Your Pelogrimage guide
If you’re a peloton rider making a trip to NYC, you should absolutely consider an in-studio ride (or 5, in my case!). There’s nothing like finally meeting instructors face-to-face and fan-girling/boying while you’re at it. Don’t worry, we all get star-struck when we meet Denis and it’s fine.
Booking classes and positions
Class schedule is released two week in advance, although subject to change. My yoga class was moved from 7:15am to 7:00am a few days prior.
All studio (bike, tread or yoga) open up for class sign-ups a week in advance at 12pm EST. So if you want to book a ride for Saturday morning, you’ll have to be on your computer the Saturday before at 12pm EST. If you don’t care about bike placement, you could probably wait for a few hours. But the weekends are popular and fill up fast! Set an alarm! The link to sign up is here. The studio booking account is completely different from your bike account.
Minors aged 13-17 may ride the bikes when accompanied by an adult, assuming they meet bike height requirements. Other members have reported however that the minimum age for the tread studio class is 18 years old.
Pro tip: If you’re hoping to get pictures with the instructor after your class, double check to make sure that they don’t have back-to-back classes. That’s how I missed out on my photo op with Jenn Sherman danggit. She tends to have back-to-backs.
First-timers pay $20/class and second-times pay $32/class. The more packs you buy, the cheaper it gets. A 5-pack is $150 and perfect for a long weekend. I lucked out and got a 5-pack at $100 during their Black Friday sale. (Prices current as of 12/24/2018). Yoga prices are slightly cheaper but I don’t recommend the yoga classes (read more below).
Mid-day bike classes are generally FREE! But that means you’ll need to show up at least 45 minutes ahead of time for walk-ins. It did not work with my NYC sight-seeing schedule so I skipped out on this.
To get discount or free passes, you can also ask members of the OPP community or someone in the tribe if anyone is willing to donate/sell you theirs. That’s how I got my 6th one! It will require them booking the class on your behalf though. All you have to do is say their name when you check-in. Peloton has also been known to occasionally sell classes on classpass at a lower rate. The only downside is you’ll be on a nosebleed bike.
When you sign-up, you’ll need to know what position to pick. And it all comes down to high or low visibility. See below for seat mappings. For the bike studio, bikes 6, 7, 5 and 4 (in descending order) have the highest visibility. I found bike 6 to actually be harder than 7 and 5. If you ride bike 6, you will be lit up most of the time so it will be super hot. If you’re super tall, your head might get cut off by the spotlight and it can look a little weird on video.
For the tread, treadmill #1 and #20 have the highest visibility. In fact, I’ve noticed that in some classes the camera almost always stays fixed at one angle. most of the time runner #1 is always in view.
For yoga classes, you choose your spot when you show up. The four mats in the center are completely in view while the ones on the edges aren’t. See maps below.
Double check your seat height, saddle positions and shoe sizing and write them down if you don’t think you’ll remember.
Remember your password for your login on the bike and tread.
If you’re riding a milestone ride, triple-check your ride counter before your ride. Even 10 min cool down rides count!!!
The studio bike display is SEVERELY limited (see picture below). If you’re trying to PR, remember both your current PR and the average output you’re trying to hit. You will NOT be able to ride against your previous PR. Same applies to the tread.
If you’re doing a power zone class, make mental notes of your zones. I didn’t see zones enabled on the bikes.
Hate to break it to you now but you will not be able to see anyone ride from home, let alone give/receive high-fives. They’ll be able to see you but that’s about it. The leaderboard of the studio bike focuses solely on the studio riders.
Studio bike displays kinda suck…
All you’ll see is your cadence, resistance, output and your position on the studio’s leaderboard. Yup - no high-fives from your tribe riding at home. 😭
Expectations for the day of ride
Make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes (if not 30) before your ride. This will give you time to check-in, change and be on the bike 5 minutes before class starts. If you’re not on the bike 4 minutes before they go live, your seat is given up. It’s not a big deal if you don’t have a highly coveted seat, but if you were hoping to be front row, someone else will jump on it, guaranteed! If you come even earlier, you might bump into another instructor who just finished up a class and can jump in line for photos too! That’s how I sneaked my photo with Ally Love.
I chose to sign-in to my bike after the recording started because I wanted to make sure my milestone shout-out would be recorded on video. However, there is benefit to logging in the minute you get to your bike. Some instructors will see your LD name pop up and start chatting with you. Matt and Denis totally did that!
The studio runs hot. There are no fans and ventilation is minimal, I suspect to keep acoustics optimal. Dress as lightly as you can and double up on towels and water if that helps you. Double-check that you have the right weights on the bike.
In the changing rooms, there are lockers, showers (3 in bike studio and 4 in tread studio), bath towels, slippers and all the amenities any good gym would provide even hair-ties and bobby pins. In the studio, spin shoes, cold bottled water and towels are provided.
