Joyride – indoor cycling aka spinning

I am fairly skinny but not in a great shape. I am not strong and I’d like to be. I also wouldn’t mind having some abs and arms a la Jennifer Aniston. I tried tennis which was great, I really enjoyed it, way more fun than gym. I do try to do Tracy Anderson DVDs (highly recommend) and now have ventured into HIIT training (will review later) but cardio I hate. I am not a runner and I sort of feel like Im wasting my time when I just walk. A friend dragged me into Joyride Wilton and I really liked it.

What is it? You are in a dark large room, well ventilated, about 30 bikes on different levels in front of a mirrored wall. So if you are like me, you go the back row in hopes no-one sees you but fear not, its really dark in there save for multi-colored disco lights and most people have hard enough of a time to stay on a bike to be watching you. A very very energetic instructor will lead you through the class to some pumping music, there are essentially 3 different positions: sitting, standing (hands on the bar in front of you), and standing while holding onto the handles furthest from you so you are in a climbing position. Instructor tells you the speed, position and resistance (if you get too tired, turn it down). You end the class with some arm work (1-3 lb weights) and stretching.


Photo from

What to watch out for? 

  • make sure that someone comes over with you and helps you set up a bike. If it doesn’t feel comfortable, have them adjust it for you and remember your numbers. I felt like I was slipping off a bike for a while and turned out the adjustment was needed.
  • do not be an energizer bunny – I constantly see women who completely ignore the instructions, the pace and the rhythm, and just petal like energizer bunny as fast as they can. I get especially annoyed if they are shouting out Whoo-hoo’s while the rest of the class is petaling hard AND actually using resistance. You have to use some resistance, it’s hard to get a good workout without it. This isn’t just a random cycling event, the intensity and intervals are carefully calculated to give you the best workout you can have and to keep you safe on a bike.
  • be aware of your position: your elbows should be relaxed, arms shouldn’t be tight and in 3rd position, stick your butt out. Always keep your head up and shoulders down – I have a hard time with my shoulders but its so important.
  • have water and drink it: before, during and after, even when you do not feel hydrated. Its a tough workout. They give you a towel and at the end of the class everyone uses sanitary wipes to wipe down their seat and handlebars.
  • wear comfortable workout shoes and I even bought this sexy, padded piece to wear. Feels like a giant diaper but my butt hurt less.



Bicycle padded pants $25.99

Why do I like it? It burns a ton of calories as any interval cardio would. I like the fact I can go sit down, its dark and anonymous (though the ladies I talked to were really nice), do it and get out. Instructor tells you what to do so you don’t even have to think, just show up and do it. It is convenient as they have classes throughout the day every day of the week, so you can easily squeeze in your 50 minutes. It works your legs, arms and core. Plus, I am a child of late 70s, I enjoy the disco lights, loud music and anyone who cheers me on!!!