True Ride’s High-Intensity Cycling Studios
By Melissa Gulden
By Melissa Gulden
Photos by Erin Claassen
Indoor cycling studios have become all the rage, ever since SoulCycle came on the scene in 2006. With boutique-style studios such as Flywheel and Cyclebar popping up across the country, fitness fanatics are rejoicing in this hybrid craze that combines cycling and strength training. There are many reasons these niche studios have become so popular, and now, thanks to Dan and Laurie Ryan’s passion and vision, Redding has a cycle studio, too.
TRUE Ride, which opened last December, is more than just a gym—it’s a destination. Owners Dan and Laurie Ryan grew up in the North State. Dan is a businessman from Weaverville who owns Tops Markets, and Laurie had been a hair stylist for 30 years when she visited a Grit Cycle in Newport Beach a few years ago with Dan’s daughter. A spin instructor at Sun Oaks, Laurie had always been interested in exercise, but this was a whole new concept. And she was hooked. The seed was planted—she wanted to see something like that come to Redding—a fitness community of people of all levels, all riding to the beat.
A former dancer, Laurie says she is driven by music. “The atmosphere we’ve created—the music, the great sound system—it’s what makes us different. We dance on the bikes.”
TRUE Ride specializes in high-intensity, full-body cycling classes. During each 45-minute class, clients follow choreography set to music, taking them out of their fitness comfort zones and connecting them to the TRUE Ride community. During the cycling classes, hand weights are used to work on upper body strength while cycling.
The cycle studio has 35 bikes, an LED light wall and is temperature controlled. During a ride, the lights are either off or dimmed, giving each rider the chance to focus on his or her own body and own level. In addition to the cycle studio, there is also a TRX room for core workouts.
“Working out has always been important to me,” Laurie says. “I want to make people feel welcome, inspire people to want to exercise.” She also stresses that fitness classes should not be intimidating. Although she has always been healthy, since beginning indoor cycling, Laurie has lost 25 pounds and swears she is in the best shape of her life. Dan has lost 35 pounds, lowered his cholesterol and stopped taking his blood pressure medicine. Dan says Laurie wanted to share all of that with others so they might be inspired to begin a fitness routine.
“We always need to encourage each other,” says Laurie. “Keep coming back. You’ll see small changes—the endurance builds, the stamina comes back and you’ll make new friends here.”
It’s difficult to deny the sense of community that smaller boutique-style studios create. Friendships are formed, acquaintances are made and clients tend to provide a supportive atmosphere for one another. It’s a place that many can begin to consider a second home for their well-being and come for an experience, not just a workout.
TRUE Ride is a boutique gym. “We may cost a bit more,” says Laurie. “But we pamper our guests.” And after a 45-minute sweat session, the cold, eucalyptus towel is a well-deserved treat. Dedicated cycling studios pay attention to every detail of a client’s experience. From the quality of the indoor bikes to the sound system, from the temperature of the room to its ambiance, from the quality of the instructors to the music selection, every aspect is delicately decided to ensure clients have a remarkable experience.
TRUE Ride’s motto consists of three core values: Community, Energy and Encouragement. The ride starts with a warm-up, then pushes you to strength, pushes you to peak, uses the hand weights, and then the lights are down for you to do your own reflecting—your own “true ride.”
Instructors go through extensive training so the choreography stays true to the core values of the studio. Laurie trained at The Ride House in Dallas, another cycling studio where she was further inspired by the business concept.
“Independent studios tend to stick together,” says Laurie. “We’re not a franchise—we are independent owners.”
“It’s not a big gym,” adds Dan. “I like a small-town feel—to greet every person like family.”
TRUE Ride offers membership-free packages online, and even a bike reservation system so you can arrive 10 minutes prior to class without worrying if there is a bike available.
Indoor cycling is something that anyone can do—whether you are a novice or experienced athlete. It’s a low-impact exercise, unlike running or weight lifting. As a rider, you have complete control over the amount of tension you use on the bike, which makes your workout easier or harder. You choose the level at which you push yourself.
“I knew I wanted something different in my life, but I knew I wasn’t ready to retire,” Laurie says. “This has been a dream. Sometimes, I still pinch myself.”