Spinning around in circles

It seems as though whenever I end my swim and leave the rec center there is a spinning class going on.  One of these days I’ve got to actually try it out. 

The crowd at this particular place appears a touch older than me though, so I’m wondering if I should try and find something with people roughly my age.  Although I have no idea where to look for said class. 

What’s the general protocol and session breakdown like?  All it says on the door is start times.  For example, do I need to bring cycling shoes?  Do I stay on the bike the whole time?  And would I consider it a substitute to my regular bike training workouts, or something else in addition to?

It also seems like whenever I go by the spinning room there is a lot of yelling going on.  But it does look intriguing.

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  1. Making sure you have a good instructor is key – my favorite is the owner of one of my local LBSs – he kicks our behinds! If you have SPD cleats, you can usually clip into the bikes in a spinning room. For me, I never do drills on my regular longer bike rides, so spinning class is always good for doing “hills” or one legged drills etc. I also find it to be much higher intensity than my regular bike rides, so my heart rate is pretty high for the whole session, even if it is shorter than a typical ride.