Spinning the IT blues away/Sacrilege?

When Mood Music
2013-01-15 23:50:00 bouncy gentle breeze from IT fans

OK, I’m still buzzing from tonight’s spinning, so this may be gibberish. However, I wanted to celebrate in words a chain of three highly enjoyable sessions.

Spinning the IT blues away 

  • Elly and I did the Sunday Sundowner, naturally enough on Sunday 13th. The regular instructor, Martino, was away in Basel with some of the other instructors, taking part in a 12-hour spinning marathon, so his place was amply filled by Alan. (There’s some mug-shots here.) Because this class isn’t as fully-booked as others and we arrived at Lifescycle in plenty of time, we got our two favourite bikes (left end of the front row). These bikes’ resistance controls work well – around 3 full turns from zero resistance to ‘the pedals won’t move!’, so it’s easy to set resistance that’s appropriate to the current activity.We had a giggle moment when we both thought Alan said, about 45 minutes into the session, that we were on the final working track. We looked at each other, communicating ‘Is that it? We’ve not worked enough!’ However, there were 2 more tracks to go, so we bashed on to an enjoyably sweaty finish.
  • We then did Andy’s Monday evening session. Andy was just back from the Basel bash: despite his claim to be wiped out from 6 continuous hours in a Swiss saddle, followed by an amount of socialising, he appeared to be more effervescent than ever. (If he wasn’t, then he’s a bloody good actor!) Again, we were on our favourite bikes and so the session sped by. Every track was a challenge – but an achievable challenge, rather than the clock-watching torture spinning can be. (That usually happens when I arrive late and so am in the wrong mood to start with.)
  • Tonight was Josh and Zara’s sportive training session. This is usually very hard – I feel utterly drained by the time it’s over. However, tonight it was a refreshing change from today’s freelance work problems.* Despite arriving late, I was on a bike that had great resistance control**, and was in the mood to pump my frustration out through my pedals. OK, I know I’m nowhere near a match for the real roadents and triathletes who do this session, but it felt great to me. Again, everything felt just about achievable, and the mix of music, instruction and activities worked very well for me.


    There was another amusing moment about half-way through when Josh shouted out ‘Are you with us?’. I guess he didn’t get the response he was hoping for: as far as I could hear, he said ‘that was rubbish’, yelled out again and got a much more enthusiastic response. (I don’t think that spinning or Lifescycle are in any way cults – this occasional exhortation is used to put spinners into a mood where they will test themselves as much as they can for their own benefit. The instructors don’t get paid more if we finish feeling happy, except that we’re more likely to come back next time. And since a session costs only £5, I’m sure the instructors won’t ever get Mararishi-rich on their earnings from Lifescycle.)

    * Wrestling with font issues, Quark-utter-shite-DTP-software-Express, my XServe’s dying power supply and needing to install QuankAbcess on my TiBook. (It’s half the speed of the XServe, with far less RAM – but its power supply isn’t dying [yet]! Oh, and then there was the fun of swapping authorisation for my copy of Quank from the XServe to the TiBook. The final joke was that this bout of freelance work will net me no more than £30. It should have taken under an hour but ended up taking over six hours and preventing me from doing a lot of other things.
    ** It’s at the back, in the right-hand corner. I think it’s bike 4.

    BTW, Josh, I was fine when you asked – I’d just slowed to crunch down a glucose tablet.


    I finished feeling very buzzed – perhaps I wasn’t working hard enough! However, I prefer to think I got it just right. I felt empowered when cycling home. I couldn’t accelerate up Orchard Brae but the rest of the 4-mile cycle zipped by in about 17 minutes or so.

So that’s three great sessions – with accompanying exercise highs – on three successive days. Prior to this week, such highs have come about once every 6 to 8 weeks. So I wonder whether tomorrow’s session (the final consecutive-day session for this week) will be the end or whether both Elly and I can come away glowing again. Here’s hoping for the latter!

It’s possible that my favourite CD ever is the Manic Street Preachers’ The Holy Bible. It’s certainly one of my most-palyed pieces of music. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a stark, desperately painful glimpse into the depression and and metal illness that caused a young man (he was 27 – almost 20 years younger than me) to disappear, probably into suicide. For me, to listen to it is to feel simultaneously guilty for all of the complacency and luxury I’ve become used to, to relive catharsis from my own history and to realise that however ill I may have been, these episodes were nothing to what this bloke went through. It’s also, to me, bloody great music.

So I began wondering about a spinning session to the whole of this record. Obviously this will never happen, because spinning generally works by having contrasts and changes in the music, but if it did it might go something like this:
(Warning – there’s some swearing in the lyrics.)

  1. Yes
    Warm-up, followed by medium-paced seated climb
  2. Ifwhiteamericatoldthetruthforonedayit’sworldwouldfallapart
    Seated sprint during verses, slow out of the saddle against very heavy resistance during choruses
  3. Of walking abortion
    medium-paced seated climb during verses, slow out of the saddle against very heavy resistance during choruses
  4. She is suffering
    very slow push against heavy resistance during verses, medium-pace against less resistance during choruses
  5. Archives of pain
    medium pace out of saddle during verses, sprint out of saddle during choruses
  6. Revol
    start slow for introduction, then ramp up during the verses, then sprint during choruses
  7. 4st 7lb
    medium-paced out of saddle all the way through
  8. Mausoleum
    faster-than-medium-pace in saddle during verses, same pace out of saddle during chorusesFaster would be here but I’m saving it to the end
  9. This is yesterday
    slow in the saddle against heavy resistance (rising to very heavy by the end of the song)
  10. Die in the summertime
    medium-fast out of saddle against moderate resistance during verses, against heavy resistance during choruses
  11. The intense humming of evil 
    (Apologies for the advert at the beginning of the video)
    The tempo of this song is very slow, so it would have to be a seated climb with cadence at twice tempo
  12. PCP
    The calm before the storm: standing but jogging, despite the faster tempo
  13. Faster
    (Lyrics are here.)
    4 straight minutes of sprinting out of the saddle (hand position 3), giving it everything, letting the physical demands of spinning turn the emotional destruction in this song into a positive, glowing climax.

Like I say, fantasy and probably sacrilege!


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