Are you a cycling enthusiast who wants to take a break from the outdoor elements? Look no further than Election Cycle DC (ECDC) (1108 H St. NE). The spin studio opened its doors Inauguration Day, 2018.
‘We’re the only spin studio on H, so we filled a niche for our neighbors –who have been largely so welcoming,’ commented Candace Geller, ECDC founder and owner.
The ‘Political Party’ is the most commonly held class. Others include happy hour rides, Trap Cycle, and various pop-up themed rides.
‘Each of our instructors brings their own flavor to class. They decide on themes and music,’ noted Geller. ‘We have a good variety, which is why many of our riders love the studio.’
Riders can expect some combination of hills, sprints, jogs, and an upper body section in each class, all of which are capped at 25 riders.
Thursday night’s 6:30 p.m. Trap Cycle class is a crowd favorite. The lobby space is bustling during transitions between back-to-back evening classes as the 6:30 p.m. riders check in at the same time as the 5:30 p.m. class exits the adjacent studio.
Despite this, Trap Cycle instructor Bethany still found me on my bike in the back. She helped me adjust the seat height and ensure that my cycling shoes, which all riders wear, were properly secured to the pedals. She was equipped with a microphone so I could hear her directions even over the unedited, booming playlist.
Spinning is great, low impact cardio and ECDC classes incorporate hand weights to ensure a full-body workout. All classes in this austere yet cozy space are 50 minutes, set to music and held in a dimly-lit studio, ‘the spin room’. Bikes are close to one another, but not cramped, with the instructor bike staged up front.
‘At a locally-owned operation like ECDC, you can really get a personalized experience that you’ll have a hard time finding at a larger chain,’ offered Liz Gallagher, an ECDC Schwinn-certified instructor. ‘The instructors at local studios are able to focus on helping individual riders perfect their form and ensure that they are getting the best workout they can and [on] not getting injured.”
ECDC bikes are technology-free. Riders manually adjust their own pedaling resistance. Instructors provide cues on when and how to adjust resistance, how fast to pedal, and what choreography to follow, but ultimately its each rider versus themselves. ‘We consider ourselves to be a friendly neighborhood studio that thinks working out is for everyone and we try to make it a little less intimidating while still working you hard and having fun,’ said Geller.
‘For me, it’s all about the judgment-free zone and friendly community that they have built,’ explained ECDC member Amy Kelley, who has been taking spin classes since 1997.
ECDC regularly holds charity rides and offers special membership packages for teachers and government employees. ‘We really view ourselves as a community and work hard to make sure the environment in the studio reflects that as well,’ said ECDC Manager Vanessa Young, ‘and we care about the things our community cares about.”
“We don’t want to be one of those places that come into a neighborhood and makes no effort to be a part of it.’
Sounds like one election cycle we can all be happy with.
A few things to know:
- Cubbies are in the back of the spin room for riders to store their belongings and there is only one bathroom with a shower, also in the spin room. Riders should plan to arrive early to check in, put stuff away, set up their bike, and get hand weights, if needed.
- Class prices are less than what is found at larger spin chains and include shoes (if available), a towel, and a eucalyptus towel at the end of class. There is a water cooler to fill up bottles and bottled water is for sale.
- Spin is a great workout, but listen to your body – ‘If your body isn’t feeling it that day, turn the resistance down! If you’re feeling like a boss or need to sweat out a stressful day at work, crank it up,’ said Gallagher.
Scarlett Salem, M.S., MPH has written in local publications covering area events and happenings. She enjoys public health, fitness, learning, and all things wellness.