Apr 1, 2014
12:24 PM
Health & Science

JoyRide Takes Cycling Workouts to the Next Level in Ridgefield

JoyRide Takes Cycling Workouts to the Next Level in Ridgefield

The lights are dimmed. The music is blaring. Your adrenaline is pumping as you pedal faster into a new 'landscape' ... a fitter you. 

This is what it’s like to workout at JoyRide Ridgefield—the town’s first dedicated state-of-the-art cycling studio—which was launched in January by two Ridgefield moms who caught the cycling bug themselves.

Amy Pal and Corey Londoner (right) are the team behind JoyRide Ridgefield. While the company has cycling studios in Darien and Westport (where the two women used to take classes), the Ridgefield location is the company’s first license agreement.

Co-owner and instructor Rhodie Lorenz launched the flagship Wesport studio in June 2011.

For Pal, JoyRide is a family rather than a company, and she says it has been “tremendously supportive” while the moms were getting their studio off the ground.

“We fell in love with the concept of JoyRide,” Pal says.

That concept is effective cycling classes to improve fitness, posture and mental acuity, while keeping it fun to keep riders coming back for more.

Thirty-five top of the line, ergonomic Schwinn racing bikes line the tiered cycling studio. The instructor is positioned in the center of the room and is able to be seen by every rider. There’s literally no bad seat in the house.

One of JoyRide Ridgefield’s nine instructors—all trained by Lorenz herself—lead each 50-minute interval-based class. They switch up body positions, pedal speed and resistance to keep everyone’s heart rate up. The last 10 minutes of the class introduce a weighted body bar to work on upper body strength as you pedal. Classes combine fast-paced cycling with the core elements of Pilates to improve cardiovascular fitness. 

“It’s a high energy, low impact workout,” says Londoner, who became hooked on cycling after detesting working out for years. “There’s this blast of endorphins and it's fun.”

Check out video with founder Rhodie Lorenz below. 

People of all experience levels are welcome. Each rider focuses on his or her “perceived level of exertion,” says Pal. That means you could be riding next to an experienced cycler, but with the lights down low and the music up high, you focus on your own workout and no one else.

“We try to take the intimidation out,” says Pal.

Riders register online, picking their session and bike. Pal says the instructors get a printout of everyone in the class and are made aware of anyone who’s trying it for the first time so they can help them through it.

There’s a good mix of clientele at JoyRide Ridgefield. During the week, the classes are predominately populated by women, but Pal says there are a lot of men (nearly 40 percent on the weekends) who come to class. Typical classes are about 80 percent full, but there have been waiting lists for certain sessions— evidence of the studio’s breakout popularity after only being open for two months.

They hope their studio fills a gap they percieve in the Ridgefield exercise community. While there are several other locations that offer cycling, there are none that are solely dedicated to the sport.

“We really shopped the competition,” says Pal. “We wanted to knock it out of the park.”

That goes for every aspect of the cycling studio. In addition to the workout room, there’s a WiFi equipped lounge where people can sit and relax before or after a class (above). Custom art by graffiti artist Eric Inkala decorates the space. They sell JoyRide merchandise and cycling shoes, which Pal says have been “flying off the shelves.”

The locker rooms are outfitted with high end spa-like touches—with hairdryers, bath and hair products all provided.

JoyRide has a partnership with its neighbor, Parma Market and Bakery, that allows riders put in sandwich orders at the beginning of class and have them be ready by the time they leave. Orders are half off during the month of April.

In addition to cycling classes, people can hold fundraisers (like the American Cancer Society Relay for Life SPIN-A-THON, Saturday April 5) and private parties at JoyRide Ridgefield. They hosted their first 40th birthday party just a few weeks ago where the women took a class and then relaxed in the lounge with champagne and cupcakes.

“We’re happy people get it,” says Pal of the charity component. “People seem to see the potential here a lot earlier than we thought.”

JoyRide Ridgefield is proving that it’s more than just a cycling studio—although it’s an awesome one at that—it’s part of the community.

Visit joyrideridgefield.com for classes, prices and more information.

Contact me by email at khartman@connecticutmag.com and follow me on Twitter, and connect with Connecticut Magazine on Twitter, on Facebook and on Google +

JoyRide Takes Cycling Workouts to the Next Level in Ridgefield

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