SIDELINES

CRUNCH’S NEW SPLASH: Swimsuits may become a must-have for fitness enthusiasts at Crunch. Next month, the 19-unit health club chain launches Hydro Ride, which are spinning classes conducted in swimming pools, at its West 42nd Street location in New York.
Participants in the 45-minute class ride aluminum bikes immersed in water just below the handlebars and pedal away, following the commands of a group instructor. Donna Cyrus, Crunch’s national group fitness director who helped develop the Cycle Reebok program, said the workout is “real hard,” but the buoyancy helps cyclists increase the flow of oxygen in their blood. The activity originated in Italy.
In other news, Crunch has signed a deal with Listen.com to launch Crunch Radio, two radio stations that will air at Crunch clubs next month. Churn, an upbeat station for high-performance workouts, will play artists like Madonna, Underworld and Fatboy Slim. Chill, geared for slower-paced activities like yoga, stretching and cool-down sessions, will focus on acts like Air, Saint Germain and Portishead. Listen.com has also developed a Crunch player that allows people to listen online to the new stations.

LOWE ALPINE TAPS VP: Geoff O’Keeffe has joined Lowe Alpine, a Broomfield, Colo.-based brand aimed at outdoor enthusiasts, as vice president of operations. He oversees customer service, purchasing, logistics, production management and MIS.
Most recently, O’Keeffe was vice president of merchandising of Planetoutdoors.com, a now-defunct e-tailer.