On Monday, I had the pleasure of attending my first ride at Swerve, a new indoor cycling studio located in Flatiron District. The studio, which opened about two weeks ago, was founded by three former college athletes who grew tired of working out on their own. They missed the added motivation of being part of a team. They missed the feeling of being accountable to not only show up, but to push yourself for the good of the group. So, they created Swerve, a team-based cycling workout held in a studio that’s designed to help you connect with others–before, during, and after class.
I was impressed by Swerve before I even clipped in for the ride. The branding of their website is eye-catching and intentional. The entrance to the studio is much larger and more open than others. Aside from the front desk, the lobby includes a retail area (offering larger brands like Nike and smaller ones like Cory Vines), a wall of lockers, and a juice bar with seating. Very few boutique fitness studios offer a juice bar on site. Swerve is currently serving superfood smoothies, Liquiteria cold pressed juices, and small healthy snacks. It’s a perfect place to fuel before an early-morning workout or after an evening workout. This large, open area is meant to be a place for people to gather and catch up, rather than rushing out the door after class.
The studio itself is on the bottom floor. As with other cycling studios in the city, it has soft lighting and bikes arranged in rows on various platforms. However, I immediately noticed both the overhead colored lights and the large monitors in the front. During each ride, the group is broken up into three teams–red, green, and blue. Every bike is wired to record the intensity of its rider’s output. The output is averaged for each team and displayed on the monitors at different points during the class. I can see how coming to Swerve with a group of coworkers or friends would stir up some competition. My ride was a mixture of both new and experienced riders and was led by New York City newbie Trisha Kinsman.
Trisha is so new to the NYC scene that I can’t find her on Rate Your Burn yet. Her playlist mostly consisted of hip hop music, and the ride was a nice balance between quick sprints and thick hills. During certain power intervals, she jumped off the bike, stood among the pack, and lit the monitors from an iPad to show which team was leading. The technology used to enhance the ride is impressive. Sources tell me that there are more tech-savvy surprises to come.
I definitely felt as though Trisha was coaching, not simply instructing, the three teams through class. The Swerve ride also includes a weights segment. The repetitions were a bit fast for my taste, but I always think an upper body segment is a nice break from the ride. In the end, my team didn’t win. Sighhh. I’m planning to try Dougie Johnson’s class soon and hoping that I’ll have better luck next time.