◊ THE CLASS: 50 Min Weekend Ride & 45 Min Morning Ride◊
WHAT YOU NEED
Clothes that can come off – cuz you’ll want to strip to your skivvies after 5 minutes
Our review of Ride Cycle Club is easily one of the most anticipated that we’ve done in a while and that’s mostly because some of the coolest people in our lives speak so highly of it’s energy (like, actually), their instructors, and the stupid-hard classes that leave you feeling euphoric, that we had to see this shit for ourselves. We reviewed two classes so we could get a good lay of the land; one on a Sunday morning for a 50 min classic Ride, and the second at 6am during the work week which dished out a more intense crowd. Although the classes were v similar and equally bad-ass, the instructors brought their uniqueness to make the music, pace, and energy feel different. The vibe of the studio is intentionally underground cool with garage style decor in a pristine white setting with all amenities included (tip for full acceptance from us, get ANYTHING from Aesop). The crowd is your super stereo Ossington type; young, good looking, hard working hustlers that only dress in black and white and versions of grey, so consider yourself warned when picking out your outfit. The classes are similar to other spin studios that are killing it in Toronto, like 6ix Cycle, SoulCycle, Spokehaus etc. in that they’re set in a dark room, include choreography for a full-body workout that stresses “riding as one”, and a playlist that’s just as important as the bikes themselves. But what sets Ride apart is how they’ve combined these ingredients. The result is an addictive, super loud, heavy beat, hardcore AF, serious-about-sweating ride that will, more often than not, be in total blackness. We get it, now. We’ll be back…after we buy a new all-black outfit and google SahBabii. Cool, cool.
Ride is located in lower Ossington which has quickly become one of our favorite places to sweat, bc there is literally something amazing for every person around EVERY ACTUAL CORNER. You’re a tatted babe wanting a Pilates class = Misfit, you’re a pregnant belly looking for a pre-nats yoga class = YogaSpace, you’re a manly dude wanting to one-up is mate in todays WOD = Academy of Lions, you’re a bit of a stereo Ossington sort wanting to have a kick ass spin class that maybe is double majoring as a hot bed to scope out the opposite sex = RIDE. Anyway, you get it. Even though Oss is out of the way for Eastenders or anyone who doesn’t actually have a Toronto postal code (besides Etobicoke), we’re giving location a full fruit bc this neighbourhood is AWESOME. And what’s even more amazing is Ride’s secret alley-styles entrance behind Omaw, just before you hit residential houses in Little Portugal. It feels like you’ve found the underground cool place where all the cool people go to wear cool black and white and work their cool asses off.
Oh also, this is the only Ride Cycle Club location in Toronto, but there are actually two others in Vancouver, where Ride got it’s start. There is a location in Yaletown (the orig orig) and Lonsdale in North Van.
CLASS SCHEDULE + PRICE
The class schedule is fairly built out for a spin studio, since it’s quite common for spin studios to offer a version of a 45 minute, 50, or sometimes 60 minute class, but besides that the variety is in the instructor. Ride usually has over ten styles of classes on the roster at a time. Always making an appearance is some clever artist battle like Calvin Harris V Rihanna or Coldplay v Avichii as one of the types of class, but there’s also Hip Hop Mondays, regular Hip Hop, Holiday Rides (which we assume is like carols and shit?!), Midday Rides (at 45min or 50mins), the standard Rides (45mins or 50 mins), and a Ride Master Class which we guess is for the super hardcore masters of spin. That’s one thing we wished existed. There isn’t a ton of info on the site as to what the differences are between classes, albeit some of them are very self explanatory and basically reference the music selection, but if you were a total newbie that could be helpful. Anyway, they’re open for sweaty business seven days a week and its imperative that you book your ride in advance online. K it’s not imperative, you could possibly rock up for a walk-in ride, but the chances of a bike being available is slim since these book up very fast, especially the weekend and after work rides.
A serious pineapple earner is the fact that Ride’s first class is free. We hardly EVER see that in Toronto (Quad is one of the only others we can think of) and we LOVE that they’re so confidant in themselves, they know dishing out a few free rides will come back to pay them in spades. After that, class prices are a bit higher than your average in TO – with the exception of SoulCycle (obvi). Drop-in rates are $26 per ride, and will only get to $23 per ride on the class packs. Monthly memberships work-out if you plan on spinning more than three times a week, otherwise stick with the class packs for the best deal. Spin shoes are included in the price of all classes plus towel service, which is great and kinda expected when paying that price. One bummer is that class packages aren’t transferable between provinces. Sad face.
- First Ride: Free
- First Ride X2: $20
- Drop-in Class: $26
- Five Rides: $125 ($25 pr)
- Ten Rides: $240 ($24 pr)
- Twenty Rides: $460 ($23 pr)
- 1 Month Unlimited: $270
- 3 Month Unlimited: $750
The energy at Ride Cycle Club is easily one of our favorite things and definitely earning full fruits. I know, I know, even referencing them as awesome because of their “energy” is so *eye-roll* but please attend a class and tell us if the energy doesn’t get you.
