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A R1DE with Nick

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Nick is one of our brilliant instructors and occasionally a class participant, when he’s not training outdoors. As well as instructing, Nick is a Personal Trainer, coaching several clients from his home gym. Nick’s main passion is Triathlon and this year he has qualified to represent GB in the European Age Group Championships in France in September. He loves to read, watches any sport and enjoys spending time with his wife Adele and two boys 16 & 18… not forgetting Bodhi the goldador. It’s a big year for Nick because he’s turning 50 and will no doubt have some ultra-challenge lined up to celebrate.

We asked him a few questions about R1DE and what it means to him:


How long have you been instructing at R1DE and why do you enjoy leading spin sessions?

I’ve been teaching nearly six years now at R1de. I fell in love with the place when I saw it, the Keiser system and the community feel about it.

What’s been the biggest buzz you get from being a spin instructor?

The biggest buzz is seeing people start and progress.

What do you enjoy most about teaching at R1DE?

I think I enjoy the people the most, they’re such a lovely bunch, doesn’t feel like a job to me.

What do you find hardest about bring a spin instructor?

Hardest part of being a spin instructor is maybe confidence. When starting out, it feels quite daunting but now the hardest bit is trying to keep it varied as there is only so much you can done on a static bike!

What advice would you give a new starter?

Focus on yourself and your effort, progress steadily.

Why is R1DE unique?

The community feel is certainly unique, you just don’t get that at other gyms.

What’s your favourite track to teach with?

Insomnia by Faithless

As a rider, do you prefer hills or sprints?

Has to be hills, I’m fairly light so that helps!

For one night only, who would be in your dream spin class?

Peter Kay for the comedy, Tadej Pogačar for the numbers and probably some of my training mates just for the company.

Thank you Nick….and for those who don’t know, Tadej Pogačar is a Slovenian Pro Cyclist who won the Tour de France in 2020 & 2021 and he’s still only 25!! Not sure what Peter Kay would make of that.


A R1DE with Adrian

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Adrian is a long time member of R1DE and a true gent.  At 62, Adrian is retired but from a school age he’s always been into sport and exercise, representing school in football, rugby, basketball, athletics and cross country. Since then, he’s played rugby union for a club and also been an avid fan of climbing, mountain biking, duathlons and running.

In 2010 Adrian did his first Ultra Marathon, The Lakeland 50. A 50 mile route running up and down the Lake District. He caught the bug and has since entered a number of challenges around the country, completing the Lakeland 100 twice! Not only that, he roped his wife Cynthia into it too. She’s completed two Lakeland 50’s on her own and once as a pair with Adrian. Adrian is a member of Calder Valley Fell Runners who go out weekly round the Calder hills but sadly due to an unfortunate injury he’s not been able to run since March 2023. The good news is, Adrian has recently had his operation and we hope he’ll be back to full fitness soon. Here’s what he had to say about R1DE.


How long have you been a member at R1DE?

A member since 2017. I began riding to help my training for longer runs as it uses different muscles and strengthens my core. I am competitive and I enjoy exercise so with my current dodgy hip, spinning is the one exercise I can still do.


What do you enjoy most about R1DE?

I enjoy it for several reasons, the people, the friendliness, the banter, sense of community and the fact it’s like a self help group. I also like the professionalism and passion from the instructors, the way they get you to work and push yourself.


What do you find the hardest about spinning?

The hardest part for me is the same as Maxine stated, FTP’s, not something you look forward to, especially for me now because I am unfit. Luckily, we don’t do them too often.


What advice would you give a new starter?

Make sure your bike is set up right (see an instructor), get to know your gears and do your own thing. Don’t rush to match what others are doing on the leader board too soon. Get a pair of cycling shoes with SPD plates.


Why is R1DE unique?

‘The sense of family’ you get from being there, the passion from the instructors which helps you push yourself, and the leaderboard. You can measure and see improvements accurately as opposed to just turning a knob 1/2 a turn.


What’s your favourite track to spin to?

I don’t have a favourite, they are all good.


Hills or sprints?

Hills over sprints. Fast sprints just tire me out. Maybe it’s like runners, young ones are generally fast, older ones slower but just keep going!


Who would be your dream spin buddy?

I don’t have a dream spin buddy. If I did, I probably wouldn’t be able to talk as I’d be too knackered and out of breath, plus the banging music would drown them out!

