Want to cycle with Taylor Swift?

27 October 2015 by
First published: 30 October 2015

For those of us who just can’t plug into our iPods and run for miles and miles, day in, day out, cardio is hard work. And boring at times. That’s why cardio-based gym classes are so handy – not only do they inject fun and a social aspect into our workouts, but they give us structure to our cardio, too.

Spin classes are a true staple to any health club, but we’re now seeing it approach the next level. Enter the themed ride. Whether it’s 1Rebel‘s ‘Rihanna vs Beyonce’ ride, Ride Republic‘s ‘Miami to Ibiza’ or Boom Cycle‘s ‘Garage’ class, themed rides are officially taking over and simply upping the fun factor when it comes to indoor cycling. We are, needless to say, 100% on board.

When we heard about US-based cycle studio SoulCycle‘s Taylor Swift-themed ride, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to experience a themed ride stateside in one of the most iconic cycle studios around. The class – which took place in New York’s trendy SoHo studio – promised to let old Taylor Swift tracks (remember cute, adorable and country-inspired Tay-Tay?) battle it out with the newer, sassier and more upbeat ones. Participants were led through a high-energy class that had everyone pedalling in sync to the sound of one of our favourite popstars.

We knew we were in for a treat the minute we waddled into the studio with our bike shoes on: the instructor – usually a brunette – donned a long, blonde wig (to get into the Taylor zone), and refused to take it off for the entire 45 minutes of cycling to the beat. That’s a lot of a sweat underneath two humans’ worth of hair. If she could do it with a wig on, we could do it without, right?

The great thing about themed rides, evident through the SoulCycle class, is that everyone’s there for a good time. That helps you shake of any inhibitions, since cycling in time to a beat and using your upper body, legs and core on an exercise bike is actually really, really hard. When you lose timing or just can’t get it right in the first place, you really don’t care – because you know you’re getting a good workout in, and you can just ‘shake it off’.

Doing the themed ride at SoulCycle confirmed one thing: gone are the days of generic dance music-based spin classes, with old-school disco lights and low energy. Whether it’s dedication to an era of time, a particular musician or a genre of music, themed rides are here to stay and we’re loving it.

If themed rides sound like your kind of thing, don’t worry, you don’t need to pay out a massive airfare to give it a go. There are plenty of boutique cycle studios in the UK. Check out the ones at Boom Cycle, Ride Republic and 1Rebel, and saddle up.