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The competition in Boston's indoor cycling arena keeps picking up, with seemingly a new studio opening every month—though the latest one to open, Pursuit Boston, can call itself an officially licensed Spinning® studio. From its instructors to its bikes, Pursuit embodies the namesake brand of the cycling phenomenon. We spoke with co-owner Jennie Dutil about what makes these 26 bikes in a second-floor Boylston Street studio different from the slew of other spots around town.
How did the studio come to be?
I've always loved spinning and got into it when I had a knee injury and surgery in college. About a year and a half ago I decided I wanted to share my passion with more people and create an environment that is community focused.
So you're officially licensed as a Spinning® studio. What defines that trademarked experience versus any other indoor cycling studio?
Two things. One, we adhere to the Spinning® program. Basically, we don't do classes with any contradictory movements—we don't use weights, we don't cycle without resistance, no hovering. Movements like that which contradict with indoor cycling was developed for. Safety is at the real core of the Spinning® program, so anything that could put you at risk of injury are things we don't do. Also all of our instructors have to be MDA [Mad Dogg Athletics] certified by the company that owns Spinning.
And are there particular bikes used?
There are, they are called Spinners and created by Star Trac. They are similar to other bikes on the market. The Spinning program was initially designed as a way for outdoor cyclers to work out indoors, and it used all the same principles to get your body ready for outdoor cycling.
What kind of fitness backgrounds do your students typically have?
Honestly, they vary. That's one of the great things about the Spinning® program, it's designed for all fitness levels and ages. We get everybody from people training for marathons to outdoor cyclists, even a cute couple in their 70s that come here.
What is your background? What steps took you from being a Spinning® student to opening a studio?
For almost ten years I was in human resources at a financial company here in Boston, which I think really helped me with sourcing our instructors. I wanted to make Spinning more of a career move for me. I went to people with the Spinning® program around the country and also people in the area. It's been helpful getting the space open. One of the key things to whether you're successful or not are your instructors.
Tell us a bit about the community and charity aspects you have tied into Pursuit.
From the start we really wanted to make sure our studio wasn't only a place for people to get in a great workout; we wanted to give back to our local community. So, 365 days a year, we will donate $1 for each rider who comes through our doors to a local charity. Every quarter we'll change the recipient and for our first quarter we chose Dana Farber. On the other side of that we also do tie-ins with local businesses in the area, from carrying New Balance to fabulous headbands that a local Navy wife made.
What is the main differentiator for Pursuit in an increasingly competitive Boston cycling landscape?
When we initially set out to open Pursuit we did it completely with the rider in mind. We took the best of everything. We have the stadium-style seating, there's not a bad seat in the house. You can see the instructor and they can see you from any bike. We have a state-of-the-art sound system, eight speakers over four rows of bikes. LED lighting that can change the mood of the room with the push of a button.
We bought the newest and best bikes on the market; they can only be found in a few studios around the country. They have performance tracking on them. Another layer to that is fairly soon we'll have a bike booking app for people to decide which bike they want, and then at the end of the ride, we'll send them their average RPM, distance, power, and if they have a heart rate monitor that pairs with the system, they'll also get their heart rate and calories burned.
Pursuit Boston classes run for 45 minutes at $22 per class and can be booked online with full locker room amenities available.
· Meet the Company That Trademarked the Word 'Spin' [Racked National]
· Pursuit Boston [Official Site]