While setting up to sub in a class at the gym (not my studio) a woman stepped in and introduced herself to me. She asked what the class was all about and if she could join. She said she always saw people spinning their feet around real fast and wondered if she could keep up. I asked her what she knew of Spinning® and what she expected from the class. She said, "Well, I don't really exercise, but I had a baby 2 years ago and want to get in shape. This looks super hard, but is there a beginner's class?" I thanked her for asking and I gave her my gentle spiel about it and encouraged her to try. I told her that i didn't have any great expectations for her and that I just hoped that she would stay for the whole class because there is an awesome stretch afterwards. I fit her to the bike and gave her the basics (emergency brake, feet in toe cages, gear for standing...riding according to her intuition not my coaching for now...) ...and as people file in... ANOTHER woman introduces herself to me. I get her all hooked up and away we go.
Through the class I personally/quietly check in with every one, but especially the newbies... The first one was pretty badly suffering...and I put my hand on her back and said that I didn't want her to feel trapped...I would let her sneak out if she was suffering, but I wanted her to promise to come back and talk to me....she said she would try to stay...and she did!
At the end of the class I had the participants remember that they all had a first class and that they should give it up for our two first timers and wow, I was blown away by the response! A loud, hootin' and hollerin' cheer for them! I was truly moved. I thanked everyone for remembering that Spinning® is really about you, the rider and that while we all have our own goals and experience and abilities, the cohesiveness and inclusiveness the shared experience fosters team spirit and we all benefit from such positive energy!
I so support not seeing a newbie as a drag to the class - of course you might not to slide by on all the shared assumptions you usually get with your group of usual suspects, but honestly...a first timer is a gift to everyone in the class and should be celebrated. You get to review stuff, reinforce stuff and light new fires.