Girl Walks Into a SoulCycle Class

Friday, August 14, 2015

For those of you unfamiliar, SoulCycle is kind of a big deal. It's been in LA and New York for years and it just came to Chicago a few months ago.

I wanted to see what all of the hype was about so I went to a class on Wednesday.



I think my first mistake was riding my bike to the class. Here's something you should know about my bike, it was given to me for my 12th birthday. It's an awesome forest green Diamondback perfect for mountain biking! Is what I would have said about it in 1999 when I got it. You weren't cool unless you had a mountain bike, because we all know Nebraska is full of mountains.

100 years later I still have this bike. And the tires are always flat. When I rode to class on Wednesday they were squeaking and dragging on the pavement so loud a biker who passed me actually yelled, "hey, your tires are really flat!" I gave him a thumbs up and carried on. Have you tried to ride a bike with flat tires? It is not for the weak.

So by the time I got to SoulCycle in Old Town I was so over being on a bike.

Yet I walked inside, rented some soccer cleats, and got on another bike.

"It's super simple, just put your feet in the pedals like you would a ski," the cheerful and super cute SoulCycle gal told me as I failed to strap into the bike. She clearly hasn't seen me get into skis or fall off multiple ski lifts.

The room was dark and hot, only lit up by a few candles. But I'll admit, there was a certain energy in there that had me very intrigued. The class hadn't even started yet and the go-getters beside me were already pedaling.

And then the instructor walked in and the music started. It was like the gates to heaven opened.

The regulars beamed when she took her platform, their leader had arrived. She was bubbly and energetic and at times she'd just hop off her bike and just start dancing around the class, whipping her half knot back and forth. She can't possibly be having this much fun, I thought to myself more than once. But I'll be damned, she definitely was.

I'd be lying if I didn't admit by the end of class I had a secret crush on her as well. She was simply magnetic. And she could put her hair in a top knot without looking in a mirror and in front of a class of people, I'm always impressed by people who can do this.

The music was great. It was loud and clubby and at times we were actually dancing on our bikes, pedaling to the beat. I didn't even know this was possible. When I looked around at my fellow cyclists I wondered if I had missed the ecstasy that was handed out. Maybe it was supposed to come with the shoes? They were all in a trance, pedaling like maniacs, yet somehow still rocking with the music with that "club look" in their eyes. It was ... intimidating.

When the beat was about to drop and we were all being encouraged to "GO FOR IT" I worried that the man next to me might actually shoot through the ceiling. He was pedaling so hard and so fast I thought his head was going to explode. This could get messy I thought, and I grabbed my towel to shield myself as the beat got louder and faster.

Then it dropped and I was right. His head did pop off. It was crazy. But no one seemed to notice.

The instructor just shouted louder, whipping her hair again and again.

And then we started doing push ups on the bikes. And dips. And curls. At one point Lady God Instructor was doing a handstand on her bike, whipping her hair, still smiling and encouraging us to be our very best. I'd never seen anything like it.

By the end of class I was dripping in sweat. My hair was soaking wet, my back was drenched, and I'd let all of my judgement go and suddenly I was the one pedaling like a maniac, whilst also twerking like Miley, still standing on the bike.

My soul had been taken.

After class as everyone conjugated in the "locker area" all sweaty and happy, still riding that post Soul high I imagined myself here. Maybe I could pretend to fit in for awhile?

I went to the desk and asked how much classes were since I'd come here on a special rate and she told me they were $30 per class + $3 shoe rental.

And just like that my soul was handed back to me. My soul price range is more like $15.

The hardest part was walking outside and getting hit with a hard slap of sunlight. How was it still daytime? It felt like I had just been clubbing all night.

Cycle people, have you been here? What are your thoughts? More importantly, has anyone seen the Kimmy Schmidt episodes about "Spirit Cycle?" If you have, then you know.


26 comments:

  1. It's funny you mention the Kimmy Shcmidt episode, because that's all I could picture through this whole post...And also how I wish I had a bouncy top knot, and the ability toe handstand on a bike,

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  2. Ha all I could think about was Kimmy Schmidt through this entire post! LOVE that episode!

