How many people do you know take Spin classes? Chances are, if you live in a large metro area you can count a number of your friends, your family, and possibly yourself. The young writer, director and producer of the HBO hit show Girls, Lena Dunham celebrated her birthday at a Spin class. She tweeted “It was magical. Even my dad came”. Maybe this idea of a birthday party isn’t catching on with the masses, but Spinning is definitely back on the top of its game.
Spinning. It’s not new. I took my first Spin class at Canyon Ranch circa 1993! I descended a staircase and was planted in a dark room with a ‘movie’ projecting a bike ride on the wall. The class was only a half hour and I took it everyday.
From that same era, I also remember Yamuna rolling, does anyone else? Most fitness trends, like Yamuna, don’t have such a long shelf life. Yet, Indoor cycling has had a loyal following since the craze began in the early 90’s. How and why is this possible?
Let’s take it back to who and where it all started: a young fella, Johnathon Goldberg (Johnny G), a South African who moved to California to work in the burgeoning fitness and personal training scene in and around Hollywood. He trained hard, and was inspired to bring his intense love for cycling indoors after a car careened with his bike. What didn’t kill him certainly made him strong and, very, very wealthy. SPINNING® is a registered trademark today*. This is a brand that has earned it’s leadership in the category and is often used generically. For this reason many ‘indoor cycling’ classes not officially operating under the brand, and using the brand of bikes cannot use the name.
Johnny G launched a phenomenon that seems to have hit its full stride nearly 30 years later. Johnny G repurposed stationary biking and swapped the kickstand for a trademark and licensing deal that will tower as one of the most literal examples of ‘sweat equity’ ever.
Most gyms offering Spin classes on their schedule report that there is rarely an empty bike. It typically requires signing up well in advance to ensure a spot or you’ll have to take your chances, show up and be placed on the ‘stand-by’ list. If the last bike is given away, you could mosey on over to yoga or the treadmill, or simply walk out annoyed and likely mumble to yourself that you weren’t really up for it anyway. However, if you want and need more options for Spin classes search out a ‘studio’, where the emphasis is on dedicating an expanded schedule and spectrum of Indoor cycling classes to fit your schedule and your level.
The are many advantages of classes at elite Spin studios, such as Soul Cycle in NY and LA, Flywheel, or JoyRide, the best place in our hood. These elite studios offer a broader set of classes to serve a diverse clientele.
To all those cyclists out there, my husband included, the open road is where it’s at. A fair number of people do both. However, a growing number of us can skip the whole out-of-door hullabaloo and admit to preferring the confines of a safer, comfortable ‘climate controlled’ environment. Isn’t this the beauty of this cyclecentricity?
At JoyRide, located in Westport, the owner has invested in a premium studio space, sound system and quality equipment. The sturdiness of the bikes seems to correlate against the sturdy following that’s been sustained throughout their first year and likely into the next. This is also a result of a variety of great instructors. Partner and instructor Rhodie Lorenz has a seamless fit of style and stamina. Did her name influence her choice of profession? She and her fellow instructors have a few mantras to keep us inspired; “It’s the journey, not the destination”, “Every muscle has a memory” and one that I always want to rebut “You are stronger than you think”.
So why is Spinning a comeback kid? Is it prescience of the teams who declared that it could still be as fresh today as ever, betting on the ‘build it better and they will come’ theory?
Contact Joyride Studio for a free class.
Joyride Cycling Studio
Here's a shout out to Chris, who welcomes everyone with a warm smile on those early weekend mornings.
*SPIN®, Spinner®, Spinning®, and the Spinning logo® are registered trademarks that are owned or used under exclusive license by Mad Dogg Athletics, Inc.
Linda Patscot has had a successful career as CEO for Pulse, a marketing research firm specializing in behavior and trend analysis for Fortune 500 companies. Her interest in politics and medicine inspired her to found BirthRoad, a consultancy helping intended parents explore 3rd Party Reproduction. She lives In Fairfield with her family where she is currently writing a book.
Linda can be reached at [email protected]