My Review of Go Ryde #IndoorCycling Studio

photoGo Ryde (http://www.goryde.com/, 20-30 W Main St, Somerville, NJ 08876  (908) 864-7933) is one of only three indoor cycling studios in NJ that utilize the Real Ryder bike platform. They also offer TRX & personal training classes. Go Ryde is located in downtown Somerville, a busy area with some challenging parking (depending on the time of your arrival). Street parking is metered. Bring quarters. You may find more spots in the adjacent streets (Bridge St, Division St, Maple St, or South St). Also, during the summer, the downtown area is bustling (many nearby restaurants and cafes), so arrive early to ensure you can park and make it to class on time. rr Overview

oThe studio was founded by husband and wife team Bill & Courtney Kemmerer who are both USAC CAT 1 expert level mountain bike racers and TRX Certified Group Instructors. The studio’s main entrance features a small waiting room, a Real Ryder demo bike, a small retail display and a storage area. Passing through the reception area, there are two rooms: one for TRX (and other classes) and one for indoor cycling. Bathrooms are in the rear of the indoor cycling room. The studio space is a bit dated, but is clean. There are open storage cubbies and the bathroom doubles as a changing room.

Indoor Cycling 1424350_678994545453273_986729482_n

Go Ryde utilizes 15 Real Ryder bikes (some with power meters, all are compatible with SPD clips) situated in a three-tier stadium setup. The instructor’s bike is near the entrance and is close to a new sound system that was recently installed. Given Bill & Courtney’s outdoor bike experience, their choice of the Real Ryder ABF8 platform is mainly due to the “unique, articulating frame that allows it to steer, turn, and feel like a road bike. That side-to-side motion requires constant shifts of balance – continuous adjustments and corrections that correspond to a rider’s movements on the road while encountering wind shifts, obstacles, and banked and curving surfaces.” RealRyder I was invited to attend a regular 60min class and found the experience of riding the Real Ryder1375220_663485607004167_1864603511_n fun and exciting. Unlike other bike platforms I reviewed (Keiser M3, Spinner Blade Ion, etc.), the Real Ryder takes a while to get used to – probably 3 to 4 classes and the swaying motion can be confusing at first. However, not trying to control the sway, but flowing with the motion is the key to an engaging ride. It might seem a bit scary at first, as if you may lose control, but the Real Ryder is sturdy and responds quickly to any movements when you go into turns, accelerate to climb or burst into a sprint. Some of the bikes had a power meter, but others did not. However, it seems the emphasis at Go Ryde is the mechanics and overall benefits of the resulting cardio workout rather than measuring photo104watts, kcals or distance. The studio is equipped with professional lighting and an overhead projection system (during my ride, the instructor used Cycle Fusion’s app to display the intervals and intensity levels).

Prices & Process

Reservations can be directly made using the studio’s website (http://www.goryde.com/schedule/#!). Go Ryde’s online reservation system is easy to use and their ride prices vary based on a single ride ($24) or a membership model. The basic membership model offers unlimited rides and TRX/Kettlebell/Yoga for $87 a month plus an $87 initiation fee. The professional membership model offers unlimited rides and TRX/Kettlebell/Yoga for $167 with a 12 month commitment but no initiation fees. These membership models also have cancellation policies and other restrictions – more details can be found here: http://www.goryde.com/about-our-classes-and-packages/

Quick Summary

  • Towels are not provided but cubbies are available.
  • No shoe rental is offered.
  • Wipes are available.
  • Parking can be challenging.
  • Real Ryder experience is unique, fun and as effective as other platforms.

Final Thoughts

Go Ryde offers a unique indoor cycling experience using a bike platform that resembles riding outdoors.  The owners are at the studio during business hours and are actively engaged in running the business and teaching classes. The space itself can use a bit of sprucing up and the bikes should be outfitted with power meters given that more and more riders are using wearable devices to track performance metrics. Running a small business is very demanding and time consuming – Bill & Courtney seem to have Go Ryde under control and their business is thriving. I wish them all the best.

