My family and I decided to spend some time over the holidays in New York City. The kids hadn’t been there in years, Robby hadn’t met my New York family and it had been a really long time since I’d been there in the winter time. We were all looking forward to it.
While planning our trip, I had to include a visit to the Peloton studio in Manhattan. First, it was a bucket list item and as many of you know, my exercise of choice is indoor cycling. Its a low impact, high calorie burn done in a relatively dark room with fantastic music. Most importantly, I love the endorphin high that I get when class is over!
As an avid indoor cycler, I’ve seen a lot of information on Peloton via my Facebook feed and via mail. To be perfectly honest, the concept has intrigued me. Peloton is a company based in NYC that offers cyclers a unique experience. They have custom bikes equipped with iPod like screens. For the cost of the bike and a monthly subscription fee, you can ride at home and take live classes with instructors from their NYC studio or choose from hundreds of pre-recorded classes. Pretty cool concept.
When making plans, I asked my friend Esther if she’d like to join us in the city for a ride - her response was a resounding “YES!” Esther is an old friend from elementary school who I reconnected with on Facebook several years ago. She also loves to cycle and has been on her own weight loss journey. As a matter of fact, she was one of my motivators for losing weight. I hadn’t seen Esther outside of Facebook for 36 years and the idea of cycling with her at Peloton was over the top exciting!
The kids and Robby all agreed to join me in this experience which made me super happy. The kids don’t like cycling because the seats hurt their tushes. Knowing that they were willing to sacrifice their butts for the 45 minute class made me smile. They’re such good people.
The whole experience was phenomenal. When we arrived and the attendant realized that it was our first time, he showed us around, educated us on what to expect and provided us with our cycle shoes.
At Peloton, sign ups for classes open up about a week before. You logon via their website, purchase classes ($20 for the first class, $32 for individual subsequent classes or $400/month for unlimited studio classes) and then pick the bike you want to ride. When you walk into the studio, the room is huge with multiple tiers of bikes. It’s cold, dark and each bike already has a towel and a bottle of water waiting for you. It’s very posh!
The instructor was very fit. Unfortunately I don’t recall her name, but she was very animated and explained what to expect. Throughout the class, she advised on bike settings, where we should be with cadence and impact and provided some insightful and inspiring words. The class was being filmed live so she was focused on the camera - but she was able to call out in-studio and at-home riders from her leader board to engage them and congratulate them on milestones like birthdays. One rider in the studio was there for his 100th ride!
The music was great! I thought it was going to be a live DJ - but that is a specific class that you have to sign up for. Instead, the instructors choreograph the rides themselves. We signed up for a low impact ride, which wasn’t as hard as I would have liked, but the music was steady and easy to keep pace with. We did some arm work during the ride, which was very different than what I was used to.
The bike itself was fantastic. It was solid and steady. The seat was incredibly comfortable and the fly wheel was smooth like butter. I loved it!
After class, we took advantage of the showers and were grateful that the studio supplied towels and all products including soap, shampoo and conditioner. They even had Q-tips, combs and disposable flip flops!
So, here’s the big question - now that I’ve had the Peloton experience would I invest in a bike at home? It’s tempting and I’ve considered it, especially when it’s cold outside and I don’t want to leave the house to get to the gym. I love the idea of being able to take a live class (or pre-recorded class) on my schedule vs. my gym’s schedule. However, I work from home and the only time I get to socialize some days is when I am at my local gym. I also love the spin program at my local YMCA and I adore the instructors. More importantly, they offer a more personalized experience. The instructors at my gym know who I am - they call my name in class and motivate me. They push me to work harder. I didn’t feel that same level of motivation at the Peloton studio - it felt generic. The instructors at my local gym live in my community, they are in my same age bracket (for the most part) and they share personal stories with their classes. An instructor on a screen doesn’t give you that same experience. Not everyone needs or wants that personalization, but for me, the humanity is important. So, while I loved the ride and the overall ride at Peloton, I love my small town gym more.
Overall, I’m glad I had the opportunity to ride with Esther, her boyfriend and my family at the Peloton studio and I look forward to doing it again the next time I’m in New York!
Bee healthy. Bee happy.
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