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First Ride Report: Cyc Fitness

During class, Hudoba has riders wave their towels in the air. (Photo: Cyc Fitness)


“Welcome to the show!!” Keoni Hudoba shouted into his microphone as class started at the brand-new Cyc Fitness inside DavidBartonGym at Astor Place. “I literally demand audience participation.”

And while it may not be The Book of Mormon, the method the beloved trainer has created at Cyc really does come with entertainment value worthy of the stage, plus completely original out-of-the-saddle strength training that would make Spinning purists faint.

We stopped by during opening week to bring you this First Ride Report:

The Space: Cyc staffers greet you their own table in the gym’s lobby, where you’ll check in and be given directions to the studio, located on a lower level. Downstairs, past flocked wall paper and velvet loveseats, Cyc occupies a carved-out space in the back, where a proper check-in desk hands out shoes and water, and a bench with shoe cubbies is packed with riders waiting for the next class. The studio itself has 50 bikes and they’re positioned with much more generous spacing than the norm, so you don’t smack your neighbor during weighted songs (although they may pack more bikes in soon). It also shares its floor with the women’s locker room and coat check (convenient!).

Inside the Astor Place studio. (Photo: Lisa Elaine Held for Well+Good)

The Ride: Bikes come equipped with screens that track some stats, but you won’t use them. And don’t expect road race simulations. Instead, you’ll be pedaling to match the rhythm of each high-energy song (and the level of Hudoba’s enthusiasm), with medium to high resistance throughout the class, tap backs, and group choreography.

The most unique aspect of the ride is the weight training on the bike. You’ll pick up one- to three-pound weights for four full songs, and execute a combination of movements you’ve probably done on a bike (overhead presses) and compound movements drawn from sports training. Think boxing combinations and moving your arms like a swimmer doing a freestyle stroke and a backstroke. And much of these are done while pedaling out of the saddle, which takes some getting used to. (Hudoba offers staying seated as an option, too.) Eventually, the studio will offer heavier weights, as well. It’s challenging but Hudoba’s dynamic direction and charisma keep you going. You get the sense he’s working ridiculously hard just for you—which makes you push yourself harder.

The Nitty Gritty: Classes are $25, plus $2 for shoes. The price comes with access to DavidBartonGym’s facilities, excluding its group classes, within two hours of your scheduled Cyc class. Cyc riders share the main locker rooms with gym goers—don’t forget to bring a lock. —Lisa Elaine Held

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