The lounge area in the bike studio is actually kind of cool. Many riders hang out at the table or the seating area to just cool-off after rides and get on their laptops. There’s even a smoothie, snack and elixir(???) bar. I am counting macros, so I didn’t try anything although I’ve heard people rave about the smoothies.
During post-ride photo-op, be prepared to look like a total dork next to the instructors. They will out-pose you. JJ’s poses man... 👍
My husband couldn’t make the trip, so I made it a point to take a class with his favorite instructor, Matt Wilpers, and even got an autograph. Matt is truly the sweetest. What a class act! He even lingered around after class to talk to the members.
This might be an unpopular opinion, but the instructors generally do not connect well with riders in the studio. It totally makes sense though, Peloton is a content and streaming company, so the whole point is that they need to be connecting with riders at home. Don’t be surprised when you feel that way, in some way, wishing you were back home on your bike. When Alex T calls you baby in the studio, you’ll feel like he is totally cheating on you. 😂
Peloton tread studio considerations
In general, I had a good time in Selena’s tread class. There wasn’t a ton of connection with runners in the studio and there were only 4 runners which made the vibe less than exciting. I also made the mistake of picking the most visible spot (treadmill #1) so I felt very self-conscious during the run. The camera did not move much from it's position so I felt like I always had to not look stupid. There’s a special treat to visiting the tread studios in Greenwich because you get to see the production room. They were super friendly, waving at me as I peered in. I love watching the behind-the-scenes!
P.S. The peloton tread and yoga studio is NOT near the bike studio. It’s in Greenwich village which was about a 25 min walk or 15 min on MTA.
Peloton yoga studio considerations
This was probably my worst Peloton studio experience. The 8 mats are incredible close to each other and there is only ONE mirror centered on the middle four mats. You will for sure bump into your neighbor and if you rely on the mirror to check your form, you’re out of luck. In terms of the content itself, I’ve been going to Yoga regularly for years so I felt like I was probably okay for an intermediate class. Turns out, not so much…
This generally isn’t a big deal in a standard yoga studio because you expect the yoga instructor to walk around and make adjustments or suggest modifications for beginners. That did not happen in my class. You know the one who almost burst out laughing when she suggested the handstand is me. Eventually, I retreated into a child’s pose.
With Yoga, it’s hard to just “do you”. The smallest of adjustments can make a big deal. So if there’s any Peloton studio experience to skip, it’s this one. Or sign up for a beginners class. The instructor is 100% focused on the camera to make sure yogis at home are getting the best instruction possible. They can’t afford to be paying attention to any of us in class who are attempting hand-stands for the first time. I know, I’m a fool.
Where to stay
We looked at a bunch of hotels within walking distance but ultimately I settled on Hilton New York Fashion District. It is fairly new and modern, only 2.5 blocks away and 1.5 blocks from wholefoods and Brooklyn Bagels. Hilton’s Reviews are decent at 4stars on trip advisor. Our rate over the December holidays was only $199, cheaper than the rest in the list below. Only the more dated Holiday Inn beat that price.
Pad your travel time
My local NYC friend recommended the city mapper app to help with getting around. Highly recommend it, it tells you which part of the trains you should be boarding! For ride-sharing services, Juno ended up having the best deals. With my referral link, you’ll get 30% off rides for two weeks! If you’re gunning for a ride direct from the airport, pad your time with plenty of buffer. I almost missed my inaugural ride with Denis on my way over from JFK but was able to change my destination from my hotel to the studio on the fly and made it with minutes to spare! Always check citymapper first —taking the MTA or walking is often times faster, especially since drivers tend to cancel rides during bad traffic or as they call it in NY, gridlock. Often time worsened when it’s snowing. Never travel without a portable power bank especially in NY. I use the Jackery because it is tiny, has built-in cables and pass-through charging.
If it’s your first time traveling in winter
I’m a Bay Area girl so our winters are kind of a joke. I got some help over at the Peloton Moms group on how to gear up. This is the bargain amazon down jacket that blew up on that page over Black Friday. They were not lying, this $100 jacket has taken over the upper east side. I ended up with a different style from the same Orolay brand and highly recommend it. It’s so warm (almost too warm) and made very well. Love the fleece lined zip pockets and fleece sleeve cuffs. Sizing runs a smidge small so I would size up if you’re going with sweaters underneath. My waterproof blundstone chealsea boots (or blunnies as Aussies would fall it) held up really well in the cold and for hours of walking in the city. For everything else, I stocked up on Uniqlo’s ultra warm heat tech range. Photo of outfit in photo carousel below.
At the end of the day, this was what it was all about…
This was an incredible experience for me, meeting my favorite instructors in-person, especially for someone who is a total peloton addict. Make this a part of your next NYC trip, in addition to the 9/11 memorial museum. There are early access 8:15am tours to the museum if you’re an early bird like me. #never-forget