Ride on.

Tom

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18 Types of #Indoorcycling Riders – Or, Just When You Thought You’ve See It All…

When you teach indoor cycling, you encounter a variety of rider types. Every type is driven by a set of unique personal factors. I have compiled a few of my favorite rider types. Here they are:

cycling-sweat

  1. The Sweat Puddler & Bike Drencher: You’ve seen those riders: ferocious, intense and….sweaty, real sweaty. The bike is literally dripping with sweat, the handlebars are drenched and there’s Lake Michigan underneath the bike. Was wondering why the bike’s rusting. Holy Rusty Bike Batman!! I don’t really mind as long as you clean up after the class ends. Remember, your mother does not work here (Or maybe she should?!!)

    move-in

  2. The Move In Special: Never gets too old – he walks in with an oversized gym bag, cleats, two jugs of water, a coat, four towels, cell phone, energy drink, sandwich, laptop, tablet, today’s newspaper…did I forget anything??? And, proceeds to put it all around the bike. Rent Special!! Welcome to the building. Glad you moved in. Need some help?? How about a locker?
  3. The Gotta Be Connected 24/7/365: Dudette always texting. News flash: when you’re texting, you’re not working!! Besides, the studio is dark, so we ALL (yes, everyone) can SEE YOU. Stop!! PLEASE!!

    selfie

  4. The Social Media / Chatty / Selfie Maniac: Gotta say hello to riders next me, how’s life? How’s the weather? Did you see the game last night? Oooooo, let me tweet about this awesome class. Ooooooo, let me check my Twitter timeline and Facebook posts….but, before I do, lemmmeeee TAKE A SELFIE!!

    exercise-addict

  5. The Guy off on Journeys of Discovery: Hey, I am paying for this class, why should I follow the instructor? MY MONEY, MY WORKOUT!! Let me plug in my headphones and just do what I please (ya know, some stuff you’re doing is just plain crazy and borderline stupid. You can even injure yourself….). But wait, there’s more…
  6. The Often Blowing Away Everyone, Even the Instructor: Insane cadence and super speeds get you nowhere, FAST! Yep, scientifically proven. Nope, don’t argue. Cadence and resistance are like cream cheese and a bagel. One without the other is just meh… Listen to the instructor’s cues – there is reason why we are climbing and why we are sitting.
  7. The Winter Soldier During Summer: I am getting hives just thinking about this. Sweat pants, sweatshirt, sweat suit, sweat everything….you’re burring up like a comet upon re-entry. Moisture wicking garments are your best friend…cotton is your worst enemy. Oops, there I said it!!

    rebellious-one-plus-size-graphic-tee

  8. The Stylishly Late: Ahmmmmm…..we can see you coming in 15 minutes late. It’s dark in the studio, but when you open the door, all eyes are on you. SPOTLIGHT!! THERE IT IS!! Not subtle…may as well come in with a marching band….at least it is more entertaining. But hey if you come in late, please try not to disrupt the other riders especially if you are…….. MOVING IN.
  9. The Optimistically Early / Dude Who Slept There The Night Before: I guess you slept in here last night, right? Some riders are an hour early, just riding, sweating, busting down hills and crushing mountains. All before class even starts. An hour before. Two hours…a day before. I guess I forgot to add the sleeping bag to the MOVE IN special.
  10. The Feedback / Engagement Specialist: I see you, but you know what, I cannot hear you. I am mic’d…you are NOT!! The beats are loud. I have no idea what you are trying to say to me from three rows back. I hear screams, grunts and stuff like that. Sorry. I am just going to smile back at ya. Do not mistake my nods and smiles as acknowledgement that I heard you. I CANNOT HEAR YOU!!
  11. The Newbie Arriving Stylishly Late: Oh, you want some help pairing your wearable performance metrics devices with the bike’s onboard computer, and try a few different seat/handlebar adjustments, and not sure how to clip in – all 15 minutes AFTER class has started, when it is dark and you’ve never done this before? Hmmmm, let me see if I can get you one of my assistants…NOT!! Remember this: IF YOU ARE ON TIME, YOU ARE LATE.

