It Takes a Village

A Tribute To Chris DeMelis

Chris had a specific bike she liked to ride. She dabbled with the front row. She started riding doubles occasionally. She was strong and happy and quickly became a staple in our studio.

But more importantly, Chris was a supporter of those around her and a giver of positive energy. She was SO proud of Melissa when she received her nursing degree. She was the first to tell us how much she loved a playlist or class. And she would affectionately push her best friend, Kristin Higgins, to go faster in a sprint;) There was always a sparkle in her eyes as she would congratulate our various life events.

Chris loved being a nurse in the pediatric ICU. She taught us about premie care, shared success stories and baby pictures, and demystified holding a 3 lb baby. We were ready to join her to be “baby rockers”. She was SO VERY proud of her four talented children and loving husband. The list goes on.

Chris DeMelis passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday and our team is HEARTBROKEN. She was so special.  We are grateful for the love and support she gave to all of us at Cycle Town and the Hingham community at large. We cherish that we had the opportunity to know her and add joy to her life. As we grieve, we know she would want us to push forward, play great music, and have fun on the bike. So we will. We love you, Chris.

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Rider Spotlight: Jane McGovern

When your health is taken away from you, the determination to live is fierce.  We see that on the bike with Jane.   The best part, we also see lots of joy.  Joy in conquering challenges and letting go while moving to music.  We are sooo glad her craving for health and wellness landed her on our bike.  Meet Jane McGovern and learn about her Pink Ribbon Pilates and Wellness workshop this Sunday 10/14 for those battling cancer and those now cancer free!

 

Tell us about yourself, your fam, and your interests.

My husband Gary and I have been married for almost 32 years and have lived in Scituate for 23 years (though you’ll never take the Jersey girl out of me!  Yes I have met Bruce Springsteen). We have three adult children, each completely different and wonderful in their own way. We are beyond thrilled to be grandparents to Julia Grace, who is now 8 months old. I babysit her on Tuesdays and Thursdays and it is the highlight of my week! I am a Certified Pilates Teacher and teach private and duet apparatus lessons in my home studio.

 

What first brought you to Cycle Town? What has your fitness journey been like?

I have never been an athlete, but I have always been active, playing tennis, running, etc. I first came to Cycle Town two years ago because I loved spinning and I love good, loud music and I had heard that Cycle Town had both. I wasn’t disappointed! I immediately loved the energy and good vibes in the room.

Spinning at CT helped me to train for the Pan-Mass Challenge in 2017. As a cancer survivor, it was one of the most fun and meaningful weekends of my life. I literally had tears streaming down my face as I attacked the hills in Wellfleet, thinking about how only a few years earlier I could barely walk after my reconstructive surgery, and here I was flying up these challenging hills to help other people like me. I am riding again in 2019 to celebrate being 10 years cancer free.

 

What motivates you?

Being a cancer survivor, I am motivated to stay strong and healthy for my family. I had 6 surgeries in almost 2 years, and I always had to work hard to fight my way back to fitness. I also want to be a good role model for my daughter, who unfortunately inherited the BRCA 2 gene from me. I want her to see that she can get through the worst, even cancer, with some knowledge, courage and a sense of humor.

 

You’re a breast cancer survivor. Congrats, we are so happy to see you healthy and strong! You’re now helping others with wellness and healing. Please share how your journey led you to your mat and your upcoming workshop this Sunday the 14th.

I dabbled in Pilates over the years, but never considered becoming a teacher. After I was diagnosed at age 46 in 2009 with Stage IIIa breast cancer, my fitness declined rapidly. I found that Pilates was the best way to keep me strong without injury.

Once you become a cancer survivor other people reach out to you, and you get drawn into the survivor community. I try to give back by offering 3 free Pilates apparatus lessons to survivors. This Sunday, Oct. 14 I have organized my second free, two-hour workshop designed specifically for breast cancer survivors to help them adjust to their body’s “new normal.” If that is for you, PLESE COME! We will focus on how to get and stay strong after treatment.

 

What do you like about riding at Cycle Town?

Like? Love! I love the positive, fun vibe. I love the instructors, all wonderful in their own, unique way. I love that you are encouraged to ride as part of a team, but given permission to do your own thing at the same time. I love the theme rides… especially the Hamilton theme ride! But most importantly, as a Pilates teacher, I love that every instructor focuses intently on form, and how to protect the spine during an intense spin class. It is so important!

 

Favorite move on the bike?

I love combining single backs with crunches, especially during a fun song. It feels like dancing on the bike!

flyer

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FU CANCER RIDE NOV. 3

There are many ways to fight Cancer. One is with money and another is with love.

