Given Bloomington’s iconic stature as a bicyclist’s town, it’s surprising that no Spinning studio has existed here until recently. In October, Urban Cycle Studio opened its doors adjacent to Urban Fitness Studio in Graham Plaza at the corner of North College and West 6th Street. Both facilities are owned by Allison Chopra, a nationally certified personal trainer with a master of science in kinesiology. From talking to her clients at Urban Fitness, Chopra came to realize there was a need for Spinning—the licensed trademark for an indoor cycling program that replicates the experience of an outdoor ride.

“People were moving to Bloomington from larger towns and cities and asking me where the local Spinning studios were,” says Chopra. When the spot next to her personal-training fitness studio opened up, she went for it. “I thought, ‘If I don’t do it now, someone else is going to do it soon,’” she says.

At each class, up to ten students are led by a Spinning-certified instructor through an hour-long workout. After the warm-up, the focus may be on endurance, strength, or intervals, depending on the class.

So with those hilly routes seen in Breaking Away right outside the door, why stay in? There’s the Indiana weather, of course. Chopra anticipates an influx of outdoor cyclists signing on this winter and has tailored an eight-week course for them, beginning in January. She notes also that indoor classes any time of year offer the chance for riders to focus on technique.

The studio is geared for all levels of riders, says Chopra. It isn’t a gym, and no membership is required—participants pay by the class. The first ride is free, then sessions cost $9 to $13 depending on the package.

“The beautiful thing about Spinning is that you can make it your own ride,” says Chopra. “A lot of times with group classes, everybody has to do the same intensity, and when they don’t, the people around them know. With Spinning, you can take off some resistance and go nice and easy, whereas the person next to you might be ramping up the resistance. You can have a beginner next to an avid outdoor cyclist and everyone can get whatever benefit they need.”

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