Spun out!

When Mood Music
2011-12-19 22:35:00 cheerful Mix CD – Barry Reeves

Recently a former colleague mentioned going to a ‘spin’ class. I asked for an explanation and was told ‘Spin is a gym class designed by the devil. It involves cycling uphill for an hour to hard-core dance music’.

How could I resist this? Cycling to music but without headphones, no traffic, no weather and above all without the potholes and cobbles that make cycling in Edinburgh such a pain in the rims* and ringpiece**.

I couldn’t join the class my colleague goes to – it’s only for alumni of Ediburgh’s other university. However, Google found Lifescycle. I went to my first session this evening – it was all I’d hoped for and more: very friendly and welcoming, obviously knowledgable and committed instructors, yet with a slightly hippie/ just be/listen to your body ethos. I’d guess that the mean age of the class was around 25, while the instructor was probably about 40. I couldn’t keep up with all of the standing cycling (adjusting to and from standing on a fixed-wheel bike requires a knack which I’ll take a while to acquire anyway) and I imagine my ‘velocity’ was only about half of that managed by the experienced spinners around me but I’m pleased that I kept going, cranking up the resistance as we came to ‘hills’ and pushed hard against ‘headwinds’.

I think the musical/emotional highlight was pushing hard, and then harder, and then harder still along to Comfortably Numb. Along with millions of others, this song almost always gets me, takes me to a much darker and unhappier place – and yet somehow it’s cleansing. Maybe the cleansing effect is a byproduct of nostalgia, coupled with the knowledge that I am much happier (or possibly just more complacent) than I was in previous years. Whatever, allied with intense physical effort, I could just lose myself in the experience – an entirely sober inebriation!

The comedown was realising that that the session was only half-done! However, I kept going and I’m pleased I did so. I’m told I cycled about 30 km in the hour-long session.

Oh, and then I had this fun cycle back in the dark. I had thought that Leith Walk would defeat me or that Picardy Place roundabout would be impossible. (It used to be too much for me when we lived in Brunswick Road.) However, I managed this largely uphill 2·3 mile cycle in about 18 minutes.)

My legs are going to hate me tomorrow but I’m so looking forward to the next session.

* Not rude – see here
** OK, that one was rude.

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