Although SoulCycle has been around since 2006 and has since expanded to 11 more locations in the New York area, plus three more in California, it seems as though the bike fitness workout has hit “craze” status or the last couple of years. SoulCycle was founded in 2006 by Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice in New York City. The two women were looking for alternatives to fitness routines that felt like work. So they decided to combine high energy music and stationary bikes.
Even Oprah does SoulCycle:
Oprah was with SoulCycle instructor Angela Manuel-Davis is one of the most sought after in West Hollywood. “I want each ride to eliminate any disbelief in your abilities, and fill you up with the confidence and worth ethic to go out and conquer the world,” she says of crafting her classes.
SoulCycle now has fourteen locations in Los Angeles and the New York area (where prices will soon go up to $34 per class), and, after partnering with Equinox this past May, has plans to roll out at least seventeen more in the coming year. If you are not hovering over the keys of your computer precisely at noon on Monday, when the next week’s classes are released—or do not want to pay $3,500 for a “SuperSoul” series of 50 classes (at $70 a pop) that gives early access to reservations—then you’re often resigned to waiting-list purgatory, forced to pray to the SoulFairy, to whom desperate, tearful Twitter pleas are constantly made (“Crying over the outcome of @soulcycle sign ups today”; “Don’t despair! Stay on the waitlist! #Soulfairy is on this!”).
“I would do anything that I could to afford these rides,” says 27-year-old Jaime, who often takes thirteen classes a week (estimated cost: $21,632 per year). She’s arranged her schedule to have Mondays off work so that she can always be at her computer the moment classes are released. She counts her instructors among her closest friends. Her social life revolves around people she’s met at SoulCycle. On the anniversary of her father’s death, her instructor had the class ride to “Nessun Dorma” from Turandot, one of Jaime’s father’s favorite operas. “I’m seven years sober. You don’t really get love and acceptance and encouragement and self-gratification from a cocktail,” Jaime says. “I mean, I … this is what I need in my life, and it just so happened it’s an exercise class.”
Although SoulCycle seems a bit pricey, there are other alternatives offered at cycling gyms across the country.
Take a look at this video taken from a “extreme” cycling class in Atlanta: