Instead of sitting in traffic on the way to or from the office, what if you could be working out?
That’s the idea behind BikeBus, a cycling studio on a bus that hopes to be transporting workers from the Boston suburbs to the city’s financial district this fall.
Created by husband-and-wife team Seema and Eric Brodie, BikeBus is a commuter bus that has been outfitted with nine Schwinn bikes. The idea evolved from a family dinner conversation about the wasted time of long commutes.
“Our concept takes that sedentary time and transforms it into active time,” Eric tells PEOPLE. “Not only are you making your drive more productive in a physically healthy way, but you are also saving actual time because that’s an hour you don’t have to spend at the gym anymore.”
While both Seema and Eric are fitness enthusiasts and former lawyers, it was Eric’s experience as an attorney for the bus industry that really propelled the idea. “He knew the ins and outs of bus transportation and how to deal with the necessary regulatory authorities to get something like this approved,” says Seema.
Not that it was easy. Exercising on a moving vehicle brings a unique set of safety concerns. “Structural engineers have approved virtually every aspect of the bus, from the bikes to the brackets that fasten the bike to the bus to the seatbelt restraint we use,” says Eric, adding that the company has applied for two patents: one for the strength system that holds a rider back should the bus brake unexpectedly, and the harness, which had to be lightweight yet strong enough to keep riders secure.
So far, the company has just one bus with eight bikes for riders and one for the instructor. But keeping the class intimate is necessary because of the safety system, which Eric and Seema have to set up for each passenger. “We want to be able to get going in 10 to 15 minutes, so a small group training experience is best to function efficiently and quickly,” Seema explains.
The workout itself is a 45-minute routine that burns up to 400 calories. Even on a long commute the class won’t go longer than an hour because people get tired, says Seema. And while it may not be as intense as a traditional cycling workout – Eric says the priorities right now are safety and fun – it’s way more interesting to look at the changing city scenery than to stare at the wall of a dark studio.
While cost is still being determined, the company expects one ride to be $28 to $30, and less if purchased as part of a package.
Seema and Eric hope devotees will pick one day a week and either use BikeBus to travel to work or home. But let s say you choose the morning option. Won’t you arrive sweaty and gross? Maybe your office has on-site showers. Maybe the drop-off is near your gym. Or maybe you don’t sweat that much and can get away with a spritz of body spray. “There are ways to clean up,” says Seema. “If people are excited enough about maximizing that time, they’ll find a way.”