Cycling Center Dallas _ front

I dropped by Cycling Center Dallas the other day to meet the owner and learn about what they do. They’re located at 9028 Garland, right by White Rock Lake, and if you’ve never been by, here’s what you should know about them:

Each cyclist brings in his or her own bike.

Each cyclist brings in his or her own bike.

The first thing is that Cycling Center Dallas is not a spin class. “That’s the biggest misconception we get from people,” says coach and resistance training specialist Tracy Christenson. At Cycling Center Dallas, clients bring in their own bikes and “plug them into the system,” so that way they’re using bikes that fit their body, and they’re also training on the bike they use outside the gym.

Because of that, the second thing you should know is: If you have any inkling of becoming a cyclist for the first time, if you were once a cyclist and you’re a bit rusty but you really want to get back on your bike, or if you’re already cycling and you want to build up your strength, speed, stamina and skill — so basically if you have any interest in cycling whatsoever — you should, at the very least, drop by to say hi. (And if you want to try it out, the first session is free.)

Cycling Center Dallas opened in that location in February, but owner Richard Wharton has been a USAC Level 1 cycling coach since 1997.

For years, Wharton has been passionate about staying on the cutting edge of using science and technology to measure performance. At Cycling Center Dallas, they measure each training session by wattage (and it’s really complicated, so I won’t even begin trying to explain it; I’ll just leave that up to the experts). Then, during each session, they generate reports which they email to their client. “So they can see exactly what they did. They can actually track their progress,” Wharton says. “There’s no guesswork; it’s all science.”

Wharton explaining the watt-based training charts

Wharton explaining the watt-based training charts

Another cool feature of the center is that they work with Craig Fulk, “the bike fit guy,” who works with clients to make sure their bikes fit their body types. “He’s extremely skilled at fitting people,” Wharton says.

At first glance, it might seem a little intimidating. But actually, it’s perfect for beginner cyclists because clients get a customized workout with professional trainers on the same bike they’ll use outside.

“We don’t want people to stay indoors; that’s the point,” Wharton says. “We want people to see that if they come in two nights a week, six weeks at a time, and train with us, they’re going to get faster, they’re going to ride farther, and they’re going to have a better time on the terrain.”

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