It’s Time for Training Wheels

Indoor cycling studios are going to be rolling out across the city


Arlington’s Revolve, above, has plans to branch out with locations in the District.

Capital Bikeshare’s not the only reason Washington’s going for a ride. Although the city has lagged behind New York and Los Angeles for years when it comes to indoor cycling studios, it’s now pedaling furiously to catch up.

Red Bow owner Jane Brodsky announced last week that her Capitol Hill exercise studio is about to change gears. In April, it’ll reopen in a new location as Biker Barre and offer indoor cycling as well as ballet-based toning. The match makes sense to Brodsky, who explains that both classes are music-driven and offer low-impact, effective exercise. It’s also a way to capitalize on the surge of interest in cycling.

Three bike studios opened their doors in the area last year, including Bethesda’s ZenGo, which also pairs cycling and barre classes. But even with a packed schedule, demand continues to outstrip supply, says ZenGo’s Marc Caputo.

Sylvan Garfunkel, president of Revolve, is dealing with similar problems with his Arlington facility, which is why he’s already eyeing more real estate. Although a New York location is next, Revolve is negotiating for two sites in the District: one on U Street and another in Georgetown.

Before those get going — possibly by this fall — Washington will have welcomed even more wheels. The Art of SpYn, set to open this spring in Penn Quarter, is billing itself as the city’s “first indoor cycling and yoga studio.” (That’s technically true, because CycleStudio, which offers the same combo, is in Alexandria.)

In May, OffRoad Indoor Cycling will debut in Shaw. The two-story space will devote one floor to bikes and the other to kettlebells and TRX suspension training. “We see ourselves as a cycling gym, not a studio,” says co-owner Tali Wenger, who’s particularly hoping to target the triathlete market.

Each place has its own spin on indoor cycling. Some incorporate weights into the rides, and others are turning to technology to provide more feedback for students. ZenGo offers teen classes, and Biker Barre plans to continue its BYOBaby program for moms who can’t find a sitter. Maybe that’s why no one seems particularly worried about the competition. “I look at it as legitimizing the concept,” Garfunkel says.

If Revolve and other studios manage to keep up this pace, it won’t be long until everyone can ride inside.

Vicky Hallett is a MisFits columnist and the Fit editor for Express.
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