SoulCycle, The American Cult Spinning Phenomenon Has Come to London
So… I clipped in my cleats to see what all the hype was all about.
I have been spinning for roughly two decades. It has been my stress buster, the releasor of endorphins and often the cause of legs that feel like jello and long hot epson salt baths I literally physically struggle getting out of. I have a true love : hate relationship with spinning which I affectionally and accurately nicknamed the Wheel of Pain.
So when I heard that the spinning cult phenomenon SoulCycle was coming to London I had to find out for myself what the hype was all about and just how different a spin class can be. Let me tell you…it was quite the ride.
This class was the closest you can imagine to being part of a performance with some A-List super sexy DJ. Abbey my instructor, a dance major just flew in from Vancouver’s location to join the London crew and looked and acted like every bit a pop-star meeting her awaiting fans. While I was there ready to sweat with no make-up and my hair pulled high on top of my head (see video below) my super hot instructor looked like she was about to take the stage at Coachella… and in a way she did.
She led us all in a super pumped 45 minute concert, off the bike dancing around the studio as much as she was on her bike. Her long blond hair (not pulled back in a practical high pony like yours truly) was whipping back and forth like a slow motion love scene in a movie. As I scoured the room looking at the other riders to check out the demographic, it was clear…I was the oldest person there…but wait…there was a man…older than the rest… Ahhh I thought, there is someone here who is not a millennial, then Abbey took a moment to introduce the man as her father.
The music was excellent just as one would hope listening to a world class DJ spin. Just like at a concert there was a moment…she dimmed the lights and the room was lit solely by candles as we spun to Beyonce’s Halo. Had this been a real concert that is when you would have taken out your lighters/phones and waved them above your head. And like at a real concert she would cut the music out at the chorus to hear everyone sing…halo..halo..halo..halo.
The performance/ride ended as we all took our white towels and enthusiastically started waving them in the air, usually a universal signal for surrender however this was celebratory. And with that… celeb spinner Abbey thanked us all for coming as we took our sweaty but happy bodies off to a packed lobby of riders waiting for their turn to “pump it up’.
It was not the hardest spin class I had ever been to but it was the most fun, I did feel like I was on stage rocking it. I learned that SoulCycle actually auditions their instructors. CEO Melanie Whelan describes the search for instructors like ‘American Idol on a bike” of which I can totally believe. Launched in New York in 2006 it is now worth nearly £1 billion… and growing. Now that is one incredible ride.
Would I go back even at a hefty price of £24 per class, for sure I would, cottage season is coming up and I am booked in for next week. I left super happy, pumped and burned a few calories in the process. The music, energy and ride was invigorating. But if you are of my vintage be prepared… you will be surrounded by size 00, millennial girls who might make you doubt if you belong…but go…do not doubt…believe me I showed them that I too can channel my inner Beyonce and sing Halo as good as the rest of them.