by Julie Chyna, executive editor
Later this month, a pair of longtime Oak Parkers will be opening CycleBar, an indoor cycling studio in River Forest.
“Every aspect of the studio is focused on just spinning,”sayd Jackie Benson, who co-owns the studio with her husband, Mike. “Because bikes are stationary, you can’t judge how fast or strong someone else in the class is. There’s no judging or comparing. You can have a 20-something and a 60-something in the same class and enjoying it at the same level. You’re only competing with yourself.”
Benson originally worked as a portfolio manager, with a successful career in institutional money management even through the economic downturn. But when she wanted to be able to devote more time to her family, she and Mike decided to move into the fitness business.
CycleBar rides feature continuously changing playlists, customized lighting, and innovative routines designed to condition and energize. The instructors, who are known as CycleStars, say they are are equal parts DJ, educator, drill sergeant, motivator, and friend, and they undergo intensive training to learn CycleBars’s philosophies and approach to spinning before teaching at the studio.
By partnering with local and national organizations such as the American Heart Association, CycleBar also gives back to the community through its CycleGiving program.
Instead of memberships, CycleBar offers a pay-per-class system. Participants are led on a 50-minute, high-energy ride with LED lighting, wide-screen graphics and state-of-the-art audio. Riders are able to track their performance during class via CycleStats, which are customized results that are emailed to each guest after the class so they can track the progress of their fitness journey. Along with their personal results, guests are also emailed the customized playlist they heard during class.
“This company was the one that made the most sense for me, and for Oak Park and River Forest,” Benson says. “The most important thing to me is my family – I’m going to be doing what’s best for my family and community, so I can’t wait for us to open.”
Find out more about CycleBar’s grand opening (and win some free classes!) by following the studio on Facebook.