I have a confession to make: I didn’t learn to ride a bike until I was 18. For my birthday, my mom convinced my then-boyfriend to teach me how. He stood in my driveway wearing a billboard sign stating he was my bike riding coach. Mind you, it was the dead of summer in Palm Springs, California. I’m still grateful.
Even though I’m glad that I learned, it hasn’t been my favorite form of exercise or recreation. I’m not comfortable on a bike and I don’t feel safe—the fact that I was nearly hit by a car while riding on San Vicente in Brentwood doesn’t help.
Despite all of this, I LOVE to spin. Indoor cycling on a stationary bike that simulates a road has got to be one of my favorite ways to exercise—especially now. At my new gym, they play movies of locales. Through this experience I’ve ridden through the Grand Canyon (a place that I’ve hiked), Seattle and Olympia State Park (which I have visited) and with the participants of the Amgen Tour of California (which used to go through my old town of Valencia).
While I always get a fantastic cardio workout, my spinning classes provide an escape. In the darkness of the room I can just concentrate on me—my lungs inhaling and exhaling; my heart pumping; my muscles working and my mind wondering. Sometimes all I think about is my body and what it’s doing; sometimes I’m composing articles; or sometimes I just let my emotions take over. No matter how hard I work (or what my mind does), I leave energized.