San Jose, CA, April 25, 2017 - For much of Lisa Hazen's life, she has been immersed in competitive swimming —she is, after all, a four-time All-American swimmer for Stanford University. Her husband Don Dasher is an avid outdoor bicyclist, but not obsessively so.
So there's probably a little bit of wonderment on their part that they are now proud owners of an indoor cycling business.
“I've been a competitive swimmer my whole life,” says Hazen, who is a partner with Dasher in the new indoor cycling center CycleBar Westgate West in San Jose. “I've suffered some injuries over the years and indoor cycling is low impact so it doesn't hurt me. People often don't want to go to the gym to work out because they see it as drudgery. But this is fun and it's a great workout. What could be better than that?”
In fact, Hazen, who has become an avid indoor cyclist since purchasing the CycleBar franchise, says cycling has helped her get back into shape to allow her to swim more. That's a win-win, no matter how you look at it.
Hazen said she and Dasher, who have both spent the bulk of their careers in the high-tech industry in the Silicon Valley, had been looking into franchise opportunities to augment their income and for long-term security.
Dasher said he took a “serious dive” into the world of franchises, even to the point of working with a franchise consultant.
The couple found that indoor cycling was a growing sport with a positive upside. CycleBar, an emerging concept in premium indoor cycling, seemed like the perfect fit for the couple.
And even though Dasher is an avid cyclist — outdoor, he emphasizes — he found that indoor cycling is a whole different sport.
“I didn't think I'd like it, I had that purist mentality, I thought indoor cycling was something you only did during inclement weather,” says Dasher. “It's a different sport and once you realize that, you realize it's a great cross-training workout. Training at CycleBar isn’t just a rainy-day replacement, it’s an immersive, entertaining cross training experience with instructors and classmates that make the workouts extremely rewarding.”
When asked if taking on a franchise without any experience in that particular field might be a huge leap of faith, Dasher agreed.
“That's the nature of starting a business of any type, you have to take a leap of faith,” he says. “It could be a Subway franchise, you never really know until you get there. You bring your own strengths and weaknesses to any business.”
Both Dasher and Hazen have spent their careers in high-tech. Hazen is still working in high-tech, while Dasher was the victim of downsizing, which spurred him on to look into franchising and more financial security.
Hazen's career has included companies such as Oracle, Automated Power Exchange, Medical Accuracy Device Company and Labcyte, which she currently works for.
Born in Sacramento, Hazen graduated from Stanford in 1986 with a degree in public policy. She swam with the Cardinal swim team all four years, garnering All American honors each year.
She met Dasher while they were both doing physical therapy; she was there to rehab a swim injury. Later, they joined forces to participate in a team triathlon event, she swimming, he on bicycle.
Dasher was born and raised just outside Philadelphia and moved to California in 1990, where he also worked at Oracle and other high-tech companies before his layoff.
CycleBar, an emerging concept in premium indoor cycling, has quickly made a name for itself in the fitness community with its unique approach to indoor cycling. Instructors conduct classes in a theater-like setting, complete with music, visuals and lighting that combine to deliver a motivational, multisensory, communal experience as class participants dig deep to meet their workout goals.
CycleBar offers a variety of payment plans including pay per ride or monthly memberships and provides concierge amenities including free towels, shower facilities, lockers and shoes.
Classes take place in a state-of-the-art CycleTheatre, led by CycleStar instructors who motivate their class to reach performance goals. Each ride is added to the rider’s CycleStats, which measures and logs six key metrics to track the progress of their fitness journey. Each rider also receives the class playlist via CycleBeats.
“We brand ourselves as a premier indoor cycling center,” says Dasher. “I describe it as a cross between a boutique fitness center and a high-end spa.”
CycleBar WestGate West, which is scheduled to open on May 4, will be conveniently located in West San Jose just minutes from Campbell, Cupertino, Santa Clara, Saratoga and Sunnyvale — within easy reach of people who live and work in these communities.
Dasher says the success of the franchise will depend on getting the word out to those communities.
“It's a matter of getting out in the community and making people aware we are here,” says Dasher. “We'll take a conservative approach and let demand drive growth. Eventually we'd like to open in Mountain View and Santa Clara. That's the plan.”
Marci Bracco Cain
Salinas, CA 93901