EXACTLY EIGHT YEARS ago, friends and business partners Ashley Gooch and Andrew Pappas were putting the finishing touches on their brand-new cycling studio, RYDE, in the River Oaks Shopping Center on West Gray. Back then, Houston's boutique-fitness scene was just heating up, but the duo was certain they were on to something.
Fast forward to 2023, and the RYDE co-founders are once again finalizing a build-out — but this time, things look a little different. The brand's stunning flagship studio will open in April on West 11th Street in the heart of the Heights. The elevated, freestanding building, designed by Boucher Design Group and constructed by O'Donnell Snider Construction, boasts ample on-site parking underneath, along with dedicated bike racks — a nod to its location just a couple blocks off the Heights Hike and Bike Trail.
Renderings show a grown-up take on industrial-chic interiors, with walls of glass, cement floors and exposed support beams, and an eye-catching graffiti-style mural. The RYDE team commissioned Los Angeles-based artist Amber Goldhammer — represented by Houston's own Christopher Martin Gallery — to create a vibrant, layered, wall-size painting that can be seen from 11th Street.
RYDE Heights will offer the brand's signature 45-minute, rhythm-based spin classes in a new studio space outfitted with a custom, immersive sound and lighting system, and nearly 50 high-end Stages SC2 indoor cycling bikes. Clients can expect amenity-laden locker rooms with top-of-the-line products a la Aesop hair, body and skincare goods, and coveted Dyson blow-dryers.
Plans for the Heights studio have been in the works for more than three years — a long chapter filled with "hard work, passion and meticulous attention to detail," says Pappas in a statement. “The RYDE team is dedicated to pushing the limits of what a fitness experience can be. Our new Heights studio is a testament to that commitment, offering an unparalleled, high-energy indoor cycling experience in a stunning, expertly designed space. We are excited to welcome the Heights community to our new home and elevate their fitness journey.”
Gooch and Pappas
RYDE instructors CJ Martin, Caroline Wagner and Chris Younger
A rendering of RYDE Heights
A rendering of the locker rooms at RYDE Heights
RYDE River Oaks