Picture a room of 40 people on stationary bikes raised on tiers, looking down at a lead instructor stadium style. The normal lights are dim but colored lighting responds to the changing rhythms of the electric, pounding music as the instructor on the forward bike prepares the sweating, shining backs for one last virtual uphill climb.
“You’re almost there! One more time—15 seconds hard as you can, then ease up for 15! You ready? You can do it . . .”
The music builds, the colored LED lights respond, and when the beat drops, every leg muscle grinds forward with smooth, churning power as if everyone was actually racing to the top. This is indoor cycling. It’s big, it’s fun, and it’s /vīb/ cycle.
“This is a shift from traditional indoor cycle classes,” says Jacenda Fletcher, who with her partner Lindsey Sawicki have used their personal and caring touch to create more than just another exercise studio. “Beyond having state-of-the-art Stages bikes, we’re creating a space where people of any age, any ability, any fitness level can come in whatever they’re comfortable wearing and feel welcomed and encouraged.
“Our instructors will motivate and fine tune the riders’ efforts but will also offer inspiration and calls to action that people can take with them throughout the week. This is a place where others will welcome them and genuinely care about them.”
Sawicki agrees. “It’s not just about coming in, working out, then leaving. This is a space where people can feel at home. They can show up early to hang out and relax before their class starts or stick around after class for some Kombucha and conversation.”
Fletcher and Sawicki are well prepared for the challenge of this new business, set to open this November in south Anchorage. Both are lifelong Alaskans, Fletcher being raised in Slana, Alaska and Sawicki splitting her childhood between Anchorage and Kodiak. Fletcher is certified as a health coach and Schwinn indoor cycling teacher and the two met when Sawicki became a client. Their friendship and enthusiasm for indoor cycling grew and when one day Fletcher phoned Sawicki, who was then working as a Charles Schwab consultant, to see if she was interested in partnering for a business venture, she didn’t even get the question out before Sawicki said, “You’re starting an indoor cycle studio? I’m in!”
Fletcher’s experience as a health coach has shaped her purpose and design. “I saw that when people are interested in losing weight or becoming healthier, they go to a gym or change their diet but they need some other aspect of fulfillment that helps them make the changes in their lives that will help them change their bodies.”
This might be done through incorporating inspirational videos or thoughts, it might be through encouraging random acts of kindness, or through partnering with other local relief or non-profit organizations, but above all it’s helping people carry what they learn out into the community and draw strength together. More than anything, it’ll be fun. “It’s like a dance party in a cycle room,” says Sawicki. “And it’s about embracing your vibe!”