It was with great excitement that HealthQuest of Hunterdon, a New Jersey-based family fitness and wellness facility, marked its first anniversary with a community event and fund-raiser. On Saturday, April 6, Johnny G, the inventor and driving force behind the entire indoor cycling industry and creator of the Spinning program, lead two indoor Spinning classes at the club. The rides helped raise $2,800 for the nine-member HealthQuest Cycling Team, which is participating in the Northeast AIDSRide, a four-day, 350-mile bike ride from Bear Mountain, NY to Boston.

More than 150 members and non-members, some of whom had traveled from New York City and Philadelphia, enjoyed the “Celebration Spin Ride” with Johnny G.

“I could hardly contain myself when I heard Johnny was coming to HealthQuest,” said Anita Coleman, a Spinning instructor near Philadelphia. “Lovers of his program will follow him anywhere and to have him so close…. Wow, I knew I had to attend and ride with Johnny. Plus it was for a great cause.”

This was no ordinary exercise-based fund-raiser, nor an easy indoor cycling class, but an extravaganza that brought local businesses and area residents together for an intense two-hour indoor cycling workout and fund-raiser.

Many businesses were more than willing to donate money, door prizes and refreshments, which helped defray the costs of both rides. Members volunteered their time to organize and help with registration, loading and unloading of Spinning bikes, serving refreshments or just handing out towels. It really brought everyone together for a common cause.

The nine members of the HealthQuest Cycling Team also took part in the facility's indoor Spinning class as they prepared for the Northeast AIDSRide.

“I have been Spinning for three years and I wanted to learn how to ride outside on a real bike,” Caryl Harris, a rider on the HealthQuest team said. “I took all the fundamentals of what I was taught in the Spinning Program, bought an outdoor bike and fell in love with cycling.”

Harris, like many outdoor cycling enthusiasts, participates in local fund-raisers and cycling clubs, so making the commitment to a four-day ride was a logical step.

“Bringing an industry leader, especially one of Johnny's caliber to central Jersey, gives our members an opportunity to experience the buzz and excitement that usually is reserved for larger fitness facilities,” Vicki Stoddart, group exercise director and coordinator of the event said. “When a world famous and professional cyclist makes a rare appearance, and in doing so helps a small cycling team generate funds, it gets everyone energized.”

And energy is a key factor in helping any good cause, such as the AIDSRide.