A new kind of watercraft is available here in East Tennessee just in time for summer. Hydrobikes are an option for slow paced recreation or high intensity fitness.

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(WBIR-Norris Dam Marina) A new kind of watercraft is available here in East Tennessee just in time for summer.

It's a hybrid bicycle / pontoon. Cyclists can rent hydrobikes at the Norris Dam Marina and take Hydro Spin classes for fitness. Emily Stroud and Brian Holt

"A hydrobike is basically a bicycle on a pontoon," John Marquis said.

It's like a bicycle on land with some key differences.

"No balance required and no helmet. And you don't have to worry about traffic," he said.

John Marquis with Norris Paddling Adventures rents the pedal powered hydrobikes at the Norris Dam Marina. They have not been available for long but they are already getting a good response.

"It was very relaxing. I loved it. I told my husband we should buy one of these. Except we don't live near water," Cheryl Henker said.

Cheryl and Wayne Henker are visiting from Illinois.

"Peaceful. We got out here really early so there's nobody out. It's quiet. it's very peaceful. I loved it. relaxing," she said of the experience.

John said, "This basically is designed as a platform for I would say family fun and recreation on the water."

Amber Boone demonstrated how easy they are to use. "You can step on. You can step off of the side here and be fine so I don't see any balance challenges."

"I could do it so I think anybody could," Cheryl said.

Hydrobikers can pedal slow or pedal fast. That really gets the heart pumping.

"You can do as little as 60% and go five to six miles per hour and if you really want a great physical exercise workout you can punch it up to do it full power at probably 10 miles an hour," John said.

Cheryl said, "You definitely get your heart rate up so it's really good exercise but you're not... you get your heart rate up but it's not hard. It's not hard on your knees or anything."

Amber's usual exercise of choice is yoga. She agrees hydrobiking is a good cardio workout.

"You get your heart rate up and you get sweaty so you get a good workout," she said. " I think you feel it in your quads, your hamstrings, your legs, your core. You have to activate your core. So I think it's an overall good body workout."

John said, "For your upper body just actually holding on to the handlebar itself will give you a good core upper body workout."

He just started a class called Hydro Spin.

"I took the idea of people spinning inside a gym and we're going to kind of expand that a little bit and we're going to do spinning on the water," he said. "We have a little basic course set up and we go through a basic warm up. We stretch a little bit. High intensity paddling. And then we do a leisure kind of tour on the back side."

He's offering the Hydro Spin classes Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings. $15 for a 30 minute class.

The classes do have an advantage over a typical class in a gym.

"After you exercise if you really want to cool down you have this beautiful lake you can just jump in and go take a swim," John said.

Rent by the hour starting at $25 for the first hour. All day rental is $95.

Norris Paddling Adventures
Norris Dam Marina
1604 Norris Freeway
Norris, TN 37828

865-498-9951

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