The last time I took a spinning class was 15 years ago. So when my editor assigned me the job of writing an article about Flywheel on Larchmont, let’s just say jumping for joy was not part of the workout.
But it’s my job, and I’ll do anything for my favorite local newspaper.
The moment I showed up at Flywheel, I could tell the world of indoor cycling had changed drastically in the last 15 years. The space was squeaky clean, bright, and the employees greeted me enthusiastically.
“Everyone is important to us,” said Alyssa Mandell, Flywheel’s Larchmont marketing coordinator, who looks like she takes about 50 cycling classes per day. “We want to make sure the instructors know you, your body and can give you the full cycling experience.”
To my delight, I found that Flywheel makes working out easy. They provide the cycling shoes, the towels, lockers, and even a filtered water system that includes both ice-cold water and room temperature options. Basically, all you have to do is get yourself there, and the rest is taken care of by people who want you to succeed.
Flywheel opened its first location in Manhattan in 2010, and currently has 25 locations throughout the world, including West Hollywood and Larchmont.
“Each studio has its own identity,” says Mandell. “Here in Larchmont we have lots of locals… moms and friends who then go have lunch… some people even come in as families with their kids. We are an inclusive environment where everyone can feel comfortable.”
A total of 14 instructors rotate through 45-minute classes that begin at 6:15 a.m. and go until 7:30 p.m. Instructors choose their own music, pace and tempo, so it’s easy to find a class that suits your style.
The climate-controlled cycling room holds 46 bikes, and of the 25 riders in my class, I was the obvious newbie. The bikes these days are way more sophisticated than bikes of the past. A tech pack attached to the bike measures your RPM’s, torque and power. You can create an account online and follow your own workout, keeping track of your progress and personal goals over the months. Then, in class, you can log in and compete against yourself, others in the class, or choose not to log in at all.
Once my cycling shoes were strapped on, a technician helped me onto my bike, made sure the settings were correct for my height, and clicked my shoes into the pedals.
I was trapped. There was no going back.
Suddenly, to my great joy, the lights dimmed! Anonymity while working out is a very good thing, I quickly decided. A spotlight isolated the instructor up front, Tevia Celli-Recht, and the class began.
Warming up was the toughest part. Going from zero to anything after 15 years is never easy. I pushed through the blurry, unbalanced stars in my eyes and suddenly found myself in a rhythm.
Our class of cyclers pushed hard. We sat in the “saddle,” then pedaled hard up on our feet. We never, ever, hung our heads. We lifted arm weights. We focused on our core. We sweated. We sipped water. We hung on every word as Celli-Recht motivated us to keep going. Before I knew it, the class was over and I could still walk and talk. I survived.
“We want people to feel good physically and mentally when they leave,” says Mandell. “It’s much more than just a workout.”
I have to admit, after my session, I never felt better in my life.
Flywheel Sports, 147 N. Larchmont Blvd., 323-446-2425, www.los-angeles.flywheelsports.com.
By Sondi Toll Sepenuk