A group of former Flywheel instructors is opening the first open-air cycling studio in Charlotte. SkyCYCLE will be on the rooftop of the Dilworth Crossing building on Park Road, next to the Food Lion on Park.
Flashback: Amid pandemic shutdowns last year, Flywheel, the once-popular indoor cycling chain with a local studio in Cotswold, abruptly filed for bankruptcy. The company permanently closed all of its studios and laid off its entire staff.
- The bankruptcy meant that the company’s assets were turned over to the landlords in each Flywheel market.
In Charlotte, former instructor Jen Dufresne and her business partners worked to acquire 27 Flywheel bikes for SkyCYCLE, which has its first class Saturday.
- Earlier this year, Dufresne opened a fitness studio called Cross Conditioning Training in the same shopping center as Flywheel.
- There are seven former Flywheel instructors who’ll lead SkyCYCLE classes. Throughout the pandemic, those instructors continued to lead cycling classes over Zoom to customers all over, Dufresne says.
“They kept their communities engaged, which was really important. They shouldn’t have a problem getting people to show up,” Dufresne says.
Why it matters: The opening of SkyCYCLE comes as life is gradually starting to return to normal. Still, the open-air nature of the classes is a “happy medium” for customers who may not be ready to work out indoors maskless with dozens of other people, Dufresne says.
- In other cities, fitness companies like SoulCycle have held classes outdoors for months. “It’s successful everywhere else — why can’t wait we do it here?” Dufresne says.
Details: SkyCYCLE classes will be similar to Flywheel’s: 45 minutes, high energy, with metrics like speed and resistance tracking. They’re offering drop-in classes only right now for $25 each. Included in that price is a towel and pair of cycling shoes.
Everyone will also get a pair of silent disco headphones to wear during each class to hear the instructor and the music. They are noise-cancelling, which is helpful since the classes are in a residential neighborhood, Dufresne says.
- There’ll be two classes per day, seven days a week, Dufresne says. SkyCYCLE will cover and lock up the bikes at night.
SkyCYCLE is launching its own app July 1. For now, you can reserve classes through SweatNET, via SkyCYCLE’s website.