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In The News
   
 
 

 

In The News

 

April 10 - Pews Give Way to the Saddle

Article: Emerging Church
 
The congregation stands at the door of the chapel, hands clenched around bottles of water, feet balancing on horseshoe clips soon to mount pedals. "Is it like spinning?" a woman behind me asks her uninitiated companion. "No," she replies. "This is Soul Cycle."
 
The priest, a young man with a tailored beard and a defined physique, beckons the worshippers in. The pews are freshly wiped; white towels decorate the handlebars. Each bike is occupied; hopefuls on the waiting list are turned away.
The priest sits by the alter choosing a hymnal from a computer perched on a table protruding from the wall. Under the music, the noise of locking machinery vies with chatter. Riders select their bike before the class ensuring a demarcation of devotion -- skeptics at the rear, fanatics at the front. The bikes immediately facing the priest are reserved by the most loyal -- booked in the hope of receiving a look of favor or a nod of recognition from the leader. Some congregants attend church daily, some more than once a day.
 
It's a '90s nightclub, an '80s aerobics video, a self-help convention and a liturgy. It's a mass of steam pipe-sweaty believers all moving in primal groupishness -- forward, back, left, right, always on the beat, always on the beat, always on the beat. The riders mirror the movements of the priest at the alter, each motion choreographed immaculately with the music.
 

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