I had never tried indoor cycling prior to my first class at Salt Cycle Studios, but I had always loved the music, style, and all-around fierceness of Beyoncé. When I saw that the Tiverton studio offered a Beyoncé/Nicki Minaj duel-themed glow-in-the-dark ride, I realized it was destiny(’s child) that it would be my first spin experience.
I was warmly greeted by instructor/owner Kayla Couto at the front desk as I arrived for the 6pm class. A former optician, Kayla switched career paths and opened Salt Cycle in 2016. She now has clients from the East Bay, Newport, and southern Mass. She provided me with a pair of the cycling shoes available to rent: sneakers with metal clips on the sole that secure to each bike pedal. While the front half of Salt Cycle has a cozy beach house vibe, the spin studio’s dark purple and pink lighting, stellar sound system, and glowing Himalayan salt lamps feel like a posh dance club, with bikes.
Class members got to choose which spin “team” they wanted to be on: team Beyoncé or team Nicki. Since I’ve technically been on Queen B’s team since 1999 (when DC3 was DC4), the choice was easy. I grabbed my purple glow-in-the-dark bracelet and headed into the studio. Our instructors/dueling spin divas that evening were Sarah – team Yoncé – and Melanie – team Nicki. Sarah adjusted my saddle (cycling-speak for bike seat) to fit my height, helped secure my cycling shoes to the pedals, and gave me a thorough tutorial on how to ride and adjust the wheel tension while executing the choreography (rhythmic exercises done while cycling). Sarah explained that riding to the rhythm was an integral part of the workout and should be my primary focus as a first-time rider. Above all else, however, she emphasized that I ride at a pace and resistance level that I was comfortable with.
Class began with a warmup, cycling while seated, and gradually moving our feet: a quick reminder of how out-of-shape I was. After a brief period of off-the-beat, hunched-over cycling, I got into the groove and was pedaling in perfect rhythm to “Drunk in Love.” I thought I was slaying the cycle game, but when the instructors began incorporating choreography, my pedaling princess aura went bye-bye. While attempting a cycling “push-up” off the handles, I displayed the same awkwardness that takes over dogs when they try walking in booties. I just wasn’t ready (for that jelly) and for a brief moment, became slightly discouraged. Remembering Sarah’s advice, I shifted my focus to just getting into the beat of the song, which at that moment was “Super Bass.” If I wasn’t able to incorporate additional movements into my cycling, then I would just pedal to the rhythm in my own tour de fierce through the rest of class.
The standing intervals and even the seated cycling became gradually harder, but when the first “oh-oh-oh’s” of “Single Ladies” came on, the already high energy of all the cycle ladies (and men) went to the next level. The biking burn was no match for Queen B.
For the final spin, what better song is there to end a class full of fierce females than “Run the World (Girls)”? The fast-paced cycling combined with rhythmic spurts of core and arm exercises turned the spin studio into a pedaling powerhouse. Melanie’s and Sarah’s infectiously positive attitudes pushed me to try the dance-like exercises once more, which I sort of succeeded in doing! We then cooled down with a slowly paced cycle, followed by a well-deserved stretch.
Since I haven’t reached that endorphin level in the past decade, I wasn’t bothered that it took a couple of days for the soreness in my muscles (and booty) to go away. Before I left the studio, Melanie recorded my bike adjustments so I’d be prepared for my next ride. I’m currently putting together all my neon workout attire because the next Salt Cycle class I attend will definitely be the rave-themed glow-ride.
Salt Cycle Studios
1315 Main Road, Tiverton • 401-816-0404