As I posted last Wednesday, the cycling studio I briefly attended closed its doors 10 days ago. While the owner told me tearfully she had yet to turn a profit and that her dream was over, my mind raced to a bigger issue: what was I going to do now? Join a big-box gym? Shout “time’s up!” to my not-cleared-to-run-from-surgery knee and hit the pavement?
But the dust settled. I’ve moved on.
And as I reflect on my time on a bike, I realize I’ve learned a few things along the virtual road. They are, in no particular order:
- Pants are preferable to shorts unless you’re sure of the prior rider’s hygiene.
- Apparently I have no obliques because despite the instructor’s shouting encouragement to engage my core and LEAN, I move a pitiful few inches.
- It’s not a seat—it’s a saddle.
- Whatever it is, it has no padding. And a gel cover makes no difference.
- Go conservative when you’re told to “gear up.” You’ll thank yourself when the instructor shouts encourages you to keep adding gear later in the ride.
- Sit where you can see the clock.
- Don’t mind the defibrillator on the wall—it’s probably just some requirement.
- If the class is over and the instructor asks who wants to go another 15 minutes, don’t be proud—chances are no one knows how to use the defibrillator.
- There is no coasting in a cycling class.
- There are no stop signs or signals, either.
- Plan on going directly home. You won’t even look good enough for Home Depot when you’re done.
- If the instructor shouts encourages you to “grab a drink,” do it. Pretty soon the only thing you’ll hear is your heart pounding in your ears.
- Bring a towel. Not a washcloth—a towel. The thirstier, the better.
- “Almost there” means 5 different things to 5 different instructors.
- If the instructor stops to help someone to the ground before that someone faints and hits their head on the concrete floor (true story), watch the clock yourself or that 1-minute sprint you were promised could easily go long. (See # 6.)