The take­away What you should know be­fore you spin, by in­struc­tor Bangs

The Guardian - Weekend - - Body & Mind Zoe Williams -

When should I eat? Leave at least a cou­ple of hours be­tween eat­ing and start­ing a class, or you’ll feel queasy. Af­ter­wards, have a snack within half an hour: a ba­nana, say. Drink plenty of wa­ter be­fore, dur­ing and af­ter your class. Any de­cent stu­dio will be air-con­di­tioned, but if there are a lot of peo­ple, it can get hot. Pre­pare to sweat. How do I ad­just the bike?

This is the num­ber one mis­take be­gin­ners make. Peo­ple will of­ten have the sad­dle crazily low and the han­dle­bars re­ally high, which is a ter­ri­ble way to ride. Stand next to the sad­dle fac­ing the han­dle­bars and bend your knee to 90 de­grees; the sad­dle should be par­al­lel with the top of your thigh. The han­dle­bars should be level with your sad­dle, un­less you’re preg­nant or have back prob­lems, in which case they should be a bit higher. Once on the bike, make sure that when your foot is at the low­est point of the pedal stroke, you have a very slight bend in the knee. What should I wear?

Noth­ing loose, as it could get caught in the ped­als. Leg­gings or shorts and a T-shirt are good. I’d ad­vise against very short shorts – the chaf­ing can get a bit much. Where should I sit?

For be­gin­ners, it’s good to be brave and sit near the front. You won’t be ex­pected to keep up with the pace the in­struc­tor sets, it’s all about get­ting used to the bike and learn­ing the ter­mi­nol­ogy. Good luck! Muire­ann CareyCamp­bell, aka Bangs, is a writer and head in­struc­tor at Boom Cy­cle

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