Spinning in the water

Image description: five spin bikes in a clear pool with a beach scene in the background. no people. Photo credit: Diane Jeske

I just got back from a few days of actual vacation in Cancun. On the first day, after settling in at the beach under some shade to read, my longtime friend and travel companion, Diane said she was going to go check out the spin class that was about to start in the pool. Yes, that’s “in” and not “by” the pool.

Not one to pass up an opportunity to try something new, especially when it is an unthreatening as a 30-minute spin class in an infinity pool beside a beach, I wandered up there with her.

The bikes look like spin bikes but they’re submerged. You can adjust the seat height up and down and the handles forward and back, depending how close you want them. The handles have two positions you can take: regular and sort of aerobar-style. There is a thing you can turn to adjust the tension from easiest to hardest. Of course you don’t wear bikes shoes that clip in. You slide your bare feet into a wide fabric strap that is supposed to keep them on the pedal and mostly does, but you can’t get the same solid up motion as you do when clipped in.

I’m not a regular spinner and I actually found the warm-up pretty exerting. When it was supposed to get harder by increasing the tension, I didn’t adjust mine much (which reminded me that one of the things I liked about the few spin classes I’ve done is that you can set your own difficulty level and it’s no one’s business but yours).

I’m not sure whether the bikes just weren’t very good or if spinning in the water is just not the activity for me. But I just couldn’t get a good rhythm going. The pedal stroke always stopped at the bottom. And so instead of a smooth cadence it made for a jerky and frustrating ride. This happened to Diane too.

For the novelty of it — spinning in an infinity pool overlooking the beach and Caribbean Sea in Cancun on a gorgeous day — I give it full points. But as an activity, let’s just say neither of us did it again. The next day we tried an aqua fit class. The day after that we floated around in the pool and did nothing. And the day after that we played in the waves until a lifeguard told us the red flag meant “no swimming allowed” and not “be careful” (it was ridiculous that no swimming was allowed that day. The sea was perfect).

As far as spinning in the pool goes, though I’m not likely to do it again, I feel fortunate and privileged indeed to have been able to try it in Cancun.

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