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BurnCycle Invites Portlanders to Fight Back against Bullying

The local spin studio celebrates National Bullying Prevention Month with a pledge to promote inclusivity and respect.

By Webb Wright October 13, 2016

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You may already know that nearly 25 percent of American teenagers report being bullied at school—but these days, bullying doesn’t just occur next to lockers in the school hallway. Bullying can happen to anyone, at any age, anywhere; in our schools, certainly, but also at home, online, at work, and even at the gym.

This month, in recognition of National Bullying Prevention & Awareness Month, local cycling studio BurnCycle teams up with Lululemon and the Kind Campaign to raise awareness of acts of intolerance that can occur to anybody within our community, regardless of age or gender. BurnCycle CEO and founder Jessi Duley invites riders to take the Burn Pack Pledge: a vow to be vigilant of bullying, to speak out against it, and to never assume the role of silent bystander. In Duley’s experience, these few, simple efforts can manifest enormous changes within our communities. “I founded my entire company on the idea of the ripple effect,” she explains. “One good day could make you a better partner, a better mother, a better colleague. The mission behind our anti-bullying campaign is essentially the same thing: it’s based on the idea that change starts at home, with one small act of kindness.”

For Duley, who has been a victim of severe bullying herself, this is a deeply personal issue with far-reaching consequences. “We all see bullying in the world right now,” she says. “We’re being divided by our differences instead of celebrating our diversity.” Believing that “negativity breeds more negativity,” the Burn Pack Pledge compel its signatories to speak out against intolerance, to actively spread encouragement and kindness throughout communities, and to regard yourself and your fellow humans with conscious respect.

These actions are hopefully second nature to many of us, but the degree of bullying in this country really has reached endemic levels. The i-SAFE Foundation recently reported 42 percent of kids have been bullied while online, surveys show that at least 27 percent of adults have experienced abuse at work. Of course, bullying is an issue that is difficult to quantify—in addition to those statistics, there are untold numbers of cases of bullying that are never reported.  

In spite of all of this, Jessi Duley and the rest of the BurnCycle team—who have some very devoted followers—are confident that bullying is a trend that can be stopped by a vigilant, strong and caring community. To be a part of that community, drop into one of BurnCycle’s two studios (located in the Pearl District and Lake Oswego) to sign a copy of the Burn Pack Pledge. You can also show your pride with BurnCycle's limited line of anti-bullying merch: shirts and pins that bear the messages “You Can Spin With Us” and “Bye Hater to advocate the ideals of inclusion and love that the studio aims to spread to anyone and everyone.  

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