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Author: Kristina Karaliene

Green shoots of hope

It has been a long time coming, this feeling of positivity, and it comes with caveats: some markets still struggling, restrictions likely to remain in many parts of the world. But finally, with vaccinations moving along at speed, we dare to believe the worst is behind us.

That’s bitter sweet for those who lost their jobs in this crisis, or whose businesses did not survive. It has been a cruel year and I truly feel for these individuals. If you are among them, I hope you find a way back into our energising, inspiring, health-enhancing industry very soon. And yet in spite of the challenges, my abiding impression is of a sector that has stepped up, moving fast and hard to meet a whole new set of needs.

A sector that has, with the health of the global population at stake, begun to more confidently position itself as an essential service. We must continue to move forward with this same sense of urgency, this same willingness to innovate, even as gyms re-open. Because if one thing has characterised the past year, it has been the pace of change – spearheaded, of course, by technology. That’s why it’s great to showcase so much innovation in this latest edition of RIDE HIGH, from traditional operators moving into the digital space – our interview with Absolute Group’s Ben Karoonkornsakul a great example – to online providers such as A STATE OF RIDE eyeing up collaboration with gyms. For in-club inspiration, there’s also an excellent piece by Ian Mullane of Keepme, which spotlights opportunities for operators to re-engagemembers and drive revenues as they rebuild from this crisis, as well as hands-on advice on getting members back in the group exercise studio. It is human nature, perhaps, to seize on the positives after a year such as this. But I do feel there are now positives. It has been uphill for a long time, and I for one am looking forward to the downhill ride on the other side.

Uffe A. Olesen
CEO BODY BIKE International A/S

Here’s to new opportunities

We certainly aren’t naive enough to suggest the challenges it brought our sector have disappeared as the calendar ticked over to 1 January 2021. However, after the best part of a year spent battling an invisible but all-to-present foe, the team at RIDE HIGH wanted to take this chance to focus instead on the positives. To encourage everyone to step back from the events of 2020, take advantage of the blank canvas and fresh perspectives of a new year, and look at the exciting opportunities within our reach.

With that in mind our article the Future of Indoor Cycling – is a compelling read. Bringing together a panel of global experts, it outlines some fascinating predictions for the indoor cycling sector in 2021 and beyond.

From technology-enhanced experiences to altered workout habits and patterns; ramped-up qualifications to a new breed of cycling instructor; esports and gamification to an expanded definition of hybrid; bespoke programming to AI, AR, VR and GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon), our experts dive into the trends that will shape our sector.

Their observations throw a detailed spotlight on some of the challenges we will continue to face, even post-COVID – challenges we must own and overcome. But to my eyes even more importantly, they also sow the seeds of new ideas, new opportunities, new hope at the beginning of a new year.

Thank you, to the whole panel for these invaluable insights.

Crucially, these opportunities aren’t out there in the vague, far-distance future. Such is the pace of change that they are things we should be thinking about right now. Operators and manufacturers alike must ensure they are briefed and ready to seize these opportunities, ensuring our sector fulfils its potential and inspire a whole new generation of passionate indoor cyclists.

Uffe A. Olesen
CEO, BODY BIKE International


From crisis comes opportunity

It is unfortunately not all good news: there have been, and will be more, COVID casualties – the businesses that sadly fell at one of 2020’s many hurdles, breaking apart communities and livelihoods in the process.

Yet for the survivors, the metamorphosis of our sector may just be what it takes to future-proof gyms and studios for years to come.

So often berated for being slow to act, in the face of current challenges our sector has adapted and pressed fast-forward on its innovation, showing itself to be far more nimble, resourceful and resilient than is generally perceived.

Almost overnight, we channelled our expertise into digital platforms, becoming at-home fitness providers. Barry’s is a shining example, the strength of its brand and community allowing it to forge a determined path into the realm of online fitness.

Suppliers have stepped up to the plate too: our BODY BIKE On Demand platform, for example – virtual classes offered in partnership with Wexer – met the demand for ‘any time, anywhere’ exercise and drove bike sales to both home users and corporate gyms.