On Friday, November 3rd we will do both. We are having an FU Cancer Ride. We will also have a large board in the studio where you, our riders, can get personal and pin a note– share a story, a name, a memory, or just an FU comment to cancer. Whatever you want. We’re calling the board: FU Cancer, We’ve Got Something To Say.

This particular ride has been 15 months in the making. We are honoring the journey of one of our own team members, Kirsten Ward, as well as others who have suffered from cancer. Kirsten bravely wants to share her story. We want to raise awareness about early detection. We want to raise money for cancer research. And we want to bring our rider community together on an issue that has touched us all on some level. Ride and fundraiser details are at the bottom of this post.

In July 2016 Kirsten found a lump in her breast. She immediately went to see her doctor. Following a biopsy, she was told she had Stage 2 breast cancer. And it was fast growing. She’d had a clean mammogram just 5 months earlier. There were tears, shock and disbelief. Kirsten was given a 13 month treatment plan that included chemo, a double mastectomy, radiation and then more chemo. She would lose her hair. She would be so very sick. She would undergo surgery. But she would obliterate the cancer. Game on. FU Cancer!!

Kirsten was lucky in many ways. She has an amazing positive attitude, with a healthy touch of sarcasm built in. After trying on wigs she said, no thank you, I look like a stripper. So she went bald and proud. Kirsten sent me a picture of herself every Wednesday from her chemo chair. It got real.

kirstenchemo

She has the most wonderful, supportive family you could ever dream of. You know them because they ride all the time… shout out to her amazing husband Tom, sister Eileen, and daughters Mariah, Grace and Josie. Our team also sprang into action with a meal train every Wednesday. We take no offense that her favorite meal from us was purchased from Whole Foods :)  Ha, apparently we’re better on the bike than in the kitchen!

Lunch Date

Kirsten has something to say. In her own words…

“Kirsten, you have a cancer in your breast.” Those eight words spoken plainly, yet kindly by the nurse who was tasked to make those dreaded phone calls changed my world forever. The days that immediately followed were some of the worst I’ve ever experienced. My own terror and grief, my three daughters’ tears, and my husband’s calm fortitude in the face of trying to hold it together for all of us made up those days and nights. We quickly rallied. We gathered information and facts, we spoke to endless doctors, nurses, family members and friends who had been there; we formed a plan.

The weeks and months that followed were a blur of chemo treatments (16 in all), surgery, radiation and now, more chemo. On January 3, 2018 I will have my final chemo treatment and on February 27, 2018 I will have my last surgery to rebuild my new breasts. I AM NOW CANCER FREE!!

CANCER SUCKS, FU CANCER!!! During every week, every treatment, every invasive procedure, these words went though my head. I quickly realized I needed this mantra to keep me strong, keep me fighting. For I was fighting…for my life.

Yes, the last fifteen months have been an ordeal, a horrible time in my life that I want to forget and put behind me. And yet, they have been a wondrous gift. Yes, a gift. The love, care and support I have received from my doctors and nurses, my fabulous husband, daughters, parents (birth and in law), siblings (birth and in-law), extended family, and friends near and far have been nothing short of miraculous. People are good. I always believed it but never have I seen or felt it more than these past months. It gave me a strength I never knew I had. I was, and am, humbled, and will be eternally grateful. Eternally.

 

wards
Our dear Kirsten was absent from Cycle Town for a year. But now she’s BACK and we couldn’t be more thrilled. She’s feeling good and she is cancer free. This ride is to honor her and the VERY MANY OTHERS like her. In our community we know many.  In your life you surely know many.  ALL proceeds will go to Dana Farber Cancer Center at South Shore Hospital in the Cancer Research Fund.

Here’s our ask: Come ride with us. It’s going to be really, really special. If you can’t ride, donate. And buy a pin and put a note on our FU cancer board. (It will be up later this week).  We all have friends and family who have been impacted by cancer. There are two ways to fight—with money and love. Do both with us.

Our FU Cancer Ride is Friday, November 3rd @ 6:30pm. It’s going to be heartfelt. After party to follow. Ride is free with a donation to Dana Farber. Ride registration and donation information will come out later this week, stay tuned.

The final takeaway (as it relates to breast cancer). Ladies, do regular self-exams. Like right now. It potentially saved Kirsten’s life and it can save yours. Also, keep up with your standard screenings like mammograms and doctor’s visits. Don’t ignore symptoms.

