JoyRide Blog

Instructor Spotlight: Samantha Duda

Instructor Spotlight: Samantha Duda

Classes: Monday 7 p.m. (Westport), Tuesday 10:45 a.m. (Westport); Wednesday 6 a.m. (Darien), Saturday 11 a.m. (Westport); bonus class during vacation week: Thursday, 4/17 6:30 pm (Westport)

Do you have any Joy-isms?

* You’re stronger than you know.  Fight for it!
* Today is not the day to give up on yourself.  Keep going!
* This is your time to shine. Go for it!
* Crave that desire to succeed. Dig deeper! 

What are you known for?
Grueling hills!  I love to throw a seven-minute song in to physically and mentally challenge people to conquer.  It's amazing what you can do when you believe in yourself! 

What is your favorite song?
I'm a P!ink fanatic!  I will rock out to anything she sings! She is AMAZING. Love, love, love, her!

What’s your guilty pleasure song?
"Crush" by Dave Mathews Band.  I'm a big Dave Matthews fan -- he always takes it to another level of awesomeness.

What motivates you?
Being stronger than I was when I walked through the door!  The feeling of accomplishment makes me come back to class and make it better each time. It's instant gratification. 

Top tips for indoor cycling?
It's simple: if you believe you can do it, you can! If you have doubt, it will hold you back. Doubt and fear are road blocks, so knock it down and push forward!

It's 50% physical and 50% mental. Connect the pieces and make it work. 

Other cool things about you?
I'm a super girlie girl who loves high heels.  But my alter ego loves going to hockey games! Who said you can't have the best of both worlds?  ;-)


Posted Apr 14, 2014 0 Comments

Tagged: JoyRide fitness indoor cycling instructor instructor spotlight JoyRide Cycling Studio samantha duda

Time to JAAM!

JoyRide Across America (JAAM) is a four-week-long, team-building and friendly competition. Participants team up in groups of four and compete for "miles" from Connecticut to California. Get ready for some crazy fun! If you participated in the event last year, please note there can only be two of the original team members on one team again!

Here are the details:

Dates: Sunday, March 2 through Saturday, March 29.

  • $25 entry fee to compete. All proceeds will go towards Spin Odyssey, the indoor cycling fundraiser benefiting breast cancer research. Checks should be made out to American Cancer Society and dropped off at the front desk.
  • Email with team name and members by 2/14.
  • Teams must choose their hometown studio (where they ride most): Either Westport or Darien. Miles will count for classes taken at either studio, but teams are competing against fellow Westport or Darien riders. 
  • Each class at JoyRide (including cycle, circuit, sculpt, groove, pilates, go figure, and private training) counts as 20 miles per rider.
  • If all 4 members of a team ride together for one class a week, the team earns an additional 10 points cumulative total per class.
  • Teams cannot accrue more than 750 miles per week.
  • Team points are cumulative amongst team members.
  • Maximum number of classes attended each day is three, and only two classes can be taken consecutively (you will need breaks! maybe even shotblocks!).
  • Team Captains will create teams and update team members on upcoming theme rides, standings, and assist in tracking points. 
  • Each week there will be two theme rides to earn an extra 10 points per rider. One theme ride will be held during the week and one each weekend.
  • In the event that a team member is traveling during the competition, s/he may get mile credit should they take a cycling class at a studio outside of CT with a photo and newspaper (verifying date) sent to Rhodie. Maximum of 4 out of town classes can be credited. 
  • In the event that a team member will be absent for one of the weeks (pre-scheduled vacation, work obligations, etc) one team maember may chose an alternate who will "fill in" during his/ her absence. Only one team member can use an alternate and dates must be consecutive and cannot exceed a week. Dates and alternate's name must be submitted in advance.
  • During the final week there will be a Tie Breaker among any teams who have hit 750 miles for all four weeks. The Tie Breaker will include extra points for:
    • Photos of team members in JoyRide gear in local businesses;
    • Photos with an instructor or staff member outside of JoyRide;
    • Creation of a 30-second ad for JoyRide Cycling Studio;
    • Bringing in/ introducing a new rider to JoyRide;
    • All 4 team members attend a JoyGroove class;
    • All 4 team members attend a class together in their non-hometown studio (Westport/ Darien);
    • Paticipation in/ or fundraising for 2014 Spin Odyssey to be held on March 30 in Stamford, CT.
    • Top teams during final week will receive WILD Cards during the final three days of the competition as extra challenge for FIRST PLACE! More info on TIE BREAKER during the final week!

Prizes for the winning Westport and Darien teams include: 

Gift Certificate to a Local Restaurant of $400 value for your team!




Posted Feb 28, 2014 0 Comments

Tagged: JoyRide indoor cycling JAAM JoyRide Across America JoyRide Cycling Studio

Olympic Inspiration: Armond Jordan


Q: Which Olympic athlete has inspired you as an athlete and fitness instructor?   

A: I can brag a little and say that my older cousin, Vin Baker, competed in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games on the USA Men's Basketball Team. He has always inspired me through his sport and life. In fact, my first experience in training/coaching was at his basketball camp when I was 15 years old.

