Four years ago when Jacquie D’Aria first saw an ad for the Peloton bike, she was sold from the first moment. “I loved spinning and went to the gym pretty much to take spin classes exclusively. My first son was turning a year old and I wanted to get back into exercising,” she said. As a full-time working mom, the daily struggle of getting dressed, getting in the car, getting to the gym, finding a parking spot, getting there early enough to get a spot was finally over. After her second baby a year later, trying to find the motivation to keep getting back on the bike, she discovered the Peloton Monthly Challenge Tribe.
“I started riding again last October regularly, and I really credit it to the group, and the people who are there not just to challenge you but to support you,” says Jacquie. “Anytime you don’t feel like going on, someone will say ‘oh, I have to get on, let’s take a class together.’” Using Peloton’s high-five and “Here Now” tools, the tribe plans group rides at all times of the day and night–the night owls and the sunrise crew have particularly devoted followings–and not only get in a workout, they’ve built a community around the bike.
“We’ve met as a whole PMCT group in the city, and some of our tribe members have flown in from all over the country–we’re planning on doing it every year on President’s Day,” says Jacquie. “Being accountable to myself is not enough. Knowing that there’s a group that is counting on me to participate and to not just get motivation myself but to help motivate others is also a driving force. There’s no penalty if you don’t meet your goals, but knowing that there are people who are there for you in the good and the bad gives me the extra motivation to make sure I get my workouts in.”
The group’s slogan, “Set Challenge. Crush Challenge.” emphasizes their commitment to pushing themselves forward month after month. Accountability matters, and it’s shown in different ways, through visits to local showrooms, get-togethers on and off the Bike and daily words of support for each other. “We are always active, there’s no down time in the group,” says Jacquie. “We all recognize that life happens, so people set their own personal goals—if you know you’re going away for a couple weeks, you set a goal you think you can achieve and the group supports whatever that is. In addition to personal challenges for themselves, we’ll come up with an optional group challenge. Every day people are committed to their goals and to supporting each other.”
Rising to these challenges each month has benefits that transcend the fitness realm for many Members too. Jacquie says, “I definitely feel like being able to stick to goals on the bike is totally applicable to the rest of my life. Being accountable to myself in other areas, setting reasonable expectations and goals–that affects my work and my life with my family too. Learning how to manage everything is key.” And the benefits off the Bike aren’t just about meeting life’s challenges–they’re also about having fun. The tribe planned a Friendsgiving this year that was a mix of Peloton friends, family, and the next generation of Members. “A lot of people have young kids that are coming, and they have little Peloton friends as well. Many of us like to show our kids that taking time for yourself and taking care of your health and well-being is important. “
And what do the kids think about their parents’ digital lifeline? “The first time I told someone I was meeting a bunch of people I know from a Facebook group to go take four spin classes together, they were like oh…okay,” Jacquie remembers. “I’m one of those people setting an alarm at 4:50 am, and when I was going to an actual gym, I tried it for like a week. Now when my alarm goes off I get up, and this is what I do.”
It’s the magic combination of the product, the convenience, and the community that keeps Jacquie riding four years later. “I never envisioned that there’d be so many new options, with yoga, floor and bootcamp—I’m challenging myself to try that this month. There’s really something for everybody. Four years ago when we were wondering whether it would be worth it–I know now that it certainly has been.”