SoulCycle instructor Danielle McCleerey has built a cult following in Pasadena—even though the Los Angeles suburb is not somewhere she imagined ending up. Growing up in L.A., Pasadena felt like another planet. Now, in her 30s, engaged and raising her son, it’s home. The local SoulCycle community she’s built over the past eight years has become “her people,” and now she’s known internationally after a year of clipping in virtually and recording On the Daily, her inspirational, biweekly podcast. Since June, McCleerey has been back to dishing her infamous interval pushes in-person via SoulCycle Outside—45-minute cycling classes taught outdoors on the rooftop of the Lake Avenue studio’s adjacent parking structure. Here, McCleerey shares her stomping grounds off the bike.
When SoulCycle asked me to teach in Pasadena, the first memory that came to mind was the 1990s movie Blast from the Past, since Brendan Fraser’s and Alicia Silverstone’s characters lived in Pasadena. I was sure Pasadena was on the other side of the world because, growing up, we would drive out to Pasadena for dance competitions, and they always felt so far away. When I started working at the studio and was living in West Hollywood, I swore I would never move east. Now most of my friends, my mentors, and my business partners are all in Pasadena and I live in Highland Park. / One of my favorite Pasadena memories was a night my fiancée, Breezie Jordan, my young son, and I were out to dinner at Sage Plant Based Bistro (I’m a vegan). We sat outside and there was a DJ, so the three of us ended up dancing together in the courtyard at One Colorado. We also go to True Food Kitchen, Mendocino Farms, and Trejo’s Tacos, when it was there. We’ll still order from its ghost kitchen. Coffee and Plants on Union is my favorite morning stop. / For work clothes, I go to Old Town to shop Lululemon and often stop by Saje Natural Wellness to restock on essential oils. / I’ve done a few triathlons at the Rose Bowl, and my son swims at the aquatic center. He and I both love Huntington Gardens. It’s such an easy and fun day to walk the grounds and let him run around. Kidspace Children’s Museum is a favorite too. One of my favorite things that I’ve discovered about living here is how great Pasadena is for raising children. Being part of the community here now, I’ve found it has the homelike feel of where I grew up.