Will 'Spin' for food

Hundreds of Kansas City cyclists meet weekly at one of three SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza locations to log miles before indulging in their favorite fare.

"It was a way to get involved in the community that is consistent with our brand," said Gail Lozoff, co-owner of SPIN! Pizza, which incorporates cycling décor, including wheels and sprockets as art, and bike racks as outdoor patio rails, in its stores. "There are so many cyclists in K.C. They are health conscious and community conscious and they love SPIN! and spread the word throughout, not just the cycling community, but to their friends and families."

Lozoff started the pizza rides about four years ago in the Kansas location on its slowest night — Monday. That ride quickly picked up momentum bringing out a plethora of cyclists with a variety of experience and talent levels. Spin! added Wednesday night and Saturday morning rides at the two Missouri stores and even hired a coordinator to plan and lead rides.

There are easier routes for novice cyclists and longer and harder rides for those with more road experience. No registration or pre-planning is required. People just show up with their bikes at the designated time and restaurant and follow the group.

"Lots of people stay, make new friends, and enjoy the camaraderie and sense of community," Lozoff said. "It's a lot of fun and a great way to share a healthy activity followed by a healthy meal."

It's also a great way to help Spin! get noticed. Most of the cyclists buy Spin! cycling jerseys, so Lozoff is not only getting free advertising, riders are actually paying to sport the brand.

Participating cyclists receive 10 percent off their orders at SPIN! and also receive cards entitling them to special discounts at area bike shops. Frequent participants in the weekly rides also have the opportunity to qualify for Team SPIN!, which rides in a popular Kansas City fundraiser called Tour de BBQ. Last year, 105 cyclists made up Team SPIN! and helped raise money to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the University of Kansas Cancer Center.

Outside the Pizza Box is a recurring story featuring something innovative a pizza operator is doing to grow business. If you think you are doing something "Outside the Pizza Box," contact Editor Cherryh Butler at cbutler@networldalliance.com.

Read more about Health and Nutrition.

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