The moment you walk in the door, the place is buzzing with sweaty bodied, red-faced babes walking awkwardly on their clip-in shoes happily on an endorphin high. There’s usually about 15 minutes in between classes so there’s a lot going on during the change over and people everywhere are coming and going and found in every corner of the building. The layout of the space is awesome and is impressively large and windey considering how tucked away it is. After finding the secret side door off Humbert Street, you walk into a bustling foyer that acts as a hallway from the change rooms to the studio, a place for riders to sign-in at the front desk, and a perfectly instagrammable waiting area with their iconic spin religion neon sign hanging above a front bench. To the right of the sign in desk are the male and female washrooms that are equipped with everything you need; towel service, toiletries including Aesope product (FAV, as mentioned), programmable lockers, showers and washrooms. To the left of the sign-in desk is a fiercely monochromatic retail boutique full of Ride logo paraphernalia and lulu x Ride collab gear. Of course.
If you haven’t already picked this up, bc you’ve been lazy reading on a Sunday, EVERYTHING is black and white. Crisp, clean, and ultra modern. The decor feels very underground even though you’re not actually, with cement floors, giant garage doors that stay open on nice days to let the air in, and a very very club-like jet black spin studio. K, k, so many spin studios do this now, yes?! They make these studios that feel like a club so that we feel ok about still wanting to be in an actual club but we know that’s no longer socially acceptable after 30, so they add some spin bikes and make us work our ass off. I’m not saying I hate, I’m just saying this is now the new nightclub, if you didn’t know.
Anywayz, the spin studio is set up like many are, with rows of spin bikes in front of the instructor and a few more for good measure flanked on either side of the instructor. The one spin room has a capacity of 56 bikes, which is a shit-ton for the space and probably the only thing that felt a bit awkward. Getting into your bike, especially if your not on an outside row, can be tricky and require you to physically move your neighbours bikes to squeeze in. It’s also very very dark, so when I finally sorted-out getting to my bike, and checked to make sure I had my weights tucked in the back of the bike (which have built-in holders for weights), I found myself feeling around on the ground like a blind bat because one dropped and there was no chance of seeing it. A bit awks. Anyway, once you find your bike and you’re settled, the staff are very on-top of it if it’s your first class and need help getting set-up, and they’re constantly scanning the room to make sure everyone is riding properly before starting.
During class, the vibe is the actual best part of the whole experience (ok, maybe besides the also intense workout) but 100% why we’ll be back. Like many spin studios the lighting and music is perfectly timed to the ride and super key to each class, but unlike most spin studios we spent a fair portion of the class riding in the dark. More on that later, since this is different with every instructor, but know that the dark but chill, friendly but hardcore, current but not intimidating vibes are everything. Oh, also their sound system is next level.
The crowd is pretty much exactly what we expected, with variations of an Ossington type from 20’s to 30’s but a cool mix of body types and an almost even mix of males and females. It’s not ALL 110 lb beauty babes and model men which was nice for our ego and made it less intimidating than all of this sounds. It’s also SUPER common to find at least one other instructor taking the class (three for our 6am Ride), which we’re majorly into because they bring a lot of energy and perfect form that we can reference if the instructor is otherwise occupied. Ok so yes, there is the pressure to wear a b&w crop top, and they were never great about getting back to me on email when I had questions (no worries), and there IS a tiny bit of a “we know we’re cool” attitude, but I must say it’s subtle and when your in the studio IRL all instructors are super lovely, helpful and not intimidating at all. Plus they send a nice email after your first Ride that basically says, “we know it can be intimidating and if you didn’t get WTF was going on, come in early next time and we’ll give you some one on one time to make you feel less lame”. So, that’s nice of them.
- Aesop soap – so full fruits
- Towels on your bike
- Clip-in shoes included
- Filtered Water
- 4 Showers in womens, 4 in mens
- 3 bathrooms in womens, 3 in mens
- Towel service included
- Ride shop with lulu x Ride collab gear and Ride pride on every piece
- Toiletries including tampons, cotton balls, gum, etc.
Before we even get into the instructors we had, we’ll tell you a lil’ bit about how Ride Cycle Club came to me. Coming from the same fam jam that brought you lululemon, JJ Wilson (son of lululemon founder Chip Wilson) created the OG Ride Cycle Club concept in Vancouver with Ashely Ander and Moe Samieian Jr.. They first opened in Vancouver’s Yaletown in 2014, with Toronto’s location being the second expansion, the third in North Van and, apparently, more to come. The Ossington team is made up of eleven instructors, almost all female besides Kyle, and all with epic goal bods. One of the best things about Ride’s website is that each instructor has a bio that breaks down their “ride style”, difficulty level, intensity level, and a sample of their music so you can suss out who’s your cup of tea. Super into that.
