I totally agree with the others that in order to work on spin properly you need clipless pedals. That said, toe cages do work but not as well (and I hate them with a passion).
Your friend is right, spinning is moving your foot in a circle rather than just stomping down on the pedals. So you push down, slide your foot back (like scraping mud off your shoe) and then bring it around and up (think of throwing your knee towards the toptube). The pullup basically unweights the opposite pedal somewhat so that it's easier for your other leg to push down. You also end up turning the crank over slightly faster too.
I love single leg drills for this, and I'll combine them with high cadence work for a great trainer workout. I've been known to do them on a (very) quiet road but the trainer (or stationary bike) is your best bet. You can't to single leg stuff with normal platform pedals, however.
As PERRYR says, you basically unclip one leg and pedal with one leg. You'll notice a "dead spot" where you're most inefficient - mine's right at the top of the stroke - but concentrate on having a nice smooth stroke all the way round. After doing this for, say 1', clip the other leg in, spin easy for a couple of minutes, and then repeat with the other leg. Do this 4x per leg and then build number of reps and frequency as it gets easier.
This will be hard at first and your cadence will drop way down but stick with it and it does get better. For me, the key to going faster is to pedal faster rather than pushing a bigger gear and a good pedal stroke will help a lot. I've also found that I can get a quick burst of speed on hills by actively engaging my hamstrings to "pull up" my leg faster - it doesn't last very long but if I time it right I can get a decent gap pretty quickly.
Edited by: WONGERCHI at: 11/4/2008 (16:12)
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