If you have decided to take your first cycling class, let me pass on the very good advice I was given: wear padded shorts. You may hem and haw over the unpleasant thigh-sausage-casing effect of wearing bike shorts in public and you may feel like a complete idiot when you go waddling into the gym with what feels exactly like that Megalodon Post-Birth Hospital Maxi-Pad crammed between your legs, but after approximately 38 minutes on the stationary bike, you will be very very grateful. Because actually, it’s not about protecting your butt. Your butt, with its natural built-in padding, will be fine. When you’re a novice rider and you’re a female, it’s your, ah, undercarriage that starts to feel deeply traumatized after a while.

It’s your vagina, okay? If I were to show you on the doll where the bad bike hurt me, it would be right down there in my ladyparts.

Here are some other handy spinning class tips I can now share with you, based on my first-time experience earlier this week:

• If you are required to move the bikes from their storage area on the side of the room, don’t give yourself a goddamned hernia wrestling one across the floor. Instead of heroically dragging its heavy-ass metal frame a half-inch at a time as you sweat and gasp and wonder if maybe this is the actual workout part, take one second to observe how the other people are doing it. See those little round things at the bottom? Those are called WHEELS, shit-for-brains, and you’re supposed to tilt the bike so you can roll it.

• Speaking of observation, maybe don’t heave the bike into the middle of the room and stand there blinking, confused as to why everyone appears to be keeping their distance. Is it your shorts? Does everyone think you … had an accident? No. This particular class forms a circle, which you might have realized if you weren’t so busy moving an 800-lb bike in the dumbest way possible.

• If you want to retain any semblance of personal dignity whatsoever, don’t station yourself next to the sprightly silver-haired grandma who apparently spends every moment of her free time zipping up double black diamond bike trails, because during the one song that almost kills you, the one where the instructor tells everyone to increase the intensity to a lung-exploding level and keep it there during the annoying country singer’s endless — and I mean fucking endless — instrumental finale, she’ll turn to you and say, “My! Who sings this? Kenny Chesney? Why, his voice is just like a warm bath, isn’t it?” and you’ll be like HOW ARE YOU EVEN TALKING RIGHT NOW and STUPID KENNY CHESNEY AND HIS STUPID DIPPED-TOO-LOW HAT CAN GO STRAIGHT TO HELL and SERIOUSLY YOU ARE SEVENTY YEARS OLD WHY ARE YOU NOT STROKING OUT LIKE I AM.

• You go ahead and interpret “crank it to the right” however you want to. Maybe sometimes that means you just put your hand on the little make-it-shittier knob for a second but you don’t actually touch it. Because if you actually DO crank it to the right each and every time the instructor tells you to, your thigh muscles will literally burst into flames and incinerate your vagina-pads.

• Last but not least, if you climbed a set of stairs to get to class, do not assume your descent will be familiar in any way, unless you’re familiar with the sensation of your legs being replaced with bowls of half-set Jello. In fact, I recommend finding an elevator.


40 Responses to “On the bright side, you don’t need a helmet”

  1. Donna on November 23rd, 2013 10:16 am

    Omg I laughed so hard at this, (from the safety of my waterbed and fluffy blankies)

  2. Jan Ross on November 23rd, 2013 10:24 am

    Spinning classes were designed by Satan himself. And who came up with that happy-go-lucky name of “spinning”, I would like to know? There is absolutely no agony like the agony your ladyparts experiences after one of those classes, even with padded shorts AND a padded seat. NEVER AGAIN.

  3. Victoria on November 23rd, 2013 12:14 pm

    OMG all these things would make me cry and die and then never ever ever return. Ever.

  4. Jennifer on November 23rd, 2013 12:47 pm

    I took my first spinning class and seriously have had gynecological exams that were less invasive. I was traumatized!! NOT ONE MORE TIME.
    are you going back?!

  5. Lola on November 23rd, 2013 1:39 pm

    Lol. I. Have always wanted to try spin! My coworker hated it at first and complained after every class. Now, she loves it. U and ur sore undercarriage should try it again. ;o)

  6. NancyJ on November 23rd, 2013 2:00 pm

    HYSTERICAL! I know all about those padded bike shorts from actually riding very long distances. I looked like an idiot – especially when i’d fall over sideways because my feet were clipped in and I couldn’t get them out. After it took me 5 minutes flapping the pedal around while riding to get it IN.

  7. Gigi on November 23rd, 2013 4:33 pm

    Ok. You’ve convinced me. Spinning is NOT for me.

    I’m sorry you are in pain, but I just about died laughing over here from your description!

  8. sooboo on November 23rd, 2013 5:13 pm

    OMG, that was too funny. That crank it to the right thing sounds great for masochists. I like how you fake turned it, too funny. I actually like to exercise but put me in any type class and it just reminds me too much of PE class and I practically get hives.

  9. Sarah on November 23rd, 2013 8:10 pm

    I have seriously looked for the closest garbage can while in spin class because I was SURE I was THIS CLOSE to hurling. And yet, I keep going back… LOVED this!!

  10. Heather S. on November 23rd, 2013 10:04 pm

    Oh my I just sprayed my drink all over myself laughing. You are gawd damn ridonkulously hilarious… and speaking the truth.

  11. agirlandaboy on November 24th, 2013 12:20 am

    I’m so putting this on my Life List OF THINGS TO POOP ON.

  12. Laura on November 24th, 2013 6:18 am

    This…kind of makes me want to go to one of the spin classes that my running group leader teaches, and keeps inviting me to attend. I imagined it would be way worse and more humiliating than this. It sounds like you did just fine.

  13. Stacy on November 24th, 2013 6:50 am

    I love spin classes and this is absolutely the funniest and most dead on thing I’ve ever read about it. You are hilarious.

