NYC CYCLE EXTRAVAGANZA
I hit NYC with my Boho besties for a weekend of cycling! Six classes in 36 hours, am I crazy? I managed to stay fueled with the help of chia bars and coconut water. We arrived on the first day of Spring and it snowed. I must say, it was rather magical despite freezing ice of my face and having to carry around my broken luggage. I love being in the city, no matter what the forecast.
We kicked off our trip with a group ride at SoulCycle. This studio pioneered the way for boutique indoor cycling. I had no idea what to expect but I was hoping Kelly Ripa would be in the front row of my class. I watched the episode of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt that parodies SoulCycle just a few weeks before my trip. It gave me great insight. The instructor, Akin, was a total babe. I am easily mesmerized by attractive men but the candlelight vibes paired with his bandana made me feel like I was at a Kriss Angel concert. SoulCycle is known for their unconventional moves on the bike and I will admit, I'm rather uncoordinated. I could not find my groove during the entire class. Getting into pigeon pose while on the bike was the most ridiculous thing I've done during cool down. It was hilarious. Their locker rooms were insanely crowded and I just cannot get down on that. I also couldn't get down on their skull vibe, how early millennium of them. Overall, I'm pretty convinced that SoulCycle is a cult.
I was so happy to get the chance to hang out with my beloved Adam while I was in the city. We chilled at his apartment before hitting Fette Sau, where I need to confess, I ate a whole lot of meat. I try to maintain a plant-based diet, but when in Brooklyn right? I gifted him presents from the RuPaul's Drag Race Battle of the Seasons Tour and he revealed what he paid for the Acne jacket.
The next morning, about half of our crew hit Monster Cycle. I have been following them on Instagram for awhile and was stoked they had a juice bar. Although, it looked like a sad forgotten memory. The vibe is funky and freaky. Y'all know I'm a customer service diva and the desk gals at Monster were unhelpful bumps on a log. The locker room reminded me of high school. In the studio, there are 2 flat screen TVs behind the instructor on mirrors, which I personally liked. The instructor, Jonathan, had the physique of an Olympic gymnast or figure skater and I have to say, he was my favorite instructor of all the classes that I took. First ride is $13, which is a deal for NYC. They had the Big Butt Book on their coffee table, which is a family favorite. I could tell he was throwing SoulCycle shade when he said, 'we ride on the bike and dance on the floor.' We focused on intervals and pretty much only utilized positions 1 and 3. The ride was very straight forward and was the perfect way to kick off a day of cycling.
How many times did I walk in a circle before finding the correct way to go? (The answer is 3.) I raced out of the door in order to make my class at Aqua Studio, the nations only aqua cycling studio. I literally found this place 2 days before our trip. You know I love a fitness trend and had no qualms about dropping $42 on this class, just to say that I did. I'm a secret francophile and am always down for pretending I live in Paris. The studio is beautiful and I felt like I was in a Fall issue of Vogue. The reviews of Aqua studio didn't lead me to believe that it was going to be very hard. It was difficult, in a different way. I read beforehand that there were three levels of resistance, but in fact, it was already set on the bike and I may have increased mine unintentionally. We were constantly peddling and fighting the resistance of the water, all while wearing jellies!! I really just want to know how these bikes don't rust. I had a love hate relationship with the instructor. She was militant but sweet at the same time. Even though, she was wearing a fly American Apparel one pice with her booty showing, she reminded me of a nun. She gave no introduction, no information before class. Annoying. I need to be nurtured. I would try it again but with a different instructor and a better bathing suit.
After Aqua Studio, I planned to hit Salud NYC for raw, organic latin realness. I walked in a circle three times before heading the right way only to find out that the restaurant was CLOSED and not for a cool reason. I was so bummed and starving. I had to power walk down 5th Ave and found a lil cafe where I scarfed fruit, beet chips, and kombucha before my 1:30pm ride at Swerve.
