Rec Center cycling classes grow in popularity

Sept. 23, 2013

Taylor Hargis
[email protected]

Nick Burns | The Scribe
As part of an ongoing expansion of facilities and services, the Rec Center has introduced a new set of cycling classes this semester.

Using 16 brand-new stationary bikes, one for the class instructor and 15 available for students, the classes focus on endurance and interval training.

Funded from the Rec Center’s capital budget, every bike was purchased for a little more than $1,000, discounted from their initial $1,400 price tag.

Also included free in the purchase were the computer consoles for each bike that track distance, revolutions per minute (RPM) and time, which are worth more than $200 apiece.

Although attendance was initially low at about two or three people, the number of people attending was “acceptable for a new program,” said Annette Biggs, associate director of aquatics and fitness, noting the challenges in marketing something new.

“There’s a barrier [of people saying] ‘Oh, I’m not going to try that, I’ll look stupid. I don’t know what I’m doing’ versus going out there and trying with friends,” Biggs said.

She stressed that classes strive to be open to people of all skill levels and abilities.

“We serve all students so that they feel like they’re successful whether they’re super fit or not. We focus a lot on education versus ‘feeling the burn,'” Biggs said.

The Rec Center chose to pursue the cycle classes in order to round out class opportunities for students.

“I think if you really look at what everyone else is doing in the campus recreational development, it’s a very natural program to have,” said Biggs. “And we have the space and capacity to store those bikes.”

“We’re already doing the cardio-based programs,” she added. “We’re already doing the strength-based programs. We have our strength and conditioning programs for those higher-skill levels. And then we have our dance formats. It’s really about completing the offerings of courses.”

Maggie Nichols, freshman and instructor for two of the eight classes, said she was seeing “more and more people every week” as current students spread the word.

“Originally there were only like two people, but in my last class [Sept. 15], there were 10,” she said. “It’s a lot more fun with more people.”

In order to be accessible for students, classes are offered in “as many formats in as many time blocks as possible,” said Biggs.

There is a cycling course offered at least once every day of the week excluding Thursday, and times range from 6:45 a.m. to 7 p.m. Class listings can be found on the Campus Rec website ( or at the front desk.

Additionally, the cycling course is offered in both 45- and 60-minute versions. Both incorporate a warm-up, 30-35 minutes of straight cycling and a cool-down, but the longer version also offers a 15-minute core workout.

For those who may be nervous about trying something new, the Rec Center also offers educational workshops on the bikes that instruct newcomers on how to set up their bike and form.

Nichols encourages more students to join in. “It’s a lot of fun and a great workout.”