It’s been nearly a month since Suzanne Zuppello abandoned the “spiritual gangster” lifestyle.
The moniker is worn across one’s chest, in the form of SoulCycle attire. It captures the aspiration of the brand: stationary bicycling for the free-spirited, purpose-driven, and strong-willed. Promising “more than a workout,” it is not your mother’s spinning class (even if it literally is).
After years of spinning, Zuppello’s local studio on Long Island has faded to a metaphorical blip in the rearview mirror of her actual bicycle. “I bike all over, and it’s far cheaper than SoulCycle,” she says. “And no one keeps my money if I decide last-minute to skip my ride.”
Last month, Zuppello joined a throng of SoulCycle devotees around the country in renouncing her affiliation with the existential cyclery. On August 8, The Washington Post reported that one of SoulCycle’s owners, the billionaire Stephen Ross, would host a fundraiser lunch to support Donald Trump. For $250,000, attendees could buy an audience with the president at Ross’s Southampton estate.
In response, celebrities like Billy Eichner and Chrissy Teigen led calls for boycotts of SoulCycle and Equinox, the high-end gym also owned by Ross’s company. Even people typically disinclined to speak out on issues they consider “political” felt that Ross’s move had forced a choosing of sides. SoulCycle took on the weight of Trump’s bigotry and intolerance, as well as his inaction on issues of climate change, gun violence, and health care.