Dark room. Pounding music. Pulse racing. Sore legs.
Nope, I’m not trying to dance in heels at a nightclub. I’m at Ride Cycle Club and frankly, I’m getting my butt kicked.
Ride Cycle Club is the newest spin movement in Vancouver. From the neon, cross-like sign on the wall to the infectious music streaming through the room, the vibe can be described as half dance party, half hardcore workout.
Truly, this place is taking spin from just another exercise and turning it up to 11.
I took my first class with founder and owner Ashley Ander. As a burgeoning athletic legend in Vancouver, I actually heard about her long before I met her. She’s known for her positive attitude and dancing feet – she often gets off the bike in her classes to dance in the aisles.
After I got home and recovered from my huge calorie burn, I emailed her some questions, so fellow spinners looking for their next challenge know to make their way to Ride Cycle Club.
Ashley, why are you so darn happy?!
I’m running off adrenaline! But I usually wake up a pretty happy person. It’s hard not to be positive when you see how hard your clients are working around you.
Ride Club is super trendy – from the logo, to the gear, to the club-like ambiance, complete with candles, it’s a whole experience. Tell me about the design and how this all happened.
It doesn’t hurt to have a boyfriend who works for Inform Interiors in Gastown. I also have an incredible graphic designer, Dylan Reckert, who knocked it out of the park. I told him how I wanted the brand to feel and he really incorporated my personal style, and as you can see, my love for black and white.
We had a really clear idea of what we wanted to create as soon as we walked into the space. For the entrance/retail area we wanted something that felt fresh, clean and minimal. Then when you enter the studio and it’s like you’re entering the club – dark walls, dim lighting and the soothing glow of candles.
What can Ride Club offer that no other spin class can? Can it take spin from fad workout to habit and why?
It can definitely take spin from a fad to a habit! We are creating not only a physical experience but an emotional one as well. I always tell clients to work from the inside out.
We are creating an environment where you can really escape the outside world and leave it all on the bike. Also, when you find the rhythm on the bike you want to keep chasing it! You’ll feel yourself getting stronger and stronger, breaking boundaries with each class.
You’re known for amazing, new playlists for almost every class. How important is it, and how do you put it together?
The playlist is HUGE! I spend up to two hours finding music and carefully compiling it into a perfect playlist.
If you’re climbing a hill you want to find a song with a nice grind, something to keep clients pushing. As an instructor, if you’re not personally into your playlist, it’s going to show through in your class! I try to create a new playlist for each class I teach, keeping me excited and my clients wondering what’s next.
Finally, you’ve developed a reputation in this fair city for being one of the best spin instructors to ever come along. Why do you think that is?
For one thing, I’m not shy by any means! I think it’s important to connect with the people that are coming to class. Provide them with a extraordinary experience. So you’ll always find me off the bike during class, walking, dancing or hopping around the room.
When I see someone struggling I’ll grab their hands or move side to side to help them feel the rhythm. Lastly, you have to be genuine with what you say. Clients can feel the difference between truthful motivation versus just yelling at them to move their legs faster!
In the end, being happy helps.
*End of Interview*
Ride Cycle Club Vancouver
Address: 881 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
Feature Image: Ride Cycle Club / Ashley Ander