December 27, 2015
It doesn’t take long for people to zero in on their spot. A lot of the beginners grab a bike at the back to start with, cautious of the cultish stigma that surrounds SoulCycle. Then there are the spinheads who turn up expecting to smash the class by throwing raw fitness at it, instantly baffled by the unique moves and forced to become a student again. Often that pushes them a couple of rows back for their next attempt. I’m not a front row girl, someone in front of me helps me escape into the rhythm, but I need to be in the middle section, it balances my brain, relaxes me. It’s ok being on the side, but far from ideal. Today I have my bike. Number 37, right in the middle, one row back. My rightful place in the world. Effective formations had a soothing effect. This was me giving myself to the greater system, a happy cog in the engine.
It’s where Jake Gyllenhaal met his model girlfriend and where you’ll see the most skull & bones marked lycra stretched over some of New York’s finest specimens.
Soul Cycle Noho, was one of the originals. Tight bodies filed in and adjusted their bikes like expert marines reassembling rifles – the smooth clicking of steel sliding into place. This was where the reputation was built and maintained. It’s where Jake Gyllenhaal met his model girlfriend and where you’ll see the most skull & bones marked lycra stretched over some of New York’s finest specimens. This was the original place of worship.
A tall guy rocked up to the bike two down from me. When I had finally convinced Michael to come along, the only two bikes next to each other were right up the front. In hindsight, bringing him to Noho and sticking him up there was a mistake, the class was packed and you could almost hear the groans from the veterans behind him as he bobbed up high and out of rhythm, even the instructors encouraging guidance turned to stern direction. Michael never came back after that. His loss.
My legs are tight and I can’t wait to get the buzz on, to open the body up and let some of this angst go.
Akin was one of the most in-demand instructors, he had a high energy style, pop EDM tracks mixed with Hip Hop and song selection that always kept you guessing. I watched as he setup his laptop and bike, six small candles surrounding the small stage, providing the only light while we warm up and prepare for the onslaught. My legs are tight and I can’t wait to get the buzz on, to open the body up and let some of this angst go.
Akin welcomes us all on the mic and a techno track starts up over the system. The place has a better sound system and lighting setup than half the clubs in the city. He leads us in a smooth warm up peddle as we all rise, flat backs, ass above the seat. We dip from left to right with the weight of the pedal, always in time to the track, always together.
Symmetry is bliss. God bless the tap-back.