Sure I had heard about Soul Cycle before, the indoor cycling craze. I had heard of stationary bike excursions in a darkened room, this room full of candles. But on Monday night, Ruby Andreolli, manager of INA Nolita, organized an employee trip to a lower Manhattan location of the spinning phenomenon, and I actually tried it. 

Before the class, here, in the locker room, fresh-faced.

After the class, flushed.

Fifty exercise bikes faced a wall of mirrors, and the leader of the class cycled on a platform in the front of the room, facing us, and called out affirmations over a wireless microphone.

The affirmations went something like, “ I will get everything I want in 2013.”

“I will reach out and grab everything I want right now.”

“After this class, I am the most focused and will achieve all of my goals.” 

I was meanwhile forming my own list of affirmations, not oblivious to the spandex on my every side:

“I will trawl the INA racks for cycling gear, and why not leather trimmed leggings? Unless of course, I can find lightweight harem sweats.”

“I will find a gym bag with an extra-long strap and an interior nylon drawstring lining.”

“Or one with both a long and a short strap.” 

“I will invest in workout shirts NOT rummaged from a thrift store, but a few designer t-shirts at bargain prices, and at least one racerback.” 

Bottom to top: Helmut Lang multi-color racerback tank & Vivienne Westwood black t-shirt with red lips (both Nolita); Helmut Lang black leather tote with one long and one short strap (Noho); Marni black leather bag with oversized gray strap and drawstring interior liner (Noho); T by Alexander Wang elastic waist charcoal sweats, new with tags (Noilita); Barney's Co-op silk drawstring harem pants (Nolita); VPL faux suede legging, new with tags (Nolita); Y-3 cream leather lace-up high tops (Noho); Y-3 black & white leather sneakers (Nolita Men).