I'm also a really big fan of track & field, so you can take your pick of any athlete. Michael Johnson is someone that definitely stands out. I remember as a kid how amazed I was at his speed, especially in 1996 when he earned the nickname "The Man with The Golden Shoes" by donning a pair of golden Nike track shoes.

Q: What is your most poignant Olympic memory, and how has it affected you in your life or job as an instructor?  

A: I'd have to go with seeing my cousin earn a gold medal in 2000 for the USA Men's Basketball team. Knowing the determination and discipline it takes to be part of a team that is considered the best in the world!!  Very proud moment!

Q: If you could compete in any event in the Olympics, what would it be?

A: Without question, a sprinter! I'd like to consider myself very fast, not Olympic fast, but pretty fast. I would love to test these twigs against the best!

Posted Feb 18, 2014 0 Comments

Tagged: JoyRide instructor instructor spotlight JoyRide Cycling Studio Olympic Games Olympics armond jordan

Olympic Inspiration: Rhodie Lorenz



Q: Which Olympic athlete has inspired you as an athlete and fitness instructor?  

A. I love the Olympics!  Watching the world's top athletes go after their dreams after years of preparation and dedication is inspiring. No matter the sport -- combining passion and skill result in glorious achievements.  

The two Olympic athletes who have inspired me most as an athlete and fitness instructor are Mary Lou Retton and Dara Torres.  As an 11-year-old girl watching the 1984 Summer Olympic Games, I loved everything about Mary Lou Retton's Olympic story: her athleticism, grace, exploding personality, and poise.  At a time when female athletes were far less dominant and celebrated than their male counterparts, I loved watching her reach her dreams and take the gold medal.  She made dreams come true!

Dara Torres’ Olympic triumphs have also inspired me as an athlete and instructor because of her endurance and dedication to her passion.  When living in Palo Alto, Calif., in the late 90s, I would occasionally see Dara swimming laps in the outdoor pool. She exudes power and beauty.  In 2012, she became the oldest woman at 41 to win a gold medal in Beijing.  Having just turned 41 myself, her record-breaking achievement is even more impressive!  Dara's story is a lesson in believing that there are no limits and then pushing yourself to your edge to make it happen.  Age is just a number. 

While I will never reach the heights and caliber of these female athletes, I am grateful to be inspired by their stories of glory.  They dreamed big and dedicated themselves to their passion.  I love it!  Go for it!

Q: What is your most poignant Olympic memory, and how has it affected you in your life or job as an instructor?   

A: My most poignant Olympic moment was when I sitting at the River Cafe in Stratton, Vt., with may family in the summer of 1984 as Greg Louganis dove to win his gold medal.  My father was a diver in college and at one point aspired to be in the Olympics for diving.  With the personal understanding of the training and physical control required to ascend in the sport, my father had a deep appreciation for Greg Louganis' accomplishment and gift.  Furthermore, my father touted having had the same coach as Louganis.  We were seated in a full restaurant with everyone, diners and staff, glued to the Olympic diving competition.  When Louganis nailed his final dive to win gold, my father leapt out of his chair screaming, "UNBELIEVABLE!" as though he had witnessed an impossible human feat.  My dad gets fired up watching sports, but this memory stands out as him being extra exuberant!

Q: If you could compete in any event in the Olympics, what would it be? 

A: When they decide to make indoor cycling an Olympic event, that's my sport! 











Posted Feb 13, 2014 0 Comments

Tagged: JoyRide fitness indoor cycling Rhodie Lorenz JoyRide Cycling Studio 2014 Olympic Games Olympics dara torres greg louganis

Olympic Inspiration: Amanda Shortt

Q: Which Olympic athlete has inspired you as an athlete and fitness instructor?  


A: Kara Goucher is a huge inspiration for me as an athlete and fitness instructor.  She made her debut at the NYC marathon in 2008 when she came in third, becoming the first American on the podium since 1994.  She always gives every workout her all and understands that hard work leads to success and goals met.  Her vision of training is exactly how I envision training in the cycling studio.  We're all athletes!


Q: What is your most poignant Olympic memory, and how has it affected you in your life or job as an instructor?   


A: In the 2012 London Olympics, American runners Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan competed for the top 10 spot and neither of them was able to make it.  I had read articles prior to the Olympics about the training they did together for a year and how grueling it was.  I was really hoping that one of them would make it. I  remember seeing the look of disappointment on Kara's face but what happened after made the event really memorable for me as an instructor.  Kara admitted that in the beginning she knew she had some big competition.  So when they were out the gate, she made the decision to lead the pack for as long as possible even though she knew she didn't have a shot at winning.  That kind of dedication and bravery is how we should tackle every moment of our training.  We have good days and bad days and it's important to know that if you put in the effort to train hard, no matter what the outcome, know that you did your absolute best and that's all that matters.


Q: If you could compete in any event in the Olympics, what would it be? 


A: I would love to compete in an Olympic marathon.  To be able to run as fast as those men and women would feel like flying!  It would be amazing!




Posted Feb 12, 2014 0 Comments

Tagged: JoyRide instructor instructor spotlight JoyRide Cycling Studio Olympic Games Olympics inspiration

1200 Post Rd E Westport, Conn. 06880 | Westport Phone: 203.349.5454 |
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