Spinning Rage


A new epidemic is sweeping American Gyms. Gym rage is being blamed for a variety of “donnybrooks” lately. One in NYC was after a spinning class when the assailant accused the victim of grunting too loudly.

Stuart Sugarman, 48, says that he spent two weeks in the hospital with a damaged spinal cord after Christopher Carter, 44, became so enraged by Sugarman’s “whooping” that he threw him from his exercise bike.

“[Carter] didn’t like the volume at which my client was cheering and getting amped up,” Sugarman’s lawyer Samuel Davis told ABCNEWS.com. “After making some rude expletive-laced comments that my client desist from cheering … he got off his bike and into a linebacker’s position. Then he charged across the room, lifting my client off his bike and smashing his head and neck against a Sheetrock wall.”

Now, was that the assailants (Carter’s) first spin class? The whole point is that the instructor gets the spinners to yell and screen and clap and what not. This is not the best environment to be in if you are already on the verge of violence. A spinning class can easily set someone off if not in the right frame of mind.

I used to take spinning classes at Gold’s Gym and I’ve been annoyed by the over-exuberant whooping spinner. It does not mean you should resort to violence. Spinning lacks the once critical factor that outdoor riding provides that reduces the rage factor and that is the ability to drop someone. If you don’t like someone on a club ride, you can just use you fitness to drop them, or selectivly be dropped. No reason to stay near the annoying person. In the spin class you are confined and usually listening to bad music.

Once confined the whooping spinner is not the only annoying person in the class. Other annoying spinner types are the “I am spinning at 200RPMs for no good reason” spinner. This person is going way to fast with no resistance while everyone else has high resistance and the instructor is telling everyone to image they are going up a hill. The 200mph spinner is also staring at his own rear-end in the mirror while perfecting their ultra high cadence.

The “I am not following the class, just getting miles in” spinner is just the opposite. They just spin along as if they were out on an easy ride. They don’t follow the class at all and keep spinning for a while after the class is over.

The “I am waaay too serious for a spin class spinner”. These folks bought Sidi shoes and pedals only for spin class. They have their pedals clamped on “their” bike. They simply claim a bike as their own by placing the pedals on it. They also tend to dress in full cycling gear. They clearly do not use spinning for winter training, they will in fact go to a spinning class in the middle of summer in perfect weather. This is despite the fact that they have all of the spinning gear, they do not own a bike. So spinning is the end, not the means to the end.

The other factor is the music. Music is such a personal thing and it can easily become very annoying. The choice of music is critical. I was once totally put off of a spinning class because the instructor was playing Cher. Nothing more annoying than listening to Cher and spinning to the beats of “Do you believe in live after love”. Ugh, I still cringe at that class. Usually generic techno music has enough of a rhythm and is non offensive enough to allow everyone to just ride to the rhythm. Anything more specific and it gets annoying. I don’t want to hear the Counting Crows, or Madonna’s latest CD, or Evanessance (oh god they are horrible). Just bring it down to the basics and bring in a metronome and I’ll be happy.

The rest of the ABC News report reads like an article from the Onion. Here are some great quotes.

“gyms are places of heightened physical activity, people may feel greater license to use physical means to resolve disputes.”

“There might be a slightly heightened likelihood that gym members might solve their problems using muscles, but that’s merely an explanation and not an excuse. There is never a reason to put your hands on anyone.”


2 thoughts on “Spinning Rage

  1. Holy moly! I just posted this AM on FB that I need to prepare for my first spin class today as an instructor. Have taken a variety of indoor cycling classes and such to try to keep in some sort of semblance of fitness through the dark months of Illinois winters. Have generally found them to be annoying to some degree as the writer points out here for those reasons and more.
    Personally, viewing bad Spandex badly worn…yikes.
    But now, the fear of attack!
    And all I want to do is pass on some of that USA Cycling coaching, OLD Cat 1 road racer, wanna-give-back desire type experience.

    Better check that my life insurance is paid up..

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