Gimme Gimme Gimmicks: A New Spin On An Old Classic

bikeIt’s Easter Sunday, around 2pm.

Friends and family shuffle in with a load of goodies that could easily feed a small army.

Among the regular crowd is cousin Lea who’s in town from Texas for a wedding.

Funny, it was Lea who 29 years ago was the flower girl at me and Cathy’s wedding.

Ahh, seems like only yesterday.

In typical holiday fashion the guys make a beeline for the patio (that’s where the ice chest is).

Eventually settling down in the living room (that’s where the TV is).

The girls in the meantime congregate around the dining room table (that’s where all the latest so-called juicy gossip is).

In a kamikaze attempt to land the last remaining deviled egg I happen to overhear Alex (Cathy’s niece) mention that she’d recently been certified as a Spinning instructor.

Knowing better than to ask right then and there and potentially risk disrupting the rapid fire conversational flow I quietly mosey back to my place among the man tribe with deviled egg in hand wondering…

“What exactly does a Spinning instructor do?”

Later that evening after everyone’s gone home I ask our son Tim if he’d heard about his cousin’s certification?

“Isn’t spinning just some fancy word for riding a stationary bike?” I say.

“Oh no,” he beckons back.

“It’s a lot more than that.”

“It’s like…well, like dancing on a bike.”

“Dancing on a bike!?”

Okay now I’m curious.

I check out some YouTube videos.

Guess what?

Apparently spinning classes are all the rage.

And actually they’re pretty cool, as well as, quite a workout to boot.

Still, I don’t get it.

Spinning, aka riding a stationary bike, is as old as dirt.

Now suddenly it’s the latest greatest thing in fitness.

What’s changed?

Could it be the cheer leading trainers in the fuchsia colored bike shorts?

The synchronized upper body movements (aka dance moves)?

Or maybe the club-like atmosphere complete with techno tunes and integrated light show?


In the end, however, it’s still about riding a stationary bike.

Something most of us have surely done at one time or another in our ongoing quest for a slimmer and firmer waistline.

But if by some small twist of fate you haven’t ever ridden one, or if maybe it’s just been a while and you need a refresher course, here’s the skinny.


  • Pat the seat and climb on
  • Place your feet firmly onto/into the stirrups/pedals
  • Choose your workout (this nifty little feature is now available on virtually all models)
  • Start pedaling
  • Keep pedaling
  • After approximately 30 minutes of heart pumpin exercise feel free to safely dismount
  • Give yourself a well deserved pat on the back…nice job!
  • Now simply repeat as necessary (meaning like everyday)

Now mind you, although I’ve been riding bikes (both the stationary and the two wheeled versions) long since before Alex was ever born, I’m no instructor, let alone a certified instructor.

But I can assure you that by stickin to the few basic steps outlined above you can and most definitely will shed some of those unwanted pounds and inches.

And in turn start feeling pretty damn good about your efforts along the way.

Oh and BTW, if ya wanna skip the gym and prefer to give this spinning thing a try in the comfort of your own home but don’t currently own a stationary bike, no worries, you can usually pick up a used one on Craigslist or at a yard sale for about the price of a large pizza.

Seriously, their ridiculously cheap.

I got a brand new base model Pro-Form at Sears Outlet for $140.

Before that a neighbor offered me one in exchange for spray painting her screen door.

She said she hadn’t used it in years (the bike not the screen door). And after taking it home I found out why.

The threads on the right pedal arm were completely stripped away. So I made a makeshift pedal out of a six inch hex bolt, a lock nut, some stiff cardboard and about ten yards of duct tape.

I kid you not I rode that thing for miles.

Up until the front wheel assembly shattered on me that is.

Anyhow, as always, the choice is yours, and honestly in this particular case there’s really not a wrong one.

Whether it’s an artfully choreographed spinning class in some posh gym or studio or on a squeaky second hand scooter at the foot of the bed in your skivvies watching The Big Bang Theory reruns.

The point is to get pedalin.

But at the same time ya gotta wonder, what’s next?

What kinda newfangled gadget or gimmick are they gonna come up with down the road?

What sorta, ‘spin’ are they gonna put on it to try and grab your attention and make whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish seem easier, more exciting, and/or, more appealing?

It’s hard to imagine really.

But I can tell ya this, sometimes just thinkin about it is enough to make your head spin.  

See ya on July 1st. Till then, keeep it up.

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