Today we’d like to introduce you to Megan Hanson.
Megan, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been an athlete and been interested in health and fitness. I remember going to group workout classes with my mom when I was young. Our family is very active and competitive and have we’ve always worked out and played sports together, I’ve carried this through my teenage years into my adult life and continued to love the energy and support that group fitness classes create.
I always had the dream of working in the health and fitness industry so I decided to give it a try as a passion project while I was working in Marketing and Sales for CPG companies. I loved cycling so I got my MadDogg Spin Certification in 2016 with my sister hoping to teach at a gym once completed. That same day my sister said to me, “you should open a cycling studio”. The second she put that in my head, I was all in. At the time, there were no cycling studios in Denver that were doing what I wanted to do – create a rhythm-based ride in a club-like experience with loud music and fun lighting that incorporated side to sides, tap backs, push-ups, and other movements on the bike.
I went to Business school and studied Marketing and Sociology. I’ve always had the dream of owning my own gym but never really thought it was a possibility for me. When I started to do some research on what it would take to open my own studio, I knew I could make it a possibility. I told my husband I wanted to open a cycling studio and he was all in. We both went to Business school at Northeastern University where we met and he too wanted to own his own business. He was 100% supportive from the moment I brought this idea up. We started to look at studio locations, put together a business plan, and researched funding option and the rest is history. There was no stopping us. We signed a lease in Nov of 2016 and opened our doors for business on July 7th of 2017.
Has it been a smooth road?
Owning a business is one of the hardest things and one of the scariest things I’ve done in my whole life. You put your heart and soul into what you do and you don’t know what the future holds. Although it’s been challenging, I can’t imagine my life without High Ride. It has been the most rewarding experience. When you see all your hard work pay off, you have such a huge feeling of pride. Scott and I had to teach ourselves along the way. We both went to business school but it does not prepare you for exactly what goes into owning a business. You are the CEO, the janitor, the Accountant, the Marketing Manager, the HR department, and much more all rolled into one. There is a lot of trial by fire and learning as you go.
As a married couple, Scott and I also have learned how to work in a professional environment which is not always the easiest. We’ve had our ups and downs but we’re 100% committed to each other and to building an amazing business that people want to work at and want to workout at.
One of the biggest struggles along the way was issues with our past landlords. We had a pretty tumultuous relationship with our landlords due to issues with the way the building was constructed which was very challenging for us. In the end, we settled the dispute with our landlords and decided to move to a new location right up the road. Funding two build-outs in less than two years is not ideal but in the long-run, this location will be a better fit for us. We were able to bring our experience from the first studio and make our new location even better. We’ve already seen a spike in attendance and an increase in sales since moving.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the High Ride Cycle story. Tell us more about the business.
High Ride Cycle is an indoor cycling studio in the Sloan’s Lake neighborhood of Denver. At High Ride, we ride to the beat of the music and do some movements on the bike like side to sides, tap backs, push-ups, and walk-backs in a club like an environment with dark lighting and loud music. We believe that “this is your ride” and you can choose to make of it what you would like. As instructors, we’re here to guide you and challenge you during the ride but you get to decide how much or how little you push yourself. We really try to create a community at High Ride that is welcoming, supportive, and comfortable. No matter what size, shape, color, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, we invite everyone in.
The thing I am most proud of as an owner is our amazing instructors and team. I believe you can teach someone technique but you can’t teach someone passion. Our instructors make you feel something special each time you walk into the studio and build energy and environment that keeps riders coming back for more. They make everyone feel welcomed and comfortable which helps build a strong community that is really something special.
Personally, I’m so excited to have been named the best female instructor in Denver by ClassPass. I was nominated by riders and it means a lot that they took the time to show their appreciation for what we do at High Ride. It really speaks volumes about our community and how supportive they are.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I think the biggest shift that we have already seen happen is the shift from big box gyms to small boutique studios. There is energy created in a fitness class and a sense of community that is usually not replicated at a big box gym. Customers love the feeling of community that a small fitness studio brings and like the sense of belonging.
- Our pricing is fairly competitive compared to other boutique fitness studios. All pricing can be found here: https://www.highridecycle.com/join. Our most popular package is our unlimited monthly deal. That provides unlimited classes to High Ride and 4 classes per month to our partner studios, Fitness in the City and The River Yoga, all for $140 per month.
- Address: 1711 Sheridan Boulevard, Unit A
Denver, CO 80214
- Website: www.highridecycle.com
- Phone: 303-477-0793
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @highridecycle
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/HighRideCycle/
- Yelp: www.yelp.com/biz/high-ride-cycle-edgewater
Tim Gillies Photography