With spring just on the horizon here in Toronto, panic has started to set in for me. Like many of my fellow Canadians I may have indulged in a little more Hygge than HIIT this winter, and so I've resolved to get back in the saddle and get fit for spring (well, by summer at the very latest).
As a fair-weather cyclist, I know I love to be on the bike but I just can't manage it when the weather is awful, so I decided to try spinning. Spinning, I've learned, has a culture of its own and, like every culture, it has its own special rules of etiquette. So, before you head into the spinning studio, here are my top five "spiniquette" tips:
1. No tech
Spinning is HARD WORK! I apologize for the shouty caps, but if you're new to the world of spinning it's important for this message to be clear. That means you cannot multi-task and check a few messages or Snapchat a picture of yourself during your ride. It's disruptive to other riders and totally disrespectful to your instructor. Do everyone a favour, leave your phone in the locker or, if it must be in-studio, turn it right off. This is your time on the bike -- commit to it!
2. Be on time
Nothing messes more with the vibe of a class then people rushing in late and trying to catch up. Some studios actually close the door to the class, much like the theatre, and don't allow entry after the first few minutes of class. Be respectful of the commitment that everyone has made to be on the bike.
As with so many things in life, you'll get back what you put in!
3. Don't talk
If you're talking during the class, you aren't working hard enough! The one thing that is even worse than your lack of effort is that you are interrupting the instructor. Keep your comments to yourself until after class is 100 per cent done. That includes the cool down, unless your instructor asks you how you're feeling or to sing along, like mine did in class today!
4. Dress appropriately
Spinning gear is tight fitting so that it doesn't get caught in your equipment, which is moving very quickly. People also tend to wear less because it can get quite hot in the studio, but a word of caution: there can be a lot of friction in spinning so I've found that longer tights or at least capris and a tank that soak up sweat are a good combo. Also, given the amount of sweat involved a good deodorant or antiperspirant is highly recommended (and a small courtesy to fellow riders).
5. Follow the pack
I was recently introduced to this pack concept -- and oh my gosh is it fun. It means that you have to ride with your group, and this is going to sound a little cliché, but I mean both literally and figuratively. You need to connect with both the movement and the attitude of the pack. So check your bad day at the door and bring it, as with so many things in life, you'll get back what you put in!
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