The 7 things I don’t do at indoor cycling class at my spin studio

I am a very non-compliant rider. I really take the spinning ethos of “ride your own ride” very seriously. Here are some of the things I don’t do:

  1. I don’t always keep on-tempo: I often can’t yet make the right RPM when I am out of the saddle, so I’ll either do the best I can or sit on the saddle and follow tempo/pace/RPM over the request for being out of the saddle. 
  2. I don’t bike dance: it looks fun, but instead of going up, down, side-to-side, fore and aft, to the beat as if we’re in a funky chicken line dancing disco. Maybe one day I’ll become agile enough on the bike for that, but I don’t do it now.
  3. I don’t do the upper body weight workout: when I arrive at CYCLEBAR, there’s a weighted bar on the handlebars along with a clean town. I drop the bar to the floor and then just pedal both in the saddle and out of the saddle at a moderate pace while everyone else is pumping iron.
  4. I don’t do isolations: it’s not because I don’t want to but I don’t get have the control to hover there just above the seat with barely any weight on the bars and spin like some sort of hovering, levitating, Swami. 
  5. I don’t always hold onto the bars when riding: I almost always sprint like crazy sitting straight up, bolt-upright, without holding onto the bars at all. Maybe I do that in order to best get O2 into my big lungs; or, more realistically, I am impeded by my big cannonball belly and it’s much nicer to sit up than in a tucked position.
  6.  I don’t fall for pre-sprint sprints: at least for now, I have just enough gas in my tank to dominate the sprints for 15-, 30-, and even 45-seconds (60-second sprints still kill me), but some Instructors (I’m looking at you Natalie) will spend minutes prepping riders for the spring–at 130+ RPM, which is sort of spring-level performance!  No, when I know it’s time to sprint, I slow down a little and get my breath under control and save it all for the actual sprint (love you, Pony Girl!) 
  7. I don’t follow the Instructors’ stretch routines: I will stretch out my calves on the bike clipped into the SPDs; however, after that, I unclip and get off the bike and spend the rest of the stretching time stretching out my quads and hamstrings–at 48, almost 49, they take a little longer to stretch, so I give them all the time I can.

While each spin instructor at every spin studio I have been to (only two) puts their own stink onto the ride they offer to their riders; however, they all have similar themes:

There’s a warm-up, there’s some hills, there’s some sprints, there’s often some dancing on the bike and some upper body workouts doing variations on push-ups on the handlebars or using a dumbbell or weighted bar.

Then there’s some eyes-closed steady state meditative riding, maybe another set of sprints, a cool down, and then on-bike and off-bike stretches. 

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