Bear Bicycle Touring Co.


I love cycling outside in the fresh air and watching the scenery go by, and never really considered the alternative; stationary spinning. My current workplace has a pretty decent gym and every Monday at lunch they offer a spin class. At first thought I was reluctant when my colleagues told me that spin was such a great class, “but I cycle all the time outside, so why would I spin inside? I could go running outside instead”, I thought. I resisted for weeks and finally my other gym buddies convinced me to take the spin class. I believe it was a rainy Monday and my options of going outside was non-existent. The class was full of a broad mixture of ages and gender and I took one of the bikes in the second row.

The class started and we were told to keep a high cadence at a low resistance. The warm up song came to an end and our instructor spent the rest of our class, 45 minutes, telling us to adjust up and down our resistance and our speed. In the middle of the class we were doing interval hill sprints and the sweat was dripping of my body as I was left breathless. I walked away from the class drenched and realized I got a much better workout then if I just went and did my own thing for the same amount of time. Every Monday I now go to spin class.

Spin class does not compete with my joy of riding outdoors and the spectacular scenery you pass or the exhilaration you feel on lengthy descents, but for one hour every week it is making me faster. Through the instructor telling me what cadence to be pushing the petals at and what effort levels, I learned to push through the pain. Now when I am out on the road and I have some climbing I find that I sit in my seat and can pedal up them at a more consistent pace. Do not get me wrong you can get faster by doing all your training on the roads, but sometimes a class with other class takers providing competition can also push you further.

My surprise is tons of participants in the spin class have never ridden on outside! Most participants in spin class come every week and are fit enough to be out on the road, but for whatever reason have never tried. I am perplexed, the best part of spin is the feeling when I am on the road and being a bit quicker. I know some fear the roads are not safe or perhaps the bikes are a huge investment that they are not sure they will like. I would say to those individuals that the roads are safer than you think, especially the road we go on that are mostly country lanes with very minimal traffic; those types of road really do exist! Second, yes bikes can be expensive and if you are not sure come out with us and try out a road bike and see for yourself. I honestly think that my husband and I save money having bikes over time. Instead of having two cars we have one, because one of us can always cycle commute to a job or to an appointment. We take vacations on our bikes reducing the transportation costs and the healthy benefits that come from having an active lifestyle saves money in the long run.

If you take a spin class regularly you definitely should get out on a bike on the roads and see for yourself why so many people love it.