Shortly after Karen Glooch and Pam Blum met, they knew that someday they would create something together to share their passion for indoor cycling. For years, that took shape through endless hours of talking and learning about all things indoor cycling until the launch of Five Spokes on Facebook in 2018.
The pair describes Five Spokes Fitness as the “next-gen” of Five Spokes on Facebook:
With the tremendous response to Five Spokes, we knew it was time to take things to another level. Our followers have busy lives and a passion to continually grow. They want easy-to-access, digestible information that supports their craft and community of riders, and Five Spokes Fitness will do exactly that.
We’re beyond excited to bring more and varied content to cycling instructors, expand our audience to include dedicated cycling and fitness participants, and branch our content into additional fitness ‘spokes’. This is truly a special community. Thanks to our dedicated followers, we’re geared up and ready to evolve this ride!
I love meeting instructors and hearing about what motivates them, what they struggle with, what works, what doesn’t, and discovering what we can learn from each other. The original idea behind Five Spokes on Facebook when we launched in January 2018 was to create a virtual community of cycling instructors from Maryland, Virginia, Washington, DC, Delaware and Pennsylvania to share information on all things indoor cycling.
My hope was to leverage those virtual connections for regional meet-ups, rides, workshops, and local networking among instructors, hence the five state abbreviations in the original Five Spokes logo. I quickly realized, however, that followers were joining from all over the world, and that meaningful virtual connections were being created by the questions and responses to our videos, articles, profiles and playlists.
By the end of 2018, we posted a significant amount of content. We also launched a YouTube channel so that instructors who weren’t on Facebook could access our videos. I could tell by the questions I was getting from instructors (the main source of our inspiration for content!), that we needed a more organized, easier-to-use format, the ability to download profiles, and a secure email address option, especially if we wanted to expand our content beyond cycling AND finally meet one of our original objectives: to offer workshops, meet-ups and networking opportunities.
Five Spokes Fitness is the “next-gen” of Five Spokes on Facebook. And, just like the original, we will follow the North Star that the Five Spokes community helps us to set.
In the summer of 2004, I joined a local gym and quickly became bored with my circuit-weight, cardio-equipment room workouts. Someone suggested trying one of the cycling classes. I tried it; I didn’t love it, mostly because I found the music and energy of that particular class uninspiring. Luckily, I tried different timeslots and got exposed to different instructors, Pam Blum being one of them.
Pam’s classes were transformational. Pam delivered experiences that truly connected “mind, body and spirit.” The mid-to-late 2000’s were a tumultuous time in my life and I used to tell Pam that her classes made me feel as if I was finally “spinning into control.”
One day, after countless rides and talks about all things indoor cycling, Pam asked me to get certified. I said yes, and two months later I taught my first class to a full house of 30 riders. There was nothing like that experience. To this day, with over 1,300 classes under my belt, when I hear the first song on my first playlist (Rise Above by Afro Celt Sound), I have a physical reaction. For a brief moment, I’m excited, anxious, and transported to that Saturday morning that began one of the most important and thrilling journeys of my life.
There are countless things I love about indoor cycling – the simplicity that somehow presents unlimited challenges, the nuance, the adrenaline when the lights go out and the music goes up, the riders, the physical and mental benefits - but at the top of my list is that in each class there is the potential to create something magical. How do you top that?
I’ve been teaching Spinning® since 2008. I teach at Evolutions in Annapolis, MD. and Severna Park Racquetball and Fitness Club in Severna Park, MD. If you are ever in our neck of the woods, please let us know! I am a certified Spinning® and SpinPower® instructor, ACE Group Fitness and TRX certified. I have a B.S. in Communication from Clarion State University and an M.S. in Organizational Development from Johns Hopkins University.
Like most of my life, it was an unplanned path. In August 1998, I hauled 30 bikes to a local club for a fundraiser that a friend and I organized. Johnny Goldberg, aka Johnny G (the founder of Spinning®) was there. He is one of those people who, when you look into their eyes, you feel something indescribable, intense and magnetic. The event was a huge success. I still have the photo he signed: ‘When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe your rot.” I went home, researched Spinning and became a certified instructor in July 1999.
Six years later, during a challenging time in my personal life, Mad Dogg announced a live audition for Master Trainers. I wanted to feel the spark I originally experienced riding with Johnny at the fundraiser, so I tried out and was selected to go to camp later that year. It’s been quite a ride. I strive to stay green and always keep growing.
I appreciate the simplicity, the complexity and the accessibility. It’s not rocket science: there are five body positions, three hand positions; there are flats and there are hills. BUT, when you are ready to go deeper and longer, there’s a whole new dimension just waiting to be explored beyond cadence and resistance. I love that the bike strips away age, talent, gender, size, education and all other differences so we can all ride joyfully together.
I’m an accomplished Group Fitness Leader with more than 25 years of background rich in knowledge, experience and a dedication to wellness. I’m an E-RYT® 500, YACEP®, AFAA and ACE certified Group Fitness Instructor, Cycleops and SpinPower Certified, Power Pilates System Level 1 Trainer, Master Trainer for Spinning®, CrossCore® and Resist-a-Ball®. I’m adjunct faculty member at Anne Arundel Community College Women’s Institute and Center on Aging and am currently completing the Functional Aging Specialist Certification through FAI. I am the Program Director at Evolutions in Annapolis, MD and am grateful to do what I love and love what I do - and best of all, being an IronMom!