How Harlem Cycle celebrates culture and acceptance through movement
We’re expanding in Harlem! To celebrate the opening of two new buildings that offer fully-furnished suites, all-inclusive utilities, household essentials, and an incredible location, we wanted to partner with local businesses making an impact in the local community to share their stories.
No matter what size, shape, age or fitness level, Harlem Cycle is determined to bring out your best self. Harlem Cycle was created to provide a safe space for fitness within a community that lacked basic access to state of the art and yet affordable workout classes. Their programs embody the spirit and soul of Harlem, creating a safe judgment-free environment where everyone can feel comfortable existing on their own terms.
We caught up with Tammeca, their owner and founder, to learn more about how Harlem Cycle got started and how to stay motivated to move.
Hi Tammeca! How did Harlem Cycle get started?
Growing up in Atlanta, I dreamed of coming to New York City but most of all Harlem. To me, Harlem represented culture, arts and music. I dreamed about walking down the street and running into the legendary Maya Angelou, rubbing the “Tree of Hope” at the Apollo Theater and listening to live Jazz at any of the famous clubs. But once I got here, I realized that despite all the arts and culture in Harlem there was still one thing missing, the ability for Harlem residents to take care of their health. There were huge gaps in the health and wellness space, and the residents of Harlem didn’t have the same amenities and level of customer service as residents downtown were receiving at boutique fitness studios.
When it came towards health and wellness I believed we deserved better options to serve the needs of the people and options that incorporated the spirit and soul of Harlem. Harlem had very limited options in the fitness space with the majority of studios focused on only yoga and pilates. In a community with a high rate of heart disease, hypertension and diabetes, we needed cardio workout options.
So, in 2016, I decided to use my passion for fitness to open Harlem’s 1st and only indoor cycling studio. Having personally discovered indoor cycling when I was trying to get back in shape after having my son, I loved the cleanliness and convenience of the downtown studios but the music and culture left me looking for more. When designing Harlem Cycle, I made sure we combined the best of both worlds, combining all the amenities of downtown with a culture of community and acceptance that represented Harlem.
My favorite part of the Harlem community is definitely the people! Harlem consists of dreamers and doers, and people are willing to swim against the tide.
How has your business had to adapt and pivot during the pandemic?
As a cycling studio, we had to quickly pivot and create new at-home live stream and on-demand workout formats that could be done with no equipment in the comfort of the home. Harlem Cycle also partnered with local restaurants and chefs to provide healthy meal prep ideas and recipes for our wellness seminars virtually. We know virtual fitness will never replace the impact of in-person classes and therefore we’ve also included outdoor workouts with community bike rides and events as part of our COVID pivot plan.
Why is a fun and consistent fitness routine important especially when quarantined at home?
The truth is, always being at home is hard. It takes a toll on us physically, mentally and emotionally. Developing a consistent fitness routine can help overcome all of this. Plus, we know that a consistent fitness routine helps boost your immune system.
What are some quick tips to start incorporating movement into a daily routine?
- Start where you are
- Remember that 10-15min a day is okay and effective
- All movement is good!
How can people participate in your online community?
We’ve created a library of over 100 workouts ranging from cycling, cardio, tone, strength and mobility that can be tailored to all fitness levels. Workouts are on our Harlem Cycle at-home platform and many require no special equipment and perfect for the whole family. Also, we’ve taken the care to include a nutrition portion on our platform showcasing Harlem Restaurant owners demonstrating their recipes along with meal plans.
We are really excited about continuing to grow and expand our at-home platform with new innovative workouts. Additionally, we’re opening our 2nd studio in Harlem in 2021—stay tuned!
Are you interested in being a part of the Harlem community?
It’s easy to start fresh and become a part of the local community with our all-inclusive and fully-furnished coliving suites. Whether you want to live by Central Park at The Heritage by Common or riverside at Common Clark, we have the perfect place for you to call home.