Joy Riding

Some Westporters bike on the roads.  They take their lives in their hands — and spend much of their waking hours checking weather reports.

Others bike at gyms.  It’s less dangerous — but they spend plenty of time waiting for their favorite machine to be free, or signing up for classes that always seem to be filled.

Those are the problems 3 Westport women with young kids saw, anyway — and therein lay a business opportunity.

They’ve just opened JoyRide — what they call “Westport’s only dedicated indoor cycling (spinning) studio” — in the Crate & Barrel shopping center.  “You can sign up for a week’s worth of classes all at once, pick your bike, and not have to deal with all the other stuff you don’t want at a full-out gym,” they say.

Rhodie Lorenz, Amy Hochhauser and Debbie Katz’s 4,100-square foot space is tiered, stadium-style, with “dramatic lighting” and a killer sound system.

“We are the only boutique spin studio in town,” Amy says.  “This is a trend that is big in New York City and various markets across the country — but hasn’t yet reached Fairfield County.”

There are 26 Schwinn AC Sport bikes, with room for over 40.

Riders can sign up for the bike they want, up to a week in advance  There are no membership fees.  People pay as they go — 1 class at a time, or class packages of 10, 20 or 50.

Cycling classes incorporate light weights, during a 50-minute workout.  “Participants can burn between 400 and 800 calories, improve fitness and posture, and enhance mental acuity,” the press release says.

But wait!  There’s more!

Riding for joy.

“Known for its cult following and dramatic results, indoor cycling has revolutionized the exercise world with expertly choreographed workouts set to heart pumping, motivating soundtracks,” the press release continues.

Also available:  group and private Pilates.  And childcare.

Plus rental for birthday parties and special events.  A fundraiser for ovarian cancer research is in the works.

“Life’s a trip,” the press release concludes.  “Enjoy the ride!”

27 responses to “Joy Riding

  1. As someone who loves spin class (and is very excited about joyride!) and loves her road bike equally as much – you are comparing apples to oranges in my humble opinion. Training in spin class for a biking endurance event is about akin to training on the epplitical at the gym for a marathon. Sure, the indoor equivalents use similar muscles…but they are completely different experiences Luckily, most Westporters I’ve encountered on the road are absolutely wonderful (esp compared to most of the country) so I feel a bit safer about “taking my life into my hands.” The war between cyclists and motorists is bad enough, let’s not make any worse by feeding into it!

  2. The Dude Abides

    Indeed, for some strange reason, the good workout “spinning” gives you (800 calories burned an hour) does not equate to any fitness either on the bike as Rach pointed out or running or even swimming. Does wonders for the heart and handlebars (human). But sorry, guys, Julie at Evolution is the best spin doctor in town.

  3. Dude, you are right on! I have been spinning for over ten years. Super shape but ask me to run a mile and I am huffing/puffing. Also, Evolution is the place that the tough get going.

  4. I am a regular spinner and outdoor cyclist I took 2 classes last week and loved it!

  5. No question indoor cycling is a growing trend but Julie at evolution is hands down the best there is…straight forward, motivating, hardcore and pushed you!

  6. jennifer greenberg

    I think people are passionate about their opinions when it comes to fitness. I for one have been to soul cycle in NYC many times and it looks like joyride is working to capture that audience which is cool….if it gets people’s butts moving I’m all for it. I see julie has built a cult like following because she is an athlete herself and understands how to create a training effect In people plus she’s super motivating..I’ve been to many a class there as well. Bottom line is do what works for you! I like that Westport is getting cool new businesses!

  7. What a great ride! Quality instructors across the board with variety in music and style. Of course Rhodie is my favorite! Awesome atmosphere and very clean, no more sweaty disgusting gyms. GO JOYRIDE!

  8. The need for more people to get more exercise offers many opportunities to create good-conscience businesses. Sounds like this is one. Good luck to it and similar enterprises.
    But the need for young people (and older ones, too) to feel safe bicycling, running, jogging, and walking on our streets is a different need that must be addressed. Very few of Westport’s middle and high school youth bicycle, yet when they leave Westport for college, they start. I think this is due to a pretty strong fear-factor.
    So there is a deeper issue that you hint at when you say, “They take their lives in their hands… It’s less dangerous.” Is this Woog’s inflammatory rhetoric or the sales pitch for JoyRide. Either way, shame on you.
    If a situation is bad enough to evoke that kind of judgment, you ought to be trying to fix the problem not making a profit from it. You shouldn’t let either the town fathers and mothers, the drivers on Westport roads, the police department, public services, or the kids off the hook just because some acute entrepreneurs have found a way to offer a service.
    Families have to have the evidence that access to Westport outdoors is safe access otherwise you’ll have a bunch of timid indoor cyclists and Westport will become… well, whatever Westport will become.

    • The Dude Abides

      That seems a rather harsh statement on either the Professor or Joy Ride. Kids don’t ride because they get driven everywhere. Including from school instead of the bus. I bike four times a week from the Staples area to Burying Hill beach. Most Westport drivers are very curteous but it is no safe haven out there. There are just too many cars to be completely safe. Further, there is paranoid among many parents to just let their children roam in this town where we used to hitchhike, form pickup games wherever and bike everywhere. That has become part of the culture and is hardly being exploited by any businesses. Fear has beat out freedom. You can rant all you want but it is what it is.

      • This is no rant. If Dan or others see a dangerous situation for Westport youth, they ought to use their position as community adults to address it, not make a profit from it or from fear.

