Why is the hatred for general classes going around?
Top image: Alvin Tan/Facebook
You will know if you have friends who attend spin classes regularly. They’ll tell you via their Instagram Stories, bring it up in casual conversation, or invite you to take a class with them.
In a class, prepared participants hover atop a stationary bike, move to the music playing at the nightclub and perform dances. Tap, pulse, bounce, repeat. Okay, now in double time.
The class usually takes place in the confines of a dark studio with strobe lights. However, sometimes, private lessons are held outside those studios. Recently, Redditors criticized a class held at Jewel Changi Airport for closing the walkway.
“Never has a group of people moved so much, gone nowhere, and yet somehow managed to upset the entire world,” comments one Redditor. Another categorizes the class as an “eyesore.”
The idea of spinning ducks couldn’t be a more perfect metaphor for Singaporeans who ride stationary bikes and go nowhere as easy targets for criticism. It’s almost too easy.
Let them spin!
It is clear that spin classes have successfully made their way into the limelight. From their gratuitous Instagram Stories to their racy displays in public squares, it’s safe to say that spin enthusiasts aren’t exactly shy.
Perhaps it is this outright propaganda of the lessons of propaganda and fabrication that has inadvertently unleashed an outpouring of vitriol from Singaporeans.
Indeed, it is undeniable that the class connotations associated with rotational classes contribute to the preconceived notion of them as a status symbol. When we think of spin enthusiasts, we picture office ladies wearing Lululemon gear, gracefully juggling their bento box salads and $8 coffee shop lattes as they rush toward the nearest spin studio.
The exercise itself seems secondary when it comes to the ability of these stationary bikes to signal belonging to some “group.”
To be clear, there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with participating in spin culture just for the sake of posting a post-spin sweat selfie. We are all guilty of this. If this workout doesn’t appear on your social media pages, can you really say you exercised at all?
Let’s also not take offense to the countless others who are tied to their stationary bikes for reasons beyond that Instagram dopamine hit.
Fitness, stress relief, and the pursuit of endorphins are all plausible reasons. After all, for those who are actively participating in this fitness trend, what’s wrong with wanting to mix their desire for a healthy lifestyle with a little social currency?
In addition, for women, who often encounter more perverts than they would like, the classrooms, with their majority being female, appear as a safe haven.
Spin classes at public plazas such as Jewel Changi Airport can be a fun way for participants to break out of the monotony of their traditional gym routine.
We’re seeing this trend play out in a fitness adventure scene, where Zumba aunties turn mall side entrances into lively dance floors; Neighborhood uncles practice tai chi in empty HDB rooftops; Outdoor yoga workshops conducted at Marina Bay Sands. However, we hardly provide them with the same level of scrutiny and criticism.
Wheels of Fury
It’s as if the mere sight of these fitness junkies triggers some strange burn of discontent. But why the disproportionate anger towards these pedal enthusiasts?
This may be the uniqueness that spin classes hold. The criticism surrounding spin carries a deeper resentment, alluding to preconceived notions about people who spin — the same white-collar office workers who wear Lululemon.
This perhaps indicates their financial capacity, as they pay to take up space in public spaces, but they also indirectly pay for the ability to disrupt some of the peace. Just like the chapter on Joel.
It’s also about the sheer ridiculousness of it all.
The irony is stark: stationary bikes, originally designed for the convenience of indoor cycling, are now sprawling across a tourist attraction, taking up large portions of public space.
But above all, perhaps what bothers Singaporeans most is the frivolous extravagance that lies at the heart of spin classes. We took the pedestrian approach of riding a bike, and wowed it with strobe lighting and bougie studios.
Now, we’ve taken it a step further by holding the class outdoors; Infiltrating public space feels like the next step in overindulgence.
The unfortunate thing about spin is that it’s always had haters. A community with a strong identity will be met with an equally strong community of critics and detractors.
Criticisms of indoor cycling are inevitable, despite how difficult and challenging the actual endeavor is.
But criticism can easily turn into meaningless hatred. And senseless hatred can easily undermine those simply hoping to get their cardio in all day.
Perhaps the most acceptable form of criticism straddles the line between reasonable criticism and irrational anger; Between instances of inconvenience and perceptions of exclusivity for the wealthy.
Anything that attacks people on bikes rather than the inconvenience caused by a mass of panting bodies making an incredible effort and going nowhere, is just vile. It doesn’t matter how additional, Some Singaporeans just want to exercise, even if it’s in the middle of Changi Airport.