Swerve Fitness offers a Buy One, Get One ride for first timers and I was pumped on that. I signed up for a 1:30pm British theme ride with Kate and a 9:30am ride with Halston on Sunday morning. Swerve was my favorite studio in terms of space and set up. The staff was friendly and offered help upon my arrival. You can order a smoothie or juice before class and it will be ready for you when you're done! They make it clear that they don't want you in cycle shoes until you get into the studio. Nobody was wearing any British swag for the ride, which was fine, but I love a good theme!!! In each class, there are 3 teams. Red, Blue, and Green. You are competing with the other teams in class as well as competing to be the team leader. I don't love this concept. In my second ride, I was exhausted and didn't want to exert that much energy, so felt like I was letting my team down. Swerve also had TV screens in the room, where you could see the duration of sprints, etc. Halston was one of my favorite instructors from the weekend. She had great style. I'm glad that I went back to take a class with her or else, I wouldn't have liked Swerve as much as I did. They're a great studio with an interesting concept, but not for everyone!
Peloton was the last stop for my Saturday rides. The studio is decadent. You enter through a retail space, head to check in, then sit in the most luxurious waiting room. There is literally a coffee shop inside of the lobby. Peloton sells their bikes and films their rides, so people can workout from their living rooms. This disco theme ride was a request of at an home rider and there was a live DJ. They had a different computer situation on their bikes, but like everyone else, relied on the specs to guide riders to the right resistance. I like this idea, until I can see that the dude in front of me has his resistance so much higher than mine. Oh well. People were enthusiastically dressed up for the theme, even the instructor who made it through class wearing a wig! Cody, the instructor had cool energy, and he was a major babe with a Disney tattoo.The bikes were equipped with Aloe Water from Juice Press, which was a lovely touch. Their bathrooms were stocked full of Malin + Goetz products and adorable succulents. We were given goody bags upon our departure, which consisted of a pen, 1 free ride, coupons and a rose gold key chain. Those extra touches can go a long way, especially for a new rider! After the ride, we got salads at Fresh + Co. and I took a faux nap before dinner.
We had dinner at in Chelsea after burning 2,000 Calories! After dinner, Adam and I met up in and we hit Baraccuda, then my fav gay sports bar, Boxer's. We went a couple of years ago and that's where we met Manila Luzon & Sahara Davenport. Going to familiar places while out of town always makes me feel super cool. Plus, I love any bar with a photo booth!!
After my class at Swerve on Sunday morning, I was determined to find a juice bar! I downloaded the GreenHopping app and found that there might a juice bar on 23rd Street. While there still might be one, I found a macaron shop first. I didn't care that it was 11am and I needed nutrients. The first flavor that I saw was Pink Champagne and I just couldn't resist. There were only 2 left by the time that I got home to VA.
I ended my extravaganza with a calorie fest at Jeepney NYC. I have been cyber stalking this restaurant for awhile now. I just love what they are doing with Filipino food. The restaurant is tucked away in the East Village. The interior of the restaurant has metal on the walls, used to look like the inside of a Jeepney. If you're unfamiliar with this term, Jeepneys are a jeep/bus hybrid and also, the most popular means of public transportation in the Philippines. We sipped on Calamansi Mimosas & JuFran Bloody Marys. We split a Longga Dog to start. I couldn't decide on my meal and opted for the Bicol Benedict, pork shoulder on top of pandesal. Adam got the Chori Burger, which apparently is the best in NYC. I wish he would have added an egg. Makiko got a chicken dish that was served inside of a coconut. We tore up that meat afterwards! I was suffering from major menu regret and wished that I had gotten the Ube pancakes instead. I know this won't be the last time that I go to Jeepney, so I'll just have to wait until next time!! I had a good time introducing Adam & Maki to Halo-halo, which is a Filipino dessert that consists of flan, ice cream, beans, fruit, corn flakes, condensed milk, the list could go on. My family loses their minds over this dessert!! Jeepney, I'll definitely be back, for dinner next time!
My time in NYC is always too short. I always try to make the most of my time in the city. I always just need one…more…day!!