Vancouver-based spin studio Ride Cycle Club has just opened its second location in Toronto, and more are expected to follow, according to one of its founders. The concept was founded by Ashley Ander, Moe Samieian Jr., and JJ Wilson — Mr. Wilson is the son of Lululemon founder Chip Wilson.
Ride Cycle Club provides participants with a full-body workout in a candlelit space featuring loud, pumping music. The nightclub-like vibe motivates participants, according to co-founder Ashley Ander. A single session costs $26 in Vancouver and $28 in Toronto, and Ride Cycle Club also offers package deals and unlimited deals, which are currently transferable between the Vancouver and Toronto studios. Prices include showers, use of towels and clip-shoes.
Ride Cycle Club locations also feature retail spaces — currently, Ride branded Lululemon product is available, and Ride Cycle Club will soon be expanding into its own clothing line that will be cycle-specific. Product will include tights, sports bras, shorts, sweatshirts, and other technical gear specifically branded for Ride Cycle Club.
Ride Cycle Club’s first location opened in October of 2014 in Vancouver’s Yaletown. A second studio has just opened at 98 Ossington Avenue in Toronto, a short walk north of trendy Queen Street West. CBRE was involved in brokering the deal with landlord Hullmark for the 3,500 square foot space, and Toronto-based BUILD IT coordinated its construction from start to completion. “They took the right steps to ensure that it opened on time,” said Ms. Ander, noting that BUILD IT handled much of the project from start to finish. “I would recommend them”, she said.
Simon Shahin, President and CEO of BUILD IT, explained some of the challenges involved in building out the Toronto space. Boasting a powerful sound system, soundproofing was mandatory in order to ensure that Ride Cycle won’t disturb its neighbours, which include Lululemon’s first men’s store next door, as well as a theatre upstairs. Mr. Shahin explained how BUILD IT coordinated hiring a designer, architect and engineer, in order to work with the complicated space. A demising wall and subsequent soundproofing was built by BUILD IT, and the project ended up hitting a potential road block — the City of Toronto turned down an application for Ride Cycle’s main entrance to be in an alleyway so instead, the landlord worked with parties to create an Ossington Street-facing doorway for Ride Cycle. What’s resulted is an elongated hallway lit by candlelight that creates almost a ‘ride runway’ into the main reception and spin area, accessed from the street.
Mr. Shahin explained the complexities of working around existing architecture and heritage buildings, noting that some buildings might not conform. In the case of Ride Cycle’s Ossington premises, BUILD IT had to bring the building to code by building fire walls around staircases, installing new sprinkler and HVAC systems, not to mention coordinating plumbing and fixtures for Ride Cycle’s high-end change rooms, which are something of a post-workout retreat. “If you want a great location, you’re limited to what’s available,” said Mr. Shahin — and the hip Ossington area is perfect for Ride Cycle Club.
More Canadian Ride Cycle Club locations are expected to follow the Ossington Avenue location, according to co-founder Ms. Ander, and the company is seeking space in major Canadian cities. The company’s third location will open this summer in North Vancouver, in the Lonsdale Quay area.
Ms. Ander said that Ride Cycle could eventually operate somewhere between 12 and 15 Ride Cycle Club locations in this country, though that number could change depending on circumstances. A U.S. expansion could happen as well, she said, and if it did, Seattle could be its first targeted market — which makes sense, given its proximity to Vancouver.
*Photos in this article are of the new Toronto Ride Cycle club, and were supplied by BUILD IT.