Turkey & Stuffin – #Indoorcycling Themed Ride – Nov.2015

This playlist wraps up the themed rides that started about a month ago. With the “Turkey & Stuffin” theme for Thanksgiving, the emphasis is on acknowledging those who never expect a “thank you” but are extremely deserving of our thanks. I dedicate this playlist to all crews at indoor cycling studios who keep the facilitates clean, the bikes functioning and the equipment in pristine order. THANK YOU!!

 

 

#RideOn

My Review of CycleMaplewood #IndoorCycling Studio

When Cycle In Motion (Maplewood, NJ) closed its doors in August 2013, 1416029805Allison Leonard, one of the instructors and a personal friend, decided to acquire the bikes, re-imagine and then re-open a new indoor cycling studio in Maplewood NJ.

Overview

After 4 months of searching for a new location and much persistence, Alli launched CycleMaplewood at a unique venue, the Woodlland: “Completed in 1930 as an elegant home for the Maplewood Woman’s Club organization, the Georgian Revival style mansion and adjoining auditorium were designated a local historic landmark in 2014. Renamed The Woodland, this architectural jewel houses two unique spaces which are available for private parties and public events.” Alli approached the Township of Maplewood’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs department about starting an indoor cycling program that would be inclusive, affordable and accessible to the community. “We have an “if you build it, they will come” philosophy: we felt Maplewood needed an affordable indoor cycling program as a fitness resource, and we’re betting on you.”

cyclemaplewood

Indoor Cycling

CycleMaplewood focuses exclusively on indoor cycling, with several classes offered per week. Occasionally, a yoga class is also available. There are 15 Spinner Pro bikes with the traditional cages. These bikes are the workhorses of the Spinner brand, are SPD compatible and offer a very smooth ride. Reservations can be directly made using the studio’s website (http://www.cyclemaplewood.com/reservations.html). The bikes are located on the actual stage, with the Woodland concert hall in front of you if you are a rider. This is the most unique setup I have seen, lending some distinctive acoustics to the ride in addition to the charm of a historic landmark, theater lights and floor-to-ceiling show curtains. CycleMaplewood is a no-frills studio, offering several classes per week at a very affordable cost of $14 per class. A “book” of 10 classes is offered at $120, or you can take advantage of a monthly subscription at $60.

 Quick Summary

 

Final Thoughts

Alli’s vision is simple: “CycleMaplewood is a community indoor cycling program…it represents the best of citizens working with government.” Alli is tenacious, dedicated and one of the most hard working individuals you will ever meet. She is also an excellent indoor cycling instructor who motivates her riders and pushes them to exceed their expectations. I wish Alli continued success in her journey.

 

Ride on.

 

Tom

 

images courtesy of CycleMaplewood

#Indoorcycling Studio Owners: Startup Advice – How to Avoid Launch Problems in 5 Easy Steps

In the past 5 years, I have participated in three indoor cycling studio launches. All studio owners invested heavily in their studios, purchasing new bikes, new sound systems and various needed amenities. In addition, they invested heavily in recruiting instructors and staff. Then, their schedules were posted on their websites. Invariably, within six months, all three studios had to pare down the number of classes, had to release instructors and generated significant losses instead of positive revenue. As a veteran indoor cycling instructor, I knew that the launch excitement and enthusiasm clouded the studio owners’ outlook. I also knew that the necessary research was not properly done; that is, the research into the studio’s geographical area, demographics, commuter patterns, proximity to mass transit/major highways, easy access to parking and subscription packages/offers.

I wanted to share the following five suggestions with anyone who is contemplating an indoor cycling studio launch or has launched a studio but is currently struggling to attract riders and generate revenue:

1. Scale Up not Down

One of the studios I worked with launched with 4 classes daily and on scaleup0204131421weekends. The owner hired 12 instructors. So, that’s 28 classes per week. Then the owner proceeded to schedule some of the classes back-to-back. For example, she scheduled a Monday 7pm class, followed by an 8pm class. She also scheduled 8am, 9am, 10am and 11am classes on Saturday. What happened was that there were not enough riders to fill these classes. So the 8pm class on Monday had “zero” attendance because riders went to the 7pm class. Similarly, weekend classes were heavily attended in the 8am and 9am slots but not later simply because riders had family obligations, children activities, etc. As a result, the owner, had to cut back on underperforming classes – now, she offers 2 classes per day and only 5 instructors remain. This caused a strain on her relationship with instructors – not only many instructors had no attendance, but the owner did not readjust the schedule to re-distribute the workload. Therefore, scaling up after launch is far better and more cost effective then scaling down, canceling classes and letting go of instructors.

