When walking into the new StarCycle Eugene studio, the space is more akin to a yoga class than a heart-pumping cardio cycling experience — minus the stationary bikes everywhere, of course.
The lights are off, with only candlelight illuminating the instructor at the front of the class.
Along with the calming ambiance, StarCycle does have other similarities to a yoga class. The room’s darkness offers solitude — time to think and reflect while you’re sweating it out. It’s just you and the bike.
This, co-owner Julie Kollmorgen says, is what separates StarCycle from other cycling classes in town.
“It’s the environment,” Kollmorgen says. “You’ve checked out. There’s no technology and no monitoring. It’s your ride.”
Kollmorgen and fellow co-owner Courtney Surrett opened Eugene’s StarCycle franchise officially on Dec. 6.
Kollmorgen says she’d been seriously thinking about starting a cycling studio in Eugene for about the past two years. She met Surrett at a local gym and the two combined forces to bring that dream to life.
They decided on a StarCycle franchise since the company is local to Oregon — the first StarCycle studio opened in Lake Oswego in 2013. Now there are about 10 locations scattered up and down the West Coast.
“I had been a runner, but it’s hard on your joints,” Kollmorgen says. She says cycling is low-impact, meaning it doesn’t put the same strain on your body. Kollmorgen says this is what makes her studio’s classes accessible to everyone.
Just because it’s low-impact does not make it low-intensity; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. The moment you clip into the pedals with the studio’s specialized cycling shoes, it’s on. Music starts bumping through the studio’s sound system and the 45-minute class begins.
“We focus on working every muscle group,” Kollmorgen says. “It’s a full-body workout.”
The classes offer sequences in which riders do climbs and sprints as well as supplementary exercises to involve the core and upper body.
“The class is music and beat-driven,” Kollmorgen says, as riders are encouraged to pedal along to the rhythm.
Along with being a spot to work on fitness goals, Kollmorgen says she wants StarCycle to be a part of the community at large.
She says StarCycle plans on doing fundraising and charity rides. The studio did one for Parenting Now!, a local nonprofit, in November at Ninkasi prior to its grand opening.
Along with being “boutique fitness” in a building that is modern and chic — designed with concrete floors and tall ceilings — Kollmoren says that StarCycle really wants to drive home the community feel by having a “lower price point” for those who choose to join from the start.
Currently StarCycle has a “Founding Membership Package” that is $99 a month for unlimited rides and includes discounts on clothing and shoe purchases for those looking to buy their own gear. It’s available for a limited time, “definitely through December and perhaps longer,” Kollmorgen says. “The price will never be that low again, and founding members will be locked in at that rate per month for unlimited rides with no contract.”
Kollmorgen says StarCycle Eugene has not determined what the unlimited ride price will be after the founder’s membership offer is over. She says the studio also offers multiple “class packages” as well, for those who don’t want unlimited rides per month.
The studio also has on-site childcare and free parking, both things Kollmorgen says she hopes makes it accessible for the community.
“We’re focused on empowering people to feel good about themselves,” Kollmorgen says. “We’re super excited about that.”
For more information about StarCycle Eugene’s classes and pricing options, visit starcycleride.com/studios/eugene-or.