| By Kathryn Deen |
A local bike shop has brought serious cyclists’ dream to life.
Bikers can train on their own road bikes — without weather or road hazards interfering with their ride. Plus, they can take advantage of Florida’s first recovery lounge.
It’s all possible at Epic Cycles’ in Downtown Clermont at 528 8th St, next to the bike trail and facing Lake Minneola.
The Red Lava Training Center is named after the cycling team associated with Epic — as well as the center it was modeled after in Moscow. But the facility’s spinning classes are open to anyone with a road bike or mountain bike.
The new indoor studio softly opened hour-long training classes in the fall under the guidance of professional coaches, and it’s gaining momentum.
“All the classes are geared toward making you a better rider on the road, not just for exercise,” Roman Brana told Clermont Magazine.
Classes are offered at various times on weekdays and weekends. Focuses vary from climbing to pedal technique and efficiency to intervals and high cadence. Sometimes, Roman throws in a Movie Ride for fun.
A large display screen at the front of the room reflects participants’ relative power, heart rate and RPMs based on a percentage of each person’s ability, from beginner to advanced.
- Riders can store their bikes at the shop between classes, and staff will load your wheels for class.
- Showers are available at the cycling studio.
- Epic’s own Energy Lab Cafe, (a modern coffee, tea, smoothie and juice bar) adjoins the studio and opens at 7 a.m.
- You can download the Epic’s World app for a breezy class sign up on Android and Apple.
The idea for the riding room emerged in winter 2008. Roman realized it could a be solution for cyclists wanting to train on their own bikes without outdoor challenges like winter chill and early sunset.
“Well, people liked it so much they said, ‘Continue through the spring because it rains.’ And then they said, ‘Let’s do it in the summer because it’s scorching,’ — and then we continued all year long,” Roman recalled.
Many Clermont-area residents have become regulars, and some folks from up North come down to train from January through April and use the room.
“It’s been really popular,” Roman said. “It’s the only one around.”
“People from up north are shocked that we have an indoor in Clermont. They’re like, ‘People want to bike outside.’ Yes and no — outdoors, there’s variables of weather, traffic, and time, so one hour here is equal to an hour and a half or an hour 45 on the road because of the higher intensity of the class. Outside, you’ll be cruising, turning, you’re not pedaling constantly. They like getting their workout in one hour.”
But it’s not just practical.
“People like the social aspect,” he said.
Cycling classes hold up to 10 people and cost $30 each. One month of unlimited classes is $70, three months is $175 and a year costs $575.
The other huge new perk at Epic Cycles is its Re:New Recovery Lounge.
Not only has it attracted cyclists, but also other intense athletes like motocross and track and field competitors who need some relief after training.
A hot therapy pool is set at 104 degrees, and an adjacent cold one is 55 degrees to help the muscles recover. Plus, there are compression booths and vascular therapy.
“It’s very convenient not having to do ice baths at home, and it offers the contrast of temperatures,” Roman said.
Post-exercise fatigue It typically takes 48 hours or more to go from post-exercise fatigue to full recovery. But Re:New’s edge tools help athletes reset in just one hour.
Memberships and packages are available for those looking to use the cycling room and recovery room.
Kathryn Deen is the founder and editor of Clermont Magazine, a Clermont resident and an award-winning professional journalist.