Leading the Group

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At the end of a particularly hard 9:30am class on Saturday, I thanked the class for giving me the extra push that I needed. Riding with 70 faces looking up at me is extra incentive for me to push through the burn. There’s no way I can turn it down because everyone will see me and follow suit. I set the program now I got to follow it.

Having an audience has served me well in my training. No doubt there have been times when I feel tired and breathing is difficult and my legs are filled with lead. But I only have to look up at the room full of people I’m leading and I know that I’d better find the energy to follow through with the sprint I’ve started, or the hill we are climbing. Leading the group means always staying ahead.

It is not uncommon to see me offer the podium bike to students to try- especially in times of sold-out classes with long waitlists – or when I’m on my 3rd class of the day. I believe it’s important for others to try leading and reap the benefits of the unique pressure it places upon you to perform at your best.

Usually I will offer it to a familiar face. Those who frequent the front row and seem confident in their riding. Occasionally I will ask for volunteers. Don, Ben, Meghan, Miriam, Heather, Jessica, Dominique, and Ryan have all been recent podium riders. And all have said YES. IT IS HARD. but also mentioned it’s not so bad. (Ben has since become an instructor, teaching last night in USQ!) 
And who might be next?  Kaz? John? Suzanne? Mary? Zoe? Marika? Kate? Michelle? Brett?
The answer is: Anyone who wants it.

I’d love to hear from those who’ve ridden the podium bike: Share your experience in the comments!

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  • Ben

    For those of you who have never tried it…riding the instructor bike is whole different experience. No one up there to follow, no mirror to see yourself (if you’re used to riding in the front row) and all eyes on you–which means you can’t miss a beat. But the feeling of riding on the podium is amazing. When you’re riding in the pack, sometimes if you sprint a little faster, the rider next to you or behind you will pick up their pace, but up there when you go harder and EVERYONE follows its pretty special.

    Getting on the microphone is a whole other story…you can see me do it again on May 27th at 8:30pm, Soul Cycle Union Square.


  • Dominique

    If you thought you worked out hard, go up there. It is hard but what a push !!! Loved it !!! Ready to go back any time. Thank you Kym for sending me up there. Dominique

  • Kym

    That’s it! You’ll be back up there soon, Dominique! You rode with grace and strength. And the class appreciated it.

    (Dominique actually got spontaneous applause at the end! I didn’t even say anything!)

  • Heather

    I’m a little late to the game, but I have 2 words: DO IT. Okay, maybe more than 2…I was initially hesitant to get up on the podium. I’ve never thought of myself as being particularly athletic or coordinated – the thought of 60+ pairs of eyes watching me do tap-backs and push-ups was more than slightly intimidating – but I’m so grateful that I took Kym up on her generous offer. It was awesome, I worked my booty off, and it really pushed my cycling practice to the next level. Whenever I feel like turning it to the left a little or slowing my achey legs, I remember being up on the instructor bike. As Kym wrote, the energy and motivation that you get from the pack is just amazing and FUN; I loved singing along to “Hang With Me” as we rode out of the saddle. If you ever need me again, Kym, I’m your girl, and everyone else – GET UP THERE!!!

  • Meghan

    Ok so I am completely late to the game here, but I have to say, I second all of this!
    I have been spinning for over 10 years now and the thing I love most about soulcycle is that it provides an entirely different experience on the bike than typical spin classes do. It’s fun, inspiring, energetic, MUCH more meaningful, and of course an overall better workout. Riding the instructor bike takes that experience to a whole NEW level. Talk about an adrenalin rush! Nerve-wracking, yes a little bit, but you get over that quickly because you have to focus. It’s a great time to work on your form too – with all those eyes on you, you have no choice but to clean it up!
    I’ve ridden the instructor bike in Kym’s bands class as well as soulsurvivor class and have LOVED every minute. Thanks for the opportunity Kym!
    And to the rest of you – the view is great from up there, give it shot!

  • Jessica

    So, I started doing SoulCycle about a year ago when i decided that i was going to transition from just a runner to triathlons. I had signed up for a race, but really had little/no experience on the bike. Needless to say, I quickly fell into the Soul addiction and it became a very key part of my weekly training schedule. By the time race day was approaching, I was feeling pretty confident that I had put the time in to accomplish the task at hand. The weekend before the race, I decided to go to Soul for one final @ss-kicking. Little did I know that I would get the opportunity to ride up on the podium. Although intimidating at first, it was such an awesome experience and really gave me that final boost of confidence I needed just before the big race day. There is no cheating up there b/c everyone’s eyes are on you! And when Kym says to turn it up, you kinda have to turn it up- b/c again.. everyone’s eyes are on you. It really enhances the whole riding experience- it forces you to stay honest not only on pace, but also resistance, and not to mention form- basically the whole lot! So a big thx to Kym and totally encourage the rest to get on up there!


    • Kym

      Right on! So Jess, you need to get Pete to talk about his experience yesterday. He looked like he was really having fun! Even when I kept saying “right arm” and doing the left – ha! But He held it down!

  • Marian Gibbon

    I’m way late to this party, so suffice it to say–ditto, what they said. And if Kym taps you, don’t say no, just trust that if she thinks you can do it, you can do it (and it will be fun! I said no the first time, but not the second, it was fun.). Also–respect to those who ride the podium in bands class–that’s a whole different level.