Indoor cyclists loving the spin class they're in

Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:00am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) Who says they're just spinning their wheels?

As indoor cyclists ride stationary bikes up and down simulated hills, they might not be going anywhere, but they're controlling every push of the pedal.

"It's a group setting but really you're doing your own thing," said instructor Bethany Lyons. "In spinning the knob that controls resistance is right in front of you.

"You don't have to look like an idiot in class. That's a huge factor," explained Lyons, a group coordinator for the Crunch fitness chain, which offers 275 indoor cycling classes per week nationwide.

Lyons said spinning appeals to teenagers and 80-year-olds alike "because everyone works at their own rate."

"If the instructor suggests you turn it up, you don't have to," she said. "In some other classes, an instructor will say 'beginners stay here' but a beginner will try it anyway because they don't want to stand out."

In the absence of weather and potholes the cyclist can go a lot farther, theoretically of course, than in the inconveniently changing real world.

"In 45 minutes you'll ride a lot more miles in a spin class than you would on an outdoor bike," Lyons explained.   Continued...