  14. Maria on November 24th, 2013 8:33 am

    Ha god I hated spin class. I also literally fell to my ass when I got off the bike at the end. Like oof, there’s the floor.

  15. Carolyn J. on November 24th, 2013 5:31 pm

    This happened to me when I rode a real bicycle for the first time since I got my driver’s licence at 16. My junk was not prepared and I rode on the stock seat that came with my bike. Two weeks later, when my ladyparts felt up to making another attempt, I had padded bike shorts and a better seat.

  16. Millie on November 24th, 2013 7:33 pm

    But it was freaking awesome, right? RIGHT?!

  17. Maggie on November 25th, 2013 6:23 am

    I was one of those who recommended the padded shorts because I made the grave error of taking my first class without them. Not good. I actually love spinning and the intensity of it! You didn’t mention if you liked it or not?? In my class there was a hugely pregnant woman, I couldn’t get over the fact that if she was doing it, so could I.

  18. birdgal (another amy) on November 25th, 2013 7:05 am

    Hold up a sec–you have to move the bikes yourselves? What kind of fresh intimidation torture is that? I guess I’m lucky my gym has a designated space for spinning so all you have to do is find a bike and hop on.

  19. Lori on November 25th, 2013 7:59 am

    It takes 3 times for your lady parts to get used to the bike (i.e. develop a lady parts callous). Then it will be fine and you will love it! (But if you quit going and then start back up, you start over with the 3 times.)

  20. Erin on November 25th, 2013 8:01 am

    Wait, also, the padded shorts help, but if you’re finding yourself sore with or without them, you should try and adjust the way you’re sitting on the bike (by tilting your pelvis forward) so that most of the weight is on your ‘sit bones’ – i.e http://highergroundyoga.com/where-are-my-sits-bones-six-instructions-simplified/

  21. Emma on November 25th, 2013 8:37 am

    Speedy recovery for you and your ladybits…

  22. Maggie on November 25th, 2013 9:21 am

    Awhile back I tried a new work out class and loved it. However, even though the class was only one floor down from the entrance to the club, I had to take the elevator to the exit for a solid month because I honestly feared I wasn’t going to make it up one flight of stairs at the end of class.

  23. Danielle on November 25th, 2013 9:22 am

    The good news is if you keep going back for more torture you “break in” your lady parts and you stop feeling any pain (at least there). I went to spin four times last week, which I never imagined I could do after my first class. (It was much like your first experience, minus the moving of the bike).

  24. Carrie in MN on November 25th, 2013 10:00 am

    I’m terrified of spin class, even though I’ve done some fairly serious biking in my life. Must get over that.

    Have you tried kick-boxing? It is a killer workout, goes fast and boy is it cathartic. I try to get a bag in the far corner because I know I’m making mean faces and grunting while I take all my aggression out. I was leery because I thought it would hurt my knees, but so far it is only muscle that is taking a beating.

  25. Angella on November 25th, 2013 11:23 am

    Is it weird that now I want to try a spinning class?

  26. Kim on November 25th, 2013 12:21 pm

    Thank you for the small ab workout this entry gave me, from the laughs. Holy shit, would I have done the exact same dragging-the-bike thing.

  27. cindy w on November 25th, 2013 12:35 pm

    Every point you’ve listed here explains why I have been to one – and only one – spin class in my entire life. NEVER AGAIN. I would rather run in place on a treadmill until the end of time than have to worry about vagina calluses. NOPE NOPE NOPE.

  28. Katie on November 25th, 2013 8:28 pm

    I don’t know how I lived without padded shorts!!! I have some for mountain biking and am getting some for Christmas for road biking, to go with the new road bike I got for my birthday. I wear them religiously when riding my bike on the trainer, since I really don’t enjoy walking like a 80 year old man whose ridden horses every day of his life. And a gross hint, don’t wear undies with the chamois/padded shorts, it’ll hurt worse! Gotta go commando with padded shorts, trust me on this, 12 mile rides were much easier commando.

  29. #6 on November 26th, 2013 4:31 pm

    Well, just for comparison, the way a spin or racing bicycle seat affects the male anatomy is medically called “Numb Nuts”. It actually can lead to erectile dysfunction and may be a reason for a marked increase in testicular cancers seen in bike racers (ala Lance Armstrong)

  30. Kristen on November 27th, 2013 8:23 am

    LOVE it. Also, may I suggest something, uhhh, personal? If you keep doing spinning or cycling or whatever, you might want to get some fancy lady bits cream. I use this chamois cream called DZ Nuts Bliss (no I am not joking, I can’t even make that up) and it … well, it really, really helps. Like, in all the ways. Go Amazon Prime that shit, like, RIGHT NOW.

  31. Chasity on November 27th, 2013 11:43 am

    My husband is a competitive road cyclist and therefore thinks he knows everything there is to know about everything cycling related. When I came home from my first spin class in waaaay too long and told him how OMFG MY VAGINA HURTS SO BAD WE CANNOT HAVE SEX he said, “Your VAGINA hurts? Spin class should not hurt your vagina.” He had me convinced that somehow I had done something wrong.

    On a related note: In the 6th grade we were taking turns reading passages out loud in class. I always got nervous reading in front of people and I was determined not to pronounce anything wrong. I was also determined not to hesitate or laugh at the ridiculous passage I was being asked to read, and therefore didn’t realize that the passage wasn’t actually talking about the people of VAGINA, but the people of VIRGINIA, which in hindsight makes more sense anyway.

  32. Amanda Brown on November 27th, 2013 5:02 pm

    Your second paragraph KILLED me. How do you not have a book deal yet??

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    I’d been under the impression that spinning had gone out of fashion, but I see now that it’s back, and it’s everywhere. Why must we kill ourselves to workout? Why?

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