A passion for fitness drives a Fort Lauderdale woman to open her own cyclebar studio.

Exercising isn’t a solo sport for Barbara Fleming. In fact, the owner of the recently opened CycleBar in Fort Lauderdale believes that the energy and positive vibe she feels before, during and after pushing her body to the limit should be a shared experience.

For years, she looked for the perfect platform to drive that sentiment home. After her husband’s job brought them to Fort Lauderdale four years ago, she knew she’d found the right place to start something. “This is such an active, vibrant community because of the weather, the beach,” says Fleming, who ran her first half-marathon in April 2014, at age 49, finishing in the top 30 percent out of more than 14,000 female participants. “People enjoy working out here.”

She considered opening her own boutique fitness center, something small and different from a big-box gym. She started researching the idea on the internet and came across CycleBar, the indoor cycling franchise that Bill Pryor and his sister, Alex Klemmer, debuted in Boston in 2004.

As she explored it further, the concept fit her criteria—to her, fitness should be part of an “intoxicating journey, and CycleBar creates an energetic environment, a party-on-the-bike atmosphere,” she says. “It’s about getting people excited about working out and having them enjoy what they are doing.”
Fleming recently opened her first CycleBar (525 N. Federal Highway) in The Manor at Flagler Village, the south-of-Sunrise Boulevard neighborhood that has seen an uptick in new development. She is looking at other locations in Fort Lauderdale for a second CycleBar.

No pressure: There are no gym memberships at CycleBar, which employs a pay-by-class model. There’s also concierge-style service to make CycleBar more of a social atmosphere than a place for a grueling workout. “There will be theme rides like Wine Down Wednesdays, Sunday Jazz Brunch rides; we even want to do ‘glow-in-the-dark rides.’ We’ll be having fun and sharing in the experience,” she says.

Pay it forward: The Fort Lauderdale CycleBar will do more than just help people to stay in shape. “We give them the opportunity to work out to support causes,” says Fleming, whose branch will host regular CycleGiving events for local and national organizations, such as the American Heart Association, the Alzheimer’s Association and Susan G. Komen.

This month: January is CycleBlast month, during which CycleBar is offering 2,500 free rides over 10 days. Riders can register at fortlauderdale.cyclebar.com.

Did you know? Another CycleBar recently opened at the Tower Shops in Davie (2270 S. University Drive, Suite 120).