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Stroga’s new room for cycling, however, is anything but quiet

February 19, 2013

Instructor Carlin Moore takes students on a bike ride at Stroga’s new indoor cycling studio, located in the mansion’s library.

At Stroga, the Adams Morgan boutique gym, students have been able to bicycle their legs while doing crunches, and to change gears by switching from kettlebells to medicine balls. But it wasn’t until the debut of Stroga’s indoor cycling studio on Feb. 11 that they were able to really ride.

“It adds another form of motion,” says manager Jeffrey Melvin, who notes that cycling is the most cardio-focused class on the gym’s schedule.

The heart-pumping benefits are what persuaded Peter Davidson to saddle up last Tuesday night. The 26-year-old has been a regular at Stroga, taking yoga and other classes up to six times a week. In the warmer months, he supplements his workouts by running outside.

“But when it’s cold, forget it,” Davidson said.

What impressed Davidson even more than the class — a series of sprints, climbs and jumps to a thumping selection of tunes — was the soundproofing of the room. Music is key to an effective cycling workout, and he was pleased to find out that instructor Carlin Moore could crank up his playlist without disrupting the other programs in the building.

Stroga occupies an old mansion, with yoga in the second floor ballroom and strength-based classes on the top floor. To make room for cycling, owner Doug Jeffries had the idea of taking over the library, which sits next to the reception area.

In addition to controlling the noise level, Stroga staff made a few other changes to the room with tape and paint. So when the regular lights turn off, the black lights go on — and the mood flips from “Downton Abbey” to disco alley: The front walls reveal zebra stripe patterns, and the glass cabinets on each side glow neon green.

“We’re trying to create a vibe of more like a club,” Melvin says. “You want to see the lights, go work out and have fun.”

That’s what Margaux Fimbres, 25, did Tuesday night — and she’s ready to come back for more.

“Ohmigosh” is how Fimbres described the workout’s intensity. One thing that helped her keep pushing? The intimate size of the room. With just 15 bikes, “I didn’t feel lost,” she said.

Advanced riders may wish the Schwinn bikes were compatible with clip-in shoes; Melvin says he’s looking into resolving that issue. The even bigger project he’s working on is figuring out ways to add cycling to other fitness offerings to create combo classes.

“Are we mixing it up? Always,” Melvin says.

Cycling at Stroga (1808 Adams Mill Road NW; 202-238-9642, Stroga.com) is $22 for drop-ins, $102 for a six-pack. There’s also a current promotion: $300 for three months unlimited.

More Hot Wheels

A vintage cycling poster welcomes students to D.C.’s newest all-cycling studio, but there’s nothing old-fashioned about Peloton (2217 14th St. NW; 202-621-7513, Pelotondc.com), starting with the electronic consoles on the 20 Schwinn bikes. Co-owner Misook Issa says the programs are designed to provide everything a cyclist needs. In addition to 45-minute classes focused on riding, Peloton offers 75-minute sessions that end with 25 minutes of strengthening (with resistance bands) or stretching. The first class is free; drop-ins are $20; class packs and memberships are available.

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