My day was bad, to say the least. It was raining, an editor at work slaughtered a piece I had written, and it’s the full moon again, so my emotions were obviously running rampant. By the time I left my desk at 4:59 p.m. sharp, I did not want to hang around the city for another hour and a half before my 6:30 Peloton class began. Thus, I had paid a hefty $20 in advance for it, so I sucked up my feelings and trudged through the wet streets to the Peloton studio on 23rd and 7th.
Now, this may have been my first class at the studio, but I am no stranger to the cult that is Peloton. And no, I am not exaggerating when I use the word cult. My mom had bought an at home Peloton bike a couple of months back as many middle-aged women do in their constant pursuits of diets and weight-loss. Somehow, the bike ended up in my room, the basement, so I could no longer lay on my bed without feeling a sense of crushing guilt. After all, the Peloton was literally 2 feet away. So, I got on. Every day. And I loved it.
The Peloton instructors on the screen in front of me became my friends. And no, it’s not as sad as it sounds. They not only pushed me to increase my cadence, resistance, and output from the comfort of my own bedroom, but they shouted motivations at me throughout these 45-minute rides. Without leaving the confines of my house, I had joined the Peloton cult, and there was no going back.
While I’m in New York, I knew I had to try a class out at the studio, and the anticipation of meeting one of the famous instructors was comparable to meeting Lady Gaga. Again, I do not exaggerate.
The studio is boujee, to say the least. You can buy your cult apparel in the front, and after borrowing a pair of the special Peloton bike shoes at the front desk, there is a full juice and smoothie bar inside! (I told you, boujee). Since they film every ride for the Peloton-ers at home, there is literally a door marked “Production Staff Only,” which made the whole thing feel like a pretty big deal. Word to the wise— if you don’t want America to see you die at these classes, you really shouldn’t sit on the first two rows of bikes, because you will be seen by the dozens of cameras covering the inside of the studio.
Thankfully, I signed up late and snagged the very last bike in the back corner, so needless to say the pressure was off of me and my less-than-extraordinary legs. But even from the back corner, I was star struck. Emma Lovewell taught my class, a 45-minute Classic Rock Ride, and I couldn’t help but grin, thinking back to the days I had taken her class in my bedroom. The whole thing is really quite a production. I mean, Emma had a blinding spotlight on her the whole time, and I noticed her, at times, speaking directly to the camera in front of her.
Regardless, Peloton provides an awesome, albeit intense, workout whether you’re at home or part of the production. But here is the best part: you don’t need to pay $2,000 for the bike at home or a subscription to attend classes at the studio. Peloton offers free walk-in classes during the day, usually between 10:30 am and 1:30 p.m. So if you’re like me and stuck in an office from 9-5, try out the free weekend classes. Just be sure to get there early, otherwise you might not get a bike. But if you’re just aimlessly wandering the city streets during the week, pop into their Flagship (and only) location at 140 W 23rd St., New York, NY and take advantage of this unique fitness experience. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you when you’re suddenly and unknowingly inducted into the church of Peloton.
words & photo_ isabella vaccaro