Last night I tried something new-a spin class. My girlfriend and I discovered a tiny little studio ("Pons Studio" or http://www.ponsstudio.com/) tucked into a small strip mall only a mile from home.
I have not been a big fan of spin classes, and tried one several years ago in Washington, D.C. It turned out to be more of an "aerobics in a saddle" class and I got into some arguments with the instructor as I just wanted to ride.
I also enjoy riding outside when at all possible and the idea of being yelled at by some instructor while I spun to loud music on a beautiful day didn't seem all that enjoyable either. I preferred sitting alone in my garage on my trainer, listening to my music and watching movies on mute. I am such an odd duck:)
Anyway, Pons Studio is run by Francisco Pons, who is a racer himself. He also is a Level 2 USA Cycling Coach. My girlfriend and I walked by the studio one night when class was in session and I was intrigued by the bikes. They are called Realryder (http://www.realryder.com/), and are stationary but also mobile. They move much like a real bike and you can get out of the saddle and sprint or simulate climbing. These came with toe clips or spd pedals (perfect for me as all my cycling shoes are spd). Tension is adjusted by turning a knob on the top tube and the saddle and bars are adjustable.
I received one free class so went last night, which felt odd as it was so beautiful out. I would have preferred to be riding outside but I did get to ride to the studio.
There were four of us, 3 men and Francisco's wife. The bike was very easy to get used to and I was soon having fun. Class started and Francisco cranked up the music and led us through 60 minutes of intervals, tempo, climbing, turning (these bikes lean). I had a real blast and will definitely go again (but on lousy weather days).
Anyway, check out realryder. It is a very cool concept.
All the best!