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Jul 9, 2019 11:31 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Ruth Zuckerman Takes Residency At Sag Harbor Gym

Ruth Zuckerman
Jul 11, 2019 8:46 AM

It’s the “Summer of Ruth” at the Sag Harbor Gym.

Throughout the summer, Hamptons Gym Corp. in Sag Harbor will host a new type of spinning. Ruth Zukerman, co-founder of major spin companies SoulCycle and Flywheel, will teach her “Summer of Ruth” classes in the gym’s recently renovated spin studio.

After leaving Flywheel in December 2018, Zukerman decided, for the first time since her spinning career began, to take a break from riding.

“My body needed a break from the bike,” Zukerman said. After resting for six months, she was ready to bring spinning back into her life. “I was ready to get back on the bike [in June], and since I spend a majority of my summer out here in Sag Harbor, I thought, ‘What a perfect fit!’ I can walk there, and build my own community in the town I live in,” she added.

Bruce Cotter, the manager of the Sag Harbor Gym, worked with Zukerman a few years ago when Flywheel occupied the spin studio in the Sag Harbor Gym. Zukerman reached out to Cotter to let him know she wanted to participate in a summer residency now that she was on her own.

“I loved spinning in Sag Harbor so I reached out to Bruce to let him know that I was no longer at Flywheel. I wanted to have it just be me. No SoulCycle, no Flywheel, just me,” she said.

“Ruth has a tremendous cycling talent and is the antithesis of your ‘diva’ type fitness instructor,” Cotter said when asked what Zukerman brings to the community. “I think what we have collaborated on has a less corporate feel—some riders are mentioning that it feels like it did in the beginning again.”

When Zukerman was in the process of starting Flywheel, she was presented the idea of bringing metrics to the bike, which she didn’t have at SoulCycle. Metrics brings numbers into the workout. Spinners know how fast they are riding, how much resistance (numerically) is on their bike, how many calories they are burning, for example.

She was hesitant at first but quickly grew fond of the new type of bike.

“We can now say to the rider, ‘Your resistance should be at X, your speed should be at Y.’ Suddenly, our ride became much more effective. When we started Flywheel, I saw people’s bodies changing like crazy in a way that I had never seen before because they finally knew how hard they were working,” Zukerman said.

The Spinner Power Chrono bikes, in particular, which Zukerman described as “smooth and solid-feeling,” take her spin classes to a new level.

“It’s interesting because on those bikes I’m back to ‘half a turn to the right, a quarter turn to the left,’ which, quite frankly, brings me back to my SoulCycle days. And I didn’t have that at Flywheel,” Zukerman said.

During the renovation, the number of bikes in the studio went from 50 to 30, resulting in more space and less potential for the riders to feel crowded.

“We wanted to open it up a bit and make it a little more comfortable and safer,” Cotter said. The classes have also become more intimate. The flooring was replaced, lighting was added, and stadium platforms previously used by Flywheel were eliminated. The sound and leaderboard was upgraded, and the heart rate training technology was replaced. The studio was also supplied with brand new bikes.

“[The studio] had gotten pretty beat up with ours and Flywheel’s usage over the last few years,” Cotter said.

Zukerman will teach through July into August. Classes can be booked online at hamptonsgymcorp.com/spin/spin-schedule.

“In a way, I’m on the bike teaching, and I’m kind of doing a combination of what I did at Soul, and what I did at Fly. I chose to call it ‘Summer of Ruth,’ because it’s really just me.”

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