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Sink or spin? @alexiduggins rides the comedy wave

Posted at 4:30 pm, October 21, 2012 in Fun London
© Rob Greig

The intrepid Alexi Duggins is at your mercy. You decide what London experience you’d like him to have. This week: comedy on bikes

Don’t expect any spinning at this comedy show. Sure, it takes place in an exercise bike studio. Yep, the audience may have to squidge their bums on to perineum-poking seats. And granted, participants’ thighs bob up and down like a pair of Shetlands struggling to clear a privet hedge. But ‘Spinning’ is a trademark. So, obviously what happens here is, ahem, nothing like it.

What there is instead is ‘Shpinning’. Which is spi… erm, rotating your exercise bike’s pedals to the commands of Clement, a comic character clad in a Lycra onesie, and who spouts squeaky ‘Allo Allo’ French English.

‘Zis ees a concept class,’ announces Clement as we embark on a warm-up. He attempts to identify with the crowd (‘Ave you done shpinning before? Yes, your technique: it has traces of Seamus from Virgin Active’); explains the long-term benefits of spinnin… sorry, exercise biking (‘Anyone here with marital troubles? Well, your bike eesn’t going to leave you’); and checks his class is appropriately prepped (‘Sorry, you smell like my ex-wife. I’m going to spray you with deodorant.’). It’s entertaining to a point. But by now, it’s obvious that a big comedy reveal about Clement’s recent divorce lurks in the background. And unfortunately, it happens with all the comic subtlety of custard pie-ing an OAP.

But then the class proper begins, and things get fun. We’re told to bow our heads and low like enraged bulls, while Clement prances around the room, thrusting a sword and red cape at attendees. We’re encouraged to dance on our bikes while Clement cranks up Bollywood tunes. And one spinne… erm, cyclist is challenged to a ‘shpin-off’ that teams a banging soundtrack of Snoop Dogg and David Guetta’s ‘Sweat’ with the kind of acrobatic horizontal suspension that reveals Clement as a man who loves a good plank. If staying healthy were normally this fun, maybe my five a day wouldn’t be provided by Golden Virginia.

Sadly, though, this show isn’t just about the cycling. So we’re then taken on a brief vibe-killing jaunt to the showers to crowbar in some unconvincing ex-wife dramatics. But it’s not long before we’re back on our bikes and the show ends with participants called up to the front for holy communion. Except that instead of the body and blood of Christ, we get Gatorade and glucose tablets. Cycling, apparently, is sweeeet, dude.

In a less sugar-based way, so is watching comedy while spinni… erm, pedalling. On its own, this would be a workman-like piece of character comedy. Throw in some daft spinnin… Christ… cycling exercises, however, and it becomes a fun, energetic hour of mass participation. Frankly, it’s a shame that this isn’t just a solid hour of spinning. Erm, I mean ‘Shpinning’. Oopsie. Oh well, see you in court…

Want to experience a Schpin class for yourself?  Visit sinkorspin.co.uk.

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