Every week, Halftime staff writer Tim Annick enumerates on the more ridiculous aspects of Georgetown culture in the regular satire column “Just the Basics.”
Every Monday morning at Starbucks across the District, SoulCycle devotees hunch over their computers and frantically check their phones. That’s because, around 10AM, SoulCycle D.C. sends out an email: “THIS WEEK AT SOULCYCLE D.C.!” Caps-lock, exclamation point, and all, because it’s about to go down. What’s in that email, you outsiders may be asking? Well, besides marking the time when class reservations open for the week—noon on Monday, of course—it also announces the weekly (or biweekly) themed classes, which include everything from “80s Dance Ride” to “Madonna Ride” to “Kendrick Lamar Vs. Kanye Ride.”
For those of whose souls haven’t awakened to the amazing and transformative power that is SoulCycle, let me clue you in: it’s the new Cult of Magna Mater. If you’re among the chosen ones, the Spinnerati, you might even catch a glimpse of the High Priestess Beyoncé herself worshipping at the Soul sanctuary. Once you start, you’ll never be able to stop, as the New York Times reported when the TriBeCa SoulCycle closed for renovations recently:
But rock stars, as SoulCycle calls its riders (who include Lena Dunham, Harry Styles of One Direction, Oprah Winfrey and, since a SoulCycle opened in Washington in August, Michelle Obama) accept no substitutes.
“Once you go Soul, you can’t go back,” said Suzanne Xie, who rides at TriBeCa on weekends.
Yes, it’s emasculating as can be, but you walk out of each class with an endorphin rush that will prevent you from shooting your husband any day:
But all of this is contingent on whether or not you can actually get into a class. When that weekly email goes live on District Mondays, group texts on phones across George Washington’s and Georgetown’s campuses–which usually just share kale smoothie recipes–explode with which classes to take, with which instructor, at what time, and on which bikes. Once all the information has been agreed upon, plans set, and brunch reservations made for after class, the Spinnerati sit in front of their computers frantically refreshing Safari until 12PM noon rolls around.
At noon, the schedule goes live, and, your heart pounding, you hysterically click on your chosen class(es) to make reservations. The themed classes literally fill up in seconds, whereas the regular scheduled classes fill up more slowly. But unless you’re taking one of the 7AM classes, chances are that all bikes will be gone unless you are 1) at your computer 2) at noon and 3) frenetically refreshing.
Just like Chloe Sevigny abandoned Manhattan’s East Village for Park Slope in Brooklyn, so, too, has classic restaurant culture been replaced by fitness culture. Forget getting a reservation at Dorsia–just hope you’ve got a reservation for SoulCycle. Otherwise, your social life is basically over as you know it.
Photo: Elements of Style Blog