Ever since Rolling Stone magazine named it the "hot" exercise of 1993, indoor cycling has maintained its status as one of the most popular group classes at fitness clubs and gyms worldwide. With the widespread availability of bikes and videos, fitness enthusiasts have even taken the workout into their own homes. It is hard to believe that the history of indoor cycling as a fitness phenomenon began in a garage in California.
Johnny Goldberg came to the United States from South Africa in 1979. Three days into his stay in America, he was robbed of virtually all his money, leaving him broke and unemployed. After convincing a Venice, California gym owner to give him a job, he became a personal trainer. Over the next few years, Goldberg became an endurance cyclist and competed in cross-country and ultra-marathon races. Because even sunny California had its bad weather days, Goldberg decided he needed an effective way to train indoors that would replicate the experience of road racing as closely as possible. He developed an indoor cycling workout that he conducted in his garage. It eventually propelled him to set a record when he biked 544 miles across Arizona without stopping, in a time of 29 hours and 46 minutes.
The following year, Goldberg opened his first indoor cycling center in Santa Monica, California. His classes involved a choreographed group cycling workout incorporating heart rate training, breathing awareness and motivational coaching.
Goldberg also partnered with fellow cyclist John Baudhuin to design a better stationary bike that incorporated the ergonomics and geometry of a racing bike. In three years they built approximately 150 such bikes that were placed in fitness studios and gyms.
The year 1994 was important for the history of indoor cycling. In that year, Goldberg and Baudhuin founded Mad Dogg Athletics, Inc. as a start-up company dedicated to developing the indoor cycling fitness concept they trademarked as Spinning.® As the demand for the stationary bikes grew, the two friends licensed the manufacturing to Schwinn Cycling to help commercialize the workout program. The following year, Mad Dogg Athletics initiated an instructor certification program to train fitness professionals who wanted to teach the program. It quickly became the standard for indoor cycling education and certification throughout the world. When Schwinn filed for bankruptcy in 2001, Mad Dogg Athletics and Spinning® teamed up with Star Trac to produce a new line of bikes.
The next evolutionary step in the history of indoor cycling was to expand the fitness program outside the walls of the gyms into people’s homes. In 2003, the first indoor cycling bike and video series designed for home use brought the expert coaching and calorie-torching workout found at authorized Spinning® facilities to riders where they live.
Today, Mad Dogg Athletics and the Spinning® program are the worldwide leaders in indoor cycling bikes, programs and accessories for fitness clubs and studios as well as for enthusiasts looking for a great workout at home. The company offers five models of commercial bikes that are built and warrantied for use in studios and gyms. Spinning® manufactures 6 bikes for in-home use that come with a series of Spinning® DVDs, complete with expert coaching and motivational rides. Click here to view the company’s full line of bikes, parts and accessories.