Saturday, October 21, 2006

Freddie, you can keep the bike...

I've previously mentioned my son's current obsession with listening to Queen's greatest hits. I don't know if I should be concerned that my seven-year-old is already into classic rock or not, so I just roll with it. Maybe that makes me a permissive parent when it comes to music listening, but it is hard to deny that Queen has some of the great rock classics of all time.

I haven't heard any bad words in the songs yet. And, thankfully he hasn't figured out yet what "Another One Bites the Dust" is really all about. One of my son's favorite songs on our hits CD is "Bicycle." You might remember the sing-songy chorus that goes, "I want to ride my bi-cy-cle, I want to ride my bike..."

Well, the late great Freddie Mercury would not be pleased with me today at all. Because I attempted to ride a bicycle and I am still feeling the after effects. I don't think I'll be singing the praises of riding this sort of bike for a long time, if ever.

Yep, you guessed it, I took a spinning class. Years and years ago, I tried spinning when it was the hot new fitness craze. All that I remember from that experience, is that I was convinced I was going to have a coronary during the class and that I later found myself quite sore in the, shall we say "seat" region, for days afterward. (Let's put it this way--I have no clue how men can handle spinning!)

But, me being the silly old fool that I am, I decided to give the bike a whirl again. My trainer is fanatical about spinning and teaches several classes at our gym. So, I arrived, large bottle of water and a towel in hand, fearful of the pain I was about to put upon myself. It didn't help that I happened to pick a class that was having a "race day," which means instead of the typical interval training on the bike, the instructor had everyone ride full-out as if we were in an actual race.

Surprisingly, I did not suffer cardiac arrest. This time, I did not have to walk away with squatty bow-legged poise as I reeled from the extreme bruising pain in my nether region. So, I considered the spinning workout a success, especially when I began feeling sore not long after leaving the gym.

But, as I took my turn at spinning, I observed the rest of the class. It's a funny thing about this strange fitness frenzy on the bike, people tend to go one way or the other with it. Either you are a spinning groupie or you hate the bikes. I watched as my instructor grinned through the class, constantly talking about how much she loves to ride. I thought of a few friends of mine who are avid "spinners" too and wondered what type of person it takes to become so attached to peddling a strange metal object on which you have no hope of ever getting anywhere. Spinners, in my experience, are almost as fanatical as Trekkies and they have the calves to prove it.

I don't hate riding bikes, mind you. I love taking my kids for a whirl around the trails in our neighborhood. We have a special area that my husband and son discovered that we like to call "Turtle Town" where you pedal alongside a wooded creek filled with turtles and fish. It's relaxing, fun, and one of our most favorite family activities.

I've even thought that before I turn 40, I'd like to compete in a triathalon. My only concern is not the biking, and certainly not the running, but the swimming. Bike riding is fun to me, typically. Unless you are crammed into a steamy room with about 30 stationary bikes, fans running entirely too slow, and a cement wall that's been wallpapered with a fake scene for your viewing pleasure.

It just gets really monotonous to me. And, I learned today, that I burn almost twice as many calories in my kickboxing and step aerobics classes as I do on the bike. So, spinning will go on my list of occasional workouts and I will not jump on that two-wheeled bandwagon.

What do you think of "spinning?" Have you tried it? Did you like it? Or did you feel, as I did, that if you peddled any longer your kneecaps might just pop off and hit the spin instructor right upside the head?


Blogger LadyBugCrossing said...

Never done it. Have no interest. Think I'd rather die before I sit and pedal like an idiot and go no where... At least when you ride your bike outside, you can see things, feel the breeze, and coast down hill once in a while...

1:17 PM, October 21, 2006  
Blogger Babs said...

yay, a new entry! I was wondering if you were saving them all up for November! ;)

I've never tried a spinning class, but it looks like total insanity. I'm impressed you've done it twice now! And btw, the bike portion was my favorite part of my one-and-only danskin triathlon... even though my best time was on the run. Hey, maybe we can do it together next time!

1:51 PM, October 21, 2006  
Anonymous GhostHost said...

OMG I cracked up laughing when I read this post. My fiance works at the illustrious Bike Barn World Headquarters in the greater Houston area. I get all the fun of the occasional "bike snob!" jab and endless joy taunting her with that old Queen song.

The competitive bike racing set is "unique" enough. Those who ride a bike in place.. they must be some unique individuals indeed.

Thanks for the laugh!


4:37 PM, October 23, 2006  

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