have a sense of what my highest scores are, and I aim to beat them.

I love this, and I’m deeply motivated by it, but I am so wary. I already don’t want to do any other kind of spinning because it’s not scored so what’s the point? That’s probably an unhealthy view of what is otherwise a sing-a-long good fun time. But I’m not sure. When I run, I like to know how fast I am going, but I’m also okay running sans device from time to time.  How important is measurement to you in a workout?

Flywheel power up

I recently found out about the Power Up Challenge. If you get 3000 points in a month, you get a prize. What!?! Did someone say prize? 3000 points is A LOT in Flywheel. In my estimate, I would have to do 9 or 10 1 hour rides at high intensity to earn that level. What went from “a nice way to sweat until I can run” is now another fierce competition, maybe.  For now I’m down to get motivated, but it reminded me of 9 year old me’s wish to be the best.

I love Flywheel. I think its a fabulous workout and I have fun time. So I’d like to hear what others think of the torqboard and scoring a workout in general?



  1. December 4, 2014 / 10:54 am

    Amazing! You can do it! Hope the prize is free flywheel classes.

    • Nicole
      December 29, 2014 / 3:00 pm

      me too D!!

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