Category Archives: Winter Cycling
I’m going to go ahead and dub winter season as spinning season in the Capital Region. There are lots of us who ride outside but many of us are spending our time indoors on a stationary bike. Today I spent two hours Spinning; grinding my teeth, slicing my legs like on a meat slicer, and sweating absolutely all over the bike (feeling bad for the person after me). This is Spinning – sometimes easy and sometimes hard. After I got out of the gym I took a look on the Times Union Bike Blog and came across a description of Spinning by Jay Holick.
My daughter invited me to spin with her one night after work at the Spin Revolution, Clifton Park. While I was waiting for the class to begin and while I was stretching, I thought it would be interesting to Google “Spinning” on my smartphone and here is what I found…
As I looked around, I discovered Spinning can actually be a very motivating workout for cyclists of all levels.
The birth of Spinning.
In 1991 John Baudhuin, President and CEO of Mad Dogg Athletics, teamed up with John G, who had spent time training for a cross-country cycling race. He was a new dad at the time and found it hard being away from his family to train. That experience sparked the idea for the Spinner bike and the Spinning program.
Spinning could provide a safe place—away from roads and overly aggressive group riders—to build strength and stamina on the bike.
Now the Spinning program is the global leader in indoor cycling training, education and equipment.
What should you expect at a Spinning class?
Both the equipment and the program are standardized, so you take expect the same format whether you take a class in New York or California. Workouts are 40 minutes long and all classes incorporate music to help motivate and inspire riders.
Basic movements—from seated flats to standing climbs—are used to mimic outdoor riding positions, and instructors use universal cues to prompt their classes for changes in movement and hand position.
Away from external distractions, Spinning classes allow the rider to focus on the workout, making it a great place to build endurance and confidence on the bike. Spinning® is also an incredibly efficient cycling workout, especially when you’re crunched for time. Who wouldn’t want to…?
- Burn more calories in less time
- Squeeze in a high quality workout in under an hour
So, how do you get started?
“Showing up is half the battle,” Anderson says. “Just go through the doors and let the endorphins kick in. The instructors empower you but, as with any good workouts, the real power comes from within. It’s a safe environment, so that allows you to turn up the intensity a bit and challenge yourself.”
The only downside might be the addictive nature of the classes. “Once you start seeing results, that’s what will keep you coming back for more,” Anderson says.
What about those intimidating instructors?
“You are in complete control of your workout,” Anderson says. “The resistance is up to you so it will only be as challenging as you make it.”
If you need to back off, Anderson suggests lowering the resistance to an easier cadence. She compares it to yoga where practitioners are encouraged to rest in child’s pose if they need a break.
The instructors’ function is to direct and motivate you. So if you’re uncomfortable in a class or feel the pace is not one you care for, you should find a Spinnning class and instructor that suit your individual needs.
Afterward, I discovered Spinning is not my cup of tea but I did see a lot of people really getting into it. So to them I say…Cycle On!”
He’s right, Cycle On!
Two days ago I was on a six mile ride at around 6:45 am. It was about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Around 4 miles into my ride I noticed my hands were so cold. I started to wonder if my hands were cooler than the air temperature. According to the information below – my hands did feel colder and I wasn’t far off frostbite!
The Wind Chill index is the temperature your body feels when the air temperature is combined with the wind speed. It is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin caused by the effects of wind and cold. As the speed of the wind increases, it can carry heat away from your body much more quickly, causing skin temperature to drop. When there are high winds, serious weather-related health problems are more likely, even when temperatures are only cool.
Remember windchill effects while riding. Make sure you keep conscious of frostbite and how easy it can settle in. We don’t want to see anyone loose their fingers or toes! You can read our article here about layering properly.
Now that the weather is warming up (Horray!) I feel like I can finally post this article. I saved it from a while ago when it was getting cold, and admittedly it is about going from warmer weather to colder weather. Take the advice, heck read it backward if you want to, and shed those winter cloths.
Written by Chris Belsole
This one comes from About.com. I like their bicycling site because you can always count on them for a very bike post. They always have nice tips and product reviews to help you out.
The latest one is about where to lubricate your bike. This is great info especially in the winter time when salt and dirt get everywhere. At ABR just last Wednesday I was lubing up a stuck break arm so I can tell you just how important a little lube is.