Regular reader Beth Ann posted a beastly Hallowe’en ride on the Reader Playlists section of the blog.  She inspired me to create a Hallowe’en ride of my own.  (Thanks, Beth Ann!)

Speaking of scary stuff, I mentioned in the last post that I’ve picked up a brand new Tuesday night class from 6:15 – 7:15 p.m.  By brand new, I mean hardly anyone shows up for it.  The gym added three weeknight classes in the same timeslot about a month ago and all three instructors are hurting for riders.

bike monsterI work at a gym on the main floor of an office tower, so lunch and right-after-work classes are by far the most popular.  I’ve got my work cut out for me to build this new class.  I’ve been plugging it in my Thursday lunch class, updating my Facebook status to mention it a day or two before I teach it, and put up signs throughout the gym and in the cycling room to let riders know there are some new options on the schedule.  I’ve also been offering free passes to non-members and  e-mailed some of my regulars who find it hard to get to 5:30 p.m. classes to tell them about the new offerings and ask them to forward the note to anyone who might be interested.

I’ve built a class from scratch before – my first class was a Monday lunch hour class in a new timeslot.  I remember that it took months, but it was so gratifying when I got to the point where most of the bikes were full every week.  I gave that class up to my grasshopper, so now I’m faced with building a class again.  Readers, have you built a class from scratch in a new timeslot?  What strategies did you use to grow the class?

Sympathy for the Devil – The Rolling Stones (6:19): We’re going to warm up with a classic that everyone knows.  Longer classes need longer warmups.  You’ve got six minutes here to get riders comfortable, do some dynamic stretching, and even a few surges at the end.  For surges, pick up the pace by 10% or 20% for a set interval – usually 30-60 seconds, before dropping back to a recovery pace.  This is a simple profile of hill repeats: climb, sprint, then some lifts or steady spinning, followed by another hill.

Enter Sandman – Metallica (5:32):  I love this song.  It’s one of those few heavy metal cross-over songs that don’t drive non-metal folks crazy.  First hill: we’re going to take the resistance up to a 4 or 5 out of 10 and come out of the saddle for a five and a half minute leg-stretcher of a climb.  Get riders to increase the tension just a bit (say, one click) every 30 seconds while maintaining the fast cadence as best they can.

Time Warp – Little Nell, Patricia Quinn, and Richard O’Brien (3:19): This is the most famous song from the cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show, a 1975 British parody of sci-fi and horror films that is the longest-running release in film history.  It’s been playing continuously in theatres for more than 30 years.   Cinemas began showing the film at midnight to enthusiastic American audiences who show up in costume, talk back to the characters, and throw toast.  We’re going to time warp into some sprints for 50/40/15 seconds starting at 0:28 – 1:22, then 2:02 – 2:40, 2:57 – 3:08.

(Don’t Fear) the Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult (5:06): Here’s a chance to play with cadence a little bit.  Take 60 seconds to recover, then increase cadence by 10% for a minute, then to 20% above your recovery pace for the third minute.  Take it up to a sprinting pace for 30 seconds, then back down to 20% for a minute, and ride out the song at 10% increased cadence.

Thriller – Michael Jackson (5:11):  This playlist is probably the only place people are going th hear Blue Oyster Cult chased with a Michael Jackson tune.  Second hill: it’s time to get out of the saddle again for a well-deserved leg stretch.  Alternate standing and seated intervals.

Monster Mash – The Misfits (2:38): Time for a pace line!  Split riders into two or three groups (guys/gals, front/middle/back row) and let each group set the pace for 30 seconds before falling back and letting the next group go.  For the last 30 seconds, everyone joins in to sprint to the finish line.

Ghostbusters – Ray Parker, Jr. (4:05):  What could you do for this song besides lifts?  Come on, let’s start with 8 counts, moving to 4 counts for the choruses and back to 8 counts for the verses.  If you’ve got a fun-loving group, get them to shout, “Ghostbusters!” at all the right spots.

Supermassive Black Hole – Muse (3:29):  Okay, we’ve had a bunch of songs for the older set, now let’s do a seated climb for the under 21 set.  This song counts for a Hallowe’en mix because it’s on the Twilight soundtrack.  Plus, it’s a rockin’ tune.  Third hill starts here.

The Devil Went Down to Georgia – The Charlie Daniels Band (3:44): More sprints – whee!  They’re at 0:56 – 1:17 (20 sec), 1:31 – 2:01 (30 sec), 2:16 – 2:46 (30 sec), 3:06 – 3:40 (35 sec).

Tales from the Crypt Theme (Workout Mix) – Power Music (2:02): Two minutes of steady spinning at a purposeful cadence.  Pick the highest cadence you can maintain for two solid minutes.

Who Made Who – AC/DC (5:16): Cripes, it’s the fourth (and last) hill.  I’ve got the live version of this song, so I start it 30 seconds in.  Take the tension to 4 or 5 and come out of the saddle.  Settle in for five minutes of rolling hill – tension goes up once or twice, then down, then up again.

Voodoo People (Pendulum Remix) – The Prodigy (5:11): What goes up, must come down.  Recovery and a drink until 0:55 when the fun starts again.  Sprint 15 seconds on/off, then 30, then 45, then 60.

Black Cat – Janet Jackson (4:51): I’ve been wanting to use this song in a mix for a long time.  Let’s do some high tension lifts: 8 counts, then 4 counts, then back t o 8 counts.

Highway to Hell – AC/DC (3:59): One more drill before the cool down, one last chance to get that extra energy out in this out of the saddle climb.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve run to this song.  It always gives me a little extra energy.  Draw on that energy here – turn up the tension and match the cadence. 

Werewolves of London – Warren Zevon (3:25): We made it!  Have a seat, dial back the tension, and take a big drink.  Spin easy for at least a minute, then do some static upper body stretching as you gradually slow down your legs.  Finally, some lower-body stretching off the bike: quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves.

Black Magic – Kreesha Turner (4:17): Some extra stretching and goodbye music.  Happy Hallowe’en!

Got a Hallowe’en tune that’s perfect for spinning, or created a Hallowe’en mix of your own?  Post it here in a comment.