I Tried It: ’80s Ride at Body Cycle Studio (with Photos!)

Not your typical Friday night in Philly

That's me on the right with my friend, Mikaela, who came along for the ride (pun intended).

An ’80s ride? Sounds fun, right? It didn’t to me … at first. Let me clarify: Not only had I sworn myself off spinning after my butt ached for weeks after my first class (which was years ago, admittedly), but also I know nothing about the ’80s. I wasn’t alive. Aside from being able to sing along to a few Madonna songs, the ’80s just aren’t nostalgic memories for me.

So as you can imagine, I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I walked into Center City’s fab Body Cycle Studio on a recent Friday night wearing high-waisted leggings, a neon orange crop top, knee-high socks and a fluorescent green headband (that’s totally everyone wore in the ’80s, right? Right?!). Having endured what felt like a million awkward stares from every SEPTA rider that evening, I felt pretty proud of my appropriately outrageous outfit.

As I entered the cycling haven (situated right above a bicycle shop, natch), here’s what I discovered: my outfit was actually quite underwhelming—at least compared to the retro-chic, glittery-neon outfits the BCS girls had on as they snapped shots of everyone walking in—and the atmosphere of this boutique Spinning studio is so, SO fun, even on a Friday night.

The ride itself was incredibly exhausting. One full hour of peddling faster then slower, standing up and sitting down, and hefting myself over hill after hill (ugh, those hills!) was much harder than I’d anticipated. What kept me going, sweating and laughing was instructor Shoshana TK’s upbeat and motivating words of encouragement (“I DON’T CARE IF YOUR BUTT HURTS. KEEP GOING!”  she hollered at one point); the off-the-cuff dance moves of everyone around me (we riders danced with our arms, obviously, since our legs didn’t stop going round and round for 60 minutes); and the funky-fresh beats blasting in the dark, disco-esque room. Seriously, the music was great. If you’ve never worked out to the catchy tunes of Madonna, Queen, Prince, MJ and the like, you should consider making a playlist STAT. When “Like a Prayer” came on, we were all singing along, sweat flying off our faces, pedaling faster and harder when the chorus played. By the last song, I thought I was going to fall off my bike (*cue* “Another One Bites the Dust”).

Feeling really sweaty and accomplished, I was ecstatic to find staffers from Hip City Veg armed with freshly made banana whips in the next room. The nearby cafe isn’t always on hand at Body Cycle, but they’d come in that night for the special event. And let me tell you, those whips were absolutely delicious. Funny thing: When I asked an exiting rider why he was holding an actual banana and instead of a banana whip, he said, “Too many calories for me.” Guess he didn’t get the memo that these yummy frozen treats, which look (and taste) like soft-serve, are made of literally one ingredient: frozen banana.

Thanks for a great night, BCS, and for sparking my newfound appreciation for everything ’80s. Oh, and congrats to the man in the tight zebra-print leggings who won Best Costume … I could never pull those off the way you did.

Classes at Body Cycle Studio cost $20, but your first ride is free. The studio is located at 1923 Chestnut Street, second floor, Philadelphia. Call 215-563-3663 for more information.

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

>> Check out all our I Tried It posts.

(Psst! Miss out on Body Cycle Studio’s ’80s night? Not to worry—there’s plenty of Bangles-era fun to go around. Check out the upcoming ’80s event at Dana Hot Yoga.)