Bike lanes are popping up all over the city, and there are plenty of trails to explore, but sometimes hitting your local studio is the best way to get your cycling fix.
You don’t have to worry about the weather or fuss with a flat tire. Just sign up for a class and show up ready to ride (and sweat — a lot!). Maybe you own your own pair of shoes to clip in, and maybe you haven’t pedaled since childhood but with classes featuring flashing lights and speakers on blast to high-tech rides that allow you to compete with other cyclists, DC has an indoor cycling studio for you.
You’ve probably heard the hype about this popular studio; SoulCycle’s classes all over DC bring together a tough workout with the latest music. Don’t expect to hear too many old classics in this class, though — it’s all about the new jams! Fighting off the urge to pump your fist or raise the roof, the class uses light dumbbells to incorporate some arm work too. Shoes are available for rent (your first time is free); otherwise, bring your own. Though, if you’re worried about stinky feet, the studio’s grapefruit-scented candles will do the trick.
This small, no-frills studio in Eckington is unlike most of the other studios in our city. You won’t find any fancy lights changing colors or scented candles here! Most of the classes are taught by serious cyclists who will lead you through more structured drills to prepare you for long bike rides. A projector at the front of class shows your stats compared to the cyclist next to you, and since class sizes are usually small, it can get quite competitive. Make sure to hop onto your assigned bike to get your stats emailed to you after class.
Pedaling in Penn Quarter, this studio offers a mix of yoga and cycling classes. While the yoga classes here are all about finding your zen, the loud, pumping music of the cycling next door is sure to make you want to dance! Classes here are no joke, and you’ll be working up a sweat in no time. The lights in the room will make you feel like you’ve stepped out of a cycling class and into a club, especially when they change color to coordinate with the song. Spin shoes are optional. Fitt tip: There’s usually one song where the instructor gives you free reign to sprint or climb to the beat of your own drum… or Bieber song.
This basement-level studio is another one of the biggest classes in DC. With tons of bikes and blue mood lighting, the energy of this class is hard to beat. Instructors’ playlists vary, but usually include a bit of a theme (think the Jackson Five, from their early hits to Janet to Michael. Though, we’re all for MJ). The wholesome package, classes often start with spa-like music and instructors encourage you to set your intention for the day.
This adorable converted row home in Capitol Hill has barre classes upstairs and Spin classes downstairs. Although each Spinning instructor’s playlist varies, they usually play a mix of old-school 90s hits and the latest jams. Classes incorporate a mix of hill climbs, sprints, and bike push-ups. And the dark room, with only a few strategically lit candles, will allow you to zone out while you get your sweat on. Want to know what’s really fresh? Cool, damp, mint-scented towels are passed around at the end of class!
If partying on a bike with your own private DJ sounds like fun, CycleBar is the studio for you! Their high-intensity, theater-like cycling studio offers a variety of classes — from themed rides like “Beyonce vs. Jay-Z,” to more restorative classes like their “Connect Rides,” CycleBar can accommodate all your needs. Check out their Arlington, Falls Church, and NE studios to snag a sweet deal for new customers, and grab a complimentary water bottle and banana on your way out.
Flywheel, in both Dupont and CityCentreDC incorporates the latest technology by displaying your bike stats on the large screen at the front of room. With stadium seating, you’ll get a solid view of the instructor no matter where you sit, too. The only catch is that bikes are assigned, so don’t expect to walk in and snag a bike right next to your cycling buddy unless you two planned ahead. Spin shoes are available for rent; otherwise, bring your own. And in addition to amazing showers and facilities, Flywheel offers bowls of free bananas and apples!
Ascend Cycle is a locally owned and operated cycling studio, with all the charm of its quiet neighborhood in Alexandria. Classes are designed by instructors to help you reach “peak performance,” or “ascend.” And they’re all about inner power as much as outer power, strengthening your mental and physical health in one class. With challenging climbs, fast sprints, a lively community, and incredible music, Ascend is sure to leave you with a natural high.
This new spot on U Street shares its bikes with the barre studio. So, in addition to your basic Dailey Cycle class, Dailey Method offers hour-long classes that include a half hour of bike and a half hour of barre. The bike portion of class is a little less intense than some of the other studios in DC, so this is a good class for beginners. Fitt tip: It can be difficult to see the instructor from the back of the class, so get there early to snag a bike in the front. Be brave!
Serving our neighbors in Shaw, this studio offers a ton of classes from TRX to reformer Pilates to bootcamps, and more. The spin class, located downstairs, is strictly-business (all exercise, all day) but still a blast! Instructors of this class have a lot of great energy and fun playlists that will have you wishing you were out dancing with your friends instead of pedaling away on your stationary bike (in a good way). These classes take place at different times on different days of the week, so be sure to check the schedule carefully before you sign up for a class. Can you tell this was learned the hard way?
With eight different cycling classes to choose from, you’ll never be bored at Off Road. Want to get a killer core workout while on the bike? No problem. Only have 30 minutes to an intense sweat on? Yep, they’ve got you covered. Consistently voted as one of DC’s best, this U Street studio is literally award-winning. Fitt tip: if you’re looking to double up on your workout, Off Road also has boxing and strength classes, too. Talk about a jack-of-all-trades.
VCycle is part of the ever-popular LavaBarre in DC. They specialize in a total body workout on the bike, incorporating exercises to improve cardiovascular endurance, strength, and core. VCycle even adds TRX, resistance bands, and barre moves to add that extra oomph to your class. Swing by their Clarendon studio to witness the oomph firsthand!
H Street’s Election Cycle welcomes elephants in the room, donkeys on bikes, and porcupines to boot (yes, that’s a symbol of the Libertarian party, we promise). DC’s fitness community is all over supporting this kind of party. Beat-inspired cycling classes combined with HIIT-style workouts will leave you as breathless as a 15-hour filibuster. If you need an extra pump, free weights are available and incorporated into many classes. Here’s to the right to bare arms.