 2. Avoid Heavy Reliance on Social Discounts

Think about it: if you just launched a new studio and offered a Groupon Supplement-Discountsdiscount package, then you have just defined what your classes are worth – it is called impression of value; and, unfortunately, the impression is of a discount. In other words, customers who purchase that “deal” will have established in their minds a baseline price for your services – which, in effect is the discount price. Now, let’s look at this from the angle of a well-established studio. Such a studio has existing value (or price per class). When they offer a discounted packaged, customers will compare the discounted price to the baseline price per ride and then purchase it based on the fact that it will save them money. The point is that you devalue your studio when you attempt to attract new riders with a social media discount package. Wait until you have a loyal following and a solid reputation; then, and only then, offer a discount package, it at all.

3. Location, Commuters & Demographics

If the studio is not near a major commuting hub or if it is not in a very Location_signs_iconlarge city, attracting riders to early am classes (5am) or late pm classes (8pm) will be difficult. If your market is Los Angeles or New York City, there are enough people who live in these locations to have sufficient traffic/riders to come into your studio. If you are in a small town, look at commuting patterns and your studio’s proximity to mass transit or major highways. These are factors that will play a critical role in increasing ridership and directly contribute to the success of your studio.

4. Simple and Clear Price Packages

When you launch a studio, you will be tempted to offer a variety of price price-tag-01_2packages: student price, senior citizen prices, teen price, 5-pack prices, 1 year subscriptions, and so on. With so many price points, you will create confusion and possibly lead to misunderstandings with customers on what they purchased, when it expires, when to use it, etc. You do not need this headache when you launch. Instead, focus on three price points – for example: single ride price (walk in or online reservation), 5-ride packaged and 10-ride package. These are just suggestions – just try not to create too many packages. Keep it simple and add packages as you become more established.

5. Avoid Competing With Yourself

Many indoor cycling studios launch with several offering such as TRX, maxresdefaultYoga, Personal Training, Nutrition Classes, etc. While this strategy may pay off when you are in a major city or metropolitan area, it probably will not if you are in a small town. Having so many offerings will likely backfire. You will have a few participants in each class, thus creating the impression that your studio is not attracting enough members. Instead, have a laser-like focus on your core model – providing fun, safe and effective indoor cycling workouts. Then, as your business gains traction, you can start looking into other types of exercise to explore the possibility of adding them to your portfolio.

If you need further advice on bike platforms, sound systems, ventilation, studio setup or other startup help, please contact me.

Bonus: Don’t Be Like Them

Your studio should a be a reflection of your vision: what indoor cycling represents and how it benefits the individual. The temptation is too strong to imitate what national chains do or what your competition is doing.  Instead, keep it real, keep it you!! There will be a time to do what other are doing, but for now, as you launch your indoor cycling studio, just be YOU!!

 

Tom

 

 

Hair Nation #indoorcycling Themed Ride – Nov.2015

Continuing with themed rides throughout the month of November, I put together the “Hair Nation” indoor cycling ride and playlist that showcased famous big hair bands of the 80’s and 90’s. That period featured acts by groups such as: Poison, Bon Jovi, Mötley Crüe, Guns N’ Roses, Ratt, Great White, Skid Row, Dokken, Cinderella, Whitesnake, King’s X, Winger, Quiet Riot, Tesla, Def Leppard, Scorpions, W.A.S.P., Queensrÿche, Alice Cooper, Kiss, Ozzy Osbourne, David Lee Roth, Twisted Sister, Warrant, Europe, Slaughter, Extreme, Vixen, Night Ranger, and many more.

Here is the playlist:

#RockOn

#RideOn

Tom

You are #Limitless – #Indoorcycling Playlist – Nov.2015

Limitless, an adjective, meaning without end, limit, or boundary. Tonight’s ride was about knowing the limits but reaching beyond, even for just one second. During the indoor cycling ride, I explored with my class the potential and the possibility of being limitless, where you are not held back, bound by fear or self-doubt. The playlist I put together aims to help you see the limit, then cross the line.
Be #Limitless.
Enjoy!