Ellen Mendell has gotten so excited about JoyRide in Westport that she held a handful of parties at the indoor cycling, or "spinning" studio, last year, and has become one of its top five riders since the location opened in 2011.
This June, more customers like Mendell will have a chance to sample the JoyRide method, as the studio plans to open its second location in Darien.
Mendell's parties fit in with the festive spirit that JoyRide's owners, Amy Hochhauser, Debbie Katz and Rhodie Lorenz, say they want to bring to their studio, mixing music and cycling to make exercise more enjoyable.
"It has become an addictive part of my life," said Mendell, an Easton resident. Since discovering JoyRide shortly after it opened, she now attends classes about a half-dozen times a week.
Hochhauser, Katz and Lorenz, all Westport residents, came up with the idea to start the studio in 2010, and by June 2011, had opened JoyRide. Their decision to open a second studio so quickly is spurred by the reaction that JoyRide had gotten in Westport over the past year, Hochhauser said; the studio had 2,500 new customers sign up for classes in 2012.
"We chose to expand to Darien because we've had great success in the community in Westport," Hochhauser said. "It was quick from idea to opening. We've had a really big year of growth and gotten a lot of good feedback, so we just wanted to spread the joy to Darien."
With about 4,000 square feet of space in the Goodwives Shopping Center to work with, the layout, business model and clientele for the Darien studio will be very similar to that of the JoyRide in Westport, Lorenz said. The Westport studio employs 10 instructors and two front desk staff.
"I think Westport and Darien have very similar demographics, with health-conscious, fitness-minded people," Lorenz said.
The JoyRide method of cycling includes offering consistently structured classes and incorporating music into the workout. During special classes, CycleLIVE, the studio's in-house band, ThirdGear, plays live music for clients to cycle to, setting the tempo for slow, "uphill" rides or quick bursts of "sprints." The music is tailored to appeal to the studio's wide range of clients, which includes teenagers and cyclers in their 80s.
"In terms of company spinning classes, we pay a lot of attention to details that make the experience of the class exceptional, from the sound systems to the layout of the studio," Lorenz said. "The JoyRide method addresses the music, with the playlists that instructors put together, as well as the actual rides."
Lorenz designed JoyRide's training method, which combines core elements of Pilates with indoor cycling to maximize cardiovascular benefits, lower blood pressure, develop muscle tone and reduce body fat.
JoyRide also has helped to raise money and awareness for charities by hosting indoor cycling fundraisers and training rides. Since JoyRide opened in Westport, the studio has raised more than $154,500 for charitable causes, according to a press release. In February 2011, JoyRide raised more than $37,000 for Cycle for Survival, the national, indoor cycling event that raises funds for research on rare cancers for Memorial Sloan-Kettering. A month later, JoyRide organized a team for SpinOdyssey 2012 and raised $53,538 to fight breast cancer.
In June, JoyRider raised more than $33,000 for the Lynne Cohen Foundation for Ovarian Cancer Research, hosted a private cycling and family event called Team Coco: Spin With Heart, which raised $11,000 to buy rocking chairs in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at NewYork-Presbyterian/ Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, in memory of a JoyRider's daughter.
JoyRide also hosted a holiday "Shop & Spin" in December, which consisted of a special one-hour ride with one of the cycling instructors, before cocktails and boutique shopping with vendors from Fairfield County and Long Island. JoyRide donated a portion of the proceeds to Opus for Person-to-Person, a Darien-based charity that helps neighbors in need.
Like the Westport studio, Darien riders will also be able to organize special events, such as charity rides, fundraisers, birthday and bachelorette parties and corporate team-building classes.
For information, visit www.joyridestudio.com.