But at-home will not replace the in-club experience. Already we’re seeing green shoots of recovery for cycling in gyms and studios, as operators find socially distanced ways to deliver workouts – spacing bikes or even running outdoor classes – and members, locked away at home for far too long and seeking human interaction, begin to return to their clubs.

The challenges are far from over. Yet with clubs now re-opened in the majority of countries, we’re hopeful our sector can build towards an even stronger future – one in which people’s

new-found prioritisation of health will reinforce our value to an even broader audience. Finally, I wanted to say a very genuine ‘thank you’. Thank you for all the support you have shown to BODY BIKE – which has retained every member of staff on full pay throughout this crisis – and to this magazine, with subscriber numbers up 10 per cent during lockdown. We hope you find inspiration to move your business forward in the pages that follow.

Uffe A. Olesen
CEO, BODY BIKE International

Positive thinking in troubled times

And the fitness industry is feeling the effect, with clubs shuttered, major trade events postponed and people limiting their travel.

In these times of trouble, it is human nature to focus on the challenges. We are certainly feeling them, as I’m sure our readers are.

But in these pages, we try to remain optimistic and focused on the opportunities.

And there is much to feel optimistic about, with indoor cycling thriving around the world – witness the likes of Barry’s entering the sector – and RIDE HIGH celebrating a double-digit milestone: our 10th edition.

We’re marking this milestone with a must-read edition – one that’s filled with the infectious energy of our cover star SJ Aboboto, and that explores everything from Flywheel’s lawsuit with Peloton, to the explosion of wellness travel, to the secret formula behind helping riders keep their cool.

It’s an exciting moment for me personally. When I came up with the idea for this magazine in 2017, I wanted to help grow the entire indoor cycling sector by sharing ideas, stories, experiences, insights, inspiration – all for free. Yet even with this ambitious vision for the magazine, I had no idea RIDE HIGH would so quickly become a go-to title for business owners and indoor cycling enthusiasts alike.

I feel both proud and lucky to have been able to bring this wonderful magazine to reality, and I very much hope you enjoy this latest edition. With 2020 also marking the 21st birthday of our company, we at BODY BIKE have a lot to feel grateful for. If you haven’t yet subscribed to RIDE HIGH, you can do so – for free – on our website, where you can also view and download the magazine’s full archive

Finally, if you have any feedback or topics you’d like to see covered in the magazine, please drop us an email:

We look forward to hearing from you.

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

A champion of indoor cycling

I have a genuine passion for indoor cycling, and with it a deep-rooted desire to do what I can to empower and grow our whole sector.

Indoor cycling is already an incredibly exciting field but I believe that, by sharing best practice, we can all rise to even greater heights.

It was this belief that, in 2017, led me to conceptualise a new magazine – one that would embrace and champion the very best of indoor cycling across the whole fitness industry, from EMEA to Asia, Australia to the Americas.

My vision was to share ideas, stories, experiences and insights that would inspire the indoor cycling sector, driving even greater innovation and growth.

I envisaged this magazine as being brand- and supplier-neutral – truly not a commercial vehicle, but one designed simply to spread best practice.

It would also be completely free for everyone to read – a valued, and highly valuable, resource for everyone involved in the world of indoor cycling.

That magazine is RIDE HIGH, which since the end of 2017 has been published four times a year. It is fast becoming a must-read for indoor cycling operators and enthusiasts the world over – but we don’t want it to be a one-way conversation.

That’s why we’re inviting you to suggest topics we might like to cover in the magazine, or simply to give us your feedback. All ideas are welcome – just drop us an email:

If you’ve missed anything so far, never fear – we’ve made our entire archive available to read and download, for free, on our new website:

And, of course, if you haven’t yet signed up to receive the magazine, please do so. It is, and will always be, completely free, available to read online and as a PDF download.

Sign up now

We look forward to hearing from 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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