The Columbia Athletic Club in Maryland recently replaced its aging “fleet” of stationary spin bikes with 28 Green Revolution energy-producing cycles, which in addition to providing gym-goers a workout are actually helping power the building.
Each 45-minute spin class with 20 bikes can reportedly, over the course of a year, produce as much as 3.6 megawatts of energy, while about 2,000 watts of power is produced each class.
This isn’t enough to take the gym off the grid, but it is a step – or rather spin – in the right direction. And so far they’ve been well received by the riders, says Leslie Flynn, general manager of the Columbia Athletic Club. In fact, because riders can monitor their progress, it has caused some healthy competition in the health club.
“Many participants are using their wattage and resistance level numbers, which was never really known before, as a gauge from class to class,” says Flynn. “They really like that the Green Revolution generators not only provide a harder workout than the bike resistance alone did, but that the resistance is consistent from bike to bike. This allows them to truly gauge their progression as they are able to ride at higher levels of resistance and/or produce more energy over time. People are very excited to obtain some sort of measurement from their workout, as well as do something good for the environment.”
The bikes have proved so popular, along with the fact that the weather has been so frightful that Flynn notes that they’ve added two additional classes. And cycles are just the beginning of this green revolution from Green Revolution.
“Cycles are just the starting place,” says Mike Curnyn, chief strategy and marketing officer and co-founder of Green Revolution, Inc. “We are developing solutions for all forms of cardio fitness including elliptical, stairs steppers, gliders, recumbent bikes, stationary bikes, rowing machines and even treadmills.”
At last year’s Interbike Trade Show keynote speaker Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) noted in closing remarks, “consider that right now across the country hundreds, maybe thousands of people are stuck in traffic waiting to go to the gym to ride a stationary bike.”
But the simple truth is that many people can’t always get out on a bike, and given the rough winter that many in America have faced the stationary bike is the next best thing. And yet while these bikes might be stationary, they are moving forward in other ways.