KG kirsten Pig Tails

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We Are One Year Old

Today is our one year anniversary! What an exciting year it’s been, launching and growing the studio. Thank you to our riders for supporting us along the way and bringing such enthusiasm, determination, and positive energy. We absolutely love you and you are the lifeblood of Cycle Town. You come to rock your ride and it is such a pleasure to see you work hard, have fun and walk away sweaty and charged with endorphins.

I have a HUGE amount of gratitude and love for our amazing instructor and desk teams as they are the backbone of Cycle Town. Our ride and vibe is all about beat riding goodness. The bike is our canvas and the instructors are the artists who bring exceptional creativity and skill to create classes that are highly effective, great fun and inspiring. We are a very supportive and ambitious team and we live our work hard, play hard mantra every day.

Most of all I am so incredibly thankful for my family. I have the pleasure of writing this Year 1 recap while on vaca with all of them and I’ve had time to think about opportunity and outcome. I go back to the sentiments that it takes a village and pay it forward. Without the support of my family Cycle Town would never have come to life and succeeded. I also have a new appreciation for small local business, community and the opportunities we have in our country. Freedom of expression is a beautiful thing and we are all very lucky.

All of us at Cycle Town are looking forward to being a part of your health and fitness in 2016. We have great things planned that will be sure to delight and I know it’s going to be another exciting year.

Lots of love and a healthy heart!
Kristen

 

bike

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Meet Our Desk Dream Team

Meet our desk dream team! We are here to make your day, welcome to you to our fab studio and help you take care of anything you need to get set-up and enjoy your experience with us.

Kirsten – It took Kirsten months to walk into the studio, call it fear of the unknown! Good things come to those who wait. She never turned back and embraced our vibe and positive energy whole heartedly. Now she’s a big part of it. A people person in and out, Kirsten brings out the best in everyone around her. She lives in Hingham with her husband and three beautiful daughters.

Brianna – Brianna is the kind of go-getter we love. A regular rider, a pre-med student with a focus on exercise science, and she works at Lulu. She knows our ride, knows why it’s good for our bodies, and has great clothes to boot!

Jenna – Jenna is a full-time student getting her masters in social work at Simmons College. Her super friendly and upbeat attitude are rays of sunshine in the studio. Combine that with her empathetic nature and passion to help people, her feel good vibe will make you smile.

Allie – Allie grew up in Hingham and just came home from studying abroad in Copenhagen. She was a summer regular rider and we’re thrilled to have her back for her break. She’s studying architecture at Middlebury and brings such an infectious positive energy, we can’t get enough of her!

Kristen – Kristen wanted to build an experience, not just a ride; a destination for joyful expression, not just an exercise location. She loves meeting and getting to know all riders, and welcomes your feedback to make your experience even better.

Together with our instructor team, we are Cycle Town. We are thrilled you ride with us and we’re doing everything we can to make your experience as positive as possible. See ya in the saddle!

 

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Meet Frank

Meet Frank. He is a familiar face at Cycle Town and it’s about time you got to know him better…

Frank runs the desk. You probably know him for his sly smile and his swift check-in. I know him for his brilliant ideas on how to make us run more smoothly and his ability to fix everything.  Frank is the best.

frank1

Before joining us, Frank was working as a mutual fund portfolio manager, heading a consumer credit division. He recently transitioned out of Wall Street finance and is exploring his own consulting opportunities and getting to know the Hingham community. He loves Cycle Town and our schedule works great for him.

Here are some basics about Frank…

  • Frank is from Long Island. Yes, he played lacrosse, but no, he doesn’t have an accent.
  • Frank is not my husband. Frank is Anne’s husband. Josh is my husband. Both Josh and Frank have dark wavy hair. They both went to Colgate. They both have gotten good at riding to the beat. Confusing, I know.
  • Frank and Anne met in business school at UVA. On their first date he ordered oysters because she likes them. He had never eaten a raw oyster, and could barely get one down, saying “I think they’ve gone bad…” He looked like a wimp but Anne applauded the effort. He then proceeded to spill a bottle of red wine in Anne’s lap. Luckily she was wearing black, and thought it was funny. They are the best couple.
  • Frank and Anne have lived in Hingham since August.
  • Frank is matter of fact and does not like explanation points or smiley faces in emails or texts. So of course I send him a few every so often just for fun.  ! :) ! <3 !
  • Frank loves dogs…and most other animals. But he screams when he sees a spider.
  • Little kids under age 2 love Frank. Instantly. It must be his beard. No, we don’t offer babysitting.
  • Frank is a great cook. He cooks a gourmet dinner for Anne every night. I’m so jealous.
  • Frank likes weird juices. Spicy ones.
  • Anne and Frank’s family call him the IT department because he can solve almost any electronic or computer problem.
  • When he’s not spinning, Frank likes to weight lift and play basketball.

