Tag Archives: Peloton

Roundup: Intensity, Longevity …

The ad said: “INTENSITY — everything must go!” 

Westporters worried that the tennis/squash/fitness/dance center just over the Norwalk line would close. 

Racquet sports are still there. But the health and fitness component is changing.

Clair Mason, owner of Elliptica, and co-owner of Intensity — says that the health and fitness industry has changed. COVID, and the rise of paddle and pickleball, provided an opportunity to remodel both businesses.

Elliptica developed a virtual offering, with a class and partnership with a machine manufacturer. 

And all Intensity fitness classes are now under the Elliptica brand at a new (and nearby) location: 345 Post Road West, Westport. They include barre, Herman Walker Body Design System, dance fitness, bodypump, Pilates, bootcamps and more. For more information on Elliptica, click here

On January 1, Intensity became a racquets-only club. There are 6 indoor tennis courts, 4 squash courts, 4 pickleball courts and 2 new paddle courts. A warming hut opens soon. For more information on Intensity racquets, click here

Clair Mason owns both Elliptica and Intensity.

=======================================================

Speaking of fitness: For Peloton, COVID was just what the doctor ordered.

The stationary bike company’s sales surged during the pandemic. With gyms closed, home workouts — which Peloton delivered, via its equipment and streaming platforms — were the only game in town (or anywhere else).

Since 2018, Peloton had a retail presence here. The Main Street store — one of the few of its 80-plus outlets not in a mall — closed temporarily, along with nearly every other retailer.

It reopened (though supply chain issues made it difficult to meet the enormous demand for bikes and treadmills).

This coming Sunday, it will close for good. The decision is part of an “aggressive” reduction in retail stores (and, last summer, the elimination of roughly 780 employees.

Peloton’s fortunes crashed as quickly as they rose. As COVID eased, people returned to the gym.

The Main Street tenant before Peloton sold Sperry boat shoes. There is no word on what kind of business — sports and leisure-related, or not — will replace it.

=======================================================

Speaking still of fitness: Longevity Westport — the center offering non-invasive, quick and very sophisticated testing of muscle mass, bone density, metabolism, cardiovascular health, oxygen consumption and more — opened on Post Road East in 2021.

But — true to their name — they may be the business with the longest time before hosting an official ribbon-cutting.

It’s set for this Saturday (January 21, 1835 Post Road East). First Selectwoman Jen Tooker does the honors at 1 p.m.

She’ll be followed by 3 speakers: Ralph Esposito, a naturopathic physician and head of nutrition at Athletic Greens; Atlas Nutrition chiropractic physician Dr. Beth Atlas, and Sherpa Westport’s Jean Paul Desrosiers.

All will offer specials for customers. In addition, Longevity will provide 50% off a second test, with the purchase of a full price test (and 20% off a bundle package).

There’s food too. Healthy, of course.

Inside Longevity. The DEXA scan machine is at left.

======================================================

Hard to believe, but Westport Book Shop is 2 years old.

The used book store (and much more) honors the milestone with several community events.

A Volunteer Appreciation Celebration is set for January 28 (10:30 a.m. to noon), at the Westport Library across Jesup Green from the shop.

A “Show Your Love” competition offers a $50 Westport Book Shop gift card. Just film a short video showing why you love the Book Shop, then post it on social media.

Every entrant receives a free vinyl record, CD or book of their choice from the current inventory ($6 or less). The deadline is 6 p.m. January 27. Click here for details, and the entry form.

Meanwhile, story time for kids at the Book Shop runs on Saturday and Sunday, January 28-29. Call for details: 203-952-0070.

=======================================================

Westport favorite Melissa Newman — one of our own — headlines this week’s Jazz at the Post (Thursday, January 19; shows at 7:30 and 8:45 p.m.; dinner from 7 p.m.; $15 cover; reservations strongly suggested: JazzatthePost@gmail.com).

Joining Melissa: guitarist Tony Lombardozzi, bassist Phil Bowler and drummer Arti Dixson.

=======================================================

PFAS chemicals in the Weston water supply?

On this week’s “What’s Next in Weston?” podcast, 1st Selectwoman Sam Nestor describes how her town has addressed the issue, with remediation and clean water for every family.

The bi-weekly series is produced by the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston. Click below to listen:

======================================================

Aspetuck Land Trust’s first “Lunch and Learn” webinar of 2023 is called “Landscapes for Better Living.”

On January 27 (noon to 1 p.m.), Jay Archer of Green Jay Landscape Design will discuss how ecological landscape design, organic horticulture and land stewardship can improve human health (and save the planet).

In addition to designing, building, managing and maintaining beautiful, natural ecosystems and plantscapes, Archer has taught, lectured and consulted with organizations from NYBG and The Institute for Ecosystem Studies to the Native Plant Center, Nature Conservancy and Audubon International.

For more information and to register, click here.

One of Jay Archer’s ecological landscapes.

=======================================================

Many “Westport … Naturally” photos are gorgeous.

This one isn’t.

A reader who lives nearby writes: “I saw these giant birds in the dumpsters behind Gaetano’s.

“The dumpsters are open, and so is the door on one side. There were others in a tree, walking nearby, and sitting on the roof of a house, all waiting their turn. Apparently they are black buzzards.

“I called Gaetano’s. The woman who answered said, ‘yeah, it’s been like that all week.’ I said, ‘just close the dumpsters.’ She thanked me.”

