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Cycling spins in a new direction

Article and photo by Lisa Nicklanovich

Photo of Michelle Stutler on her Peloton bike

Michelle Stutler on her Peloton bike, which has been a great way to workout indoors. Peloton orders surged earlier this year as gyms closed. Peloton Digital offers a free trial of their fitness app, with offerings that do not require the bike, such as yoga, strength training and meditation.

Closed gyms and finding ways to exercise at home were good for the stationary bike market, and Peloton is leading the pack. The high-end indoor bicycle enables riders to have a challenging, competitive, high-tech pedaling experience at home. With its Wi-Fi enabled touchscreen tablet that streams live and on-demand classes, Peloton became a very desirable item this year when working out meant staying at home.

Community resident Michelle Stutler, a pediatric nurse at Sky Ridge Medical Center, was glad she bought her bike in December 2019, since many consumers have had long waits with a backlog of Peloton orders this spring.

According to Peloton, there are 866,100 connected fitness subscribers, a 94% increase from spring last year. Community is a big part of the Peloton scene. Companies have organized group rides that raise money for those in need. Members connect for challenges and support each other’s physical and mental well-being through these challenging times.

Stutler said the personal challenges are motivating for her, and she likes how she gets more information and feedback on the tablet than she would in a studio class. An abundant amount of data is available for Peloton subscribers on their leaderboard – too much to list here, but if a rider wants to know basically anything about their performance, they can get it.

If all this connectedness, competition and camaraderie sounds like too much, and if you don’t feel quite ready to return to the gym, hop on a bicycle and hit one of the many trails we are fortunate to have here. There won’t be a leaderboard tracking your number or comparing you to others, no dance club music, no instructor telling you to dig deep; it’s no wonder bicycle sales have surged as well.

For Stutler though, and many devoted Peloton users, the variety of instructors, music, and classes – including off-bike classes in yoga, meditation, strength, stretching and running – keeps them coming back. Stutler said she will often run, then take a post-run stretching class for variety from her favorite – a challenging on-demand interval cycling class to ‘80s music.

This experience comes with a steep up-front cost of roughly $2,300 plus the $39-per-month membership fee for the streaming content and iOs or Android app, which is obligatory for the first year. Stutler was committed to at-home workouts before 2020, so she knew she would use this large and expensive piece of equipment. What she didn’t expect was that her husband would love it too.



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