RIDE indoor cycling studio caught our attention when we were making one of our many trips up and down Route 202. Located in New Preston in a very cool red barn – the RIDE sign (with a good font), plus their fun Instagram account were all that was needed to pique our curiosity. Additionally, the fact that we seem to do 10 food features to every fitness feature…it was time to feel the burn!!
And as we discovered, if torching calories is your aim, and you want to get the best bang for your buck (and time)…indoor cycling is the way to go! We gathered a few of our Unlocking Litchfield friends together to have the RIDE indoor cycling experience with us (safety in numbers)…
The first thing you notice when you enter the studio is just how cool the space is! Modern, cutting edge Keiser bikes are lined up in two rows on the main floor of the bright and airy 1,000 square foot barn. We love the rustic/futuristic blend. Our instructor Jessica Oneglia Travelstead helped us get set up (so easy) explained how to read the monitor and shift gears with the lever (so easy) and we were off!
The group. Ready to ride!
Jessica eased us into the ride by pushing us through some inclines followed by some coasting to recover. She instructs not by resistance number, but “up one or down one” because everyone is different. Like all the classes they teach, each student is very much in charge of their own experience based on ability and fitness level. These bikes shift so smoothly, you’ll want to push that lever up, up, up!
The music playlist Jessica put together for us was the perfect mix to suit everyone…some of us unable to resist a bit of bicycle-dancing. She helped us visualize and focus in on our breathing to help us endure, reminding us that we were all out on the road together. There’s nothing like group fitness mentality (and being surrounded by friends) to spur you on when you think you have nothing left.
Then it got really real when Jessica hit us with some crazy switchbacks and monster hills before the euphoric finale where we push, push, pushed to the finish line! Before we knew it, our 45-minute class was over, sweat was pouring off of us, and we were enjoying the endorphin rush complete with woohooo-ing and fist pumping!
Here we all are – post class – all smiles at having just pushed our limits!
Then, with jelly legs, we wobbled upstairs to follow all that cardio with 15 minutes of TRX training to complete the perfect rounded workout. We all agreed that this had been a very worthy reason to get out of bed on the weekend and left ready to conquer the world (or take a nap, depending on who you speak to).
Meet the two fierce women behind RIDE…
Business partners Diane Decker and Julie Jacques (also post class!)
First things first, Julie and Diane – tell us about yourselves, how do you know each other, and how did you come up with the idea to open RIDE?
We met two years ago when Diane’s daughter Paige started babysitting my six-month old son, Colton. Colton had never had a babysitter and Paige had never been a babysitter. It was a match made in heaven because Paige was recovering from a life-altering sports related concussion and Colton was growing every day! They were kind of at the same place with both of them getting stronger by the day. We formed a bond that was interwoven with family, fitness, and friendship.
I [Diane] am an environmentalist (Co-president of WEC), nutritionist, swimmer, and runner (I finished my first ½ marathon last fall!). I invited Julie to Deb Andrew’s Bootcamp in Washington Depot, which was just the push Julie needed to get back into working out. Bootcamp was only possible because it started at 5:30 AM and Julie realized just how little extra time there is after having a baby. This “lack of time” and “need for fitness” is what inspired the concept of RIDE.
I [Julie] work full time for my family’s pool company, Dobson Pools and also like to renovate old houses, play tennis and am a devoted pilates student of Amparo Sedito of New Preston Wellness. I wanted the cardio benefits of cycling but without a long drive to a cycling class because my days are always too short! Cycling is the most efficient workout there is! Truly endorphin releasing and inspiring. I believe these cycle classes have brought health, discipline, fun, and a greater sense of community to the area.
When did you open?
We enjoyed a soft opening in December and officially opened our doors on New Year’s Day 2017! Our focus is to keep RIDE innovative, challenging and refreshing.
This space is incredible! Who designed it?
RIDE is located in the red post and beam barn adjacent to Community Table Restaurant (the barn kit was from Harvest Moon Builders, Morris, CT). The large barn doors will be open in the summer to usher in the beautiful CT sunshine and inspire those of us who feel inspired simply living in beautiful Litchfield County! The LOFT @ RIDE features group TRX training, taught by Diane and sessions will begin in March. Readers can check the RIDE website (ridelc.com) for current schedule and class offerings.
We were so happy to see you had a rack of really cute RIDE clothing – we love to shop whenever possible!
Fun and cool RIDE Apparel is available for purchase at the barn, and we offer limited cycling shoe sizes to borrow for class. Five dollars from each apparel item sold will go to Paige Decker’s Headway Foundation. Headway is a non-profit organization that aims to promote a safer sports culture by providing resources for brain-injured patients while enhancing concussion evaluation protocols and accessibility.
Tell us about your amazing instructors…
We have three instructors, Dom Gillen, Jessica Oneglia Travelstead, & Stacie Perachi; all of whom have their own unique teaching and riding style which keeps things interesting and varied and HARD! Dom, for instance, likes to finish his technical training rides with a TRX workout in the loft. Jess enjoys creating ride profiles that take her riders on trips from Santa Fe to Taos or up the switchbacks of the Flatirons in beautiful Boulder. Stacie, a triathlete, pushes her riders hard as she starts off the week solidly with her 7:15 & 9 AM Monday classes!
Jessica leading the cool down for us!
What’s the difference between going to a spin class at a gym and going to a cycling studio?
Being a small, boutique cycling studio has so many advantages; one of which is we’re able to make changes and help riders right then and there. It’s been fun and so rewarding to experience this cool red barn turn into an energizing and state-of-the-art cycle studio!
We love this barn space…do you rent it out?
RIDE is available for private parties, private RIDES as well as charity RIDES. Readers can contact us at www.ridelc.com if they’d like to rent out the space for a special event, and if they need any help, party planning is another favorite hobby for us!
Any major challenges or crazy stories about what it took to open?
So far, the winter weather has been the greatest challenge. One morning we didn’t have heat but we rode anyway. One evening we didn’t have water but we rode anyway. Nothing stops us at RIDE! It feels too good to miss!! If you walk in cold, we guarantee you’ll leave dripping with sweat. You can’t beat it! Come RIDE with us!
Putting on a brave face.
Unfortunately, Lora wasn’t able to get the full RIDE experience having had a tooth extracted less than 24 hours before! Her dentist had advised her to take it easy, so when she started to feel her heart beating in her ghost tooth, she decided it best to sit this one out. As we like to keep things very fair, and I can’t wait to do it again, we’re going back soon for another round. See you there!
219 Litchfield Turnpike, New Preston, CT 06777
Pics: Lora / Words: Bev