I'm not a competitive person. Not really. I have minor moments, like during the triathlon when I speed up to try and overcome someone in their 20's (everyone's age is on his/her calf), but generally, I'm not out there trying to win stuff, especially on the athletic front. Since I joined ClassPass a while back, I've had the opportunity to go to a number of spin studios in addition to my usual (Revolve). I'm noticing a trend -- most of the studios have the technology to track your performance during the class, and some use this information in an attempt to motivate you during your ride. One studio flashes your RPMs and energy output up at the front of the room at various points in class (you're only identified by your bike number). I don't mind this -- it shows me where I am in relation to everyone else and as long as I'm not at the bottom, I generally feel okay. Another lets you opt in to do the same. This is fine too -- even if I don't opt in, I can see where I am in relation to those who have. Neither one of these display options makes me work harder, however. Since I'm not at the bottom, and I know I won't be up at the top, I just take notice and keep going.
Yet another studio does something slightly different -- it puts you on a team. During various points in the class, it pits the teams against each other, either in a sprint to see which team is going the fastest/working the hardest, or to see which team can keep tempo the most consistently. Now, when there's a team situation, it changes my motivation entirely. I found myself pushing super hard during sprints -- I wanted to make sure I was carrying my weight and doing my share of the work. Our team kept winning, which made me work even harder. In fact, our team won for the class. Woo hoo! I was exhausted, but proud. Until I got home. This studio also sends you an email at the end of class with your individual stats. I was 31st out of 44 in the class (not bad, in my book -- probably about average for me), but 15th out of 16 on my team. WHAT?! I nearly killed myself and I was at the bottom of my team?! Screw that.
My most recent spin experiment was Cycle Karaoke, where you can sing along while you ride. Now *that's* my kind of motivation.