Sunday, January 23, 2005

Spin Pulpits

Cold temperatures and rain means spinning indoors. I own a mag trainer but it mostly collects dust since I prefer to do spin classes at the gym. These are fun since there is someone shouting orders, music blaring and others around to keep me from slacking. It’s amusing that the spin instructors often have pulpit personalities—not in a bad way, just they are not forced to count steps as in aerobics classes, so there are gaps of time to fill during the workout and most choose to talk about a variety of stuff. I would do the same if a bunch of people were looking at me.

This is very different from road riding and mountain biking where everyone views the rear end of everyone else and faces are never seen. The leaders in cycling—those up front—communicate by shifting, standing, cadence, hand gestures and the occasional words that are very often drowned out by wind rushing in everyone’s ears. Not so with spin classes. The exposed instructors face the class and need a theme almost—music trivia, cycling stories, fitness tips, jokes—to fill the void between the instructions. My preference is those who say very little during the void, but I do enjoy the filler people. I also find it curious that some instructors refer to those who “ride outside” when in fact, there does not seem to be any other kind of “riding” than what is done outside. What we are doing indoors is not “riding inside” as that would mean we are going somewhere, and that can really only happen in an indoor velodrome. We are exercising on a piece of equipment that is designed like a bike. Great exercise in fact and awesome way to get time in the saddle, especially in winter.

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