I did some spin classes at the gym in the beginning of last winter and I have to say, they're..........OK.
The problem with spin classes at the gym is that they're more often than not led by instructors who aren't cyclists. This leads to you doing things on a spin bike that you'd never do on a normal bike (e.g. repeated short standing jumps with high cadence or hovers...)
Our triathlon club ran a spin session that was run by triathlon coaches and catered for us as well as cyclists and I found that a lot better.
Other than that, the fact that it's not your bike creates a lot of headaches - it took me a while to dial my measurements in on the spin bike. Also with the resistance knob you're never quite sure where you are with gearing which can pose a problem when you're climbing and then sprinting, etc.
I agree that SA isn't safe (I have a friend in Durban) but as the weather's probably good for cycling all throughout the year, I'd think seriously into looking for a cycling club to ride with. Not only will you get a decent dose of all zone riding, you'll learn pack riding and bike handling skills which will come in handy during a race!
In God we trust, all others bring data.
- W. Edwards Demings
If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise.
Specificity, specificity, specificity.
The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".
- Frank Kotsonis
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