I Just Took A Spin Class Taught By A Top-Ranked Pro Cyclist And My Heart Almost Exploded Out Of My Chest

Alex HowesShane FerroAlex Howes

Alex Howes is one of the best cyclists in the country.

He’s a World Tour rider for Team Garmin Sharp, which means he races in the big international tours in Europe. This year, he placed third in the professional national road race championships in the US, and won a stage of the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado. Last year, he completed the Vuelta a España.

Wednesday, he became a temporary spin instructor at the Peloton Cycle studio in Manhattan. It was his first time teaching a class and only his second time on a spin bike. You can usually find him doing six-hour training rides in Boulder, Colorado or his European base in Spain. He liked it though.

“In spin class, you have a lot of friends. You can look at and watch them suffer and sweat,” he said. Then he laughed.

We went to his class and came out exhausted and swimming in our own sweat. Along the way, we got some tips from the pros.

You can find the link to the slideshow below, but first check out the video:

Alex gets set up.

It was a packed house.

Before class, we took a selfie, naturally.

This is my friend Jaime, who came to class with me

We started out with a rough 'hill climb' -- lots of resistance right away.

Photographer Emiliano Granado was there to capture the action for the Manual For Speed blog

In the American pro cycling scene, being featured in MFS means you've made it.

Pro tip: Getting low on the bars activates the glutes.

Everybody's bike had a dashboard to let you know how you're doing (and compare yourself to everyone else!).

Alex told a lot of jokes to get us through class. He was working hard (and I was working harder)!

Everyone got really sweaty.

We did a lot of standing work with high cadence, which is like running on a bike.

Toward the end we upped the wattage. This is when I felt like I was going to die.

I didn't do very well in the competition. I got 19th.

Alex took some time to hang out with the group after class.

After the party was the afterparty. Notice I look a lot more tired than Alex does.

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