Well-loved spin studio set to open its second location on the North Shore
By Kristi Alexandra
Where the thought of taking a spin class can evoke images of tacky ‘80s neon workout gear and retro dance music, Vancouver’s Eastwood Cycle has turned stationary cycle culture on its head.
Moroccan décor and the airy scent of natural yoga sprays permeate the entrance of Hastings Street’s cycle sanctuary, which opened its doors 2014, creating a calming atmosphere that invites its patrons to ease into their workout.
“In my personal opinion, I feel a strong sense of culture is missing from traditional gyms,” says founder Jillian Sheridan. “The culture and lifestyle of Eastwood is truly what sets us apart.”
Co-owned with her husband Craig, the Sheridans made Eastwood Cycle a sanctuary for the body and soul. The basement, with its white walls, is decorated with resting alcoves and Moroccan pillows, accented by azure blue tiles. The bathrooms are outfitted with little extras for their guests – hairspray, hair ties, dryers, towels, blowdryers, and other neccesities for women.
“A cycle ‘sanctuary’ to us means a place where you can not only sweat but you can sweat away the days’ stresses, self doubt, boundaries, and obstacles in life. The dark candlelit atmosphere is intended to allow our riders to let go, and work out with intention. To me ‘sanctuary’ means home, somewhere you feel your best and most comfortable at. That’s the vibe we try to spread throughout our community,” she says.
Spin enthusiasts reserve a bike in the three rows that face toward the teacher in a dimly-lit room. The three class types are the Icon, a rhythm-based workout focused on high RPMS; the Athlete, a heartier workout for endurance and strength training; and the Mamacita, a 45 minute Wednesday morning class for moms, with professional childcare provided.
While Vancouverites seem to be on the up-and-up when it comes to health and fitness (could there be any more yoga studios and green juice slingers?), Sheridan knows all-too-well the perils of feeling not up to a workout.
“You never leave a spin class with the feeling of ‘damn, I shouldn’t have done that,’” she digresses.
“Sometimes with a crazy schedule, the hardest part is getting yourself to the studio (especially when a glass of wine is calling your name).”
“Find a studio you look forward to spending your time in, force yourself to commit to a routine. The benefits of exercise go so far beyond the physical aspect. Your mind, soul, and probably the people around you will thank you! For my husband and I, we know we’re all around better people when we regularly work out. I once was guilty of not making fitness a priority – it took me to find my sanctuary and a work out I loved to be able to commit to a healthier lifestyle.”
With Eastwood Cycle’s regularly packed classes and frequent wait lists, it was only a matter of time until the shop would inevitably expand.
Watch out for Eastwood North Shore opening later this spring.
Kristi Alexandra is an unabashed wino and wannabe musician. Her talents include drinking an entire bottle of cabernet sauvignon, singing in the bathtub, and falling asleep.