Michelle Colvin | International Spinning® Master Instructor (UK)
As an International Spinning® Master Instructor for the last seven years, I have had the unique and privileged opportunity to present at some amazing events worldwide. However, one Global Ride that I presented at this year in was the Underground Energy Zone in Poland.
Make this one Global Ride that you must NOT miss. I guarantee the memories will stay with you forever!
Here’s my story…
About the Bochnia Salt Mine: Bikes, Beds and Something for Everyone
The Bochnia Salt mine is the oldest in Poland. Its origins can be traced back to 1248. After eight centuries of working it now has the character of an underground town with its unique excavations, chapels carved from rock salt, sculptures and centuries-old mining equipment. The mine has its own unique microclimate, with a constant temperature between 14–16 °C (57–61 °F), high humidity (about 70%) and favorable ionization of the air — saturated, at the same time, by sodium chloride and valuable microelements, like magnesium, manganese and calcium. The air in the mine distinguishes itself by its purity.
The mine is also equipped with beds — up to 300 people can sleep in there! The other parts of the mine are fields for playing volleyball, basketball and handball, restaurant and conference facilities.
Our Journey Into the Mine
We arrived at the Bochnia Salt mine in Wieliczka, Poland around 11:00am on Saturday, 18 January. We proceeded to make the long 250 meter trip down into the mines. I’m not usually claustrophobic, but the lift was tiny and as it was a cage, you could see the walls of the mine as we descended. It was pitch black all bar a tiny lamp in the lift. After a short walk, we came to a 140 metre old wooden slide.
Always up for a laugh, I was first to grab a cushion and squealed like a child all the way down the slide, what a rush! For the faint hearthed they had to walk down 140 meters of steps. I was tempted to walk back up the steps just for another ride on that slide!
Once at the bottom, my breath was once again taken away from me! I saw the stage with a huge rear screen and the bikes, ready to be ridden for 13 hours from noon to 1am!
Beyond the bikes, was the restaurant and dining area. The tables were dressed fit for a Wedding!
The Global Spinning Community Rides Together
The Presenter line up from 8 different countries was amazing. There were Event Volunteers wearing the Programme printed on the backs of their t-shirts so you knew who was presenting and when! I was on at 7 pm, presenting my visual Endurance Ride, The Power of Now!
The atmosphere was simply like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. I always feel honored when I present, but down in that mine, it was magical. We ate, we slept (or at least tried), we donated money towards Charity and had pictures taken in silly costumes and we rode, some did all 13 hours!
Once the rides were done, glow sticks were handed out to everyone, and the lights were taken down in the mine. We counted down from ten to one and then everyone lit their glow sticks, what a spectacular sight, how could this ever be topped! One very lucky lady was the winner of a custom designed Spinner® Bike too.
We then proceeded to party and dance, not much sleep was had!
In addition throughout the day, an amazing film crew had been filming the entire Event, whilst playing the tune ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams. It really does show the atmosphere and energy of that amazing 24 hours down in the Bochnia Salt mine.