No More Hills ... or ... Be Careful What You Wish For

Friday, October 18, 2013

First off, I have REALLY loved getting out on bike rides this past year. Being outdoors, whether for a ride in the country or commuting to work – doesn’t matter. Just being out and pedaling has been a treat for me.

However, the bike has been shuttered in the garage ever since the end of September. Waning daylight and increased rain & wind has chased me from the road. I am a wimp.

Still, I want to assure that come springtime, I still have some semblance of bicycle legs ... so I started doing a Spin class. The gym I go to has lots of Spin classes though out the week. I had never been to one before so decided to check it out. And ... I like it! A lot!

I knew my first class would be hard, as I’v never been to a Spin class. But I also thought to myself, “Hey ... I ride a decent amount outside ... I can get up to Spin speed in no time.”

Foolish thought indeed.

I’ve been to roughly 10 Spin classes since the beginning of October. Ten. 10.

You would think by now I’d be at least semi-keeping up. But nooooooooooo. Each class I go to I think, “AHHHGGG. That was the HARDEST thing EVER.”

That is ... until the next class. And the next ... and .... and ... and ...

I finally realized why the class is so hard. Several reason actually – on the Spin bikes ...

1. There is no freewheel feature that allows coasting

2. There are no road crossings allowing you to stop

3. In fact, there is NO stopping the entire class

4. What about recovery time? Oh yeah ... a CARDIO recovery only

5. There’s about 5X the amount of hills in an hour of Spin class vs. real life riding

6. And ... the hills are SUPER long in Spin class. I mean...seriously? 10 minutes of hills? Only to be followed by MORE hills?

7. And oh yeah ... there are NO downhills. ONLY up hills. ONLY. UP. HILLS. (ok, there are some flats ... but again, they are used for CARDIO recovery...sheesh.)

Soooo ... one day after Spin class I was relating some of my ... errrr ... concerns to the Spin instructor. I was saying how I think my hill climbing will hopefully get better ... how my riding will hopefully get stronger and faster ... as we have been doing lots of hills.

The next class I went to ... she decided to change it up. She said lets do a Progressive ride. As in ... 12 songs ... each song we pick up tempo. Not a hill. But not flat road. A slight incline.

Twelve songs ... a slight up tempo each one.

We started with about 70 – 74 rpms. We ended with just over 100 rpms ... with faster sprints thrown in at times.

I. Was. Destroyed.

I found that while hills are tough for me ... my real weak spot is endurance cardio. I SUCK at endurance cardio.

Lesson learned: Greg ... shut the hell up.

Actual lesson learned: I need to do more endurance cardio ... because I hate them.

Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I have been thinking I need to try a spin class... now I feel like I REALLY have to!!! Sounds like just what I need, as my endurance is not what it should be either!!
    Thanks for the great blog, and I loved your little graphic at the end.
    emoticon emoticon
    1431 days ago
    ah yes spinning. Does your instructor say things like "this should feel like riding over a highway over pass." I know when i do it in a car it doesn't feel like that :). Then we do it for 10 minutes with jumps, and sprints. ugh.

    I'd much rather do hills than sprints. I have always been good at endurance and bad at speed. The Monday instructor use to love sprints, ugh.

    Glad your instructor listened to you :D.
    1431 days ago
    LOVE my spinning classes and YES you're going to find hills less challenging with more spinning.

    The key to making a spinning class tolerable vs. INTOLERABLE?

    The resistance knob. I find myself learning just how much to crank it to challenge but not overwhelm my ride.

    10 times in October? Sounds like you're getting as hooked as I've been...and yes, I'm right there with you re: wimping out with darker, colder weather. To me, bundling up against the cold takes too much of the fun out of road cycling.

    1433 days ago
  • HILLSLUG98239
    All the more reason to ride a trainer. Alone, in the garage, miserable - the way it's *supposed* to be. emoticon
    1433 days ago
    except that now I'm afraid to go to one of these classes and I've been meaning to try one

    I thought it would be lame, like running on a treadmill but maybe not.
    1434 days ago
  • BILL60
    You're scaring me.
    1434 days ago
    LOL and that's not good because I might pop a stitch. :D haha, just kidding, this was just the laugh I needed tonight. I think I will continue to avoid spin classes like the plague!! :D
    1434 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.