This morning after four weeks apart the spinning bike and I were reunited. Over the festive period I must confess the gym and bike fell by the wayside only walking and swimming prevailed.
I arrived for the class early to get set up. There are about twenty bikes in all arranged around the room in a gently curved half circle two or three deep all facing to the lone instructor bike in the corner. The back ones always seem to get taken first – presumably to be less visible if a rest mid session is needed!
Duly taking my place at the back near an open window for air – my excuse – I set up my bike. By the start of the session a few front bikes remained empty, the rest carried riders regular and newbies varying in age between twenty and sixty.
A few facts about spinning…..It is ridiculously hard – if you don’t cheat. The music is LOUD. You will be SHOUTED at throughout – ‘keep going, you’re doing well, don’t give up’ and ‘last push’ the favourites. Saddles are NOT comfy. No matter how many fans are blowing, windows, doors are open, by the end all will be steamy and the floor will be wet from yours and others sweat!
The session got going with everyone settling into their own particular rhythm as we warmed up. Heads nodded up and down like the nodding dogs in back of cars, bodies hunched forward over the handlebars, Tour de France style, some sat upright hands on thighs, others swayed, side to side to the beat of the song. All of us building to the challenge to come.
Why do I do it? Twenty minutes in this morning I wondered precisely that as after a few sprints, seated and standing hill climbs I was secretly slumped over my bike, legs still spinning, trying to dismiss the very real threat of adding yesterdays food to the already damp floor.
The answer…because I can, low impact on my hip, pure adrenaline rush, great workout for the lower half and heart, safer than muddy roads, sociable – although last not strictly true given the loud music and sheer exhaustion rendering idle chat nigh on impossible.
I did recover as I knew I would – first time back is always the worst – and made it to the finish line without mishap however with a river running between my chest and down my back, hair sticking out at all angles, my face resembling a shiny tomato, and my legs like jelly I was not a pretty sight.
Glancing around the room happily revealed I was not the only one!