September 20, 2018
CycleBar JC owner Jason on how he and his wife Becky turned spin class into their life’s work — plus how spin instructors are recruited.
Plenty of behind-the-scenes pedaling was required to get CycleBar Jersey City ready to open its doors by its launch date of June 28, 2018. “The search for a suitable location in downtown Jersey City was challenging. The process from signing agreements with CycleBar to opening took over 2 years,” says co-owner Jason.
It was worth the wait! We’re delighted with our space and its location in Harborside district. Indoor cycling was something my wife Becky and I had enjoyed together for many years. We had been taking classes at many different studios in Manhattan and over time we saw its popularity continue to grow.
During this time the couple had begun to talk about starting a business of our own.
“Both being CPAs we were talking about exciting ventures like starting up our own tax practice. But one day Becky began to research indoor cycling. We were looking into how we could start something from scratch ourselves, until we discovered CycleBar, a small team which at that point was based in Cincinnati, Ohio. After many discussions we finally moved in on the Downtown Jersey City location. Two years on, here we are.”
Both Jason and Becky are transplants to the area, but have called JC home since 2011.
“I’m originally from a small village in the county of Yorkshire, England, and Becky originates from Idaho. So how did we end up in Jersey City, you ask? We were both working in the finance industry in the British Virgin Islands when we met. After spending more than 4 years in the Islands Becky was offered an opportunity to relocate to New York City. I soon followed. After a few years living and working in Manhattan we decided to start looking at our options in Jersey City, and settled here seven years ago. We have seen so many changes to the area in such a short period of time, and are very excited to bring CycleBar to the area.”
Though CycleBar’s classes are short and sweet at 45 minutes each, the days are long – typically starting around 5am for Jason and Becky. “5:45am is our first class of the day and one of our best-attended classes. We offer another early morning class around 7:00 am and then alternate with either a 9:30 am or 12:30 pm to round off the early part of the day. In the evenings we offer an additional 3 classes with start times ranging between 5:00 pm and our latest offering at 8:00 pm. Weekends we start a little later and currently offer 3 classes throughout the morning.”
Jason and Becky hope to build out this schedule as demand increases. But in the meantime they have plenty to keep them in gear.
“August sees the start of our themed rides, along with our Friday Happy Hour, where you can enjoy a cold beer on us after the last ride of the day, Wine Down Wednesday and, last but not least, our Sunday Brunch Ride,” says Jason.
Becky, meanwhile, is in charge of the “CycleStar” auditions. “CycleBar looks for a particular style of instructor. Although many try, only a handful are selected to attend our 4-day boot camp. We’ve ended up with a great team of instructors all hitting the CycleBar brand requirements, but all with their unique style and personalities,” says Jason.
It’s a team that will be built up as the rapidly expanding brand solidifies itself in JC.
“CycleBar as a brand is growing across the United States and has started to branch out internationally with locations in Dubai, Canada and, soon, London, England. For Jersey City our focus is to become an integral part of what we believe is a great community. We aim to be an all-inclusive venue where people can come work out, have fun and meet new friends. CycleBar is really a community-driven business. One great initiative is CycleGiving, where we partner with local charities to ‘sell’ the use of our 49 bikes for a donation of between
$25–100. All the proceeds from that ride are donated to the nominated charity. Any charities out there interested in this initiative are free to drop us a line!”
SPINNING IS A BIG PART OF JASON’S ROUTINE , AND HE’S COMPETITIVE ABOUT IT, TOO.
One thing I love about CycleBar are the stats and the class leader board, which pushes me to my limits every time in an attempt to finish first — although this doesn’t happen often!”
When they’re not on their bikes, you can find Jason and Becky outdoors mountain biking or hiking — with a recent trip involving climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
But future trips may have to wait a bit: currently the couple’s focus is 100% on growing CycleBar in Jersey City.