by Katie Andrews
Walking down the esplanade along the Charles River on a nice sunny spring afternoon you will see runners, cyclists and even the occasional roller-blader. Boston is known as an incredibly active city, mainly due to the volume of biking and running paths available to its residents. However, on a morning like this one, when the temperature has a “RealFeel” of -23° F, a chilly run along the river is hardly appealing.
So during Boston’s frigid winter months, how are we meant to get that endorphin rush that follows a satisfying workout? Although the city boasts many gyms, including national chains like Town Sports (BSC) and Equinox, as well as Boston-based options like the all-women’s Healthworks and Fitcorp, there has been one category of fitness that the city has historically overlooked. Independent cycling studios have dominated in cities like New York and Los Angeles in recent years, drawing crowds of both men and women who regularly book-out studios up to a week in advance. And now, Boston finally has one to call her own.
Recycle Studio in Boston’s South End is Cate Dwyer’s response to the city’s need for a fitness face-lift. Recycle opened on January 3rd and the response from Boston residents has made it clear that a dedicated indoor cycling studio definitely has its place here. I was able to catch a few minutes with Dwyer, who still works a full-time job in Back Bay and hasn’t missed a single of Recycle’s 14-weekly classes thus far. Needless to say, this girl knows how to get a city going.
Katie Andrews: What motivated you to open Recycle?
Cate Dwyer: I’ve always had the entrepreneurial bug, so creating my own business was something I always knew I wanted to do. Recycle was born after moving from New York to Boston – I really, really missed my fitness routine of indoor cycling at SoulCycle, running in Central Park and yoga. I started running around the Charles and practicing yoga at a great studio, but that unique indoor cycling experience was missing. In October of ’09, I saw the window I needed – the workload at my full time job lightened up and I realized this was my chance. Starting Recycle was the perfect way for me to bring something new to Boston, own my own business, and pursue my passion for health and fitness.
Andrews: How would you describe the ‘typical’ Recycle client?
Dwyer: There is no such thing. I was in a SoulCycle class once where there was a man next to me who was probably in his 60s and a girl in front of me who was in her early 20s. I’ve noticed the same thing in our classes; a total variety of clients and that’s what I love about it! Indoor cycling appeals to everyone because it is non-impact cardio. People with injuries that prevent them from many other cardio workouts can cycle. Also, it is something that you can control 100%. I always say the instructors are there to inspire you, not intimidate you. And every instructor is unique – we encourage our clients to find the teaching and class style that is fit to them. From there, you decide where you want to take your ride so it works for all fitness levels.
Andrews: What’s next at Recycle over the next few months?
Dwyer: Hopefully we will continue selling out classes and helping people live healthier and happier lives. Seminars and additional types of indoor classes are on the horizon…sometimes I want to rip up the business plan because everyday I have new ideas for where this thing can go!
Recycle fills a niche that Boston has previously overlooked – the studio provides an un-intimidating environment gauged to all skill levels and both sexes. The spin room is lit only by candlelight and the instructors have individually tailored the music in their classes to ensure that clients get a different experience every ride.
Walking through the brownstone’s front door feels like walking into a friend’s home. Cate, or one of Recycle’s instructors, is there to greet you and point you to lockers for storing your belongings. Eclectic textiles hang to create two changing areas for clients coming directly from the office. Riders of all ages are mingling upstairs, hanging their coats and changing into cycling shoes. It isn’t until you walk downstairs and see the rows of bikes that you remember you are there for a challenging workout.
And a challenging workout is exactly what Cate’s team delivers. As she puts it, “you can’t beat that feeling at the end of a good ride when you are sweaty, smiling and feeling ‘recycled’.”
Recycle studio is located at 643A Tremont Street in Boston’s South End. Classes are offered 7 days a week starting at 5:45am. Sign up is available online – use the discount code “Tufts2011” through 2/18 for 20% off any ride or package!
Katie Andrews is a first year Nutrition Communication student and is also enrolled in the dual Simmons program to pursue her Dietetic Internship. Like many students at Friedman, she loves nothing more than food – cooking it, eating it, talking and writing about it!