Spinning Etiquette 101

A while back, I wrote a blog about the rules of yoga studio etiquette. I touched on things like being punctual, not stepping on someone else’s mat as you are trying to move past, control of farting, talking during class, coming to class sick. Basically, I talked about all the things I hate that people do when I practice yoga in a group environment.

Recently, I have shifted my focus away from yoga, mostly because of injury that is still cramping my style. These days, its all about spinning.

From those of you think spinning involves standing upright trying not to fall after spinning round and round, let me enlighten you – afterall, I am an “enlightened male”.

Spinning takes place on a stationary bicycle and involves various positions that take you off the saddle and into other “positions”. “Third position” has your back stretched out, arms in front of you reaching for the most farthest grip on the handle bars, your butt just hovering above the saddle.

“Second position” has you take a more vertical position, again with your butt just slightly raised above the saddle with very little weight being placed on your hands that are holding the handle bar.

Usually, high octane music is played – some good music and some not so good. The instructors are also high octane – some good and some not so good. For some people, the spinning studio offers noise protection for those that are delicate flowers and don’t like their music loud.

The classes usually last 45-55 minutes and are sweaty and very intense.

Basically, they are fucking hard.

I try to spin at least 3-4 times a week, my legs feeling like jello after each class.

In my spinning studio there are about 25-30 bikes and I usually arrive at the studio early so I can grab my favorite bike. Its not so much the bike that I come to the studio early for…but rather, its the location of the bike. It’s right at the front of the class where the air better circulates and its wide open. There are also two windows that give me a good view of whats going on outside in case what is going on inside isn’t worth looking at (nudge, nudge…wink wink!)

As is the case with yoga, there are certain rules that need to be followed while attending a class. Showing up on time is a good one, not holding bikes for people who aren’t there yet is another courtesy and then of course, the big one…wiping down your bike after class so the next person doesn’t get grossed out from all the sweat dripping everywhere.

I like to take my etiquette rules a bit further..because hey, that is the kind of guy I am.

I spin with another bike within close proximity to me. In fact, the bike sits directly across a very narrow aisle from me. Because I usually spin in the morning, I like to take special precautions to ensure that I am not breathing foul, disgusting, morning breath on the poor person across from me.

Aside from brushing my teeth before I leave (duh!!), I always ensure that I pop one or two pieces of gum into my mouth so that my breath is cool and crisp and non-disgusting. If I am breathing particularly heavy during a class, I also try not to breathe directly on that poor person. I turn my height slightly to the right and pant away from where everyone is spinning.

I also make double-sure to put on deodorant before I leave for class. There is a fan near me and I am concerned that if I begin to stink, the fan will blow my foulness back towards the people to my left.

Aren’t I a nice guy? How considerate am I?

Yes, I wipe my handle bars, saddle and other surfaces on my bike when I am done but I also ensure that any residual perspiration that falls on the floor beneath my bike is also wiped up. Can you imagine how embarrassing and gross it would be for a woman to walk towards my bike and slip and fall on the puddle of sweat left behind by yours truly?

I am not suggesting that there are many people who attend the same spinning class as me who are guilty of all the things that I am innocent of…I am only suggesting that people need to take time to ensure that they are not offending anybody else with their stink (from whichever end it comes from) or their perspiration and are simply considerate of others.

I also don’t need to be deafened by all the yattering that takes place before class. Yes, the majority of people who participate in these classes are women and while I hate to generalize…some of them like to talk way too much and way too loudly. In fact, sometimes, the instructor makes comments to these women saying that they are clearly not working hard enough because they still have enough breath to talk. The few dudes who show up…are quiet and do their own thing.

If we are all going to share a public place and stink and soak it up while we are there…we need to be respectful and mindful of one another. There is nothing worse then being next to a smelly person…man or woman.

Is that too much to ask?

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About theenlightenedmale

Stephen Gosewich is an aspiring enlightened male. He spends his days during the week as a guy working in real estate. At all other times, he just enjoys hanging out with his wonder best friend and wife and their two very active and inspiring daughters. Steve has supplied blogs to The Good Men Project, Village Living Magazine (print/online) and has been the "Daddy Blogger" at pinkandbluebaby.com. He lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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