12 Days of Fitmas: 7

Swans a-Spinning

Today I took two separate and different approaches to cycling: spinning solo and social cycling. Both represent a departure from my solitary training rides and spinning in class.

Jacked From: midlifecycling.blogspot.com
Jacked From: midlifecycling.blogspot.com

Spinning Solo

Being a Pinner’s First Christmas and having been overcome with holiday Pinsperation, it’s been a DIY Christmas already this year. I DIY-ed appetizers, decorations, and favors for a holiday get–together. I DIY-ed gifts for some close friends. Now I’m DIY-ing my holiday spinning routine since I haven’t had time with all this DIY-ing to get to the G-Y-M. I’ll admit the Tweet-spiration (No. Not a word, either) came from Women’s Health Magazine’s piece showing a pretty simple spinning workout. But, unhappy with their music selections, and having just squandered my stocking-stuffer funds on a rocking playlist for my recent race, I decided to pull from those tunes and DIY the dang thing.

ULTIMATE DIY = SPINNING-POWERED CHRISTMAS TREEJacked From: ubergizmo.com
ULTIMATE DIY = SPINNING-POWERED CHRISTMAS TREE
Jacked From: ubergizmo.com

This was made much easier through the how-have-I-not-known-about-this technology of Running Playlist, which creates weekly playlists, organizes them according to event (5K with shorter and faster songs, 10K with steady tempos, and Half/Marathon with a more diverse mix), and includes the BPM (beats per minute) of all songs. You can even search the site by artist or title to get the BPM. BPM is an old pacing secret for runners since most people will subconsciously match their footfall to the rhythm of their music. But it’s especially helpful for creating spinning playlists since spinning drills are based on cadence (the biker’s version of footfall).

Jacked From: midlifecycling.blogspot.com
Jacked From: midlifecycling.blogspot.com

It’s amazing how little it takes to shake off some of the workout dust that settles on a stagnant Tuesday/Thursday 6:00am spinning schedule. It’s great to have an occasion to remember that cycling – even indoor cycling – is fun and doesn’t have to be a ceaseless, droning, fist-pumping, quagmire of predictability. Sometimes you’ve got to take it upon yourself to shake it up, brush the dust off, and rediscover the spirit of the thing.

It’s possible that finding the fun in spinning could be a metaphor for finding the spirit in Christmas, for stepping outside the ever-quickening automation and all-pervasive fake-ness of things, for remembering what it’s all about, for getting outside, and for adding your own beat. Yeah, I’m just sure there’s a metaphor there, but I clearly haven’t had enough coffee yet today to find it.

Social Cycling

20121221-152103.jpg

I received a Twitter-vite (No, it’s not a word.) to ride bikes through the local Trail of Lights. Since The Trail of Lights has radiated heinous traffic throughout my sector of town, I’ve steered way clear of it. But this seemed like a unique opportunity to see what all the fuss was about this local holiday favorite, to check something of the I’m An Austinite List that I’ve been meaning (but failing) to do since moving here, and to justify buying a venti peppermint mocha afterward and sticking my frozen phalanges right in it.

20121221-152114.jpg

What a way to do it! It felt childlike just showing up to the Trail of Lights and immediately oohing and aaahing at the oversized displays. But once we got on our bikes and started rolling past them, it was more than I could do to stifle audible kiddie giggles at crazily lit trees flickering in time to holiday jams; the clumsiness of riding a 10-speed in fuzzy Fozzy-handed gloves, the indulgent stop halfway through for crepes and cocoa, and the impromptu sing-a-long to Feliz Navidad while whizzing through a tunnel of lights. Luckily for everyone I know, I mustered just enough self-control to only say inwardly as a rode out of sight:

Jacked From: bikeradar.com with SOME editing
Jacked From: bikeradar.com with SOME editing
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