Why were the Njinga classes different?
First and foremost, there was Togo who was and remains highly ranked on my list of the most driven and ambitious people I know. He genuinely believes (and subsequently exudes an inspiring energy) that he can turn casual cyclists into good cyclists and good cyclists into even better ones.
His combination of professionalism and enthusiasm makes each and every class interesting and he uses proper coaching and motivation techniques.
I thought I had plenty of good experiences in the past with spinning instructors but Togo is not a spinning instructor: he's a coach and a motivator.
Secondly: the wattbikes and the big screen filled with your and other cyclists' data. Having worked in the cycling business for awhile at this point, I knew what wattbikes were as well as the concept of training to power. But I'd never had any real interest in power measurements myself. After all, I did race a little mountain bike and cyclocross, but only just for fun. I didn't consider myself a candidate for power and thought that was just for very serious racers.
What has Njinga done for me?
I've been absolutely hooked on Njinga since my 3rd or 4th class.
Training to power has improved my cycling and motivated me to push myself further.
The wattbikes have also made my effort and progress measurable.
The numbers reveal all: I'm either stronger than last time or not. There's no guess work involved. (In comparison, traditional spinning classes at the gym are like training "blind".)
There are some evenings when the sun is out and the roads are dry but I find myself in an Njinga class rather than out on the road bike because, honestly...
I believe it's a better use of that hour or two.