Spin Bikes

Spin Bikes – Still too Cold for Lycra!

Well it’s still winter and it’s still far too cold and windy for Lycra! The good news is that the spinning bike is working great and I have found some fantastic indoor cycling training DVD’s to help alleviate the boredom (more about those in a future blog!). I honestly thought that without the flashing lights and shrieks of encouragement from a spinning instructor who thinks he’s Mark Cavendish on steroids (I would like to point out for legal reasons that I am in no way suggesting that Mark Cavendish has taken any form of performance enhancing drugs!)…..anyway I thought that I would not be able to motivate myself to do a decent cycling session that could in any way match my mountain conquering efforts of the summer.

How wrong I was….you see the thing about cycling on a spinning bike is that you cannot freewheel and whilst I am reluctant to admit it, it is harder than riding outdoors where during a normal 2 -3 hour ride at least 50% of the time is spent freewheeling or cycling with very low resistance, another 20% of the time spent at moderate effort and only the remaining 30% at the upper end or near maximum effort. Now where I live on Dartmoor it is hilly so this type of riding effectively translates into interval training, which is a very effective way to get fit and lose weight. As mentioned before the bad news on a spin bike is that you cannot freewheel , however, by using the adjustable resistance of a spinning bike together with a decent heart rate monitor it is very easy to replicate this type of interval training indoors. More importantly by focussing on short sharp lung bursting efforts followed by slightly longer periods of easy resistance riding to recover, you don’t get that bored and are soon feeling like you have ridden numerous high mountain passes!

In fact some experts in the cycling press argue that working out on a spinning bike for 30-45 minutes can be equivalent to a much longer outdoor cycle ride, now of course that depends on the effort you put in (to either riding environment) but for many of us cyclists, who let’s face it have not got much time and dislike using the little we have for training indoors (we don’t mind wasting half a day on an outdoor ride!), this is great news. The other benefits about training indoors is that you don’t have to wear a pair of padded shorts, which resemble a nappy, you don’t meet any club riders on expensive bikes going twice as fast as you and you don’t get overtaken by a gaunt looking 60 year old man with a beard on a bike from the 1920’s who whooshes past with a cheery “Good Morning!”…… I swear one day I am going to accidently swerve to avoid an invisible rabbit just as he passes…that will wipe the smile from his thin looking hairy face!!

Until the next time…..
Hire Fitness, South West