    thirsty-man-in-desert

  12. The Always Thirsty: Going in and out of the studio to refill your water bottle. Oh, wait, maybe I could invent a hydration kit where a hose runs from the water fountain to the bikes. Think I can patent that? Look, hydration is critical, but going out to get water and trying to get back into a dark studio, avoiding the MOVE IN SPECIAL dude, risking tripping over riders’ stuff, getting blinded by the texter…get it – it’s risky. Bring in a few bottles (a case is good) or better yet, ask the MOVE IN SPECIAL dude if you can borrow a jug of water!!!

    Liam-Neeson-Taken-2-Red-Carpet-Premiere-38th-kV11PPjEgahl

  13. The Metrics Obsessed: You cannot wait for class to be over to tweet your metrics, Kcals, watts, distance, etc. But you insist on doing it all during class. Here you are, fiddling with your cell phone, trying to connect to the studio’s WiFi but it is not working, messing around –  all the while, YOU ARE NOT WORKING!! Put the phone down – Step away from the phone. Or, I am going to call Liam Neeson – he is good at taking things!! TAKEN 5 in theaters soon!!

    Synchronized_swimming_-_Russian_team

  14. The Groupies & Synchronized Swimming Teams: Buddies that ride together, tapping back, jumping, sprinting, doing it all in perfect harmony. What an awesome sight to see. I love it. I admit it. It’s like a dance routine without even trying! JUST KEEP IT SAFE – Alright?
  15. The Sneakers: hey I get it that you have to leave early, but watch out for the MOVE IN SPECIAL & the Selfie dudes. We can either see you trying to sneak out or you may trip over the oversized gym bag. Just be careful. Better yet, pick a bike close to the door and please please please, do cool down before you hop off the bike. We care. “We care long time!!”

    vip-card

  16. The VIPs: Hey, welcome to the first row, you card-carrying VIPs you!! But, it comes with an obligation to follow the instructor. Because….everyone behind you can see what you are doing. And, doing your thing is not cool.
  17. The Shadowz: All the way in the back, far far way, in a yet-unnamed galaxy….Ah, I still can see you. Just because you are in the shadows does not absolve you of your duties. Ride and Ride Hard Shadow People!!

 

And for a bonus…

18.  The Trekkies: Using warp speed for cadence and wearing a red shirt…you know how that ends up… (hint: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redshirt_(character))59a12d09339dbf2020e6544b28691366
Other types you want to share? Let me know.

 

#RideOn

 

 

Tom

 

 

How to Succeed as an #IndoorCycling Instructor – Beyond Teaching

Before I was an indoor cycling instructor, I was (and still am) in the IT industry, having founded a successful consulting firm specializing in IT training services. Being a business owner affords you a unique opportunity to hone your skills and develop a well-rounded experience that extends beyond the day to day operations. Not only you see how the business works from a back-office or support platform, but you also see it from a customer-facing perspective. You also see the business from a variety of other angles that involve HR, Payroll, Taxes, Recruiting, Supply Chain and much more. As an indoor cycling instructor, I have always looked beyond the class to strengthen my character and my brand. We all know how important it is to show up early, to inspire and motivate students, to curate playlists, to encourage participants to exceed expectations and to keep then wanting more. However, there is a lot more that goes on beyond the class – important factors that will develop your character and project an image of maturity, reliance and trust. Here are the critical success factors for indoor cycling instructors, beyond the class (click to enlarge): beyond #RideOn

Value vs. ROI – Or, Why Do Some #IndoorCycling Studios Charge $30+ per class?

