Welcome to the ‘Hood: SoulCycle



From left: Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice

Anyone who has craved a thorough workout in just one hour will want to check out SoulCycle Tribeca, opening today in the same building as Whole Foods. “We call it a full-body, indoor-cycling workout,” says Julie Rice, who founded the company with Elizabeth Cutler in 2006. “In 45 minutes, you can get your cardio, your ab work, your upper body work.” (They’re offering free classes on Jan. 20—see the second-to-last paragraph for details.)

The two women opened the first SoulCycle on the Upper West Side—where they both live—in the spring of 2006; before that, Rice was a talent manager in L.A. and Cutler sold real estate in Colorado. Locations on the Upper East Side and in Bridgehampton and Scarsdale soon followed. They had been wanting to expand downtown and decided that Tribeca was the ideal neighborhood, with its mix of families and working people. They certainly made a serious investment in the area: The Tribeca space is 6,200 square feet, which is about 4,000 square feet larger than the rest. “Tribeca is our flagship location,” says Rice. “It’s the biggest SoulCycle—and it’s the biggest Soul Cycle that will ever be!”

A SoulCycle studio in one of the other locations

A SoulCycle studio in one of the other locations

Traditionally—to use a big word for a company not even four years old—SoulCycling has been like spinning, complete with inspirational trainers, but also incorporating high repetitions of one-pound hand weights. The Tribeca location has a 60-bike room for such classes. All that extra space, however, has also allowed SoulCycle to create the 30-bike SoulLab, where new variations on SoulCycling can be tested. Currently in the works are SoulCycle classes that also feature yoga, abdominal work, stretching, and a “boot camp” focusing on intervals. But they’re most excited about SoulCycle Bands, a new class that uses resistance bands hanging from the ceiling. Those classes start Feb. 1.

When I first went by, I was taking a photo of the façade when Rice came out to say hello; when I went inside on my second visit, Cutler quickly approached and introduced herself. There’s a forthright-but-friendly vibe about SoulCycle that the owners have instilled throughout the company. The etiquette rules, for instance, include no talking during class, no typing on your phone, and a request that you “treat the front desk the way you would like them to treat you.”

An offering at the SoulCycle Tribeca boutique

The SoulCycle Tribeca boutique

“People love those rules,” says Rice. “By creating those rules we’ve created a place where people respect each other.” She says that making considerateness part of the ethos has helped them foster a real sense of community. “People treat class like their sanctuary. They take 45 minutes to breathe and relax, knowing that people around them are contributing to their positive energy. Everybody’s rooting for each other.”

Want to try it? On Wednesday, Jan. 20, SoulCycle Tribeca is offering classes for free. Book now by calling the number below; it’s first-come, first-served (one per customer). Classes will be at 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

UPDATE: As I was posting this, I received this email from Carol at Babylicious: “I saw that you picked up the Soul Cylce opening [in the newsletter]. Just wanted to let you know that place rocks! I have been spinning at their studio in Bridgehampton in the summer for three years and have been just waiting for them to come downtown. It’s a tremendous addition to the neighborhood!”

SoulCycle Tribeca is at 103 Warren (at West Street); 212-406-1300, soul-cycle.com. Single classes are $32; purchasing a series of at least 10 classes gets you a discount (the amount depends on the commitment). The facility has full-service locker rooms and a boutique.



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