A line of fitness enthusiasts stretched around Minneapolis’s Target Center, waiting for their chance to be a part of the Guinness World Records attempt for “Most people static cycling.” Organized by Life Time Fitness, a chain of state-of-the-art workout facilities based in Minnesota, the “Ride of a Lifetime” event featured several of the local clubs’ most popular spinning instructors, who would lead participants in a gruelling 2-hour class.
At 4:30 a.m., organizers began loading in the 1,063 spinning bikes gathered from Life Time’s locations in and around the Minneapolis area. By the time I arrived at 9, the floor of the arena was almost fully carpeted with bikes, each equipped with towels, a water bottle, and ear plugs and ready for action. Online pre-registration for the class capped off at 1,000, but with 63 additional bikes, even waitlisted spinners were able to take part. Upon entering the arena, participants signed in to the official log book and were then given a special Life Time Fitness jersey designed specifically for the event.
Although the official guidelines only require participants to cycle for 10 minutes, Sunday’s class lasted a full 2 hours, which is nothing to scoff at, as anyone who has attended even a 1-hour class can attest. Led by Life Time founder and CEO Bahram Akradi, this was a high-energy, high-intensity class complete with accompaniment by DJ Roberto Costa and even a bongo drummer.
In order to obtain an accurate number of participants in the class, allowing for instructors and staff who took part but had not been required to sign in, I walked the entirety of the floor and took stock from the stands above to determine that of the 1,063 bikes brought into the arena, 10 were empty and 1 was broken, leading to a final total of 1,052 participants – a new Guinness World Record! The certificate presentation took place about 15 minutes before the end of the class, providing everyone with the inspiration and sense of accomplishment to cycle all the way through to the cool-down.