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Author: Kristina Karaliene

Notes from a trade show

For me, a few key themes emerged. The first was notable interest in what I’m going to call body sculpting: not bodybuilding, but a definite quest for muscular definition among men and women alike, with long queues at the body composition stands.

Of course, developing a strong body is a good thing, but I do wonder if this risks becoming an aesthetic trend among the Insta generation. I would hate to see cardio and mobility slip down the priority list for the younger generations, just as holistic wellness moves into the mainstream for other sections of society.

With this in mind, I’m delighted to showcase Gundula Cöllen-Sorger in this edition of RIDE HIGH. The founder of BECYCLE and BEYOND, her rounded approach to fitness not only benefits members’ health but, she says, also saw the business through the pandemic.

Technology was another key theme at FIBO, with tracking and metrics now seemingly possible on almost every piece of kit. This is a topic we’ve given a lot of thought to at BODY BIKE, and I urge you to read our Mobile vs Console feature – a thought-provoking exploration of the future of onboard technology in indoor cycling.

For indoor cycling more generally, it was a story of two halves from FIBO attendees: boom markets characterised by innovation; other markets slowed by a lack of qualified, passionate instructors.

“Innovation is needed within the delivery of indoor cycling, and I’m very excited to see what AI brings to the table”

I certainly came away from the show enthused by delegates’ response to our sustainable vision and Smart+ Forest Green launch, but equally convinced that innovation is needed within the delivery of indoor cycling.

The Les Mills article shares six science-backed reasons why cycling deserves its place on the timetable. Yet for me, the continued relevance of this discipline will rely on there being some kind of fuel injection, and I’m personally very excited to see what AI brings to the table. Computer-generated programmes, animations, landscapes and avatars… all of this is unquestionably on the way, and soon. I’m excited to see what FIBO 2024 brings!

A new era of working out

For the Chinese, the number two is considered harmonious and lucky. The superstitious among us might therefore have hoped for better things in 2022, but in the end, it proved to be another hugely challenging year.

As Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine rumbles on – see our interview with Mariia Brezytska, general manager of Formula Wellness & Spa in Odessa – our continued reliance on fossil fuels leaves us vulnerable, exposed to astronomical price hikes for the electricity, gas and oil we need to power our businesses and our lives. 

Indoor cycling may not be power-consuming; it can even be energy-generating, as we discover in this issue’s must-read supplement, A Global Crisis? But beyond the bikes, ours is an energy-hungry sector. 

So, what do we do? From smart facility management to embracing renewables, our experts share their short- and long-term advice in A Global Crisis? This is compulsory reading for us all.

One thing is for sure: we must not give up. What our sector brings to society – each and every club, gym and studio – is an essential health service. This is just one more crisis we must navigate, and navigate it we will.

In the meantime, I’d like to see us focus on providing fun in a world where there’s currently little fun to be had. After all, this crisis isn’t only affecting businesses. Individuals and families are overwhelmed by their own financial worries, and they are looking for release.

We can provide it. During the pandemic, we spoke to operators who had asked their trainers to recognise the stress everyone was feeling and not push too hard – to focus on making every workout fun and social. Let’s do similar now. Let’s put ourselves out there as places where people can escape and forget their worries for a while. This would be my vision now and, indeed, moving forward. We need to make fitness more fun.

That’s why I’m delighted that BODY BIKE is partnering with House of Workouts, as preferred supplier for its wonderful new SclptCycle programme. Targeting women in particular, SclptCycle is about happiness, and it has all the ingredients to be the next global fitness phenomenon. I hope it heralds a new era of working out for fun – one in which indoor cycling leads the way.

My very best wishes for the festive season and a prosperous 2023.

Uffe A. Olsesen

CEO, BODY BIKE® International

Yellow Fever

As I write this letter, it is the day after the thrilling final leg of the Tour de France 2022. My overriding sentiment: one of sheer awe at the power of teamwork and what can be achieved when individuals come together with a shared dream.

For me, it began with the Danish population. This was the first time the Tour had started in Denmark and, as my good friend Jesper ‘JAS’ Sørensen explains on page 52, “there was a massive focus on making it one big party, with armies of volunteers coming together to make it a success.” Support for the race itself was also huge, with around a third of the Danish population turning out to watch the race go past. And what a race they saw, not only in the three Danish stages but throughout the 21 stages of this epic race – a Tour in which a small, slender boy from the pancake fl at country of Denmark blew past all the experienced mountain climbers to claim not only the polka dot jersey but also overall Tour victory. Watching Jonas Vingegaard arrive in Paris wearing the yellow jersey is something I will never forget. Let’s not forget that only five years ago, he was working at a fish factory in the morning before training in the afternoon. It just goes to show that nothing is impossible if you set a goal, manage your training, develop the mental strength you need to win and have the right team around you. And Vingegaard certainly had that, from the support of his girlfriend and management who worked to steady his famously edgy nerves to the logistics and service personnel who kept his wheels turning smoothly, to his fellow riders in the Jumbo-Visma team who protected him throughout, making personal sacrifices for the greater good of the team and the yellow jersey. Everyone played their role in the final result. And this, for me, is the real lesson: that however strong the individual, teamwork is always stronger – something that’s as true in business as it is in sport. To echo the thoughts of Zack Schares in or fascinating look at the future of indoor cycling education, its on every business leader to set their team up for success and help their stars to shine.

Uffe A. Olesen
CEO, BODY BIKE International A/S

A celebration of teamwork

So here we are, in 2022, celebrating 25 years of BODY BIKE: 25 years in which our bikes have fuelled a passion for indoor cycling across more than 35 countries.

The image opposite gives a feel for our evolution over the years, yet our story isn’t limited to our indoor bikes. From becoming a tech company and a magazine publisher to launching a category-defining eCargo bike under new sister brand BBCARGO, the last 25 years have been characterised by boundary-pushing.

They have also been characterised by teamwork, both within BODY BIKE – with a number of us here from the very beginning – and with our fantastic partners around the world.

Teamwork emerges as a theme throughout this edition of RIDE HIGH, too, from the sibling partnership behind CRU, Singapore’s ‘O.G. of indoor cycling’ to the co-founders of UK-based boutique supergroup United Fitness Brands, to the Herculean effort of the Australian team who recently reclaimed the World Record for longest static cycling class.

Reading all their stories, it feels like good news is finally dominating the headlines.

Yet there’s still so much uncertainty in the world, which is why we made the difficult decision not to exhibit at FIBO last month. We always pride ourselves on our show-stopping stands, from New York apartments to spaceship and everything between, and it simply wasn’t feasible to confidently plan something like that this year.

We’ll be back with a bang at FIBO 2023, but in the meantime, we’ve donated some of this year’s budget to Danish Red Cross in support of Ukraine. I feel passionately that in times like these, we are defined by our willingness to stand together.

In fact, I believe a willingness to stand together is a big part what defines us generally, in life and in work. So I end with a thank you – because as BODY BIKE celebrates its big birthday, we do so knowing we couldn’t have done it alone. To all of you who love the ride as much as we do, thank you.

Uffe A. Olesen
CEO, BODY BIKE International A/S

Conceived, powered and funded by BODY BIKE®, RIDE HIGH has a simple mission: to celebrate and champion the very best of indoor cycling, sharing ideas, stories and experiences from around the world to inspire the sector on to even bigger and better things. Subscribe for free by leaving your details below and we'll send indoor cycling's hottest news direct to your inbox three times a year.

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