This post was first published by The Croydon Citizen on 13/04/2018.
MyPTCycle: the new centre of power for Croydon’s movers, shakers and spinners
Deep in the recesses of St George’s Walk, a little bit up from the cool stylings of RISEgallery and a little bit down from benches where the skaters hang out is MyPTCyle: an indoor spin-class studio.
A spin class is a high-intensity cycling workout that takes place on a stationary bike. Classes last for around 45 minutes, led by an instructor who calls out intervals (when to pedal hard and when to slow it down). Participants can expect to leave sweaty and with heavy legs.
Ten years ago, New York company SoulCycle took indoor cycling and gave it an injection of cool – they added motivational instructors, danceable soundtracks and a party vibe to create an exercise class that fitness fans got hooked on. London has currently gone ga-ga for spin classes and it’s now the newest, coolest exercise class in Croydon.
You can chant motivational mantras and pedal away by candlelight
Places such as Psycle and BoomCycle have sprung up in central London; there you can pedal away in a candlelit gym studio, while your fellow classmates cheer, chant motivational mantras and collapse in tears over the handlebars to a background of similarly clubby music. Lady Gaga, Katie Holmes, Chelsea Clinton and Jake Gyllenhaal swear by it. And now Croydon has a cool spin studio of its own.
MyPTCycle is an off-shoot of the MyPTStudio: a state-of-the-art training and fitness studio also housed in St George’s Walk.
The co-owner of the spin studio is Pete ‘Call Me Joel’ Joel – a no-nonsense personal trainer who has the patience of a saint when it comes to me rocking up late and trying to get into a class at the last minute (pro tip: make sure you get to spin classes early if you want a seat).
This is just the ticket before you go and destroy all your hard work at Boxpark
The rest of the MyPTCycle team (who I’ve met) are all fantastic: Peter is a crazy Dutchman, who is so positive that no matter how bad your day has been, you’ll feel better just by talking to him. Cass brings the club classics and the UK garage on Friday afternoons, which is just the ticket before I go and undo all my hard work at Boxpark. Andre is the friendliest person I know whose muscles have their own gravitational field.
I’d always suspected that fitness instructors were vain meatheads who got their kicks from making the less physically able feel terrible about themselves. The reality is completely the opposite: the trainers at MyPTCycle are serious about getting Croydonians into the best shape of their lives in a way that is achievable and enjoyable, and are deeply committed to helping others reach their personal fitness goals.
To say that MyPTCycle is simply a place for spin classes is to do it a great disservice. It’s also the place where Croydon’s movers and shakers converge after a hard day of work.
On any given night you can find people like Maddy Duxbury, creator of East Croydon Cool, or Anna Arthur, founder of the Croydonites Theatre Festival, or Marlon and Tanya, the duo behind the exclusive Croydon Foodies meetups, or Hannah Luffman, the Croydon Queen of Events, all there pedalling (and chatting) away. Forget Matthews Yard or the Town Hall, the real business deals and political machinations go down whilst doing a sweaty hill climb to ‘Born Slippy’.
And that really is the wonderful, unintended consequence of using MyPTCycle: the fellowship. You get to meet all sorts of interesting people from different backgrounds and paths in life, all of whom are living, working and playing in Croydon, and are united in their commitment to spinning away those rogue calories. I used to go to Psycle on Great Portland Street a few years ago, but I’m really pleased that Croydon now has places like MyPTCycle. MyPTCycle is proof that you don’t need to travel all the way to Zone 1 for a quality spin-class experience.