Winter is now officially upon us. And as such my “training” has fallen off a bit. For most of the summer, CanuckyJeff and I would meet up with some combination of Paul Zimm-The-Man, the Rawlings, and the Nelsons for an early morning ride. Perhaps an overly social ride, I never got Clenbuterol fast, but I did manage a decent level of fitness through the summer. As the days got shorter, and the mornings got colder, my motivation to get out of the bed and shiver into the dark dwindled. Along with my fitness. With the beginning of cross season, and races every weekend, I now had a reason to train, but no reasonable option. Which is when Jeff suggested we got to the American Fork Rec Center and do a spin class a few times a week.
My first thought was “…but, I am attracted to women!”. Jeff assured me that he was too, and that he had been to the classes before without having to go through any church disciplinary action. Then I did the least hetero thing I have ever done, and called him the night before to see what I should wear.
Up until then, the closest I had come to spin class was sitting on the trainer(not a euphemism). This lonely, miserable, experience is why there are dozens of “barely used” trainers on KSL.com at any given time. If past experience was any indication Spin class would be a one and done proposition. The first morning I met Jeff and his lovely wife for “Spin”. The most immasculating thing about it is waiting for the instructor to unlock the door to the spin room. The door to the spin room is in the weight room. So there I stand, in bike shorts and funny shoes, with a towel. Surrounded by an assortment of old men, muscleheads, and high school jocks who are counting reps and adding plates. Then the instructor walks in and Jeff, myself, and the rest of the women scramble for the good bikes. I had heard other cyclists talk about the wide seats, and odd geometries of the spin bikes, so I kept expectations low, and just messed with the seat height a little. Soon the instructor was barking out orders and I was getting into a groove. Then suddenly the instructor flips a switch and the lights go out. Save four colored bulbs Spin class occurs mostly in the dark. Imagine cosmic bowling, on stationary bikes. Not sure why this is, but nobody else seemed bothered by it.
Predictably, when the lights go out, it’s time for business. The tension wheel gets a constant workout and I have noticed that different instructors have wildly different ideas of the numerical values assigned to the tension wheel. One instructor works on a scale from 1-20. The others work from 1-10, but with no discernable similarities in what the numbers mean. The instructor we have been to the most has three numbers in mind. Zero, which equals all the way off, eight and a half, which is where you are most of the time, and approximately twenty stages between there and ten. For the most part I just try to look like I’m following along. Sometimes we just loaf and watch everybody else try to make sense of it all. Other times, we crank it up and try to benefit from it.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, we have become regulars at Spin Class. While the actual class is no more enjoyable that sitting on a trainer, the obligation to show up is a little stronger when you’ve told someone you’d be there. That coupled with not having to create your own workout plan makes it less mental work as well.
Judging by my results in the Cyclocross series so far this year, it hasn’t made me any faster. But it might keep me somewherebetween shabby and mediocre through the winter which is a big improvement for me.