How Detroit Cycling Studio helps you spin your way to better health
A husband-and-wife duo’s spin classes are helping Detroiters one by one get fit.
Imagine pedaling to the rhythms of rocking R&B tunes or soul-stirring gospel music on a stationary bike. All the while, you’re getting a workout that is fun but sho’nuff not a joke.
That’s what happens at the Detroit Cycling Studio, the city’s first spinning-exclusive facility.
Teacher Tyronza Nesbitt and his wife and business partner, Nicole, opened in 2015 with 11 bikes. It soon outgrew its first location.
This year, the Detroit Cycling Studio opened on Livernois near McNichols with twice as many bikes – and plans for more. It’s an ideal place for cyclists to prepare for the upcoming biking season or for people to simply get their exercise on.
Nesbitt says the studio is God’s answer to his prayers.
“I asked God to give me something I could do to help myself and help others in the process,” he says.
He had never heard of spinning when, during a dream, he saw a vision of himself in front of sea of bikes. After he woke, he checked Facebook on his phone – as is his habit most mornings. His first click revealed images of a spinning class in Atlanta.
He looked further into it and liked what he learned.
“I saw all these videos of people having fun getting fit. I thought, ‘Wow! I can do that!’”
Nesbitt – or Ty, as most people call him – already had experience teaching. He used to train boxers and mixed martial arts fighters. After he stopped training, he found himself getting flabby.
Spinning offered a win-win. He could fulfill a desire to help the black community become healthier by being more active, and he could get fitter, too.
He got certified and began buying bikes one at a time with his savings. He stored them in the family garage until he had 10, enough to open in August of 2015.
He found a bigger building late last year.
A former truck driver and construction worker, Nesbitt did all the work himself to transform a former floral shop into the spinning facility. That includes painting, putting in track and disco-like lighting, adding floor-length mirrors to walls and renovating a restroom.
Nicole designed the logo, which they got patented with a small grant from the Motor City Match, the City of Detroit’s small-business grant fund. Nicole, a second-grade teacher, also runs the website and handles registration and other business matters.
LaChon Love of Canton was one of their first customers. She started going once a week and soon became a three-times-a-week regular.
“It’s really a lot of fun and everybody feels like family,” Love says.
She feels leaner and stronger. “I can button blazers I hadn’t been able to button in years,” she says. “And I have more energy.”
Another regular, Terrance Glenn, said when he first started going in the winter of 2015 he struggled just to make it through the first class.
“I was used to exercising, but I hadn’t done anything like this,” he says. “It’s continuous. You’re pedaling. You’re sprinting, tightening the tension to go up mountains, jumping, jogging. But I kept going back, and now I love it. I know I’m in better shape than I’ve been in 10 years.”
Glenn, of Detroit, says between improving his diet and attending the one-hour classes three times a week, he has lost 30 pounds.
“I like the workout, the burn, the sweat and the camaraderie with the other spinners,” he says. “And Ty makes you feel welcome. He’s very encouraging.”
Nesbitt refused offers to relocate in or near downtown. “I want to be in the inner city where our people live and need to exercise,” Nesbitt says.
Regular exercise, such as spinning, helps combat obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and other diseases that plague the black community.
Nesbitt said he himself lost 60 pounds in the first few months of teaching spinning, and he knows he’s healthier.
“It makes your heart stronger. It strengthens your lungs. It gives you stamina,” he says.
Detroit Cycling Studio classes generally last for an hour. Nesbitt incorporates boxing techniques from his years training fighters. While the key is keeping your legs moving, it’s a full-body workout.
Nesbitt recently started offering 45-minute class tailored to senior citizens. He also joined forces with the Detroit Police Department to encourage attendance of officers.
The studio also hosts special classes for birthdays, friend nights out and other fitness-focused occasions. It has also hosted celebrity spin instructor Keith Thompson from Atlanta.
“What I love most is that it brings all kinds of different people together to have fun and exercise,” Nesbitt says. “Don’t worry if you can’t keep up at first. I tell people all the time, just keep moving your legs.”
CASSANDRA SPRATLING IS A DETROIT-BASED FREELANCE WRITER AND VETERAN REPORTER.
Detroit Cycling Studio
Another black-owned spinning-focused fitness facility is expected to open by spring. Live Cycle Delight, owned by Amina Daniels, will be located at 8019 Agnes St., Detroit. For more info, visit livecycledelight.com.