Yesterday, a video featuring TV personality and rapper The Fat Jew—a.k.a. Fabrizio Goldstein—showing him giving free SoulCycle classes on docked Citi Bikes to people identified as "the homeless" spread like wildfire. A lot of people, including us, assumed the video was a parody of self-absorbed fitness-crazed trainers mashed together with the hottest Citi Bike trend—but Goldstein told us that he's dead serious about the endeavor: "Although it started as a joke, the reactions I've gotten from the homeless since I started doing this (3 classes so far) have been so bizarrely positive that I'm going to do it more regularly without a doubt."
Goldstein, a comedian we know best for his belly art and YouTube videos, says he wants to bring in other cycling enthusiasts (aka, "less fat friends") to help teach the classes. "We feel as if this is something we can do to give back," he told us. "There are SO many CitiBike locations that are highly underutilized (particularly on the lower West Side) and we feel that they should be used to give back to New Yorkers [who] could use it most."
Goldstein also claims to have video testimonials from some of his homeless students thanking Mayor Bloomberg for allowing them to exercise and have some fun. "The bikes were just kind of imposed in the neighborhoods," he continued, "so I think it's within the rights of every New Yorker to utilize them when they're not generating revenue."
We'd like to believe Goldstein is serious about the idea—he's also implored that he's being sincere on his otherwise mostly jokey Twitter page—and not just locked into a tasteless joke at the expense of homeless people. When asked whether there would be any way for homeless people to find out about the classes, he responded: "I'm going to have my army of interns post up schedules around the city!"