Pedaling my Butt off and Going Nowhere

You likely guessed from the title we are talking about a stationary bike. We are, in fact, talking about a Spin Bike. This bike has a video screen attached to the front and classes that are “part” of the program. (It starts with a “P” and ends with something that rhymes with yikes.)

I would mention them by name, but they do not advertise here…though they should really think about it because it would be a whole lot less controversial than their last campaign. You might have seen that one; a waifish model got the gift from her husband. Talk about tone deaf. The only thing I could compare it to was when my dad brought home a horse for my mom’s birthday.

However, I would be incredibly open to a small part in the next commercial for Ryan Reynold’s Gin, if he is reading this. (Full disclosure, though, I have a face for radio.  But my momma still loves me.) I have digressed enough, so back to the saddle. Yeah, I know…it was a Dad joke. As I type this, my daughter is likely intuiting across town that she should roll her eyes for some reason.

My wife found out about this beauty and asked me if I’d like it. With my knees starting to complain about their mistreatment over the years, I was looking for an alternative. My wife always does her research, and this was no exception. She laid everything out to the letter and we both were sold. Was it expensive? Hell, yes. But it was still cheaper and more convenient than a gym. We both thought the community aspect and having interactive classes could be a benefit, and we were right.

Well, actually, my wife has one story about how that benefit turned into quite the opposite, when her competition with a digital stranger with the same first name as my ex-wife, ended up with her in the E.R. and then in physical therapy for sixteen weeks. But I’m sure she’ll share that later…

The Stubborn Gene

The first thing I will note is that both my wife and I are stubborn; we just don’t have a give-up gene. So, while the instructors were saying the ride was ours, we were determined to meet the dynamics and finish strong. To quote one of the instructors “we were bosses.” Now I must admit something to you reader; I was greatly confident that I was going to tear this thing up. I had been playing tennis on a regular basis and even had a water rower that I used occasionally.

I was so wrong. This was a whole new level of intense. Within the first five-minute (three of which were warm-ups), sweat was running down my arms and dripping onto the floor mat under the bike. By ten minutes, I was thinking I had made a major miscalculation. At the halfway point into my 30-minute ride, I was convinced that my legs would never be the same.

Robots Designed for My Destruction

I watch the trainer on the screen as they glibly throw out alternating words of encouragement, and a good kick in the butt when I seem to need it, without a break in their stride or even shortness of breath. Momentarily, I am convinced they are maniacal robots designed for my destruction.

I dig in and continue to meet the cadence and resistance goals they set. Well, being brutally honest with myself, I was at the very bottom numbers on the range being called out. Miracles of miracles, I made it to the end of the ride without breaking down into a slobbering glob of mush. From this description you might think it was awful and, in some ways, it was but in others it was exhilarating.

The instruction was clear, and they gave me guidelines of how to use the bike and tips on making my ride more beneficial and safe by using proper techniques. They came across as wanting to include all of us into the community, both the ones in the class with them and the virtual riders. I found that I enjoyed their approach and to getting the maximum out of the effort in a relatively short time.

Hooked on Misery and Ready for Company

In the end, I was hooked. I’ve now been a faithful user over the last year and, with the current situation we find ourselves in, I have found it to be a comforting community that gives me 30 minutes of positive focus that lasts long after the ride is over.

So, as I drag myself up the steps to the relief of a wonderfully warm shower, I have the feeling of accomplishment and even a desire to see what I can do tomorrow. You might enjoy it as well…or I could just be telling you this because misery loves company. The only way you will find out is to get on and give it a spin.

About the Author
OldMan of the "OldMan Vs." series is a superhuman figure who battles a variety of exercise programs and machines to see who will emerge victorious. Whatever the villain, he will launch himself into danger and see who (or what) comes out on the other side.