Destination Rio de Janeiro, the third travel to the former capital of Brazil, in January 2007.
Hundreds of spinning bikes in open air at the park behind Ipanema.
Day 5, 7 pm.
We continued our walk – that had started in the morning, for Urca – along Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, near Ipanema. It was already late in the afternoon, we no longer felt the sun scorching our skin. We heard some distant sounds of a certain music, most probably from the park. We were already on our way to that park, for a concert to be held at night. That concert had begun already? Jader, however, assured us that `our` concert was about to start at eight. Could it be that we were about to meet another concert in the park? .
We finally entered the park, on our way to the source of that music. Now it became clear for us that we heard rhythmic beats of electronic music. When we noticed the music source, I was very surprised to see a large open space with spinning bikes. Those were not outdated bikes, but they looked modern with displays and LED screens, including computer programs for climbing mountains, and a heart rate monitor. Like those bikes that I was used to when I was a student in Amsterdam. At that time, I participated in the module aero fitness (combination of fitness and circuit exercises) twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays. The instructors liked to act as sadists while they urged us to our maximum capacities. I can assure you that performing abdominal exercises for four minutes, following the electronic beats from Capella, had been far from relaxing… .
In Amsterdam, those exercises were held inside a sports center, but in Rio, however, it was held in open air. A DJ was present in the center of a small arena, and he appeared to be a Brazilian copy of my instructors in Amsterdam. He urged the participants to do more and more, to push their limits. Four bikes were installed on a small stage, where four instructors were spinning and giving instructions through small microphones. I tried to count the bikes. Ten, twenty, eighty, more than a hundred! I really missed to have my camera with me. Most of the participants were girls, in tight sportive suits. Most of them had dark, long hair and were tanned. There were a few blonde and black girls. They were about to end their exercise session. The DJ had changed the beats for some more relaxing tunes. He tried to receive attention of them with some standard cliché remarks. He somehow managed to have their attention. They finished the final meters, and took some rest. They then took their belongings and started to leave the arena. For me it was obvious that each spinning bike had some device for putting the cell phone. These bikes were fully equipped even…
They all quickly left the open air sports arena. Less than fifteen minutes later, various workmen started to remove the spinning bikes. Less than thirty minutes later, the last bike was on the truck. There was another stage at the other side of the arena. Other workmen and technicians were trying to finalize the preparations for the night concert: they were performing some light and sound tests. That night, a solo show was about to start, by a singer of the famous Brazilian pop band Barão Vermelho. In English: Red Baron.
By Adriano Antoine Robbesom © 2007, 2015