A R1DE with Ingrid

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Ingrid is our gorgeous Irish Lass the with silky smooth cycling style. Since joining R1DE, Ingrid has made huge improvements to her fitness and performance at R1DE. One of the original members, she is a stalwart regular, alternating between early morning and evening sessions. By day Ingrid works in the Financial Service sector, loving nothing more than a spread sheet, and also enjoys travelling, wining, dining and leading our instructor Emma astray on a weekend! She also loves spending time with her daughter Heidi, who you will often see at R1DE, helping out behind the scenes.

Here’s what she said about R1DE:

How long have you been at R1DE? 

From the very start, I joined eight years ago when R1DE first opened. It took me a while to fall in love with it, but once I did, I was hooked. I was always nervous about tackling the different class types and styles but now I do them all, whether it’s a 30 min blast, an FTP or performance R1DE.

What’s been the biggest benefit/improvement you’ve found? 

Being able to exercise without injuries. I have a weak knee which I struggle to run on due to the high impact. Being on the bike massively reduces impact but still delivers the same cardio intensity.

What do you enjoy the most about R1DE?

The teamwork and encouragement. It’s a massive community where we all support each other to perform. I am at the lower end of the table, but have my own little pack where we push each other on the leader board

What do you find the hardest?

Power tracks. I’m built for speed.

What advice would you give a new starter?

Try it, you will love it. A fantastic workout with the best instructors.

Why is R1DE unique?

You’re focussed on your own goals and improvements, and the technology lets you see how your building your endurance and performing at a high intensity. Plus, there are sessions to suit all abilities.

What’s your favourite track to spin to?

Anything by Pete Tong or a good Dolly track.

Hills or sprints?

Sprints, I’ve even got the ‘fast spin legs’ trophy from past R1DE award ceremonies. As well as best dressed lol.

For one night only, who would be your dream spin buddy? 

David Beckham – who wouldn’t?

A R1DE with Clive and Katie

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Meet Clive and Katie Harris, one of our father and daughter duos, both of whom have been R1DE members since the early days.Recently retired, Clive is an active member of the Brods Cycling Club who regularly come and train at R1de when they’re not adventuring around the UK & Europe. As an Old Boy at the famous Old Brodleians RUFC, Clive enjoys watching all the teams play and fund raising, highlighting awareness for various charities. In September 2022, Clive and his mates rode 995 miles from Lands End to John O Groats and collectively raised over £37k for Cancer Research and Parkinson’s UK. It was Clive who encouraged Katie to come along to R1DE and the studio has never been quiet since. Katie loves keeping fit and also loves a good chat, which is just as well because she’s a hairdresser by trade! She’s a fabulous singer and loves to dance especially when fuelled with her favourite Prosecco!

Let’s find out why they choose to come to the studio together each week:

How long have you been at R1DE?

Both of us have been spinning with R1DE for about 6 years. Keeping fit is our main reason for spinning but a close second is to socialise.


What’s the biggest benefit / improvement you have gained from spinning?

K: Mine is definitely fitness, strength and more importantly, my mental health. After an hour in the studio, no matter what’s going on, you come out happier and things never seem as bad.

C: Keeps the weight off and the fitness up. Clears my heads and gets me out of the house!


What do you enjoy most about R1DE?

We both agreed it’s the good craic. It’s nice to see friends and train with like-minded people. We love to push ourselves and with the tech at R1DE we can see if we are improving, even if it’s only small margins.

What do you find the hardest about spinning?

K: Pushing a big gear is hard but I do like to be tested.

C: Hill sprints make me feel like I’ll be needing a new hip!


What advice would you give a new starter?

Wear ear muffs if you want a quiet spin and Katie is in the studio.

(Ed’s comment: Obviously Clive’s answer!)


Why is R1DE unique?

How many spin classes do you get regularly get shouted at but keep going back for more? We love it as it feels like a big family.


Favourite track?

K: Rhianna

C: Anything with a beat


Hills or sprints?

K: Sprints

C: Anything


For one night only, who would be your dream spin buddy?

K: Tom Hardy

C: Tom Pidcock


A R1DE with Lisa

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Lisa Brambani is our resident Olympian (and don’t we know about it)! Lisa was a competitive G.B. cyclist in the 80/90’s, four times National Road Race Champion, multiple GB Time Trial Champion, Commonwealth Games Silver medalist and Olympian at the 88 Seoul Games. Part of the heart and soul of R1DE, Lisa is incredibly passionate about cycling and her R1DE family.

We asked her a few questions about R1DE.

Why did you decide to join R1de?

I have always been fit and active in sport but when I turned 50 I found my metabolism changed and I needed to mix things up with something new. I have zero coordination which rules out a lot of exercise classes. I thought spinning sounded a good option, benefitting from high intensity without the harsh impact on the joints from running. I found R1DE by chance on a Google search. I’ve been riding with the gang since 2018.

