Megawatt sweat: Centrifuge Cycling Studio pedal power fills the grid

Welcome to pedal power for the greater good. Inside just-opened Centrifuge Cycling Studio on St. Pete Beach’s Gulf Boulevard, exercisers are taking rides to green levels. Centrifuge bikes capture the energy generated by all those RPMs. The bikes, and additional studio fitness classes, are a concept developed by owner Emma Baiz.

“I’d always wanted to open a cycling studio,” she says. “One day I drove past a windmill farm, and it made me wonder: Could this happen where I live?”

The answer was ‘yes.’ Baiz discovered the SportsArt Eco-POWR bike and designed her studio around it. Over a 24-month period, she sold her home and channeled $50,000 into development; a small business loan made up the rest. The estimated $175,000 investment includes leased bikes so current ones can be swapped with the newest technology.

The workout isn’t just for Earth’s benefit. A lifetime athlete and former powerlifter, Baiz designs her classes around heart rate training. That means sessions welcome beginners and advanced riders alike with lights and corresponding music to support a solid aerobic session. There’s plenty of sweat -- and plenty of environmentalist pride.

“We want to invite the community to see what it takes to power a light bulb or a cell phone charger,” she says. “When someone realizes that their workout means a light bulb can now glow for days, that’s pretty great.”

The green initiative here doesn’t end with bikes. Building on the sustainability theme, Baiz points to the front desk, which was constructed by Classic Architecture Inc. in St. Petersburg. The top is 50% recycled materials; the dyes are of natural origin. Flooring throughout the studio is recycled rubber. And don’t expect disposable water bottles – you won’t see any plastic products for sale here.

This sustainability focus makes the studio a natural fit for St. Pete Beach, Baiz says. Nearby, beach cleanups occur regularly. Protection groups stand guard over turtle nests. Adding an ‘exercise routine’ to the ways the community is helping the environment is a natural progression.

When athletes need a break from the bike, there are boot camp and hooping classes available. Opt for membership or purchase class packages. Whatever visitors decide, helping the Earth exercise afterglow comes standard.

“My hope is that this studio will provide a template and the concept will grow,” Baiz says. “We’re here to prove that every little bit counts when helping the environment.”

Even that daily sweat session.

Learn more about Centrifuge Cycling StudioClassic Architecture, and SportsArt.

Read more articles by Amy Hammond.

Amy Hammond is a freelance writer and author of children’s books that encourage the next generation to attend college. When not indoctrinating youth about the necessity of higher education, she enjoys exploring the paradise that is her St. Petersburg home. She holds a degree in Public Relations from the University of Florida and a Masters in Secondary English Education from the University of South Florida. Her work has appeared in such venues as the Tampa Bay Times. Children’s Book Titles by Amy Hammond include: When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a Gator; When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a ‘Nole; When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a Bull; When I Grow Up, I’m Bama Bound; When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a Tiger.
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