It wasn't long after I began the "Tour" class this morning before I was wondering what had gotten into me. I wasn't at all sure I'd make it through.
I got there early and introduced myself to Barb, the leader, and she helped me adjust the bike and showed me the resistance dial and the brake (brake!) and told me to keep my back straight, do not hunch over, and just do what I can, don't stand up on the pedals if it doesn't feel good. She said "give it three tries. By then most people either love it or hate it but it takes three tries to find out". Maybe so.
The seat felt uncomfortable, to say the least, and I didn't like being pitched forward onto the handlebars. The minutes ticked by very slowly. After about fifteen minutes I was ready for the cool-down and we hadn't even gotten to the real work yet. Of course I stayed on my seat, except for the few times I stood up just to take the pressure off my groin, and of course I kept the resistance low compared to where it might have been. Essentially I just rode the bike for 45 minutes, in pain. I wondered if the pain in my seat would get worse and I wondered if I'd have some kind of issue with my left knee. I wondered if I'd need to get off the bike early, leaving the class in disgrace. I felt like a prisoner, almost, trapped there, afraid to leave and just too uncomfortable to enjoy it.
And yet after about a half-hour my knee was no worse and my seat no worse and I was trying to do some of the things Barb said to do, raising resistance, peddling faster, slower, faster, in my fashion. I was sweating and trying to enjoy the hard-driving rhythm of the music. What is that kind of music called? Glam? Not dance but similar. Techno, maybe, sort of, although not too tech. I grinned and bore it, watching the fit bodies on ALL of the other riders, including the elderly gentleman in the front row. I was truly the odd one out in that respect.
I made it through. At the end we stood on our bikes to do some stretches of our legs and I found that interesting, rather liked it. I was glad I didn't give up, even though some might say my modifications made it rather a different experience than it is for others, rather easier.
One of my class mates asked me afterwards how my first class was and I told her "uncomfortable". She nodded, said yes, it takes getting used to. Somehow that helped.
I took myself to the locker room, took off my sweaty clothes, and headed for the steam room. After a nice little time there I took a shower, got dressed, and headed out. It's Mothers' Day so I went downtown to Jamba Juice, had a Five Fruit Frenzy (nothing but fruit) and an apple-cinnamon pretzel.
Will I do Tour again? I think I will, but probably not right away.