Tony Mastromonaco wants to inject some fun and entertainment into your workout. This weekend he’ll open Buka Bike, an indoor cycling studio in downtown TC complete with concert lighting, loud music, and advanced technology that gives participants real-time fitness metrics.
“That’s why I built this—it’s fun,” the 32-year-old Higgins Lake native says of the studio, opening this weekend next to Om Café on Lake Stret. “These classes are designed for 45 minutes, to get in and out and get your workout done; and you’ve burned 800 calories.”
The studio offers a modern-rustic vibe, given its sleek machines housed in a refurbished century-old building. Buka is the first of its kind in the area and one of only a few statewide.
It’s the kind of fitness business that’s increasingly popular in the U.S., says industry expert Meredith Poppler of the Boston-based International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association.
“Boutique clubs and niche specialized clubs like indoor group cycling are definitely a growing trend,” says Poppler. “And, there's also a trend towards high-end technology in clubs.”
For Mastromonaco, combining entertainment with fitness makes sense, given his love of cycling and a background that includes operating a DJ business and holding a management position at entertainment center The B.O.B. in Grand Rapids.
He’s experienced various spinning classes in the area, but wanted to offer something different.
“With most facilities, you have a gym, a yoga studio, and it’s a second thought to have a room for spinning,” he says. “We have bikes. That’s it.”
Not your everyday indoor cycling bikes, mind you. These provide a range of motion, allowing you to turn, lean and steer. Mastromonaco, who owns Buka Bike with brother Dan, says these bikes redefine the traditional cycling workout and are the closest thing to actual road riding.
Each rider receives a wireless heart rate monitor and, with the help of sensors on the bike, is able to view real-time metrics like revolutions per minute and energy output on a big screen.
Complementing these metrics are high-energy instructors—Mastromonaco is one of five who’ll keep riders moving, and music and lights going strong.
“Why sit in just a random room with a stereo and muffled speakers?” he says. “Here, it packs a little punch. It pumps up the energy.”
To view a video of Mastromonaco on a walkthrough of Buka’s technology, click on the image above.
Buka Bike will host an open house from 5:30 to 9 p.m. today (Friday).