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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.


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
HEALTHYSLIM2 10/22/2013 2:18PM

    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

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LORENVER 10/21/2013 5:54PM

    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.

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DDOORN 10/19/2013 10:09PM

    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.


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HILLSLUG98239 10/19/2013 10:01PM

    All the more reason to ride a trainer. Alone, in the garage, miserable - the way it's *supposed* to be. emoticon

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APONI_KB 10/19/2013 12:17PM

    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.

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BILL60 10/19/2013 8:25AM

    You're scaring me.

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DAMEGRIS 10/18/2013 9:57PM

    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

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