        • The Dude Abides

          First off, Professor Woog doesn’t make any money off this blog. He writes for free and does an excellent job of keeping the community aware of itself. You forget the blog articles on cars parked on sidewalks or dangerous crosspaths downtown or even trees blocking roadways. But your view of a Westport nirvana with adults/children scampering around on bikes or walking here to there is not going to happen. While they are actually less people living here than the free 60’s, there are far more automobiles with the various devices of cellphones/texting/boom-boxes to distract the drivers. Also, the commercial vehicles are considerable. As noted above, thanks to the various psychos in this world, parents meet their children at the mail boxes from school buses and won’t let their junior high school child alone at Doubleday field to play football. This is a change in community mindset and representative of today’s America. It is true in Westport as it is in San Clemente or Sugar Land. To fight it or attempt to point fingers is counter-productive.

          • And you say I was ranting?

            • The Dude Abides

              I am an attorney, I love to argue. But I admire Professor Woog’s work and don’t like to see him blamed for something far beyond his control. BTW, he did a blog article on the safety of bike riding in Westport months ago in response to Jimmy Izzo’s complaint on bikers. It gained a vast audience and promulgated much of your concern.

              • So argue for safety for our young people. So should Woog. It’s irresponsible to create an atmosphere where young people have to pay to exercise.

                • The Dude Abides

                  The irony of the entire situation as well as the dialogue here is that they are safe. There is no crime in this town. Safety on the roads is another matter as discussed above. But in all candor, money drives the structured activities of the young. No longer are organized athletics/activities free and many parents are feeling the pinch. For the record, Staples soccer players are urged to form pickup games rather than leagues or camps by Coach Woog.

                  • Dude: I just got invited to give a “scholarly” paper at the 10th annual Lebowski Fest. It takes place this year in Louisville KY on July 15-16. As an attorney, and based on your outspoken views, you ought to consider attending:

                    • The Dude Abides

                      Thanks for the offer but unlimited bowling and White Russians are not my thing these days nor is criminal law. I would be interested, however, in the subject of your “scholarly” paper on the Dude and his disciples???

                • how’s bout putting a bike track on that dog pit dey call Winslow park?? safe and free cept maybe dog crap. ruf.

  9. Rhodie is a rock star! I’ve followed her from gym to gym over the past few years. Not only is the cardio amazing, but you also have FUN while working out! Great music, great vibe. So glad to see she has her own place!

  10. Spin sister

    Rhodie is a rock star! Amy and Deb rock too! The whole place rocks!! While I know people can “blog” positive or negative … I find it so telling … those who can only spew the negative!! I think it is wonderful to see entrupenurial spirit and a buiness that is giving “joy” to many! I think that “mom and pop” shops should be supported and promoted!! Way to go ladies! There is no room for negative vibes and the JOYRIDE studios!!! YOU ROCK!!

  11. I love to spin and I’ve tried different options in the area. I’m impressed with joyride. Love the space, great music (with lots of variety),and a really hard workout!

  12. I had my first spin at JoyRide today and it was incredible. I had Rhodie who was probably one of the most hard core instructors I have ever had. She made the hour fly by and I got an INCREDIBLE workout (that included upper body). I cannot say enough good things about JoyRide – great staff, clean and modern space and option to do pilates as well. I will definately be back!!

  13. I am not sure how this blog warrants a debate on bike safety or become a pulpit for an unrelated facility/instructor. This article is about a niche fitness called “spinning” and recognizes three women with the entrepreneurial spirit. As residents we should applaud them, support them, and thank Professor Dan for giving them visibility and recognition. I have had the pleasure of “spinning” at Joyride in their inaugural weeks and if you have not, then you are missing out (both men and women). These women did everything right – from the location to the instructors; from the facility to the music – great sound system. I have quit my membership at the big national gym with the subpar bikes and uninspired surroundings and look forward to being a regular at JoyRide.

  14. I agree with bigkid. The women who started JoyRide have created an amazing studio and I applaud them for their spirit and vision. As a “non-cyclist,” I went to JoyRide on a whim and LOVE it. The classes are fun, challenging, and engaging. The studio has a wonderful energy and the instructors are amazing. I plan to return many times (and fyi, it’s a great workout for the posterior…)

  15. Richard Lawrence Stein

    As a non “indoor” bike rider, but as an almost 20 year fitness professional I think a few things need to be said. The instructors are certified in what area of “indoor cycling”? They cannot use the term “Spinning” that is a trade mark and specific area of riding. The in structures are certified by the founder Johnny G and his organization. Certain protocols are followed and are not to be deviated. Ex: At no time are weights or any form of upperbody workout is to be done while riding. It is completely forbidden. Many articles have been written lately about how instructors are taking liberties that could be somewhat contraindicated to the participants. Understand the whole reason Johnny G invented the “Spin Bike” was to supplement his out door rides during bad weather. If you saw an outdoor cyclist with weights in his hands, you would be thinking what a dope! So please, all participants don’t he sheep where ever you ride. Question Question Question!!!! You get second opinions about lawyers and doctors, get them about exercise too.

    • The Dude Abides

      Indeed, RLS, good point. They say those hand weights (seen by many walkers and now apparently spinners) are an orthopedic surgeon’s best friend. BTW, lawyers don’t give second opinions.

  16. Lovespinning

    JoyRide is awesome! Facility is beautiful and the instructors are great … Can’t wait to go again!