Now is the time, my dear readers, to indulge you with the secrets behind my weekly spin class. A myriad of fictional (and semi-fictional) characters, motives, sub-plots, and perhaps even whole plots could come from what I've seen and heard and spun to over the past two years. My spin class is, in other words, a writer's delight.
Let it be known that I do not merely attend just any spin class. No. This is Dave the Pirate Spin Instructor's Spin Class. There is a disco ball. There is yelling. There are orders given. There are insults thrown. There are expletives in the form of "MORE TENSION!" and "PUSH!" and "ARRRRHHHHHGGGG!" fired toward the group like cannon balls. This spin class is not for the faint of heart. No. It is for only the strong willed. And hard of hearing.
The instructor's name is Dave. A man on the verge of retirement from his day job, whatever that might be, he appears quiet and polite when off the bike. But once the music starts ("We warm up on a little hill") a transformation occurs not unlike Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde. Gone is the polite older gentleman. Welcome now a spin maniac.
Although the participants change regularly, there is a set cast of characters you can always count on to be present. Firstly, Dave's wife sits in the back row. They work as a team: him shouting from the head of the room, her stirring up enthusiasm from the rear. When tension on the spin bikes is lessened she yells "Thank you, Dave!" and when tension is set high she complains loudly with a "Hey!!!!!" Others are encouraged to follow suit. I refer to Dave's wife as Mama Bear since she helps keep the group together.
Then there is The Commander, a tough-looking no-nonense woman with short blonde hair and some sort of military background. She attacks the hills mercilessly. Her husband frequently attends as well, sitting behind her quietly in the corner. He got a knee replacement over Christmas. I think his name is Malcolm but Dave calls him Rocky. This needs to be investigated further.
Dr. Elevator is another frequent spinner, although only on Friday nights. Her background is incredibly dubious and I piece together what I can, although the results are shaky at best and not to be trusted. I can conclude that perhaps she and Dave at one point in time were on a softball team together and for some reason I think she might be an anesthesiologist. Dave berates her constantly but she dishes it right back.
Pete and Jane were a retired couple that always sat in the front row. They have since left the class to go on a cross-country bike tour of the US. Just to show I'm not making this up, you can track their progress on their blog.
Although there are a handful of others that collectively make up "the gang" that sit along the back row of bikes and basically serve as the peanut gallery, I believe I've named the most memorable. Occasionally someone new will pop in for a few rides and have some characteristic that sticks out, but these people fade soon enough. I guess the dedication just isn't there. This is was happened to Gums (a guy with a beard that road like a bat out of hell and chewed gum like his life depended on it) and Migraine Woman (who demanded Dave turn off his disco ball since the flashing lights gave her headaches. Thank god she didn't stick around.)
But does one ever truly leave Dave's Spin Class? Perhaps not. If nothing else, it will be memorialized in miniature in this blog for internet eternity. You're welcome, Dave. ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!