=======================================================

And finally … today is the birthday of Muhammad Ali. “The Greatest” boxer — and an important political activist was born in 1942. He died in 2016, age 74.

=======================================================

(If all the stories above about fitness leave you exhausted … take a break! As you rest, please click here to support “06880.” Thank you!)

Peloton Bikers Ride Out The COVID Crisis

As Connecticut reopens, we can once again shop until we drop. (Or our mask falls off.) We can go to restaurants. (Sort of.)

Soon we can once again get our hair cut, styled and/or colored. And our nails done.

What we can’t do — at least for a while — is go to a gym. The Y, fitness centers, spin studios — all are too dangerous for our hot, sweaty, once-toned and possibly now-COVID-carrying bodies.

Westporters have adapted in a number of ways. We’ve livestreamed workout videos. We’ve jogged, walked and biked on suddenly empty streets. We’ve climbed walls. (Okay, that’s only figurative. But still…)

Those fortunate enough to have the foresight to already own a Peloton bike* were lucky. Those who suddenly realized they wanted one were out of luck. Thought there’s an actual store selling real bikes on Main Street, it closed in mid-March. Online orders were backed up for weeks.

It’s one thing to ride a Peloton bike at home. Sure, you’re linked up with an instructor and fellow bikers. But a group of Westport moms wanted more.

In the early days of the shutdown, Maria Mulvehill and a few friends — all with Pelotons — started texting. They wanted motivation and accountability to main their physical (and mental) health.

That text chain got many on the bike and moving even when they did not want to, Maria says.

Suzanne Slade — the mother of 4, all under the age of 7 — loves her Peloton group.

As friends pulled in friends, the texts also connected women who did not know each other. They cheer each other on, through messages and the leaderboard.

One woman will post that she’s doing a certain ride, at a certain time. Others join if they can. They see each other on screen. As they ride — sometimes racing, other times just keeping each other company — they “high-five.”

Later, they catch up by text.

The group branched out too. They shared stories about baking bread, coping with kids, and how they cry during rides when the instructor says something poignant or emotional.

Suzanne Slade is homeschooling 4 youngsters — all under 7. The Peloton community helped her maintain her health and fitness. “Knowing that I’m riding alongside other local mamas is motivating,” she says. “It would be easy to skip a ride. Knowing that others are showing up keeps me accountable.”

Julia Felleman calls her Peloton “a sanity saver. Thirty to 45 minutes to myself amidst 3 kids, homeschooling 2 of them, and a full-time job.”

Julie Felleman gets ready to rdie.

The best part? “I’ve gained a new text thread of 15 amazing moms. Some were strangers, but now I call them part of my mom-tribe. They motivate me (and my husband) to get on the bike and work out — even if it’s just to burn more calories for that extra cookie or cocktail. This crew of ladies is amazing!”

Vicky Powers adds that despite being apart, it feels like the group is together as they ride. She knew only a handful of the women when she started. “Now I have a whole new group of friends!”

Tally Jacobs says the group has given her things she was missing: “connection to friends, laughs at our group texts, scheduled exercise.”

It is also a chance to “make something positive out of this mess. When else would I get up to work out before my kids go to ‘school’?”

The leaderboard on a recent ride. Seven Westport women joined in.

Some of the moms have never actually met. “But we’ve been texting, sharing and riding together for 10 weeks,” Maria says. “One day we’ll all get together in person for a glass of wine!”

Though gyms and cycle studios may open soon, the women will continue their home Peloton rides — and their group texts.

They’d like to connect with other local riders. Use the hashtag #westportrideson with your Pelaton account. Questions? Email mariaffreeman@gmil.com.

* Peloton is an internet-connected stationary bike. Riders download classes — live, or on-demand — through a large touchscreen between the handlebars. 

Vicky Powers, in action.

Good News: Peloton Pedals Down Main Street

After months in which big-name retailers fled downtown — Nike, Ann Taylor and Allen Edmonds, to name 3 — we’re about to score a big win.

Peloton is taking over the Sperry boat shoe store, just past Banana Republic on Main Street. They hope to open in early fall.

A peloton is the main bunch of bicyclists in a race. (Think of all those guys roaring 8 abreast down South Compo or Hillspoint, plowing past stop signs and forcing drivers into the other lane.)

But Peloton — the company — takes that group concept, and brings it into your home.

They sell stationary bikes. They’re sort of like the kind you find at a gym, or that sit unused in a corner of your house — but only in the sense that the Tour de France is like your 6-year-old on training wheels.

Peloton bikes are high-tech, and cutting edge. They’ve got big, bold interactive screens, through which you access “group” classes any time. You can track your performance through many different metrics.

There are tons of instructors — each with his or her own personality, all motivational. Just pick the one who suits your mood most, at the time.

All of this is streamed from a studio in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood. (A 2nd tread studio, for treadmill work, is on Christopher Street.)

A Peloton bike

So why is Peloton coming to Westport?

They’ve got 33 retail outlets, in 16 states. That’s where you buy the bike, plus accessories like shoes and heart monitors. (You don’t need a helmet!)

Right now, the closest one is in the Westchester Mall. In fact, most Peloton stores are in malls.

So the fact that Peloton has chosen Main Street, rather than Norwalk’s shiny new GGP Mall, is big.

In a few months, we’ll welcome them to Westport.

Just drive on down.

Or ride your bike.