Background

We’ve often heard that some national indoor cycling studio chains charge upwards of $34 per class, in addition to shoe rental fees, expensive water bottles and very strict cancelation policies. The markets that bear such prices are typically those located in the East Coast, namely New York City, Washington DC and Boston, and in the West Coast, namely Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. There are a variety of reasons why such fees may be “reasonable” for these markets, not only because “they can” but due to: high cost of rent, high cost of living, higher instructor costs, higher insurance and higher advertising/marketing costs. The population in these markets (in the millions of people) includes a segment that not only can afford such prices but sustains the business model and perpetuates the brand. Unlike other markets in other areas or states, what makes these so called high prices acceptable is a combination of two critical factors: Value & ROI (return on investment: studio ROI & student ROI).

Perceived Value vs. Actual Value

During my work within the wine industry, I met wine makers and winery managers who would charge for a wine tasting. On the other hand, several similar sized wineries would offer a free tasting. During the busiest time on weekends, busloads of visitors would descend down on the wineries. For those that offered free tastings, out of 100 visitors, only about 5 would actually buy the wine they tasted. In the meantime, that winery has incurred the cost of all the tastings and the associated back office costs such as washing hundreds of glasses daily. For the wineries that charged for tasting, although a fewer number of visitors would stop by, more than half of those who paid for the tasting ended up buying the wine. The same visitors also felt less rushed, took more time to learn about the wine, understood the value of what makes this wine higher in price, learned about the wine maker’s story, were treated individually (not as a group) and there was an overall sense of exclusivity, a one to one connection.

The lesson of this story hinges on “value”. Is your product valuable? Value – Able. Is it able to generate value for you or is that value WDGL-1diminished (or even lost) such as during a free wine tasting? While I understand the advantages of offering “free” or low priced services/products, there is the hidden loss to its value that is often unaccounted for.

So if an indoor cycling studio charges $34 per class, $5 to rent shoes and $3 for a water bottle and there are people who pay that much, then they (the riders) have defined the actual value of the experience. The perceived value is what the studio owner (or winery owner) believes to be the fair price for the work they have put in to create the product/brand/studio/winery. An affirmation of this perception is the realization of actual value when people hand over their credit cards or cash to pay for class/product.

An indoor cycling studio is in business to provide a service and….to make money

For studio owners and riders alike, there has to be a balance between the services provided and the fees charged for them. More importantly, the actual costs are directly related to a proven business model in the service industry: what is the value placed on the service and how much is the perceived ROI (return on investment). To help you better understand this, I have developed the Value vs. ROI quadrants seen below (click image to enlarge):

ROI

 

In the quadrants above, I mention the “personal ROI” which directly correlates to the student’s perceived notion of benefits achieved from indoor cycling classes. For those studios with name brand recognition, a higher price is almost always associated with a matching high personal ROI due to the sense of exclusivity and belonging to a workout environment where like-minded individuals participate.

For example:

1. In NYC, Boston, Washington DC and Los Angeles, a $30+ per class is the norm. With that comes a higher ROI for the student (personal ROI) and a higher ROI% for the studio owners.

2. In other markets, a $15-$25 per class is the norm. With that comes a higher ROI for the student, albeit at a somewhat lower ROI% for the studio owners. However, the lower cost of living, insurance rents and back office costs make up for the shortfall in the studio ROI %.

Summary

The value you perceive or place on your services as an indoor cycling studio is what defines your ROI%. The student ROI (or personal ROI) is what converts perceived value into actual value. Remember that there is the non-tangible ROI which is generated through word of mouth and social media interaction (from students on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.). That is also “value-able” and is extremely important in furthering you mission and ensuring continued success.

#RideOn

“May The Force…” #MondayHillCrushers #IndoorCycling Playlist

As Summer approaches, things are starting to heat up. The core group for Monday’s indoor cycling class is growing and classes have been selling out. Yesterday’s ride was phenomenal…it was hot inside and outside, it was a sweat fest and it was glorious!! Here’s the playlist, with three intervals, tabata, freestyle, seated climbs, peaks & valleys and time trials.

#WeMarchOn