This girl can spin
Indoor cycling: it's all the rage these days. Here's what to expect at your first spin class — killer workout guaranteed
Full disclosure. I’ve never done a spin class. Pilates, yoga and HIIT: yes. Anything involving a bike: no. That’s not to say I’ve never been on a bike. I own a rusted old two-wheeler that gets dusted down a couple of times a year, has the tyres pumped up and is ridden through some country lanes to a nearby pub, and then home again.
I find that hard enough, so the thought of getting on a bike and having someone yell at me to ride harder, ride faster has never really appealed.
But I’ve been wondering about spin. One of my besties swears by her spin class (and she looks a-maz-zing) so I did some research and discovered a new fitness studio that opened in Haslemere at the end of last year offering a small number of complementary workouts – with cycling at its core.
CYC:D is the brainchild of Faye Walton, who in January last year while on a trip to Miami came across SoulCycle. This fitness craze has acquired a cult-like status in the States, with its mix of aerobic cycling intensity, clubby atmosphere and motivational coaching.
Haslemere needed a bit of that, says Faye, a little gleam in her eye. And a little over nine months later, that gleam, like so many do, became her baby number 5. A former commercial litigator in the city, and mother to four actual kids, she’d been looking for a business opportunity a little closer to home.
I rolled along to my first class on a Monday. CYC:D is just off the High Street across the road from Caracoli coffee shop. I was met by Faye and her studio manager, Naomi Lett, given a quick tour of the studio, then shown how to use the bikes.
I’d chosen the Cycle Beat class, but the studio also offers Cycle Burn. Frankly, that just sounded too scary and rather painful for a first-timer. They also offer a HIIT class, for those who prefer to keep both feet on the ground, as well as barre, pilates and yoga.
It’s a great combination of classes, and the timetable has been designed so you can do a cycle class and then stretch it out immediately after in one of the yoga classes if you want to. I really like that. And your legs will work hard, so it’s a good idea.
Both Faye and Naomi take the cycle classes, but it was Faye with the microphone strapped to her head the day I went. She’s got the kind of voice that would be perfect for radio, and a manner that is both encouraging and calm. She’s not shouty, which I liked.
Cycle Beat is a high energy spin class, the idea being that you ride to the beat and get lost in the music – presumably so you don’t feel the burn in your thighs and bum! It pretty much works too. (Until the next day!)
The room is dark, except for some fluro lighting, and the music is a combination of clubby beats and current hits. There’s a mix of short sharp sprints – complete with strobe lighting bringing a bit of a clubbing vibe to Haslemere High Street – and short and longer uphill sections. Faye introduces other exercises to work your core and upper body: push-ups on the handle bars and bobbing forward and backwards while standing on the pedals.
After my class I had a smoothie from the CYC:D kitchen – a berry burst – before hitting the showers. There are small change rooms and showers, and everything you’ll need is there, including a hair dryer and hair straighteners (oh and a range of lush Cowshed products).
CYC:D, 34C High Street, Haslemere, GU27 2HJ. Tel: 01428 645 055. cyc-d.co.uk