What do you enjoy most about R1de?

So much but mainly the passion which comes from an independently owned studio. Unlike a class at a gym, the people who come to R1DE have specifically sort out a studio specialising in spinning. Everyone is committed, friendly and it’s like a community. The equipment is top class responsive and I love that it’s 45 minutes of exercise that you don’t have to think about. Just get on a bike and do as you are told.

What is the hardest part?

Getting there! Even as a hardened exercise pro, getting yourself out of the house is the hardest bit, especially in winter. But it’s so worth the effort, I always feel great an hour later.

Favourite spinning track?

I absolutely love all the 80’s remix tracks especially Donna Summer I Feel Love (Afrojack remix) always gets me going. Silent Nick Palladio just for the ending. So good.

Sprints or hills?

Neither. I love the endurance tracks, anything 5-20 mins 80-90 rpm are my favourite.

Advice you would give a new starter?

Don’t overthink it. It’s as hard or easy as you make it. Come along, there’s always a friendly face and no one will judge you.

Finally, for one night only, who would be your dream spinning buddy?

Got to be Dame Laura Kenny. I would love to see her come and casually beat all the men. But to be honest we’d probably be having a good chat about ballgowns and garden plants.

A R1DE with Kate

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Kate Sparkes, or Sparkles as we like to know her, works as Human Resources Lead in a Financial Services Company. She is often seen at R1DE spinning with her sister Joanne, which if you don’t know them very well, can be quite confusing as they look very similar! Kate loves eating, drinking, travelling and getting lost in a good book!  In 2022 Kate ran the London Marathon and absolutely loved the experience but wouldn’t want to do it again!

How long have you been at R1DE?

I joined R1DE during Covid when everything ground to a halt. I thought I’d give my spin bike at home a whirl and got hooked from there.

What’s been the biggest benefit/improvement you found from R1DE? 

Spinning has improved my fitness levels and strengthened my running. A double spin helped in my marathon training.

What do you enjoy the most about R1DE?

Being committed to the classes and being motivated to push myself.

What do you find the hardest about indoor cycling? 

It never feels any easier!

What advice would you give a new starter? 

Commit, turn up, take part and enjoy, but don’t focus too much on the board and your stats.

Why is R1DE unique? 

It has a real community feel and great instructors.

What’s your favourite track to spin to? 

Anything with a good beat and lyric – 90’s house music.

Hills or Sprints? 

Definitely hills, I’m useless at sprinting!

For one night only, who would be your dream spin buddy? 

Think it would have to be a sporting icon – maybe David Beckham!

Thank you Kate, if you manage to get David to come to a class, we’re sure all the girls would be signed up!

A R1DE with Tom

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You’ll usually find Tom close to the front of the studio. He looks like a serious cyclist and spins like one too! He won the power to weight challenge, showing the bigger lads a clean pair of heels and is fiercely competitive with a cheeky grin. By day he is a Quantity Surveyor but from a young age his love has always been bikes, dabbling in most varieties of two wheeled sports. He regularly competes at trials riding and more recently started racing Mountain Bike Enduro. On the odd occasion he’s not on two wheels, you’ll find Tom out in the countryside, bouldering, hiking or just enjoying being outdoors.

How long have you been at R1DE?

I’ve been spinning at R1DE for about four years now and thoroughly enjoy every session. I first started after my turbo trainer broke and never looked back! The atmosphere and camaraderie at R1DE is far better than being alone on a turbo trainer in the garage!

What’s been the biggest benefit / improvement you found from spinning?

For me, spinning at R1DE is beneficial because it gives me the opportunity to train maximum efforts, which help towards racing on my mountain bike where we have to maintain maximum efforts for periods of about five minutes. It’s a fantastic way to improve cardiovascular performance.

What do you enjoy the most about it?

I’m not sure what I enjoy most, I think I’m just wired wrong and look forward to pushing my limits every week, testing myself and accurately tracking improvements with the sophisticated keiser bikes.

What do you find the hardest about spinning?

The hardest thing about a spin class for me is going from a low rpm to a really fast rpm. My legs just don’t want to co-operate no matter how hard I try!

What advice would you give a new starter?

My biggest advice is to concentrate on your own performance and effort and not get put off by other people’s performances. The leader board is great for providing that extra motivation to try and beat your friend/compatriots, but the main thing is that you put in the best effort you can.

Why is R1DE unique?

