November 18, 2015


I've never been much of a bike rider. I'll pretend to be a runner and obviously I ride my horse, but for some reason biking just has never been my thing.

Having gone through pretty much every free exercise class offered around here, I was running out of options to get myself fit which is a big goal of mine for 2016. I have been using a really great interval running app three days a week and only two weeks in already see my recoveries improving.

Two weeks ago a new acquaintance mentioned that she taught a local spin class at a new high tech facility. She has 7 kids of her own and works, so I asked her how on earth she managed to fit it in. Her secrete: a 5:45 am class. I was intrigued. While this would take away my precious sleep, it would allow me to get my exercise in and still make it home in time to take Wyatt to school and then head off to work.

When the alarm went off at 4:45 am, I declared myself insane but got out of bed and out the door anyway. I had registered and chosen my bike in advance as they recommend and was given one free trial class. Upon arrival, I signed in at the ipad attached to the wall and walked over to my bike. The owner was present and helped get me up to speed with the bike.

Heather skipped in with a suspiciously cheery demeanor and strapped on a head set which she used to tell us all to get on and get going. The class would be 45 minutes long.

As I got on and started pumping my legs I thought that this wouldn't be so hard. Biking has no concussive forces, you could use momentum in your favor, and heck it was stationary. How hard could this possibly be?


After a quick 5 minute warm up I was already starting to feel a distinct burning in my thighs and butt. It was manageable, but a little disconcerting so early in the workout.

Up next was their signature 3 minute stress test. Put the gears up until you can barely move the pedals and go as hard as you can for 3 solid minutes. After a minute I was dead. I limped along for the next 2 minutes barely breathing and cursing Heather under my breath.

The two flat screen TVs on the front wall changed to show the bike number ad a gas gauge. This would be used for the remainder of the ride. Your effort output was based on the stress test just performed and the gas gauge was color coded for ease of use: blue was <60% effort, green 61-70%, yellow 71- 80%, orange 81-90% and red >90% to a max of 120% of your total effort.

Heather laughed and told us all to get ready for the real workout. My legs were barely functioning and we still had 35 minutes to go.

The rest of the class was a blur of swearing, sweating, getting nauseas, barely breathing and trying not to either die or look like a total failure.

We did rolling hills: stay in green then jump up to red going up a pretend hill then coast back down the other side in green and back again. For what seemed like forever.

We did standing sets: stay in orange then jump to red and stand up for a count of two, sit for two, stand for four, sit for four, stand for eight, sit for eight then backwards.

We did sprints.

We pedaled the hell out of that bike.

After 45 minutes my legs were noodles. I got off the bike and nearly fell over. I barely made it to my car and when I got home I couldn't make it up the steps.

So much for easy. That bike kicked my ass.

I have been to two sessions now and the second was no easier. Heather assures me that after a month I won't want to die anymore. We shall see.

Even though I pretty much hate every second that I am on that stupid bike, I love the way it makes me feel afterward and knowing that my entire workout for he day is completed by 6:30 am is pretty awesome. It doesn't take any of my time away from either Wyatt or Gem and I can still fit in my interval running in the evenings.

The cost is a little too high for me to be able to go more than one day a week right now, but with the other things I have going on I think this bit of cross training is going to work out just fine.

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