Honestly, I've never been a big fan of Spinning. At my gym, they cram 30 bikes into this tiny closet of a room and it's all dark and scary in there. The ceiling fans are whipping the air around like some sort of wind tunnel. And the splash of sweat from your neighbor is downright nasty.
Today, however, was better. We got to spin to a DVD called Spinervals: The Rockies. Admittedly I am new to the whole indoor cycling craze. I did not know videos like this existed. Basically the entire hour's workout follows actual cyclists as they climb and sprint and cycle around areas like Boulder, Tucson and even Vegas!
What I liked about the whole experience was it felt like you were really riding outdoors. I tried to match the cadence with the pro cyclists "in front" of me on screen. The cyclists would come on and give tidbits of advice and every once in a while a motivational quote would flash on screen. I also enjoyed trying to keep my upper body "quiet" instead of flailing it around like the instructors seem to encourage in other classes.
These DVDs would be great to have at home with your trainer as an alternative to riding in finger numbing weather. I am a firm believer that we don't need to do all that crazy jumping and impossibly fast cadence stuff that goes on in spin class. Maybe I'm wrong, but doing something that mimics regular outdoor cycling seems to be the best alternative to actually getting out there on two wheels. And for me that is centering the body, keeping the hips from rocking, and using your core to turn those pedals - like the pros do in these movies.