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Try to Out-Ride Your Neighbor at Equinox's New Competitive Spin Class

GOLD COAST — The Gold Coast Equinox is now using real-time data to make spin class more like a game.

The fitness club at 900 N. Michigan Ave. in May rolled out "The Pursuit," which tracks how hard cyclists are pedaling to pit them against each other.

"Everybody knows 'If I don't give it my all, my team doesn't win,'" instructor Jenn Hogg said. "It just gives you something, visually, to chase after."

Jenn Hogg shows the class how many miles they're biking in the next 45 minutes. [DNAinfo/David Matthews]

Here's how it works: Cyclists arrive at their assigned bicycle, which tracks both distance and energy (kilojoules) burned. The riders are split into teams, and once the class starts, they can check their individual progress by finding their corresponding icon on the big screen. The faster the icon spins, the harder they're cycling. A strong male rider bikes between 16 and 20 miles per 45-minute class, with women pedaling between 12 and 16 miles, Hogg said.

The Gold Coast Equinox is just the third club in the country to debut The Pursuit, whose classes alternate in focus: "The Burn" emphasizes energy output with five segments of five to six minutes, and "The Build" highlights endurance with three nine- or 10-minute rides. 

Jenn Hogg and riders warming up before the class starts. [DNAinfo/David Matthews]

Bragging rights are the only thing won at the end of the class, but the competitive nature of "The Pursuit" does drive cyclists like Mike Kennedy.

"This is a lot more fun" than spin class, said Kennedy, a 40-year-old Park Ridge resident who works Downtown. "Unless you got someone chasing you, you're not going to push yourself."

"The Pursuit" is offered four times a week. Visit Equinox for more information.

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