Goodbye to SoulCycle, Pedaling to Nowhere

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Goodbye to SoulCycle, Pedaling to Nowhere
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Here’s why SoulCycle should be canceled. Follow Jezebel’s Cancel Tournament to see what ultimately gets canceled

It brings me no joy to say goodbye to the cult formerly known as SoulCycle. Once the harbinger of the boutique fitness trend, the cycling studio was best known for its perfectly choreographed tap backs and pseudo-spiritual approach to an exhausting 45-minute workout. It was also loathed for its $34 per class price tag, one that didn’t include the purchase of water or the rental of incredibly smelly shoes. Still, I understand the motives of the cycling masses: I’m one of them.

But it wasn’t the mid-class mantras or electric yellow branding that finally brought SoulCycle to the graveyard of fitness fads. The exercise addiction beloved by so many met its demise at the hands of the same thing that killed every good thing this year—private equity. Stephen Ross, the owner of SoulCycle and Equinox, used some of his millions (earned, in part, by the furiously cycling hoards) to host a fundraiser for the current occupant of the White House. This decision angered all the affluent women who believed that their commitment to “spiritual” indoor cycling was somehow equivalent to being part of a social justice movement. The only way for these “good” SoulCyclers to separate themselves was to boycott a fitness studio that had been catering to wealthy people since its inception.

Still, it’s probably good to be moving away from the word jumble of spirituality-fitness-optimizing-self-care-wellness that SoulCycle was shilling, and all the better that riders are beginning to track what those $34 empowerment sessions were funding.

But to be honest, the only result I want from this cancelation is for class packages go on sale—and I do mean a real sale. Even though I’ve been the only minority on a bike in more classes than I care to count, even though I can’t justify the price of a class, I cannot let SoulCycle go. The politically righteous of the world will have to pry the handlebars of those beautiful bikes from my cold dead hands. Maybe I’ll just cancel myself and follow SoulCycle into the dark.

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