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Fitness on Tap at Flight Line mixes fun with live music

By LAURA QUEZADA News Review Staff Writer –

Stand by for something fun when three businesses combine their services to offer the community a monthly fun-filled event. Flight Line Tap Room, The Fit Lyfe, and DJ Beastmode bring you Fitness on Tap. This month they are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on Friday, March 17, at 12:30 pm. They are billing it as “FITNESS ON TAP: St. Pat’s ‘Broga.’ ‘Bring a Bro’ Yoga: dude-friendly yoga session, live music, finisher beer, and Guinness cupcakes.”

Other monthly events are April 20 at 5:30 pm, Fitness on Tap: Reggae Rise up, and May 5, Fitness on Tap: Cinco de Mayo. Start at The Fit Lyfe, 139 West Ridgecrest Blvd, with an hour-long workout in sync with DJ Beastmode’s entertaining sounds, then head over to Fitness on Tap to finish with a beer and socialize. Bring (or rent) a yoga mat and water. The workout is designed to suit all fitness levels. You should get your tickets soon. The event is limited to 16 people. The tickets are $22 plus whatever Eventbrite charges: 

Fitness on Tap is the brainchild of Francesca “Frenchie” Craft, owner of The Fit Lyfe, who started Beer and Yoga at The Tap Room several years ago. “We thought about tying it together, just creating the workout here to bring more people into this space and then bring them to The Tap Room,” says Craft. “That’s where we end up anyway after working out.” DJ Beastmode has been working out with Craft since she opened. “He loves music, he loves to DJ, and he just really wanted to add something extra to Fitness on Tap.” 

Ross Shingledecker

“The people in Ridgecrest are always looking for new things to do because novelty is a rare commodity for us in an isolated location,” says Ross Shingledecker, co-owner of Flight Line Tap Room. “This mix is a fun thing.” He says that even if you don’t like exercising, it is fun with the lively music and the social hour afterward. “We’re combining things that are good for you with things that are also fun and things that are worth looking forward to and planning for the future.” 

“Working together with other groups to create something is one of the biggest driving factors,” says Craft. “Because the studio really wasn’t created for profit. It was about creating a safe space for the community to work out, especially for women. A lot of them are self-conscious, and they want a safe space where they can come and work out in a small group or one-on-one and not be charged an arm and a leg.”

FitLyfe Francesca “Frenchie” Craft and students / Laura Austin Photos

Craftworks on Base started The Fit Lyfe about seven years ago to create a space for her co-workers to work out. “We’ve since centered classes around Base hours. So we have a 4:30 in the morning class where a lot of girls come in and work out before work. And then we hold classes after work and weekends as well.”

Craft’s husband, Scott, co-owns the studio. He is a  coach for Burroughs High School Boys’ Varsity soccer coach and the coaching director for the IWC Soccer Club as well. He is the “Bro” in “Bro-Yoga” and will teach the class with assistance from Frenchie, who moved here with a one-year contract on Base and stayed. She tells us, “ I really enjoy the small community. My son started first grade here and plays soccer. The amount of support you get from the community, especially when you have children, is by far unmatched in a big city.”

Ross was in graduate school pursuing a career as a Chemist when his partner/now husband, Eric Abernathy, was hired as an Engineer at the Base. Ross moved to Ridgecrest and worked as a bartender before being hired on to the Base. He stayed at the job until he needed to leave because he could only give 75% to his Base job and the tap room. 

Ross and Abernathy were regulars at Flight Line Tap Room, and when it came up for sale, they wanted to see it continue. “We did some number crunching, and we wanted to make sure that we didn’t literally lose this place. This place is for those of us who like to be out and social.” Those who haven’t visited The Tap Room have some misconceptions. Rest assured, this is not a “bar scene.”  Ross grew up in Wisconsin. He says, “My cultural roots are in Wisconsin. Wisconsin’s the only state in the United States where there are more bars per capita than churches.”  Ross didn’t want a bar; he viewed The Tap Room

 more as a community center where people could socialize.

Ross strives to keep the ambiance created by the previous owners. “This is like an old sweater type of place. You know, when you have like a sweater, it’s a little threadbare. Maybe the wrists are going a little bit, but it’s a very comfortable sweater. That’s the energy we’re going for: that place for people to be comfortable, calm, and social. “ However, it doesn’t look raggedy – it is a clean, welcoming space.

To illustrate how he wants folks to experience The Tap Room

, Ross shares this encounter. “One of my friends, who grew up here in Ridgecrest, was so excited. I asked him, ‘What’s going on?’ He answered, ‘I came in. I sat down next to someone I didn’t know would be there. He’s a friend I hadn’t talked to for forever. We had a beer, and I thought that only happened in TV shows.’ That’s the sort of environment we have.”

The Tap Room offers “Games, games help people talk. We’ve got stuff for kids; families are welcome here.”  Besides a selection of craft beer, they offer “soda, non-alcoholic options, gluten-free beer, and Seltzer. We always have at least one diet soda.” A few snacks are offered, but folks are encouraged to get some takeout and bring it to The Tap Room.

There are many special events at Flight Line Tap Room. There are special craft beer tastings, Trivia Night, a candle-making class, Beer Yoga and Pound. For Pound, they partner with their neighbor, Cross Fit China Lake. “POUND® is a unique exercise method inspired by the energizing, infectious, and sweat-dripping fun of playing the drums. Using Ripstix®, lightly weighted drumsticks engineered specifically for exercising, POUND® was designed to transform drumming into an incredibly effective way of working out.”

Ross plans to dabble in live music. “ I was under the impression, that given the limitations of our space, it would be a challenging place to have good quality, live music. I know there’s tons of talent in town, but I didn’t think it would sound well. But then, recently, we had Al David here for a private party. We accommodated that, and it sounded great. He’s talented, but the sound was also really good with the type of equipment that he had. So now we know that it can be good. So now we’re going to look at doing more of that.” Al David will return to Flightline on May 27.