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Spinning Into Action

I can tell I went to spin recently because my sit bones still hurt a little; if you don’t know what I mean when I say sit bones, go for a bike ride and you’ll feel it!

I have not registered for spin.  When I made that goal, I thought I’d have no problem registering for a class, but as I found out later, in actuality most spin classes here in Edmonton tend to be drop-in only.  So instead, I’ve got myself a multi-pass to the city rec centres, and I’ll consider this goal met if I use all 5 passes this month.

Last Saturday I headed to the rec centre bright and early for a class at 8:30am.  The great thing about using the city rec centres is that there are multiple facilities and each have their own schedules for classes, so there are lots of possibilities.  The rec centres offer various types of spin classes, and the one I chose is called “virtual coach.”  I expected this to mean that they would put on a video of an instructor guiding us through the class.  In reality, they put on a video of an actual bike race, complete with corny quotes like “Gloworm in gaining on you – don’t let him beat you!”  (Yep, the bikers were named Gloworm, Big M, Blue Bullet, etc.)  It also had text float across the screen telling us when to stand up, sit down, and what kind of effort to put it, ie. 7/10.  Since this was not the format I expected, and because I was not familiar with the type of bike I was on, it took me a good 10 minutes to really get the feel of things.  Finally I figured out how to adjust the gears, and I’d found my 5/10, so I based all other difficulty ratings off of that starting point.

It was also slightly confusing because the class was only supposed to go an hour, but ended up possibly going much longer.  The video was broken up into hill climbs and cool downs, and we’d done 3 sets in about 40 minutes, but by that time the video said there were still 2 more hills to go, which was going to take another 40 minutes or so.  This was my first spin in over a year and my butt was burning at this point, so I decided only to do one more hill climb and the accompanying cool down which took me to about 55 minutes.

A good surprise was that the “spin garage” was EMPTY!  I guess Saturday morning at 8:30am is not the most popular class choice (surprise, surprise), but I’m a fan of early morning workouts.  A couple more people joined about 3 quarters of the way through, but otherwise I was the only one on the spin bikes, and there were two folks at the very back who had brought their own bikes and hooked them up to the equipment so they could spin with them (hardcore!).  Since spin is a sweaty activity and the bikes are very close together, I appreciated that I had room and plenty of fresh air.

It’s also relatively cheap– one of the reasons I went with the city rec centres is that the prices seem reasonable.  Since I bought a multi-pass for 5 entries to the rec centres, I paid $7.90 each and technically, once I’m in I can do as many drop-in classes or other activities I want, until I leave.  I think I’ll bring a swimsuit next time and take a dip in the hot tub afterwards.  I could also head to the fitness centre and do some weights.  We’ll see.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the “virtual coach method, but I do like the mornings so this weekend I’m going to try the regular spin class offered on Sunday morning at 9:00am.  We’ll see what kind of turnout there’ll be as opposed to the Saturday morning class.  Although I felt confident in my ability to work at my own pace, I think I can benefit from some instruction so I’m looking forward to it.

Another awesome thing about getting my spin on this month is preparing for biking to work this summer!  It’s good to get my butt and my legs ready in advance of doing the dreaded river valley hills!  We’ve been having some nice weather, and trails are slowly drying up, so hopefully I’ll be able to start biking to work in May.

AND, I’ll be biking on a brand spanking new bike, just ordered last Saturday!  SO excited for that!  I’ll post an update once the bike comes in…

Do you go to spin classes?  Are you one of the hardcore spinners bringing your own bike to class?  Or has it been years, or even decades, since you were on a bike?


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