A new form of slavery?

A few weeks ago, I tried spin class for the first time (and most likely the last) at FlyWheel here in Seattle. Spin classes have been in fashion for a few years already and known as a good calorie-burner. The class was a 45-minute session of stationary bicycling to high-tempo music – sitting down, standing up, while lifting weights, and competing against other bold cyclists on a scoreboard. How did we compete? Based on the power we generated (torque x RPM). Needless to say, I scored second to last overall among competing women. (I will say, whenever the instructor announced short bursts of races, I was near the top every time!) It was a gruelling 45-minute session. I learned I did not push myself hard at the gym.

A brilliant thought occurred to me a few days later. Why not use actual power-generating bicycles in spin classes? Cyclists will still get their work-out, while generating actual power, not just a number on a score-board! I haven’t gone to the trouble of figuring out how much power can actually be generated by 30+ people in craze on bicycles, but it is worth exploring.

Maybe a business idea for the green entrepreneur out there?

I’m sure this idea was partially inspired by the bicycle I tried at the Los Angeles Science Center in December. It demonstrated how much harder I had to bicycle to light incandescent bulbs than LEDs. Thanks LA Science Center and FlyWheel!

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