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Cyber Cycle: The future of exercise

Posted on April 18, 2017 in Community Highlight

Out of 85 teams across the country, Pennswood Village placed 5th during the competitive March Madness Cyber Cycle Challenge. The challenge pits different retirement communities against each other in a competition to see who can cycle the most miles on the futuristic Cyber Cycle exercise machine.

The Cyber Cycle is a stationary recumbent bike, with an added twist: a large computer screen display. As a rider pedals on the stationary bike, the virtual rider on the screen is taken through a computer-generated course. Riders must pedal, steer, and even shift gears to make it through the course. You can even pick your simulated course, whether you want to ride through a forest trail, the Pyramids of Egypt, or even through outer space!

“It’s a fun way to exercise for long periods of time,” said Pennswood resident Jon Harding. “With over 30 screens and trails to choose from, there’s a lot to look at and you can keep track of your statistics including your heartbeat, breathing rate, distance, and how you compare to other riders in your age group. The Cyber Cycle appeals to those of us who like details, a great workout, and a competitive challenge,” continued Harding. Harding has been cycling for years and used to train with a cousin who was a competitive cyclist. He finished second at Pennswood with a total of 212 miles during the challenge, finishing 19th overall.

“I think it’s a popular way to exercise because it’s more than just sitting on a bike and riding it,” says Beth Ann Vollberg, Fitness Coordinator. “It’s cognitive too. It makes you think. You have to turn and shift the gears, just like a real bike. But, unlike a regular bike, this is something you can do even when the weather is bad.”

Just like college basketball, the March Madness Cyber Cycle Challenge is a bracket tournament. Pennswood Village ended up number 6 during the qualifiers, made it through the Super 16, and into the Electric 8 to place 5th. During the last round, a total of 26 Pennswood Village riders biked 438.5 miles in 48 hours. Residents, staff, and family members were all invited to join in the challenge.

Pennswood only had one Cyber Cycle during this challenge, while many of the other competing communities had two. Because the Cyber Cycle is getting even more popular with the residents at Pennswood, the fitness team is working on bringing a second one to the community.

Pennswood’s top rider, resident Will Reid, who rode a total of 478.7 miles and finished 7th overall, said that he enjoyed the camaraderie and group challenge of the tournament. “I’m excited to see the increase in participation in the community to the point where we need another bike,” said Reid. As a former distance runner, he said, “It’ll be exciting to see this grow into a much larger event.”

“The other team we were against had two bikes and rode 515.5 miles,” says Beth Ann, “only 77 miles more than us, which means they did fewer miles per bike than we did.”

For more information on health and wellness opportunities at Pennswood Village, give us a call today at 866-740-4977.