Welcome 2012! Brrr! If you’ve been out and about in D.C. the past couple of days you know that we’re being treated to some fine winter weather. Temperatures in the teens, and highs barely eking above freezing.
There should be a winter law where all the traffic lights in the city go to flashing red, and the person whose body temperature suffers the most by waiting for the traffic light to turn gets the right of way. People in cars would have to wait while the cyclists and pedestrians kept moving toward their destinations. Who’s with me?
On days like this, I find myself lollygagging on both the outbound and return legs of my commute. I meticulously slip into my layers, give my glove and cap selection a serious workover, and pull my socks on oh-so-carefully. Given that my commute is generally just over four miles, the time spent putting on my clothes is probably comparable to the time it takes me to actually bike to and from the office.
Often, I try to work in a few extra cycling miles work off the energy built up from sitting at my desk and to enjoy the outdoors. Today, though, I decided to not do any more miles outside than necessary. I also succeeded in procrastinating my commute home even more than normal by walking over to participate in a spin class at the nearby gym.
That’s right. Spin class! What’s there to love about spin when you could be riding in the brisk outdoor air, you ask?
- No one yells at me to “Get on the sidewalk!”
- I can wear shorts and a t-shirt. It’s always summertime in the gym!
- Music! I do not believe in wearing earphones on my commute, as I like to be able to hear everything around me, but I’m all about it at the gym.
- No runny noses from riding in the cold. Just sweat, everywhere!
- Flat tires? Not in a spin class!
- No stop signs. It’s a perpetual green light when you’re in spin.
- Appreciation for bike fit. Even though I can adjust the saddle height, handlebar height, and fore and aft position of the saddle of the spin bikes, these tweaks can only adjust the fit of a spin bike so much. There’s nothing like the feel of my real bike, which over time, I’ve honed to fit me perfectly.
- The bikes don’t go anywhere. No matter how fast or or hard anybody else pedals, in my mind, I always make the top of the podium in spin class.
Spin is also an excellent cardio workout, if I dig in and take it seriously (which of course I do, since I want to make the spin class podium!). After 45 minutes of nonstop pedaling and sweating away, I was good and ready to throw on my layers, retrieve my bicycle, and make my way home.
It was a pretty night out tonight. The quiet roads, waxing moon, and the light breeze made for a pleasant return ride. Almost made me wish I would have worked in those extra miles outside. Almost.