 

 

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Casey Nuttall, Branding & Digital Consultant in Hingham

Casey Nuttall made us cool.  Meet Cycle Town’s branding and digital creative consultant who helped develop Cycle Town’s identity.  I’m always in awe of creative marketing types and how he can translate a concept into a full brand identity.  Casey nailed it.  We absolutely love our logo, marketing collateral, website, and other brand imagery you will soon see on apparel etc, all thanks to him.  #CoolTankTops.  #Gears.

Before we had a lease, before I knew what bikes we would get, I knew I wanted Casey to do the branding.  Long ago Casey and I worked together at Digitas, a large marketing agency.  We reconnected in Hingham a few years ago and have dabbled in a couple of digital marketing projects together.  His work is sleek, modern, personal, and while it packs a punch, it also touches an emotion– can you say Maui Jim and Suffolk Construction?  Casey has his own creative consulting company based here in Hingham offering a full suite of digital and print creative services.  Take a look at his work.

To prepare him for the job, I took Casey to a spin class with a hot instructor.  #GetHisAttention.  I ingrained in him that the branding must appeal to women AND men.  #spinningISformen.  I said please don’t use red, I just don’t like red.  Our logo meetings were so funny.  He would have these big reveals and you could practically hear a drum roll in the background.

It’s pretty cool that Casey can take a walk into the Square and see the Cycle Town sign and logo that he designed.  It takes a village.  I am so grateful for Casey and the face he gave to Cycle Town to match our amazing ride.

casey pic

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Alissa Jones & Heidi Condon, Designers at HC Design in Scituate

Some people make the world a more beautiful place…literally.  Alissa Jones and Heidi Condon of HC Design in Scituate are two of them.  These ladies create extraordinary architectural designs for new homes, renovations, and additions across Hingham and the South Shore.  Their designs are warmly classic yet sophisticated, with details that delight.  But ultimately, good design is about how it works.  Heidi and Alissa take your own ideas to levels you never would have dreamed of.  #wowfactor.  You can see some of their projects on Houzz.

Years ago Heidi and Alissa designed our home addition and renovation and have been our good friends ever since.  They are so talented and great fun.  I turn to them for advice on all things architecture so it didn’t take more than a minute for me to drop the CAD file in Alissa’s lap and say, have at it.   Alissa immediately became Cycle Town’s in-house designer and planned the initial layout of the studio and the majority of the finishes.  She has beautiful taste and is a natural at making all the design components come together.  Alissa graduated from RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) and has particular skills in furniture making.  This girl knows wood and inspired our handsome reclaimed wood reception desk.  Here’s a pic of it in progress.  #love.

Cycle town reception desk

I am so grateful for Alissa and Heidi’s hard work and support.  Cycle Town’s studio would not look as beautiful and sharp as it does without them.  It takes a village.  Check out my marvelous designers at HC Design.

HC Design

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Darleen Lannon, Realtor at Coldwell Banker in Hingham

Darleen is by far the most optimistic person I have met with a can-do attitude like no other.  Best of all, no matter what the task, Darleen Gets.The.Job.Done.  She is no nonsense and she Makes.It.Happen.  It is no wonder she is such a successful realtor in Hingham.  So when I finally confided in Darleen about my studio vision she just said “Oh yes that will work.  I will find a space.”  Within TWENTY FOUR HOURS (24!) Darleen had found the space that is now Cycle Town.  Enough said.

Actually that’s not enough.  I need to gush a little more.  Darleen is a true partner.  She listens, contributes, and pushes your thinking.  We talk strategy, opportunities, and marketing.  We have fun analyzing successful businesses.  We laugh and drink wine.  I have turned her into an addicted spinner.  Darleen is my across the street neighbor and I am so grateful.  Cycle Town would not be the reality it is today without her.  It takes a village.  Check out my outstanding realtor, Darleen Lannon.

I am dedicating Cycle Town’s first hash tag to Darleen.  #MakeItHappenCycleTown.

Darleen Lannon

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Thank you

As we complete the build out of the new studio space, we will use the time to launch a series called It Takes a Village.  Cycle Town would not be a reality if it weren’t for the support and hard work of many outstanding professionals.  For the most part we have worked with individuals and companies local to Hingham and the South Shore.  In weekly posts we will share our experiences so you can get to know the amazing work they’ve done.  First up, the person who found the space!

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