Crash Course: Swet Ride (pronounced sweet) is a brand new boutique indoor cycling studio in the heart of the adorable Del Ray neighborhood in Alexandria, Virginia. Fun fact: it is Barre Tech’s sister studio and neighbor. What sets Swet Ride apart is the studio’s focus on tracking stats and results in each class using bike and heart-rate monitors. This data is stored online in your user profile so you can keep track of your achievements from class to class. For more information and a full schedule of ride times, click here.[line] [left]where: 2413 Mount Vernon Avenue | Alexandria, VA
bring: water, cycling shoes if you got ‘em
perks: cycling shoes + heart rate monitors included
sweat score: 8 out of 10[/left][right]wear: tight fitting bottoms
cost: drop-in $24[/right][line]
I recently tried Barre Tech for the first time and loved it, so I was excited to try out their spin-off (pun intended) cycling studio in one of my favorite neighborhoods, Del Ray. I was lucky enough to go to their press preview earlier this month, which was their first real ride before they opened. That said, they still had some finishing touches to go, but we got a good sense of the studio and what the classes will be like.
Like any fitness nerd, I got way too excited over the brand new cycling shoes (nicest I have ever seen!), shiny bikes, and even the faint smell of paint in the studio. Crasher tip: you are required to wear spin shoes at Swet Ride, so bring them if you have them or borrow at the front desk. The studio is right next door to Cheesetique which is both wonderful and dangerous. Post-ride wine and cheese, anyone?
There’s a small lobby where you check-in before heading into the studio, which is pretty standard with cubbies to stash your stuff and a lovely, well-appointed bathroom with a shower. The decor is simple but stylish, with candles placed throughout and historic prints of Alexandria hanging on the walls.
The snazzy new bikes include screens that connect with your Swet Ride-provided heart rate monitor to track RPM, calories, time, etc. I loved having this info during the ride, especially when the instructor gave us RPM goals that forced me to push myself. While it wasn’t up and running yet, riders will get a summary of their ride after class, allowing them to keeps tabs on their progress. While it’s always good to feel stronger and leaner, it’s nice to have some good old fashioned data to back it up.
The class I took was a straightforward 50-minute ride, with a good mix of hills, sprints, resistance training, and lots of focus on finding your sweet (or maybe it’s swet) spot. They also offer a Swet+ class that includes 15-20 minutes of toning and core work off the bike, in addition to the 45-minute cycling workout.
The music was great, albeit a little quiet, and the instructor offered helpful cues and just the right amount of motivation (sometimes it’s overkill!). I had a little bit of trouble hearing her sometimes, but I’m sure they are still figuring out the acoustics of the space.
Currently, there are 15 bikes in the studio which is a nice alternative to some of the bigger cycling studios in the area. It creates a much more intimate environment, which you don’t often get in spin classes. It might make reserving classes a little tougher, but I still think it’s a great benefit.
After the last working song, the instructor came around and gave us all a cold, eucalyptus-scented towel, which was heavenly. The only downside is that I will now want this at the end of all my tough workouts!
Since this was a special pre-opening event, we were treated to champagne and healthy bites after the class including gluten free cupcakes (yum!). Of course, not every class will end this way but I strongly suggest getting your own post-workout treat down the road at Dairy Godmother. You will have certainly earned it!