There are so many observed holidays of big and small magnitude throughout the year, so it’s highly likely that you wouldn’t know that today, June 3, is designated as World Bicycle Day. But considering all the ways in which bikes have been embraced, especially during the pandemic, not only as a means of transportation but also for fitness and to be outside without being too close to others, it’s one we should celebrate. And plenty of Black women and men have embraced cycling, so much so that a number of studios and clubs owned and operated by Black people have popped up around the country for novice and expert bicyclists alike to join. Some are newer, others have been around for some time. They all managed to survive and even thrive during the pandemic, which is a major feat as many were forced to switch things up, either going virtual or taking classes outdoors over the last year.
Cycling is a full-body workout that any body will greatly benefit from, and you can get it in a very fun way with help from the following businesses and meetups.
Founded by Briana Owens, this popular Bed-Stuy studio “is a lifestyle fitness brand offering cycling classes crafted around being self-aware, confident, and strong, all while turning-up!!” The space also celebrates Hip-Hop culture, both in the music and also in the huge photographic mural featuring Brooklyn’s finest rappers, including Lil Kim and Jay-Z.
A pop-up spin studio, Cycle Therapy founder Aaron Foster brings the city out for his high energy classes. His message is that “You are free to fly!” during them, while also getting an intense, fun workout in at the same time.
Ryde FYR founder Chevy Laurent’s premium cycling studio is an innovative one, the first spin space in the area offering heated rides. Currently though, Laurent and her instructors are sticking to outdoor classes at the studio, and the experience is still turnt as you can see thanks to the instructors and those headphones. They allow riders to turn up the music for the class as loud as they want as they feel the burn.
Live Cycle Delight has two locations, one offering hot classes. As they say, “Live Cycle Delight promotes the nurturing of an active lifestyle. All-level-fitness practitioners join together to Train, Sweat, and Restore through focused body work and shared energy.” This space was founded by Amina Daniels.
Founded by Drew Bennett in the middle of the pandemic and the social unrest of last summer, the aim was to just bring together some friends to do something fun and safe at a heavy time. It would develop into a club that now brings together large groups of riders for events, including an upcoming Juneteenth ride. “Good Co. Bike Club was created to bridge the black community through the love of cycling,” the site says. “We’ve created a lane for people to ride together and enjoy what the city has to offer all while connecting with Good Company.”
You’ve likely seen Keith Thompson’s KTX Fitness classes on social media, as they’re too lit to ignore. His high energy keeps his class participants engaged, and the music, as well as his dance moves off and on the bike, also keep people packed in his ATL classes. The offerings are available now via Zoom and also all around the country. Thompson goes on tours to help people get fit and have fun. See his site for upcoming dates.
Founded by Sevana Draayer, this LA-based spin studio helps you “harness the invigorating joy of collective movement with a low-impact, accessible workout customized to your holistic needs.” If you can’t make it to the renovated space (which looks amazing!), livestream options are available from wherever you are in the country.
A staple of Uptown, Harlem Cycle is the “1st and only boutique fitness studio that focuses on indoor cycling, strength, cardio, and mobility training.” It also is one of the few businesses in NYC that’s chosen to continue to focus on virtual classes while other studios, closed since March 2020, finally reopened in March of 2021. Owner Tammeca Rochester says that’s because the health of Harlem Cycle riders is most important to her.
“Despite fearing that I may lose my business I’m even more fearful of putting my community at risk,” she wrote in Men’s Health in May. “I want to be as safe as possible and take it one step at a time.”
The studio, taking all the precautions necessary, will be inviting riders back into the studio on June 19.
A “black-owned, woman-owned and LGBTQ-owned and run business,” For The People prides itself on being fun and lighthearted, cheering on participants while also making sure you feel the burn. You can expect “a full body workout consisting of high-intensity intervals, resistance-focused cardio and arm segments all packaged in a 45 or 60 minute rhythm-based cycle class” from their offerings. As an added bonus, they also give back.
For those outside of the city, Jazzy Spin is helping those in Long Island exercise while also being entertained. Founder and cycling coach Jazz “specializes in a unique cycle class turned up to a whole new level,” which is obvious to see from the hype workout clips on the IG page.
Kellie Hart’s RideWitUs not only is a physical bike shop on Slauson Avenue, but it’s also a bicycle club led by Kellie and six other leaders: Darrnell, Derrick, Kam, Mike, Rich, and Tone. The store’s mission is to “provide the community one-of-a-kind, high quality Fixies (and other bike types)” at a time when finding a truly great bike is hard, while the club seeks to get the Black community active and healthier. Get a bike, and then get your ride on with the crew.
- Spain is among a number of countries pushing hard for international vaccine certificates to be ready for the summer season.