Boston’s hottest new club may be found in an unlikely place—tucked into an intimate corner inside the recently opened David Barton Gym at the Park Plaza Hotel.
Yes, Beantown is the latest city to get its very own Cyc, the party-on-a-bike cycling studio that’s been expanding rapidly across the country. First born in big university towns—Austin, Texas, and Madison, Wisconsin—it seems like a perfect fit for the East Coast’s most collegiate city.
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“We are psyched to open in Boston, an active, young, sports-minded market which suits our method very well,” says founder and CEO Stephen Nitkin, who opened this location in late June, debuted another studio in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen a week later, and has plans to open three more before the end of the year.
We stopped by to see how the first New England studio stacks up…
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Small blue lights on the gym ceiling guide you to Cyc’s sleek all-white lobby, with a check-in desk (where you can grab complimentary shoes and purchase water bottles), cubbies for shoes, and lockers.
As I waited to be let in for my sweat-inducing 45-minute ride, I was surrounded by a bevy of fit Bostonians who looked nearly ready for cocktails at the hotel’s new Strip by Strega restaurant.
Inside the 48-bike studio, energetic instructors are referred to as “cycologists,” and mine, Stephanie Dietz, kept the class pedaling to the beat while sprinting around the room cheering riders on and turning up resistance.
Two main elements set the method apart from other spin classes offered in Boston: First, while most studios are totally dark or lit with candles, Dietz changed the overhead lights from purple to green to pitch black throughout, setting a tone for different segments that helped me push through challenging stretches.
And while you may be used to on-bike choreography like tap-backs, Cyc’s unique method, developed by superstar Keoni Hudoba, incorporates tough cycling intervals with heavy resistance and several songs that use sand-bag weights to tone your arms using familiar sports moves from boxing, basketball, and swimming.
The studio will also be introducing theme rides (cue your best Beyonce performance?), and after every class, like at NYC’s Astor Place Cyc studio, you get full access to David Barton’s gym locker room, so you really can refresh and go grab that well-deserved drink without even leaving the building. —Jessica Laniewski Bowne
Cyc Fitness, $27 per class, 50 Park Plaza, Boston, MA, 02116, 617-830-6745, www.cycfitness.com
(Photos: Cyc, Cyc Boston)