My uber-fit friend Monica wanted to try out a new spin studio called RIDE. It’s across Lavaca from City Hall. Some things to note here: 1) I haven’t ridden a bike since I was maybe 12. 2) Since I had the baby, which is coming up on 2 years now, I haven’t done any cardio. 3) I have some co-workers who go to CYC during lunch hour, which is another cycling studio near my office, and they come back looking completely exhausted. I sweat from breathing warm air, so I had a feeling I’d be disgusting at the end of a spin class.
Essentially, I was pretty scared going into the experience. Monica could sense my fear when I arrived and got myself set up on the bike between hers and our friend Kristin’s.
Since I had pre-registered and reserved a bike beforehand, check-in was a cinch. My name was already on the sign-in sheet, and the lady asked for my shoe size. Since this was my first class, both the class and shoe rental were free. Shoes normally cost $1 to rent. They have lockers for your belongings right outside the studio door, which is really nice. You find the locker number that matches your bike number, punch in a code of your choice, and all your stuff is safe.
At each bike, they provide a clean towel, which I’m really glad was there. I soaked that little towel with everything that was pouring down my face, down my neck, down my arms, and if I could easily wipe while continually pedaling, I would’ve gotten the drips down my back and my legs. Gross. I was wiping down my handlebars too. I really hope they properly sanitize them between classes!
Like I said, I haven’t been on a bike in forever, and these stationary bikes are complicated! I had to adjust the seat mid-ride as I found myself bruising my crotch when we did these “sit back” moves while standing up on the pedals. Oh, and the shoes are a little tricky to clip and unclip. I was told to adjust the resistance on the bike by turning the middle knob, so thankfully, I had control over that as I kept it as easy as I could.
So that’s all the logistical stuff. The class itself was… LOUD and club-like with black lights picking up on any hint of neon. It was as far away from a yoga class as it could possibly be. 🙂 Thumping dubstep music filled the room. An instructor shouting encouraging words into a mic’ed headset like, “Stay strong. Intensity. Integrity.”
The warm up was a lot of furious pedaling. And then we were doing these crunches/push-ups while continuing to pedal. I felt extraordinarily uncoordinated and could not seem to find a rhythm with the leaning forward and back. We stood up, pedaled, did the push-ups and alternated that move with sitting back toward the seat. At that point, I kept thumping my crotch in the too-tall seat and had to make adjustments. This was also the point when I think I had this look on my face for the remainder of the class.
That’s my “uhh… I feel SO out of my element right now” face, by the way. There was a section of the class when we got to slow down the pace and work some very light hand weights. My shoulders were definitely going to burn from keeping my arms up for so long! And then, we picked up on the vigorous pedaling again. I was looking for more breathers. What’s the spin equivalent of child’s pose??!?
We closed the class with some stretching on the bike. Then, we got off the bike, did some inhale/exhales while raising arms up and ended with hands at the center of our chests. Whew. Done.
I left the class sopping wet. It took me probably 40 minutes before I stopped sweating. Thankfully, my heart didn’t feel like it was going to explode, so it seems my yogic breathing is still useful in keeping myself calm in very uncomfortable situations. The soreness settled in by day’s end – my back, shoulders, butt, thighs (oh god, my thighs!!!) and arms. I need some yoga stretching pretty badly to help recover from the all-over muscle soreness.
Spinning is so out of my comfort zone. I’m glad I went and survived to tell the tale. It even made me practice yoga – the non-asana parts, that is. Breath control, staying focused when being pushed to my edge and even drishti.
117 Lavaca St.
Austin, TX 78701