By Karen Billing
In a darkened studio where the only light is a few candles and glow-in-the-dark shoes spinning fast on a cycle, music vibrates loudly and instructor Lindsay Birtcil is motivating a room full of riders up an imaginary incline. The climb would seem endless without the drumming beat of the music and Birtcil’s energetic encouragement to keep pushing.
This is The Rush Indoor Cycling Studio in Birdrock, a new fitness facility that is coming to Carmel Valley’s Torrey Corner center on Aug. 10.
The Rush specializes in providing challenging workouts with “top notch” instructors in a non-intimidating (hence the darkness), boutique studio environment.
“Every single class will be the best class you’ve ever taken,” said co-founder Corey Spangler.
Spangler opened The Rush with business partner Tim Suski, who has been his best friend for over 14 years, dating back to high school in the Pasadena area.
“We have a long history and it makes running a business together more fun. We find the humor in things, we both have strengths and weaknesses, and when we come together we make a perfect team,” Spangler said.
They had always wanted to be entrepreneurs and run their own business but after graduating from college, Suski got a job in sales and Spangler worked for an insurance company in risk management.
Although Spangler loved his job, it could be very stressful. As a way to de-stress, he started taking spin classes about four times a week.
“In that one-hour class I would burn 1,000 calories, I sweat more in that class compared to running or weight lifting and it was actually fun with the music,” Spangler said. “The instructor’s enthusiasm brought me to a new level. Leaving there I would have an endorphin high, it would almost re-start my day.”
Thinking out loud with Suski, he pitched the idea of a boutique fitness studio that just did cycling, similar to New York’s Soul Cycle. They met up, hashing out their business plan over coffees, scribbling in notebooks. The two were committed and moved forward, found the funding and opened the La Jolla studio on Jan. 29, 2012.
“I’m very happy we did it,” Spangler said. “It’s a lot of fun, working in the fitness industry and building this brand has been awesome. I think it’s been really well received and we want to continue to grow. We’re moving so fast because we just want to be ‘It’. We want everybody to know about us.”
From the very beginning they knew they wanted to open three studios and they were lucky that Birdrock did so well.
“The reason we want to go to Carmel Valley is because it is just the perfect clientele. Our whole vision is to go into affluent communities where people are very fit,” Spangler said.
The studio uses high-end Keiser M3+ bikes – the “Ferrari of spin bikes” — with a lever instead of a knob to control the resistance. Each bike has a mini-computer which charts and displays resistance levels, RPMs (Revolutions Per Minute), calories burned, and can sync up to one’s heart rate monitor.
The bikes accommodate clip-in shoes and Spangler said they really push using the clip-in shoes for a rental fee of $1—“it just makes such a huge difference for the ride, it’s much safer and more efficient and you’re able to burn more calories.”
The atmosphere of the studio is designed to be spa-like and class instructors are hand-picked to be the very best in skill and personality.
“People won’t come back if you don’t have great instructors,” Spangler said. “Our current team is just awesome, we got really lucky.”
As part of The Rush brand, the lights are off during class.
“We want the studio to be a very non-intimidating place,” Spangler said, noting beginners don’t have to feel nervous about what they look like. “Dimming the lights gives people a private space but when you look up you can get inspired by the class because there’s a lot of energy and you’re close together. The energy in the room elevates our abilities.”
Once the music is cranked, it’s a “party on the bike” atmosphere and everyone can adjust to their own level; their mantra is that they don’t leave any rider behind.
Classes are 45 minutes to an hour long and scheduled throughout the day — the earliest class offered during the week is at 5:45 a.m. and the latest scheduled is 7 p.m.
The early morning classes tend to be a little more technical, Spangler said, with a lot of triathletes taking advantage.
“Not everyone wants to hear Katy Perry blaring at 5:45 a.m.,” he said.
Spangler said they have learned a lot from Birdrock, where classes often sell out. Carmel Valley’s studio will have nearly double the number of bikes of Birdrock with 44 to a studio. They will also have a full slate of classes, 10 more classes a week than Birdrock.
For its opening, The Rush will offer free classes from Aug. 10 through Aug. 18. The weekend of Aug. 17-18, The Rush is partnering with Searsucker, Suja Juice, Nika Water, and Sculpt Fusion Yoga for its opening celebration festivities.
Packages for The Rush run from one class drop-ins to one month unlimited passes. The introduction package comes with a one week unlimited pass and free shoe rental. The VIP package includes six months membership and a free pair of Shimano cycling shoes and a free bottle of Nika water for each ride. Learn more at therushstudio.com.
The Rush in Carmel Valley is located at 11130 East Ocean Air Dr., San Diego, CA 92130.
The Rush in La Jolla is located at 5628 La Jolla Blvd, La Jolla, CA 92037; (858) 255-8457.