Ask the Expert: Is Taking Bikes Outside a Wise Move?

I’d like to open this discussion to all instructors: do you or your club ever take the bikes outside for class? An ICA member asks about this and wonders if it’s wise. I have my own input based on my experience, but I was wondering how many other instructors have either done it or know others who do? What is your experience–good or bad? Do members like it? Is the sound system decent? Taking bikes outside? There’s definitely a time and a place for it.

ICA member Diane asked me this question:

I work at a private club which insists on taking indoor bikes outside because of space issues for another class. These are new bikes being dragged out onto cobblestone patio. Wheels are already damaged after one month. They even offer an “outdoor spin class.” In AZ there are lots of dust particles, etc. Are indoor bikes made to go outside? My thoughts are “if I wanted to ride outside, I would take my Cervelo out and ride it.” I thought Spin was to get us out of the elements of wind, sun, rain, heat, snow and still be able to ride! Thanks

As I write this, we’ve got a foot of snow out my door, so this may not be timely in the colder parts of the country (world) but I know in parts of the US like Arizona (where Diane is from) or Texas or Florida, the winter is actually the best time of the year to be outside, when it’s not as hot or as humid as it is in summer. (And, I mustn’t forget that we’ve got members from around the world, some in places where it is not winter right now!) So whether this is timely for you where you live or not, you might have experienced this before, and may be able to add to the conversation.

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