Morris Park cycling instructor keeps connected to local fitness community by teaching home classes

Morris Park resident Diallo Gumbs teaches cycling virtually during the pandemic.
Courtesy of Diallo Gumbs

Morris Park resident Diallo Gumbs has been a cycling instructor at Equinox since 2016. But when the gym shuttered in March due to COVID-19, he had to adapt.

Gumbs, 48, has trained people seven days a week for a while, so at first being out of work was a bit strange.

While he enjoyed the down time and continued to be paid as an employee, Gumbs soon realized that he needed to find a way to teach people during the pandemic. He told the Bronx Times he actually couldn’t remember the last time he was not working.

With a Peloton bike at home, he thought about doing virtual cycling classes. He reached out to his clients to see who had a bike, was interested and who could purchase one. Once he saw some of them owned bikes and others were eager to buy one, he jumped at the chance to teach remotely.

“I said how feasible is it to teach from home?” he said. “The challenge is getting the bikes in the home.”

His clients sensed that there was no timetable for gyms to reopen, so many made the investment of buying a bike. Gumbs was not sure what to expect when he began teaching virtually but feels it has gone well.

He holds 14 classes via Zoom a week and so far everyone who did it in June signed up for sessions in July.

“I want to bring value to everyone I come in contact with,” he explained. “It’s your experience. I got to make sure they’re getting what they want and need.”

Gumbs stressed that with no timeline on when gyms will reopen, he plans to continue this for the foreseeable future and likely even when the gyms are allowed to operate. He noted that some people may not want to return to a gym for a while due to safety concerns.

People do not have to be Equinox members to participate in Gumbs’ classes.

“If you had told me in January that I would be teaching Zoom classes in July, I would have told you you’re crazy,” he commented. “This is an opportunity for me to teach non-Equinox members.”

He even got his 82 year-old mother Ida Gumbs, who has never seen him teach or done cycling, to take one of his classes during the quarantine. Gumbs did not cut her slack.

“That was an amazing experience,” he said.

You can see his work via Instagram @iamdgunnz or at www.instagram.com/iamdgunnz.

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