Welcome to spin city

October 29, 2013
ZenGo Cycle’s only studio is in Bethesda, but the company plans to go nationwide. (Teddy Wolff/For Express)
ZenGo Cycle’s only studio is in Bethesda, but the company plans to go nationwide. (Teddy Wolff/For Express)

The Capital Bikeshare program and miles of new bike lanes have helped the District earn a reputation as a cycling city. But what happens behind closed doors matters around here, and D.C. has seriously lagged behind as an indoor cycling city.

That could start to change in December, when ZenGo Cycle expands beyond its Bethesda location to a second outpost in Logan Circle (1508 14th St. NW). This is the first step in a plan being hatched through a new partnership among ZenGo founder Marc Caputo, Dennis Ratner (who started Hair Cuttery) and Streetsense’s Marc Ratner. ZenGo will soon open four more regional locations — Fairfax and Gaithersburg, Md., are definite so far — and then expand nationally, according to Caputo.

“Everyone is branching out from big box gyms,” says Caputo, who wants to seize on this trend to build the ZenGo brand. The team is redesigning the website before launching the Logan location, which will boast a new look as well as more advanced sound and lighting systems.

One factor in ZenGo’s favor? “SoulCycle isn’t in D.C. yet,” he says.

The emphasis is on the “yet,” because SoulCycle, the cultish chain from New York, will open a D.C. studio with more than 45 bikes in May. “It’s centrally located to pull people from Georgetown and downtown,” SoulCycle’s Gabby Etrog Cohen says of the Foggy Bottom address.

Real estate is also on the mind of Ashish Lall, director at the Fortuna Realty Group, which has been hunting down spaces for Revolve. The brand debuted in Clarendon before opening a second location in Manhattan. Now it’s ready to go big with 15 additional locations over the next two years, Lall says. At least two of those will be in the Washington region (and at least one will be in D.C. proper), adds Lall, who notes that the company is in “serious talks” about a site.

He doesn’t think any of the brands need to worry about gearing up in the same city at the same time. More cycling studios, Lall says, just means more traffic.

And indoors, that’s a good thing.

In Tandem

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Revolve instructor Francina Segbefia, 36, is pregnant and wants you along for the ride. “There are a lot of pregnancy myths — you can’t do this or that. I haven’t slowed down at all,” says Segbefia, a full-time lawyer who teaches seven classes a week (a mix of cycling and Zumba). The Clarendon resident blogs for revolvefitness.com and her own site, ironladysblog.wordpress.com. With 10 weeks until her due date, Segbefia has maxed out her bike settings to accommodate her belly. Seeing her pedal motivates students, she says, “especially when I’m doing more than they are.”

Park It: D.C. cyclists are also seeing an expansion of bike parking. For a chance to win a $100 City Sports gift card, visit goldentriangledc.com and vote for the name of the Golden Triangle’s newest artistic bike rack (being unveiled at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 6 at 2055 L St. NW).

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