Friday, January 23, 2009

The Psychology of Spin

As I mercifully wrapped up my series on my recent illness and brush with death in my last post, today I can get back to writing about cycling. This was the illness that kept me from posting for a couple of month's.

Based on the tidal wave of apathy that nearly swept me away, it seemed that many of you hadn't noticed that I'd been away for awhile. But for those of you who did notice, you will be glad to know that I should be posting on a fairly regular basis now. Or maybe you won't be glad. We'll see.

There's another contributing factor for my recent absence from posting. October is probably the absolute worst time of the year to start a cycling blog. Think about it. The pro cycling season is finishing up, and here in Texas, the weather has gotten sufficiently cold to the point that, at least for me, cycling outdoors is becoming less and less of an option.

Yes, at 6'3" tall and 190 lbs, I am the world's biggest Weather Weenie. I freely admit that.

That leaves me, and those like me, with two options. Pray for an unseasonably warm day, or head indoors for spin class. For me, spin class would mean Bikin' Mike Keel's spin studio.

Besides being a bike ride producer, a cycling personal trainer and coach, a great friend, good cyclist, and all around boss dude, Bikin' Mike also operates a spin studio from November thru March. Five days a week, (ok, three or four days a week, give or take), you will find me at Mike's award winning studio, spinning my little heart out.

Before I go any further, in the hope of trying not to hurt anyone's feelings, I need to say something. (Disclaimer time.)

Bikin' Mike does an absolutely fabulous job in leading a spin class. He's got music blaring. He's enthusiastically calling out the spin cadence changes. If you listen to him and follow his ques, you can't help but get a great workout. Mike is doing everything he possibly can to make a spin class as enjoyable an experience as it can be. BUT....

...there's only so much Mike can do. No matter what Mike does, you still cannot escape the fact that you're sitting on your bike, staring at the same 4 walls, spinning like crazy and going nowhere fast. The two months I was sick and off my bike, I had forgotten how those walls can seem to start closing in on you. But, in the three weeks that I've been back in spin class, I've quickly been reminded.

About the only complaint that Mike gets from his clients, (his other clients, not me), would be regarding Mike's choice in music. You see, Mike is approaching his mid-50's. That would mean that Mike's musically formative years, (I made that term up), would have been the late 60's and 70's. Since those were the years that Mike began taking an interest in music, it stands to reason that most of Mike's music collection comes from that period of time. In other words, most of Mike's music library was probably not originally released on CD.

Mike typically answers these complaints with the effective response that it's not that he doesn't appreciate the music of today, it's just that he doesn't own much of it. While I am currently willing to accept that answer, I have advised him that they sell new music almost everywhere. Even with the knowledge that you can now actually download music directly to your home, Mike has been somewhat slow in acquiring a more current music library.

Not that there's anything wrong with Mike's music. It's perfectly fine music, but my God, how much Santana, Chicago, and Steely Dan can one person listen to. And to be fair, when clients do give Mike new music, he does his best to work it into the studio.

In an attempt to hurry these efforts along, and preserve my own sanity, today I would like to announce a new project.

Today we embark on The Bikin' Mike Keel Music Library Modernification Project.

I don't think that Modernification is a actually a word. But by gosh, it should be.

If you have any music that you think would be enjoyable to spin to, I'm asking you, no begging you, to send Mike the CD. Or a copy of the CD. Or make a mix CD of some of your favorite music. ANYTHING would be greatly appreciated. Now, what would make music "enjoyable to spin to"? The standard set by American Bandstand would apply here. If "it has a great beat, and it's easy to dance to", then it would probably be a good song to spin to.

The only things that would cause a song to be immediately rejected, would be anything recorded my Madonna or Britney Spears, (that's my own personal preference), and naughty language. We probably won't be spinning to a lot of Marylin Manson. If you're going to burn a CD for Mike, I believe that he will be needing it in the MP3 format.

By the way, Mike knows nothing of this project. Won't he be surprised!

If you would like to contribute to The Bikin' Mike Keel Music Library Modernification Project, (cash is not required or wanted, just music), please mail your contribution to:

The Bikin' Mike Keel Music Library Modernification Project
c/o Bikin' Mike Keel
605 East 18th Street
Suite 103

Plano, TX 75074

I thank you, and my therapist thanks you.

Peace out.....Nearly Famous Fred

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