riding outdoors with PeeWee herman

Can't say I'd blame anyone for wanting to ride outdoors.

Are you faced with this dilemma, now that Summer is here?

Hello John,

Thanks for your speedy response.

Here is my question with a little 'back brief' first; I live in Bend, Oregon and teach indoor cycling classes (and other types of GX as well) at the premier health club facility in my region. I have taught here for many years and can confidently say that we experience a seasonal trend in class attendance that is affected by the onset of beautiful weather! Much more so than I have seen while teaching in my other home, Southern California.

Management typically responds to this trend by cutting classes until the Fall to save on payroll. As an instructor I have learned to accept this and indulge myself in other, more self focused, activities; but in all honesty it is disheartening. Other instructors concur. I wonder if this topic is familiar to you? Have you had similar conversations with other instructors? Any insight you, or others might offer?

Really appreciate your time and expertise, and I want to say that I am a huge fan of ICI/PRO! So glad I discovered you while podcasting 🙂

In Health,


In a bit of serendipity... I received this email from my Dept Head only a few hours after Tina's.


I am reaching out to get your thoughts on if you think it is worth/ideal to offer both the 6am and 5:30pm indoor cycle classes for June-August? The last think I want to do is disappoint any of our members, but I also want to be realistic with the horrific winter we have all experienced. I am not 100% sure what the participation has been like for both classes lately?? I do feel/think that many would rather be outdoors once the sun and heat really arrive.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Thank you.


I can understand how you could feel disheartened Tina. I've experienced a cutback in classes during the Summer for as long as I have been an Instructor, so this email to me was expected. You almost have to start from scratch again, building your class in the Fall. I find myself needing to re-learn many names after the Summer and it typically takes me weeks to get back the level of rapport I enjoyed the previous season.

My response was to agree to drop the evening class at the end of May, leaving me with just one class a week. This could be a problem as Life Time has a two class per week minimum to retain your status as an employee. Thankfully in my case it isn't. I lead two scheduled outdoor rides each week (Saturday and Sunday - join me if you can) and those rides are counted as classes.

If they won't come to you inside > could you go to them outside?

If getting outdoors, after a (I'll use Tamara's words) horrific winter is what your members really want, then why not apply a little bit of "out of the box" thinking here Tina? And by "out of the box" I mean it literally - is there a possibility you could create a class that's held outdoors and not in the studio?

Your participants still want to be active, so how about...

  • Holding your Indoor Cycling class - outside?
  • You're a Group Fitness Instructor - could you offer a park class?
  • Maybe a Summer boot camp with all the activities help outdoors?
  • If you ride outside, why not start a group ride? Or find a group you could join?
  • Or maybe form a walking / running club?

What other ideas do you have?


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