SOUTH TAMPA — Just about anyone can crank out a cardio workout on a Krankcycle, "basically spinning for the upper body," according to Dana Urban, owner of Urban BODY Fusion on South Manhattan Avenue, south of Euclid Avenue. She and her husband, Scott Urban, an experienced mountain biker, adventure racer and triathlete, opened the cycle studio two months ago
"Anybody" includes people with lower body disabilities, Urban said. The Krankcycle seat is easily removed so someone in a wheelchair can roll right up and lock on.
"There's nothing else like it out there for a handicapped person to get upper body cardiovascular exercise in a group class like the rest of us," Urban said. Similar equipment has been used in physical therapy settings for years, "but this allows them to be part of the motivational atmosphere."
Fusion classes — half-spin and half-krank — provide a full body workout, Urban said.
The Krankcycle was invented by cyclist Jonathan "Johnny G" Goldberg, who created the prototype spinning bike in 1987. When a virus affected his heart in 2004, he turned to a handcycle, pedaling with his arms, resulting in strengthened core muscles and tightened abdominals.
Urban, a certified spinning and boot camp instructor and personal trainer, taught kranking classes in her home until a growing waiting list and a 40th birthday inspired her business expansion. She outfitted the studio with deejay lighting and two 100-inch screens for the adrenaline-raising videos she makes herself, including a Halloween ride and a pirate voyage. Purple and turquoise textured walls, and a coffee and protein shake bar, add to the energy, Urban said.
Urban BODY Fusion, 4338 S Manhattan Ave.; classes on urbanbodyfusion.com or call (813) 765-1023.
Bayshore Fit pitches relaxed atmosphere
Personal trainers Jeff Fink and Beth Scanlan incorporated "the best aspects of all the gyms we ever visited," he said, to launch Bayshore Fit on Bay to Bay Boulevard near Pach's restaurant July 2.
The result, said Fink, "are upscale perks you'd find in a 5-star hotel, such as cold towels and free water."
Without the snobbiness.
The couple earned compliments for the friendly atmosphere at their previous training center on S MacDill Avenue, Fink said. "People were always asking if they could stay and work out. So we got a bigger space to open a full fitness facility with individual, family and corporate memberships."
But not so big that the neighborhood gym becomes overcrowded.
"We are an alternative to the big corporate centers," Fink said. "No entry card to scan because we'll know your name. No enrollment or initiation fees, no long-term contracts."
Fitness classes, rehab and personal training are offered daily using new, top-of-the-line equipment. A 30-minute Lunch Crunch class at noon Tuesday and Thursday is described as lifting your mood for the rest of the day "with a blast of strength and a dash of stretch."
Partners in life as well as business, Fink and Scanlan especially enjoy training couples. "Their kids, too," Fink said.
Bayshore Fit, 2907 W Bay to Bay Blvd., Suite 103, is open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Visit bayshorefit.com or call (813) 748-6734.
Check out the boba teas at Green Island
Lychee, honeydew, kiwi and mango are just a few of the fresh smoothie flavors available at Green Island Frozen Yogurt 'n' Tea Bar.
Boba teas, fruit- or milk-flavored, have become popular in the Palma Ceia neighborhood. Boba, the chewy tapioca balls or "pearls" made of cassava root, brown rice and starch, can be added to any drink, says owner Sam Dong, who recently opened in the Palm Plaza. Dong opened his first Green Island in 2008 at Adamo Drive and Falkenburg Road.
The refreshing drinks go well with traditional Chinese snacks, including brick toast. The inch-thick white toast can be topped with sweet butter, coconut milk, Nutella or fruit. "Crispy outside, sweet and chewy inside,'' Dong said.
Green Island, 1155 S Dale Mabry Highway, is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday; noon to 10 p.m. Sunday. Visit greenislandyogurt.com or call (813) 288-4888.
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