Colbert: Getting my SoulCycle on | AspenTimes.com

Colbert: Getting my SoulCycle on

Destination SOUL: Aspen is open through Jan. 2. The one-of-a-kind cycling expereince has classes daily at $40 each.

Before I knew what I was getting myself into, I said yes.

I had never taken a cycling class in my life, but when I was given the chance to try SoulCycle, Aspen's new destination pop-up, I was assured my lack of experience in that setting wasn't going to be a problem.

After 45 minutes of misery, I was thrilled to have walked away under my own power.

First, what is SoulCycle? According to its website, the first studio opened in 2006 in New York City, and now has studios all over the country, with most based in the Northeast or California.

Dubbed "Destination SOUL: Aspen," the local studio — located at 534 E. Cooper Ave. — only will be around through Jan. 2. Classes are held every day at 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., and costs $40 per class (this includes shoe rental).

In the simplest terms, SoulCycle is a cycling class. It's not that out of the ordinary compared to what most are probably used to. However, it has some quirks to it that make it stand out from the crowd.

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"SoulCycle doesn't just change bodies, it changes lives," its website reads. "With inspirational instructors, candlelight, epic spaces, and rocking music, riders can let loose, clear their heads and empower themselves with strength that lasts beyond the studio walls."

Nearly 40 of us, including our straight-from-L.A. instructor, Roarke, crammed into the small, temporary studio on Cooper Friday, the distinctive yellow of the SoulCycle bikes soon vanishing as the lights went out.

I've never spent much time cycling in the dark in a small, 80-degree room full of strangers before, but it wasn't as bad as it sounds. Roarke was plenty motivating, pushing even myself — seriously, my cardio level is that of a sloth — to pedal for the full 45 minutes.

The "soul" part of the class comes from the music, where you are often asked to pedal to the beat. Add in random exercises, like push-ups while pedaling and some light dumbbell work (again, while pedaling … you'll never stop pedaling), and you have a one-of-a-kind cycling experience.

Is it for everyone? Probably not. But even I enjoyed it, and I'll be the last one to scream excitedly from my bike about how much fun I'm having (this is apparently something people actually do).

If you have one of those high-energy personalities and enjoy upbeat, high-energy cycling classes, this one is for you. If you prefer to plug your own ear buds in and forget the world, maybe SoulCycle isn't your thing.

But, if you want to give something new a try, SoulCycle's energetic atmosphere will certainly get you in the mood for one heck of a New Year's Eve party.

Check out http://www.soul-cycle.com for more.

acolbert@aspentimes.com