Cycling is definitely all the wave, but Briana Owens, an avid cyclist and founder of Spiked Spin, noticed there was something missing — diversity. I got to chat with Briana and she shared that there was not only a lack of diversity when it came to the crowd, but there was also diversity missing in the music that was being played in the classes. Like the absolute boss that she is, Owens took it upon herself to fill that void by taking up training to become a certified cycling instructor in between her full-time job in advertising. Then she created Spiked Spin.
Spiked Spin is a lifestyle brand that focuses on the wellness of people of color by providing a safe, inclusive and fun space to work out. “It’s important to include that Spiked is a lifestyle brand, the word lifestyle is important because that’s what I want this to become. I’d like for people, especially people of color, to see being active as just another part of their day. I was lucky enough to grow up seeing my parents work out and take care of themselves — my dad is the probably the only man in New York City who would walk from Queens to Brooklyn because it was a nice day outside,” says Briana. She’s very aware that this isn’t the norm for many people and aims to change that for anyone who’s willing to make the time for a lifestyle change.
Spiked is essentially a hip-hop cycling class created specifically with women of color in mind, however, it is definitely open to anyone who enjoys a challenging fitness class and who loves hip-hop music. The classes also provide a moment of reflection toward the end to keep your endorphins flowing and extending the mission of the class onto other aspects of your life. “I just want people to feel good during these classes,” said Owens.
“When people hear ‘minority’ they think low-income, but that’s not always the case — there are minorities who are also in very affluent neighborhoods and spaces as well," she says, "I want that to be known. I ensure to make my classes affordable with those who are in low-income neighborhoods in mind, while also ensuring that I provide anyone, from every different background, an experience that will keep them coming back. I want someone to come to my class because it’s what they can afford but I also want someone who can afford three times what we charge, to come back to Spiked because the experience was so good."
While Spiked Spin is currently in a shared space, Owens says she is working on getting Spiked its own space and expanding it to other cities, including Los Angeles. Owens is also open to exploring the possibilities of applying the Spiked method to other forms of exercise, however, Owens wants it to be right, “I don’t want to just do yoga because that’s what’s hot right now. I want it to be something that’s going to provide longevity while promoting the health and wellness aspect that Spiked provides. While making this a business wasn’t the intention, it’s what it became, and I’m just now fully accepting that, so I want to take care of it,” she says.
If you’re currently in New York City, be sure to check out Spiked Spin for a cycling turn-up session and keep up with Briana Owens and Spiked Spin via Instagram!