I like to cycle – a bit fair-weathered I’ll admit to, spring and summer time suits me fine. From Rye Harbour Nature Reserve casually through to Winchelsea beach and back in around two hours with the sun gleaming down from a glorious blue sky, life doesn’t get much better!
Hang on a minute though, what about the dark, wet and windy winter months?
With my bike hibernating in storage, I was a man in need. I called Rye Leisure centre. What they could offer me? How would it compare? It was 6pm on Wednesday January 23 and I was about to find out.
An indoor 45-minute spin cycle session with instructor Louise Dyer awaited me, I was in a class of 12, evenly split between men and women. Louise adjusted and set my cycle to my height and introduced me to my neighbours on the left and right-hand side, who were to be welcome guides to this absolute beginner.
Off we went, the music started pumping and on came the lights. Never in a month of Sundays did I think I would be in an aerobics studio on a cold and wet winter’s evening in Rye pedalling to Nivarna’s “Smells like teen spirit” with disco lights flashing and bouncing off the walls. This was fun.
Louise led us through a hand-picked tailored play list, drilling us as we rode. When to stand tall, be seated, hover, keep the pace, drink and control the resistance for a thorough and fulfilling workout.
As the session came to an end the pace slowed and we pedalled to “If you don’t know me by now” by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. We finished with a stretching session off the cycles ensuring our bodies warmed down before the exhausted class departed.
Louise has been at the Rye leisure centre for four years and also works in security during the weekends. When speaking to her it is obvious to see that her energy and passion has been a big factor in building up a very popular spin cycling class.
She believes that people who may be self-conscious about their bodies or their level of fitness feel at ease in this class because “wobbly bits do not show when you are on a bike and everyone is focused on what they are doing, not looking around at others”.
I agree – more indicators why this activity is sought after, so much in fact that most weeks there is a waiting list to join in the class, and yes, I am on that list for next Wednesday.
If you are interested in the spin cycling or any of the other activities that the leisure centre has to offer, you can contact them by phone on 01797 224747 or on-line at www.freedom-leisure.co.uk
Photo: Micky Day