Heavy Metal Spin Class Is a Thing

Categories: Metal

Halston Bruce, cycling instructor
A tune by Death pumped through the speakers in the basement of SYNCStudio in Williamsburg. Halston Bruce, a tattooed chick with curly red hair, donned a headset microphone and mounted her stationary bike. This innaugural heavy metal cycling class (last Thursday) had been her longtime vision, and she percolated with excitement.

"Let's turn this basement into a double bass-ment!" she proclaimed.

Cue the Led Zeppelin.

See also: Heavy Metal Yoga Is a Thing

Cycling, a.k.a. "spinning," has become inexplicably trendy, with entire gyms devoted to this one activity. Typically, the accompaniment is remixed pop fare: Beyonce, Katy Perry, etc. For some fitness fans, this works fine. But for others, the thought of listening to such mixes for an hour is as palatable as the sound of a dentist drill. (An employee at David Barton Gym at Astor Place once told me the spinning class there was all Britney Spears. I knew then I was touring the wrong gym.) The de-motivator of bad music had kept me away from group classes. Upon learning that this one would be 100% metal, I'd decided to give it a chance.

When an assistant showed me how to clip my special rental shoes to the bike pedals, my commitment to the next 45 minutes locked into focus. Like being secured to a roller coaster, there was a feeling of reassurance mixed with terror. I was now one with the bike, ready to attempt my first "ride."

Halston pedaled in time with "Rock and Roll" by Led Zep (arguably not metal, but this was just the warm up), calling out, "Up! Up!," indicating our knees. It hit me that she was not simply marking the common-time rhythm: she was double-timing it, cycling in eighth notes! John Bonham himself might not have matched the pace. Her legs became a blur of circular motion. She was the Looney Tunes roadrunner and I a straggling Wiley Coyote. My only lucid thought was, "What have I gotten myself into?"

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