One of the unique things about R1de is the bikes. They are top quality and accurately measure your rpm and power, two of the most vital numbers to measure your performance and improvements. I also like how the sessions are very well structured and replicate true riding, rather than other generic spin sessions that do all kinds of crazy movements that you’d never do out on your bike. To keep things interesting the R1de team often put on different events / challenges which add an extra spice!

What’s your favourite track to spin to?

The sessions always include some banging beats to keep you occupied, but my favourite by far is Perfect Replacement by Example. The track comes on and you know what you have to do. Three short efforts at maximum power. Get the gear on and smash it for the chorus.

Hills or sprints? 


For one night only, who would be your dream spin buddy?

My dream spin buddy would be Chris Froome, just so I can see what numbers are actually possible!

Thank you Tom, we love that you enjoy our spicy challenges…watch out on the blackboard for more to come very soon.

A R1DE with Liv

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Liv Hopkinson, 30, is a Renewables (Solar) Corporate Account Manager but she’s happiest when hiking or walking her rescue dogs, Nancy, Reggie, Betty & Ned (that’s a LOT of paws!) Liv is very much into health and nutrition, and for fun she’s hiked the Yorkshire 3 Peaks and completed Tough Mudder twice. Like a couple of our other female riders, Liv is often seen spinning with her dad, Simon, making the ultimate dad/daughter duo.

Here’s what Liv has to say about R1DE:

How long have you been at R1DE and why do you spin?

I have been at R1DE for nearly five years since 2019! I go spinning because you get a real sense of achievement after every session!

What’s been the biggest benefit/improvement you found from spinning? 

I’ve found it has massively helped with my cardiovascular endurance and overall fitness.

What do you enjoy the most about R1DE?

I enjoy the team mentality. Everyone is so welcoming and supportive. I also feel that no class in the same, it never gets boring.

What do you find the hardest about spinning?

Sometimes (like with anything) it takes some motivation to get up and go, especially when you know it’s going to be a challenging session, but I guarantee you always feel amazing once you’ve done it.

What advice would you give a new starter? 

Just do it!! I always doubted myself when it came to new things. I’m now five years into spinning and absolutely love it. If you want a motivating team and somewhere for both beginners and pro’s, it’s the place to be!

Why is R1DE unique? 

It’s unique because the instructors are some of the most passionate people I’ve met and really push you to get the best from every session.

What’s your favourite track to spin to? 

Oh, I have loads, I actually asked Emma for her playlist! I think my favourite is Waiting All Night – Rudimental.

Hills or sprints? 

Hills, longer sprints are tough!

For one night only, who would be your dream spin buddy? 

I’d say Rob Beckett & Romesh Ranganathan (they come as a pair) just for the comedy value!

Ed’s note: Let’s get Rob & Romesh! I’m sure they’d sign us up for a series once they’ve heard some of our banter.

A R1DE with……Gary

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Gary Cockroft, 45, is one of the team hecklers. A member pre and post COVID, we talk to Gary about why he comes to the studio week in, week out.

By day Gary works as an Operations Director for the largest supplier of generic pharmaceuticals to the NHS, responsible for Distribution, Facilities and Health & Safety. He has two children, Ted, who plays rugby for the Old Rishworthians and Bea, who competes at gymnastics. To ‘relax’ Gary is a Liverpool FC fan and goes to all the home games with his dad. He will happily watch any sport on TV and enjoys keeping fit with circuit training at work and of course R1DE.

We asked Gary our favourite questions…

How long have you been at R1DE and why do you do it?

I’ve been a member twice, before covid and then rejoined Jan 2023 to present. I spin to maintain and, if possible, improve my fitness.

What’s been the biggest benefit/improvement you found from spinning? 

My fitness has improved and with it being low impact on the body I can remain injury free!

What do you enjoy the most about R1DE? 

The competitive nature of the leaderboard, the members, the sense of community and, of course the instructors (I was promised a new fan if I said this).

What do you find the hardest about spinning? 


What advice would you give a new starter? 

Dont use bike #19! We all have our favourite bikes, and this is Lisa’s.

But seriously, learn how to pace yourself and attend more than once a week to see progress.

Why is R1DE unique? 

The leaderboard adds an element of competition (if you want it) to an excellent exercise class.

What’s your favourite track to spin to? 

Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen, then chill out music after class has finished.

Hills or sprints? 

Hills – but not standing!

For one night only, who would be your dream cycling buddy?

Jurgen Klopp but only on the ‘Chit Chat Tuesday’ class. I wouldn’t be able (or allowed) to talk in another class.

Thank you Gary. Not sure about buying you your own personal fan to keep cool but we can all agree to stay off Bike 19!