The website calls Taylor’s style “hustle and heat” and both her difficulty and intensity levels are an 8 out of 10 – and all of the above are one million percent accurate. First of all, she’s ridiculously beautiful, fresh faced, and teeny tiny with a body that looks like she does this for a living, hah. And second of all, she’s super nice as she introduced herself to every newbie and stood at the exit after class giving everyone a high-five for their sweaty efforts. She started the class promptly on time with her headset ready to go, and her laptop with her perfectly curated playlist and synced light show by her side. Knowing that there were about six new riders in the class, she explained the hand positions super clearly and then got straight into it, getting us off no-tension immediately and starting us on a 50-minute club candlelit ride. Her teaching style was flawless, with every instruction and encouragement very clear, intentional and confidant. Her playlist, like all Ride classes, focused on sick beats with the majority of the songs having a hip-hop undertone of only the most current and amazing sing songy rappers. Not only was this informative (lemme just Shazam this – lolz) but it forced us to spend more songs than not riding at a steady and medium pace, if that makes sense to say. But that’s kind of our favourite because you can work hard, you can actually keep up with the room if that’s a challenge for you, and you can focus on riding properly (core is key, yo). Actually, side note, we wished all instructors said more about this. With Ride being such a trendy ass place to be, it can attract the lesser body aware type which can result in injury, which is obviously the worst and no-one wants that but we oft see it. So we do kinda wish instructors were SUPER dialed into all riders abilities and form and preaching how to cycle properly – which is a thing. Ok back to it – one of the other things we liked about Tay Tay was that she moved around a bit during the class and went from the front and centre typical instructor position, to the first row where there happened to be an empty bike, so she could ride alongside everyone and show that she was literally there sweating it out with us – except that she wasn’t sweating that much which was equal parts super motivating and kinda depressing. Cuz we were dying.
We took Alex’s 6am class during the week and it was a bit of a different experience. It’s tough to tell if it was bc it was the 6am class that attracts regular die-hard Ride-rs that are clearly GOOD AT THIS, or if that’s actually how Alex always is – either way she was hardcore AF. Her ride style is “after-hours” (lolz), her difficulty level is a 9 out of 10, and her intensity level is a 10 out of 10 and holy yellow-penguins was it ever. She dropped some serious profanity (which we’re totes ok with btw) about every 2 minutes, she yelled at us, she called out 95% of the class by name either to motivate or to bag on them for not working hard enough, and she turned up the beats so loud that she had to turn it down every time she spoke. She honestly scared the shit out of us sometimes, which was shocking considering she looks like the most young and innocent slice of pie you ever did see. Similar to Taylor’s class, we spent a wicked amount of time in total darkness, but different to Taylor’s style, Alex spent a bunch of the time off the bike, getting in people’s faces, lighting a flame from her lighter when we were in total blackness, and doing the entire arm series walking about the room (the only time we were aloud to stop moving our legs – thank the Lord). Her playlist was all about heavy, intense beats that were more dance cluby than anything else with most songs being fast-paced, requiring us to ride double-time with only a couple songs that allowed us to turn up the intensity and ride hard and slow. Not for the faint hearted, she will push you and make you work for your donuts.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
WAY HARD | HARD | MIDDLE OF THE ROADSIES | CHILL | HELLA CHILL
Without a friggin doubt both the Weekend Ride and Morning Ride classes are earning full fruits and we would consider them Way Hard. The one thing we will say is that the level of intensity can vary depending on how many turns you give your little dial. Different to places like Torq that have 1-2-3 intensity level settings, you fully control the dial at Ride, so there is a slight chance that you can hide a lame effort. Chances are though, you’ll be so motivated by the instructors yelling at you, and fellow riders moving together in unison and sweating from all orifices, that you’ll be a good human and push yourself to your max too. Bc what else are you there for?!
Although Taylor and Alex’s class were slightly different in terms of the exercises, both classes focused chiefly on riding to the beat. Every song started with direction on what leg was the “push leg” meaning what would land at the bottom of a spin on the beat. The result of everyone riding to the same beat on the same leg is what gives it a club like, tribe high because you’re almost dancing from side to side as one. It’s the dedication to this pack style of riding that makes these classes challenging because if you’re too slow and not working hard enough you throw off the whole room, and if your in Alex’s class -she’ll tell you. Aside from the beat and side to side motion that seems to come from that, you can expect to spend about 80% of the class out of the saddle. Both instructors were good about telling you that if you needed to sit, it was all good, but don’t let yourself fall behind the pace and off the beat. You can definitely expect some “choreo” (it’s only cool if you abbreviate, you know that, yah?). Choreo can mean many things but usually involves some kind of arm work like tricep dips towards your handlebars, additional props (like weights or a bar at Cyclebar), and full body extra moves like butt taps (literal butt taps to the seat) or four corners where your hips draw a hypothetical square at each corner of the bike. The thing we liked is that the choreo at Ride lands somewhere between SoulCycle (which is ALOT) and Torq (which is a way more traditional cyclist class) so it’s there for extra work but they’re not aggressive about it. All up, it was a crazy challenging hour that had us b-lining it for the showers and left us with, yes, a “spin high” and some new tunes for our playlist that brought us into 2018. Thanks all around, guys.
To try anything else, see Ride’s contact info below:
Web: www.ridecycleclub.com Phone (Ossington): 416.531.3100 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Instagram | Facebook | Twitter