On the roads and wooded trails of Eastern France, people have reported sightings of an interesting new character – a man sporting a wide smile as he whizzes by on a stand-up bicycle.
That would be Fabrice Bacza, a man who has transformed his way of cross-training and who is now trying to bring joy and fitness to others in his area.
As a younger man, Bacza was always active in sports. For 20 years, he was a ferocious force in water polo (played in the 2nd French national league), and he regularly played tennis. In 2010, he took up running, and he especially enjoyed traversing the many trails throughout the Alsace region.
“I definitely believe that cross-training is a good solution to perform longer,” Bacza said. “That’s why swimming and indoor elliptical bike were important for me. But I began to get bored with indoor workouts. That is why I decided to find a way to enjoy outdoor workouts.
“Obviously there is cycling, but I simply don’t like it, and you need at least two hours to feel that you did an effective workout. Then the idea came to me to transform my indoor elliptical bike into a real outdoor bike. I was so excited, but I didn’t know how to do that. Then my wife told me that such a product already exists! By searching on the internet, I discovered ElliptiGO.
“After I test rode an ElliptiGO one year ago (about 30 minutes), it was THE revelation because it allows me to cross-train outdoors by keeping on running without impact! I ride my 11R for long distances on the road and my beloved Arc for shorter distances and trail rides!”
In regaining his excitement for cross-training activity, Bacza realized that he could spread this message that a new kind of running is possible by standing up and riding in order to help runners injured in their recovery as well as those who want to perform longer.
“I’m on the way to creating a company that will focus on the motto ‘Stand Up & Ride.’ This concept is quite new here in France, especially in the eastern region of Alsace where I live.”
Bacza formed RunGOFit, which now sells ElliptiGO bikes. But more than that, he is building a community of ElliptiGOers in Alsace “The Elsass’Goers.” Through his frequent – and creative – posts on RunGOFit Instagram and Facebook pages, and by participating in several local rides and running races, he is rapidly gaining recognition.
In mid-November, Bacza and his team of Elsass’GOers participated in the Bike & Run of Rixheim, where he partnered with a friend to finish 50th out of 72 teams. He joked, “We were considered as E.T. with our stand-up bike by the other classical teams (1x mountain biker + 1x trail-runner). With our high placing, people assumed that it was easier for us, but in reality, we burned off about 35% more energy! It was an unforgettable ride because it was the first time I had competed in such a race.”
Another of his notable events was the opening of the 2016 Marathon of Colmar. He rode his ElliptiGO 11R alongside the Elsass’GOers team. “Being part of such a race and sharing moments with the leaders … it was priceless. I wouldn’t have had such an opportunity even by reaching my best physical running condition!”
Still, he says his most enjoyable rides are done “with the Arc when I stand up and trail bike through the forests and the mountains in my region, and above all with other crazy trail Arcers. I find almost the same personal achievement as running – first, running impact-free outdoors and covering longer distance, and second by sharing running workouts with others.”
Bacza plans to continue promoting what he calls “his sport” of stand-up trail biking, all the while enjoying the mountains by trail-running without impact. He will also keep participating in Bike & Run events as well as other running races. He also hopes to come to America this year or next year for the New York City 5 Boro Bike Tour, “where I’ll be the first French GOer to join the US team!”