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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Following Cyc’s abrupt closure in September, avid spinners and instructors banded together to create Campus Cycling, a new spinning studio temporarily located at Cyc’s former location.

Spinning to a new beat: Campus Cycling replaces Cyc Fitness on University Avenue

Campus Cycling, a new indoor cycling studio, has replaced Cyc Fitness, a popular indoor spin studio on University Avenue, which closed in October due to corporate issues.

Cyc Fitness is a national chain based in New York City. The company abruptly closed their Madison branch on Sept. 27, giving notice of the closure a week prior, according to one of the Campus Cycling owners Lisa Taylor.

“A number of us have been going for years and working there for years. We were all very sad that they were leaving and that we really had no notice of it,” Taylor said. “Some of us got together and talked about what we could do to hold things together.”

What resulted from that conversation was Campus Cycling, which opened Nov. 10 — a completely new studio that utilizes the same location. Instructors and riders alike were excited for the latest addition to the indoor biking community.

“I was shocked at first and very excited to hear Campus Cycling was opening,” said Alanna Goldman, an avid spinner. “Cyc closing was losing a friend. I have spent a lot of time there the past 3 years.” 

Taylor emphasized the difference in energy between what used to be Cyc and other spinning studios. 

“A number of the people didn’t work out in the six weeks the doors were closed, and these were people who worked out every day,” Taylor said. “It’s really the energy of the people there that makes a big difference.”

Emma Graves, a former instructor at Cyc, was excited to help start up the new studio. 

“We have all of these people that are still so passionate about cycling, we still have a clientele coming in, passionate instructors, and so we don’t want it to end,” Graves said. 

An avid Cyc rider invested in the new space on University Avenue to create a new cycling studio on campus for the cycling community. The investor wishes to remain anonymous.

Campus Cycling is currently a placeholder name for the studio, which is only temporarily located at Cyc’s former location — UW-Madison bought the current studio space for the next 15 years.

With the new name, instructors and employees are excited to develop the company in a new studio, tentatively opening at the end of February in what was previously Erik’s Bike Shop on University Avenue. 

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Front desk employee Maddie Hughes highlighted how Campus Cycling has allowed her to strengthen her marketing opportunities by helping “re-brand” the new studio away from Cyc.

“It’s super interesting and fun to create a brand from scratch,” she added. “We want to give Campus Cycling a more relaxed feeling. The instructors have more creative freedom in their classes — one instructor even plays the drums during his class.” 

Campus Cycling also has significantly lowered prices compared to Cyc — while one class cost $22 at Cyc, it’s now $12 at Campus Cycling — to make it more realistic and affordable for students, Graves said.

She loves that for many students it is the perfect break in their day and a safe space to release stress and take an hour to do something good for their body. 

“It’s good for you, it’s good to you,” Taylor said. “And we just want to make sure as many people as possible get a chance to have a ride.”

The goal for the new prices was to make the rides more doable for more students. Goldman stated that she thinks it’s accomplishing that goal.

“It’s very cool to be around a group of people that are so into something,” she said. “There are times that I smile and laugh and feel happy and just release. It's been great for my mental and physical health.”

Taylor commented on the new design of the formerly sparse studio: most of the walls when you enter the premises of the studio are covered in vibrantly-colored graffiti.

“Because we were abruptly thrown out of the place and basically told we couldn’t work out there anymore, what we tried to do was recreate the space as if we hopped the fence and went back in and tagged it and made it our own,” Taylor added. 

People interested in Campus Cycling can book a class on the Mind Body app, as the startup does not have a website yet. 

“This is an open and welcoming place,” Hughes said. “Campus Cycling has the mindfulness aspect of yoga and the instructors really care about each rider as a person. It doesn't matter if you've never been on a bike — the community is so supportive.”

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