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.