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Rebel Alliance

Written by Karen Marley
Imagery by Sandra Kicman

Erika Brason, owner of Rebel Ride, boutique indoor cycling and yoga studio, had a specific vision. Over the past several years, people have developed an enormous appetite for indoor cycling. Brason, however, wanted to deviate from predictability by providing an immersive experience. Something modern. Edgy. Exciting. All while catering to patrons’ every need.

The A-List
Gyms are practical spaces. Specialty rooms for classes require music and space for equipment. Locker rooms are necessary; as are furniture and spaces capable of handling sweaty bodies and high traffic. To go beyond the expected, Brason assembled an all-star team from across the country; an alliance of A-level talent that could bring her vision to life.
    A Texas-based architect specializing in designing cycling studios accompanied Brason on visits to studios across the country. Concert-quality sound, lighting, and technical components – a critically important aspect of a cycling studio – came from a West Coast production manager whose resume includes The Rolling Stones. The creative person behind the brand, responsible for developing a logo charged with energy and non-conformity, was selected for his work with Nike. But it fell to local talent, Buffalo-based Robert Reeder, of Robert Reeder Interiors, to unify the input provided by the talented roster with bold, spirited selections for the interior design.
    “I love design. I love creating interesting spaces and appreciate the process,” says Brason. “Space is powerful. It needs to be inspiring.”

Total Immersion
Movement begins the moment you cross Rebel Ride’s threshold. Lighting, furniture design, and flow of the space exudes energy. The reception desk takes immediate command. Its dynamic exterior is made of lacquered, high gloss white wood, carved with waves, and highlighted with illumination.
    “Lighting washes down on these waves to create lights and shadows and depths of color. There is a dimensional dynamic with this piece of furniture,” explains Reeder. “The idea of sculpting, movement, and excitement are the heart of an exercise studio.”
    Beyond the reception desk, a dramatic, black accent wall hums with the blue glow of the Rebel Ride logo silhouetted against a backlight of blue. A series of curved benches move, snake-like, through the open corridor. Overhead, light fixtures in the form of large wheel-like circles suggest spinning bicycles.
    To enter the cycling studio, patrons pass through a small vestibule faux painted with a silvery, metallic sheen and studded with grommets resembling the side of a muscled, old-school airplane. Anticipation pulses through the space. The cycling room comes alive with a wave wall that lights up with up to 16 different programs, depending on the workout, saturating the space in a coordinated show of sound and light.
    From the lobby, you also get a peek through sliding glass doors to the clean-lined, refreshing interior of the In-Trinity® room. The lobby also doubles as a social space with a juice bar.

Locker Room Essentials
For the ladies, lockers are stainless steel. The back wall behind the sinks, toiletries, and backlit mirrors, are a mosaic of glass, rectangular tiles for a sparkling, jeweled effect. The men’s textured, stainless steel lockers have a tarnished sentiment. A mixture of stainless, bronze, and brown rectangular tiles cover the back wall. The overall look asserts masculine sensibilities. Floor tiles in both locker rooms consist of dark and warm grays and soft whites in a herringbone pattern.
    Brason is thrilled. “We created an environment where people check in their day at the door and are in their own zone when they come here. People love it,” she says.

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