Vail Living with Vitality column: Put a spin on those mud season blues |

Vail Living with Vitality column: Put a spin on those mud season blues

Jen Pinkus
VAIL CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyJen Pinkus is a spin instructor at the Vail Athletic Club. She has been riding for more than 20 years and instructing for the past 10 years.

Is it just me, or are you starting to feel that end of the season urge to get out of town and ride your bike in the sun? The desire to road trip to Fruita or the Front Range for just a few hours and cruise Rustlers or Mary’s Loop, or even just take a spin up Lookout Mountain is strong. Are you jealous because your buddies, who have more informal schedules, are getting outside and into shape while you slave away at work? Well, I have some good news. You, too, can maintain your fitness and have fun, so that when it is your turn to road trip you can keep up with your friends. It will take just an hour of your day and involves traveling only as far as the Vail Athletic Club. It might not quite compare to singletrack, but I can guarantee it will get you in shape to enjoy the ride more when it is your turn to play.

Spin is a low impact sport. It offers a great workout, whether you’re a professional athlete, or are simply hoping to lose a few pounds. There are many classes to choose from to suit individual needs and each offers something a bit different, depending upon the focus. Generally speaking, you can expect to sweat! Some classes incorporate strength and interval training in a fun, easy to learn and motivating format. Others are designed for those of you who want to push your limits and get into race shape. Newer equipment, such as the VAC’s Keiser bikes, allows you to tailor the class regardless of your age, weight or skill level.

Indoor spinning is unique because it holds you more accountable. It is rare that you will discipline yourself to sprint or climb while enjoying a beautiful trail with your friends. A one-hour spin class, however, incorporates these aspects of riding at different levels of cardio exertion next to others who also want to push themselves. Maximizing your workout indoors will make outdoor rides seem easy. Spinning indoors also gives you the opportunity to tailor your workout and see improvement without worrying about the weather, the obstacles or keeping up. Inside, your only competition is you.

With Vail Mountain closing for the season on April 14, now is the perfect time to spin. Research indicates that, on average, participants burn about 400 to 600 calories during a 40-minute workout. “Distance” traveled depends upon cadence, however an average 40-minute spin class approached at a cadence of 80 to 110 rpm is equivalent to approximately 15 to 20 miles on the road, according to

So if you’re dreaming of winding mountain trails or slick rock rides along the Colorado River, come get in shape with us at the Vail Athletic Club. We offer a variety of spin class options Monday through Friday each week and we’re happy to help you find the best class for your individual goals. The club’s Monday, Wednesday and Friday classes take place from 5 to 6 p.m., and Tuesday, Thursday classes change so please call for details. Between April 15 and June 16, 2013, the Vail Athletic Club is offering $15 drop-in for classes only (excluding use of the gym). The club also is featuring a 10-punch pass for $150, which includes use full use of the remodeled gym and all classes for 10 days. In addition, initiation fees will be waived for anyone who joins the club as a new member by May 31, 2013. For information or to view a schedule visit or call 970-476-0700.

Jen Pinkus is a spin instructor at the Vail Athletic Club. She has been riding for more than 20 years and instructing for the past 10 years. She is certified to coach both indoor and outdoor cycling. She raced competitively in the local and NORBA mountain bike series, and has competed in several 24-hour mountain bike races. Pinkus offers private instruction and helps coach the Vail Mountain Bike kids camps and race team over the summer. For more information about the Vail Athletic Club, visit

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