A bunch of us recently got together at Bob’s Cycles to do a bike trainer workout.
I’ve wanted to do this for awhile, but it was difficult finding a bike shop who would lend us space after hours (as well as finding one with enough room for everyone to attend).
We had some ideas on how we wanted this one to go, and, after doing one, we have some more feedback on what went well and what can be better.
It is more fun riding with friends than it is riding the trainer at home. But that doesn’t change that trainer riding is, inherently, boring.
Some shops just put a favorite workout video. Cycleops has a pretty good set of videos that go with the trainer.
However, the best is when you can find a fitness instructor to lead the class. We were able to bribe one of our friends who teaches spin class three days a week at Planet Juno to lead the workout.
Sweat is the enemy, and no shop owner wants their business smelling like a gym at the end of the session. Gym mats are a must, and you need to have a plan to wipe down all of the surfaces. I think the Clorox or Lysol wipes work best for resetting the place and leaving it smelling better than it did at the start of class.
3. Set Expectations
Sometimes cyclists aren’t the most prepared. Setting expectations on what people need to bring and what will be provided are critical to the success of your first trainer class.
Do your riders need to bring a bike? Trainers? Are rollers allowed? Do they need their mats? Snacks?
This becomes more important when you are holding class at a bike shop. Cyclists have a bad habit of thinking they can buy everything last minute, or they’ll try to slip their bike into the shop for a last minute tweak.
Many shops don’t mind this, but you need to know if the mechanics are still going to be there and if the register will be open. Communicate that in advance with your riders.
4. Get Free Swag Through Partnerships
The winter time is the best for synergizing. Most shops and organizations are slower in the winter and love having new angles for promoting their wares.
If you can get introductions to local sales reps, you might be able to work with them to get free gear, free snacks, and free power drinks.
It creates a VIP experience when everyone is getting special towels and bottles and newly released snacks to try.
Independent gyms are another excellent avenue for getting space or getting things like a gift card.
5. Gather Around The Tube
This is an old idea, but watch parties work well for group trainer classes. Maybe everyone wants to watch the Alp De huez on the Troudefrance. Or maybe you can combine your training session by watching a live Track race.
It’s an idea as old as the television, but can be a lot of fun. .
6. Costume it up
Add a twist. Everyone wears a costume. Or they get their friends to donate 10 cents per mile ridden. Or everyone brings cookies.
Find a way to add your twist.
It’s these little things that will make your ride unique and increase club engagement.