Spin like no one is watching
Cycling - a sport with as many sub-cultures as #coffee images on instagram. From the fat tyre fraternity to the ongoing sock debate between time trialists and triathletes, it could be argued that being a ‘cyclist’ isn’t a community in itself. Instead, it’s become the deeper rooted preferences within the sport that now connect, and therefore separate, us.
One difference is whether you ride indoor or outdoor aka road cycling versus spinning classes. Even though I still feel strongly that being on the road cannot be compared to any class, I’ve recently experienced why the cult of spinning is a growing tribe.
Whether you race, commute or plan multi-day riding trips, spinning could compliment your lifestyle more than the stereotype has led you to believe. Below are five myths that I believed about spinning and what I feel now, 40 sweaty classes later.
It won’t feel like ‘proper’ riding.
No, it doesn’t feel like ‘proper’ riding. There’s no cars and no potholes which means safety isn’t a concern, allowing me to sweat more than I ever do outside. To improve your fitness you have to leave your current physical comfort zone which is something I find tough with so many other variables at play on the road.
Everyone wears crop tops and tight fitting leggings.
Yes, a lot of people do. Without painting a picture of a ‘This Girl Can’ advert, it’s a humbling experience to see women and men of all different shapes and sizes owning their body shape for what it can do not what it can fit.
I’ll get shouted at by the instructor.
Yes, the teacher loudly guides you through the whole session with enviable energy and motivation. But given that work and life is a constant cycle of making decisions, I actually enjoy someone else making them for me, even if that’s only for 45 minutes.
It’ll mess my body up.
Not only has it not messed my body up, it’s made me feel stronger. I’m recovering from injury and these 45 minute sweat filled classes have given me the confidence to get back on the road.
I won’t get the same physical, mental and social benefits as road riding.
Combine the feel good vibes generated by pedalling to the beat, the community strength from moving in sync and the high five from the instructor at the end and every one of your endorphin boxes are well and truly ticked.
The simple act of spinning your legs flushes out the constant stream of thought. This truth connects all cyclists and it’s why we continue to place our hands on the handlebar. The fact they’re wide, dropped or without brakes, shouldn’t define us. The attitude of trying something new and continuing to better yourself should.
If you’re looking for something different or your current lifestyle means a 45 minute workout is more suited than a 4 hour road ride, book yourself onto a class, enjoy the novelty of loud music without the drunk people or sticky floor and spin, spin like no one is watching.