Would you teach indoor cycling in a facility that required ?
I live, work and play in and around Denver Colorado. The indoor cycling studio scene has not yet made its way into the Mile High City. We have some awesome stand alone studios like Breakaway, Epic Ryde, Beat Cycle and the Dailey Method, but the big boys with the big money like Soul Cycle, Flywheel or Full Psycle have stayed in the larger metropolitan areas like NY, LA and Chicago.
A few months back rumors started to surface that an indoor cycling studio franchises was going to finally try to break into the Denver market. Indoor cycling, endurance coaching and personal training are my livelihood and I love to experience the differing atmosphere and energy of all the facilities I’m a part of and groups I lead. Having never taught, on a regular basis, in a studio setting I was excited to experience the interview and audition process in an attempt to be offered an instructor position at a facility who’s soul focus is indoor cycling. There are many large health clubs in the Denver area and most of them have successful indoor cycling programs but indoor cycling is only a small part of their many fitness offerings. Stand alone studios have the ability to give indoor cycling and it’s participants the 100% focus needed to provide the best possible experience.
So as the weeks went by I kept an eye on various fitness and local business press releases waiting for the news to break on who was this big indoor cycling franchise coming to Denver. Eventually it was announced and I was excited to hear that it would be Bill Pryor and Alex Klemmer’s CycleBar. This was great news to me, Bill Pryor is one of the most experienced and successful studio owners in the world and he has consulted with many successful studio owners throughout the county. This studio was going to be an instructor’s dream: new bikes with power, an awesome sound system, a group display system, a top notch instructor training program and best of all it was opening only 1 mile from my home in Greenwood Village CO.
Bill and Alex own the CycleBar Franchise but they are not the owners of the Greenwood Village CycleBar, so it took some searching on the internet to find the franchisee owners but before long we were trading e-mails. I to let the facility owners know who I was and that I was very interested in being part of the studio cycling scene in Denver. I was told it would be a few months before the build out was complete and they started auditioning instructors, but they had all my information and emails would be sent out on a regular basis keeping me up to date on the latest news. I waited patiently for news and even started putting together some simple sets with music and choreography preparing for my audition. Finally I received an e-mail from the one of the facility owners saying they were getting ready to set up interviews and auditions and if I could send a short bio, teaching experience, any indoor cycling certifications, where I currently teach now and how many classes I was looking to teach at CycleBar. I put all this information together and e-mailed it back.
The reply I received back shocked me! I was told that my history and experience was impressive but If I wanted to teach at CycleBar I was going to need to be exclusive. I’ve been teaching in Denver for 20 years and this is the first time I had ever heard of a facility requiring exclusivity from their instructors. Well, I’m sorry to say this was a deal breaker for me. There was no way I was going to walk out on the 12 other classes I teach every week at multiple facilities and the thousands of riders I’ve spent countess hours coaching and riding with. My hope is that this policy will some day be changed or that some other indoor cycling studio comes to Denver and doesn’t have this exclusivity policy that I personally believe is business suicide.
Studio cycling may not have made it’s way into the Denver market yet, but the fitness minded people of Colorado know indoor cycling. 21% of Coloradans have gym memberships, second most of any state in the country, and most of those gyms offer FREE indoor cycling classes. Since these large facilities are the only indoor cycling game in town all the best and most experienced instructors teach in them. These classes are included in the club membership so they are essentially free. One of the instructor perks of teaching in one of these large clubs is a free membership to a big beautiful full service facility that offers a variety of group exercise classes, pool, weight room, cardiovascular equipment, a full size locker room with whirlpool, sauna steam and multiple showers and free child care. So the question I ask is, “Why would the best indoor cycling instructors choose to work exclusively in a cycle only studio and give up their free membership to a full service health club? And, If the best instructors are teaching free classes in these full service health clubs why would someone pay to ride in a cycle only studio?”
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