The worldwide phenomenon of rhythm-based indoor cycling, modelled off the best studios in the world with an added Caribbean flair, has arrived in Camana Bay in the form of Ryde Cayman.
A casual meeting between eventual business partners Christine Connor and Kelly Walker resulted in the vision for the project coming together. “We met over coffee and immediately shared our common vision about what we wanted, and how we couldn’t find anything like it in Cayman,” says Connor. “It was like the best blind date ever.”
They thought their idea would be successful partly because people on Grand Cayman are very focused on fitness, Walker says.
“People here want to be fit. People want to have things to do that don’t involve going out to a bar and drinking,” she says. “We’ve found that people have really connected with indoor cycling in recent years.”
Ryde features stadium-style seating, a high-tech lighting and sound system, and Stages Flight, software that allows indoor cyclists to set goals and track performance.
Located on the Crescent next to Gelato & Co, Ryde has 25 bikes and hosts different types of classes throughout the day.
“We have two different types of rides for two different types of people,” she says.The rhythm rides are high-intensity classes set to up-tempo music that combine choreographed rhythmic moves with cycling techniques. They also include a brief hand weight section that helps riders sculpt their arms, shoulders, chest and backs for a full-body workout. Each instructor brings his or her own flair to the class, expressed through his or her personality and choice of music.
Ryde also offers teen-focused rhythm rides after school to provide a safe and fun environment for younger riders.
For more serious athletes, the studio offers performance classes using Stages Flight software to calculate how hard each rider is working as a percentage of his or her personalised Functional Threshold Power. The results are displayed on a projector screen in colour-coded dials, creating an individualised workout within a group setting by allowing riders to work at the same percentage of Functional Threshold Power, even though their output and fitness may be different.
Walker said there is a different type of energy indoors that allows participants to focus.
“You’re not looking at other people, which I find happens with other group fitness activities,” she says. “You can’t see anything but the lighting and the instructor. So, you are focused on your instructor and your workout.”
Connor and Walker think Camana Bay is an ideal location for Ryde.
“There are a lot of corporate offices in Camana Bay [with] a lot of type-A people. They love the competitive side of the fitness industry,” Connor says, explaining that while participants don’t necessarily see each other because of the setting, the technology they’re using will allow a variety of competitive events on the bikes, as well as corporate wellness programmes.
While cycling classes have not traditionally drawn avid cyclists and triathletes, Walker and Connor hope these kinds of athletes also find Ryde’s performance classes a useful training option.