Spin is in. And following the lead of the east and west coasts, the fitness regime is rolling out of Houston gyms and into dedicated cycling studios, where the experience is being spun in entirely different directions. With a launch set for April 11 in a prime River Oaks Shopping Center location, RYDE is one such concept that aims to create a distinctive niche in this burgeoning market segment.
To differentiate the brand, co-founders Andrew Pappas and Ashley Gooch are targeting some of the area’s most discerning enthusiasts and sought after instructors, as well as novices seeking a fitness lift with a premium and personalized offering that brings together the best in ambience, technology and community.
The longtime friends, who earned their master’s degrees together at Texas A&M Mays Business School in the Professional Program of Accounting, see a long road ahead for indoor cycling in Houston and are already scouting future RYDE sites.
According to Pappas, who works in private equity and commercial real estate development, “I was first introduced to spin after living in New York, where the dynamic of the classes made exercise truly fun for me. From a real estate and consumer standpoint, there’s also an appeal in the accessibility and intimacy of a small, well-conceived space.”
Gooch, who left her job as a bankruptcy and restructuring consultant to become a fulltime entrepreneur, has had a lifelong passion for fitness, health and wellness. “Andrew and I spent the past year developing a brand and customer experience that brings the best of the industry to Houston while integrating a level of personalization, polish and luxury that the cultured, local customer demands.”
Designed by award-winning Mayfield and Ragni Studio, RYDE’s 2,300-square-foot storefront, which is situated adjacent to the landmark River Oaks Theatre, will offer a soothing backdrop of grays and whites for a powerful, 45-minute cardio workout geared around toning core, back, arms and legs for just 35 guests per session.
“As the adage goes, it’s like riding a bike,” say Gooch. “What’s great about this workout, beyond the energy created by spirited instructors, phenomenal music and creative lighting elements, is that the motion comes naturally, and the intensity is really up to each individual’s comfort level, allowing people of all skill levels and genders to participate and grow into efficient and engaging routines at their own pace.”
In addition to offering a RYDE 101 class, the studio will feature two class options: Signature RYDEs that focus on a full body workout and Performance RYDEs that incorporate live fitness metrics and competition.
A key component that will position this RYDE as a ride of choice is a stable of arguably the industry’s best indoor bikes. The Schwinn AC Performance Plus with Carbon Blue showcases a revolutionary belt drive system designed to mimic real road feel and tension, plus infinitely adjustable seat and handlebars as well as a wider step-through to enhance comfort.
Other standout facets will include an in-house DJ, insuring the playlist never grows stale; myRYDE, a proprietary, performance data tracking and analysis system that will deliver metrics to patrons immediately following each visit; early and late classes; stylishly appointed and fastidiously maintained, men’s and women’s change rooms with showers, towel service; and complimentary, keyless security lockers.
Retail offerings will encompass signature RYDE apparel and cold pressed juices, delivered daily through an exclusive partnership with Houston-based Squeezed Online.
“One of our key goals in creating RYDE is to build community, says Pappas. “Not only will we be actively supporting area non-profits with special charity rides, but we look forward to a busy calendar of on and off-site events centered around establishing new relationships and friendships in a city that continues to welcome residents at an astonishing rate.”
RYDE’s flagship is located at 2005-D West Gray. Staffing applications and class sales are currently being accepted online at letsryde.com