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  3. That episode of Kimmy was incredible. I loved my one Soul Class, but mama works for a nonprofit and can't afford that all the time! I only go on special occasions!

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  4. hahah you soul price range is $15. I am ded. You are hilarious.

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  5. What! They light the room with candles?! This all sounds so intense. How do you dance and ride a bike?! And your feet are literally locked in the pedals!? I've always been too scared to go to any sort of spinning class because I just KNOW that I would have to give up and walk out early completely embarrassed/ stay and die. If your feet are locked in, is leaving early even an option?! Maybe you already read her blog, but if not check out, www.coralsandcognacs. She just moved from NYC to Chicago to work at the new Soul Cycle. Maybe she was your instructor?!

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  6. It's funny you mention the Kimmy Shcmidt episode, because that's all I could picture through this whole post!!! I freakin' LOVE that show LOL

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  7. I went to Soul Cycle after long wanting to go. Seeing Kimmy Schmidt is exactly what it is like. I'm not as athletic but trying to be better and I was just going at my own pace but I was overwhelmed by the "cult" feeling in the room.

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  8. I genuinely grunt laughed out loud at work while reading this. Damn you!

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  9. i have a "friend" who now teaches a class and used to pester me to come all the time. i never did and now i really don't regret it.

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  10. I read an article somewhere recently (business insider, maybe?) that SoulCycle actually isn't that good for you, and is kind of dangerous to your health. And also pricey. I prefer regular spin, ESPECIALLY when the instructor isn't crazy and is cool with me going at my own pace. Also, spirit cycle is the best! Now I need to go watch Kimmy Schmidt again.

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  11. OMG The Kimmy Schmidt episode is exactly what I was picturing as I read this.

    And if I were to attend said class, pretty sure it would be called Soul Sucking Class.

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  12. I've done Fly Wheel in Gold Coast and really enjoyed it. Their prices were $25 per class, but I think they bumped them up to like $28 when Soul Cycle opened. I really enjoyed it, but I also can not afford $30 for each workout.. I mean really.

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  13. Holy moly you crack me up. I've never even heard of it since it won't hit southwest Minnesota for about 8 years, but I feel like I was there!

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  14. I wish I lived in a place that had SoulCycle because I really want to try it! I think there is something like it here in Las Vegas so I might have to settle for that instead.

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  15. Oddly enough my mother-in-law has been to a SoulCycle and your telling of the experience is almost identical to hers! Hilarious!

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  16. My bike also makes ungodly noises when I ride it and children stare. It's been sitting in our garage with a chronic flat tire for months now.

    I was picturing that jimmy episode the whole post!

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  17. I worked at a spin place (not SoulCycle) and it's definitely a different breed of people! We had some teachers that would teach back to back classes and then ride as a customer in a third. It was insane.

    I liked it. But I didn't like it THAT much. Mostly because I didn't see the "all day, every day" appeal.

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  18. This sounds amazing. I would totally love to try this (and I would probably die in the process, because I'm pathetic) but I also couldn't convince myself to pay $30+ each time for the experience.

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  19. I looooove spin classes! I've taken a class at Soul Cycle but it's a little over my budget, so I take spin classes at my local gym for like a year now. So addicting!

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  20. Oh my gosh, that sounds intense! Eek! & $33 for a session?! That's a lil much.

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  21. I was totally thinking of that Kimmy Schmidt episode the WHOLE TIME I was reading this! Ha!

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  22. Great post. I like exercising at home the best. I never feel comfortable getting all sweaty around a bunch of strangers.
    https://www.lovelylefflerjewelry.com

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  23. Was Hallie your instructor?? If so, bloggie worlds colliding -- http://coralsandcognacs.com

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  24. I've never tried these sorts of spin studios. I did do "spin" on my own bike during the summer of 2011 to train for a century ride, but found it to be very boring.

    This sounds like something really fun, however!

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  25. I have seen the kimmy Schmidt spirit cycle episodes and have signed up for my first soulcycle class on sat and expect it to be like you describe with a bit of kimmy mixed in. Now that I live in la I feel I have to do soulcycle or I'll be shunned

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