News Toronto

Ride Cycle Club gets rolling

By Jane Stevenson, Postmedia Network

Lululemon heir J.J. Wilson says his Ride Cycle Club is taking spinning to a whole new level in Toronto. POSTMEDIA

Lululemon heir J.J. Wilson says his Ride Cycle Club is taking spinning to a whole new level in Toronto. POSTMEDIA

There's a new spin studio in Toronto and it hails from out west.

Ride Cycle Club, which opens its Ossington Avenue doors to the public today, is the brainchild of JJ Wilson, the son of Vancouver's Lululemon founder Chip Wilson.

JJ was previously the co-founder and brand director for his family's three-yearold Kit and Ace clothing line although he stills sits on the board.

The younger Wilson, who got into spinning 12 years ago when he moved to Toronto to attend university, says he saw the need for Ride back then before setting up the first popular outpost in Vancouver's Gastown neighbourhood in 2015.

"There was no cool spin studio which rode to the rhythm of the beat, did it in the dark, and had instructors who were really pushing us," said Wilson visiting 24 Hours' Toronto offices recently with his business partner Ashley Ander.

As for doing it in the dark, Wilson says it makes the class less intimidating for newcomers.

He adds, "There's light to a certain extent so you're going to feel safe."

The opening of Toronto's Ride Cycle Club - which has 55 stationary bikes with a cost of $15 for the first ride followed by $28 drop-in fee per class (less with a one month or three month package) that includes clip-in shoes, towels and showers - was preceded by Undrgrnd, the training facility for spin instructors.

Wilson is already working on setting up a third Ride location in North Vancouver and has checked out Edmonton and Calgary as well with the hopes of having five open by the end of the year with a goal of a dozen clubs across Canada.

He's not concerned about over-saturation in the Toronto market where New York-based, celebrity-friendly, SoulCycle just opened its first Canadian club on King Street in mid-February.

"I actually think that the more spin studios that are in the city that are engaging people in the activity actually helps create more awareness of it and people choose where they want to go," offers Wilson.