Disclaimer: this method may not be socially acceptable in your club or studio!

Disclaimer: this method may not be socially acceptable in your club or studio - but it works great out on the road riding solo - don't even think about trying this on a tandem!

The condition is called exercise-induced rhinitis > your nose runs when you exercise. Mine does, a lot and it always has. I don't normally give a second thought to how I go through two or three hand towels in a typical class, to keep my sinuses mucus free .

I hadn't, that is, until this interesting exchange after my class this morning...

"I appreciate how you use two towels." The woman speaking was a long time regular and her comment came as I was thanking people at the door as they were leaving.

"Come again?" "I'm not sure what you're talking about."

"You use two separate towels while you teach the class." "One to wipe the sweat off your face... and the other to blow your nose." "I appreciate that" she said with a big smile.

I didn't know how to respond. I stammered for a few moments until I could offer a sheepish (and slightly embarrassed); "Thank You!"

As she walked out I felt a bit guilty. Yes I had two towels on the bike, but I wasn't very particular which one I used and for what. You can bet I will be in the future 🙁

Exercise-induced rhinitis is one of those weird maladies. Some people are prone to getting a runny nose when they workout and some don't. I'd add it to the list that includes the sweat-ers and non-sweat-ers. I'm not sure > is sweat-er even a real word? You get the point... people who leave a big puddle under their bike and those who appear to no more than glow during a hard effort.

To the best of my knowledge, beyond taking an antihistamine before you teach, there's really nothing can do other than ensure you have a supply of towels or plenty of tissues.

Which brings up the issue of towel management

Found this at http://blog.rateyourburn.com/blog/post/2012/08/01/which-indoor-cyclist-are-you-16-types-of-spinners-i-always-see-in-class.aspx

Found this at http://blog.rateyourburn.com/blog/post/2012/08/01/which-indoor-cyclist-are-you-16-types-of-spinners-i-always-see-in-class.aspx

Toweling off during class is an integral part of what we most of us do (those of you who just glow consider yourself lucky). So it surprised me to find we've never discussed proper Instructor "towel management" here at ICI/PRO - ever.  In fact I did quick google search and found nothing beyond this graphic from rateyourburn.com poking fun at anal retentive particpants. Like everything else we do, you'd think there's a Best Practice. Here are my thoughts.

Towel(s) size and placement

Having a towel hanging from your handlebars can look a little tatty - not to mention it obstructs the view of your legs like you see here.


The better place to hang your towel is on the seat slider that extends beyond the saddle on most indoor cycles. This Spinning® Master Class shows good towel placement.

towel for cycling instructor

With your towel behind you, it's always within reach, but partially hidden from your participants - and ready to whip around your head when you really want to stir things up!

At LifeTime we have two sizes of towels: big bath (not beach) size and hand-towels. My preference is to start the class with three hand towels; one on the handlebar (which is small so it doesn't impede rider's vision) and two spares on the stereo cabinet.

One of which I'll only use to blow my nose 🙂

What's your solution... or do you just plug one nostril and let-er-fly?

Originally posted 2015-02-05 18:34:19.

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