How to Go Nowhere Fast
It's dark. It smells like sweat. The music is pounding at 120 beats per minutes -- almost as fast as my heart as I rise out of the saddle to conquer the next hill. My thighs burn, I'm gasping for breath. The leader is yelling at us to go faster. There'd better be an ice cream stand at the top!
I'm here as part of my own "Project 34" effort to stay in shape over the Winter. This year's El Nino has meant that Ottawa has had a fairly mild winter with relatively little snow, and a short skating season on the Rideau Canal. And as I am not much for winter cycling, I decided that the next best thing would be to attend a Spinning Class at my local recreation centre.
Not to be confused with the ancient art of making yarn out of wool, spinning is kind of like doing aerobics only everyone is on a stationary bicycle. The bikes have a weighted fly wheel at the front and you can adjust a tension knob to simulate going up a hill or release it fully so that you can whip your legs around and get your heart rate up. The only thing that you can't do is coast (very bad idea!), so it is akin to riding a Fixed track bike where your legs are both the accelerator and the brakes.
Spinning is touted as a great workout that can burn up to 450 calories in 45 minutes, and judging by my fatigue and hunger after the class, something must be burning. But, alas, it's not really cycling. I miss the open road, the wind on my face, the dogs that chase you, and the sense of accomplishment of getting to your destination on your own power. And of course, the ice cream.
Here's looking forward to Spring.