After attending ICI/PRO Conference 2010, Kathy Ehrlich-Scheffer and husband Matt were motivated to open their own studio. In her words, “to bring the best the industry has to offer to our riders.” And to her credit, she has done just that. Kathy and Matt opened Cycledelic, their vision of an indoor cycling studio on the well known 12 Corners in Rochester, New York. To say that this studio is unlike most would be an understatement. Kathy and Matt have seen to every detail. This is clearly evident from your first step inside to toweling off before going on your way.
If you are an indoor cycle instructor with a bent toward showmanship, 😉 this studio is Nirvana to to teach in. Kathy had shown me the studio shortly after opening and Iâ€™ve been waiting for the opportunity to get my butt up on her stage.
Opportunity knocked, the weekend of Cycledelic's first anniversary (Saturday, October 20, 2012) as that date was juxtaposed with Rochester Institute of Technology's parents weekend. Since our son's a freshman there, my trip was preordained. I invited myself to do a guest instructor class that day.
Rochester is also my home town having moved to the San Francisco bay area 25 years ago. Ah, when the stars align. Knowing the sleep habits of college students, I figured I'd be able to have a fun workout with the crew there on the 12 corners before my student saw the light of day. Kathy was all for it, immediately replacing husband Matt's 0800 class with my name.
I stopped by Cycledelic the day before to check it over. Turns out Matt has thought of everything. Their projector is HD, the perfect size 16:9 screen, lighting controls like I have only seen at concerts, plenty of wall mounted fans and a sound system that leaves nothing to chance. I had iPod Classic, iPad and MacBook Pro all going simultaneously.
The theme for my ride was, Indoor Cycling, From Then to Now. The idea was to silhouette how technology has enhanced the experience instructors can create for our riders. The Cycledelic studio was engineered perfectly for such a show. Right down to the right mix of color from the baseboard lighting. I was in heaven.
Kathy did a great job of promoting my visit, resulting in a full house. The 70 minute presentation/ride came off without a hitch even if I did not quite sync my class builder app (providing me with cue information) with my Mac which was providing video and sound.
After class, Cycledelic provides three shower rooms with towels for those that need to head off smelling all fresh. There is not one client comfort that Kathy has not thought of. She personally maintains her bikes insuring her customers that all the great metrics work. Kathy is very selective with who gets to instruct and how they deliver. And, conveniently located in the same strip mall is Starbucks where we convened post ride to pat ourselves on the back and celebrate the anniversary.
If all this is sounding a bit like a travelogue itâ€™s not. (Yet if you find yourself in Rochester, New York don't miss a visit to Cycledelic)
A couple of points.
First it is the ‘boutique studiosâ€™ like Cycledelic that are blazing the trail for Indoor Cycling 2.0. We cannot thank them enough. Boutiques are doing what the big boxes are very slowly realizing, differentiation by technology. Those of us working in big box gyms can attest to the lethargy of change at these bottom line oriented facilities.
What Iâ€™m saying (my second point) goes to my earlier post (A Good Reason to Come Back – October 2012). Simply stated, boutique studios are compelled to provide their customers with a good reason to come back. They must – at every level – provide the service that their customers are willing to keep paying for, or close the doors. Essentially that translates to, incredible customer service, effective training, incredible customer service, entertaining distractions and, incredible customer service.
As I type this Kathy is posting to the Cycledelic FaceBook page photos and videos of their Halloween ride. It was another sold out room for a fun filled 90 minute workout set to the music of the eighties.
Kathy can't teach all the classes. She is, after all, a woman balancing the responsibilities of mother, wife, daughter and business. So who she chooses to put on the stage at Cycledelic must understand the meaning of ‘on stageâ€™. It is not just about the training but also the performance. She has found it difficult to find such instructors.
My greatest worry before teaching my class at Cycledelic was not about the workout but rather, letting Kathy down by not providing a remarkable experience for her customers. Hopefully that's what happened. In my opinion that's how it should be, wherever we teach, for all of us, all of the time.
Originally posted 2012-11-01 09:33:32.