Before sunset, if you get up at just the right time, you might notice several Maple Grove neighbors quietly exiting their houses. They leave partners at home and children sleeping peacefully for one reason—to ride. “People come in on the bikes, yawning and tired, and when they leave, they’re smiling and glowing,” says Surge Cycling instructor Lori Fisher.
Surge Cycling is an independent cycling studio with locations in Maple Grove and St. Louis Park. It was started by Ken and Zion Anderson after they decided to leave their jobs in the corporate world. “We wanted to do something that would make a difference,” Zion says. “We feel good about having a place people can come to and get physically and mentally healthy.”
For those unfamiliar with cycling classes, Fisher provides an outline. “Arrive about 15 minutes ahead of time, so you can get situated on your bike,” she says, explaining the instructors will make sure you’re stable on the bike. No special shoes are needed to ride. The typical workout is 45 minutes and starts with a warm-up. “We explain hand positions, give an overview of what will happen [and] say how to modify if needed,” Fisher says. Classes are set to music and may include sprints, hills, time trials and light choreography, like handlebar pushups.
If that sounds like a lot, Fisher warns not to be scared off. “Give me one class, and I promise I will make you feel comfortable,” she says. “No one knows how fast you’re going or what gear you’re in. We don’t put it up on a board. The lights turn down low. It’s really about you.”
When Maple Grove resident Sarah Berns first came to Surge Cycling, she was unsure. “I was apprehensive leading up to my first class ...” she says. “I thought, ‘I’m not in great shape,’ and worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up or others would wonder what I was even doing there.” Once she began, she felt much more comfortable. “What I found was a welcoming, supportive environment.”
As the time for New Year’s resolutions draws closer, Fisher has a recommendation. “You need to find a place you like and a routine that you love, otherwise, you don’t want to get out of bed at 4:30 in the morning to go work out,” she says. And there’s no need to wait for January.
“December is a perfect time to start because it’s so much fun. We have all these theme rides, and everyone is excited for the holidays,” Fisher says. “I feel like, if you’re working out, that holiday stress gets so much better.”
It’s no shocker that physical exercise also helps mentally. Studies have shown the connection between overall well-being and regular exercise. But did you know that working out with others may be even more beneficial? A 2017 study from the American Osteopathic Association showed that group workouts lowered stress levels significantly more than individual ones. “When you’re on the bike, and you’re surrounded by positive people, as well, you’re just bound to feel better,” Fisher says.
At Surge, the instructors work to create interesting and fun playlists and themes to motivate their classes. Winter theme rides have included Baby, It’s Hot in Here and Santa Claus is Coming to Surge. (Theme rides are offered throughout the year, including a Stranger Things ride that proved popular.)
“Surge is a hidden gem,” Fisher says. “It’s a place where people can feel comfortable and good about themselves. That’s so important.”