By Vittoria Woodill

BURLINGTON, N.J. (CBS) – Drop the lights, raise the beat, and let your feet take your heart rate to the sky. Ryde is an indoor cycling studio in Burlington, New Jersey that rolled into town in 2020.

Open For Business Ryde Fitness

“It’s not just about the workout, it goes beyond that,” said Owner and Chief Motivational Officer Nakia Smith. “Coming in and going into that dark room and just being able to let it go. Some people are just like, they had a crap day and were like ‘I just need to get on this bike and just stomp it out.'”

Open For Business Ryde Sign

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In just a year this intense, high-energy exercise escape has caught fire – but most importantly, Smith says it’s created a community for anyone to belong and bike to the beat.

“You belong, no matter what that is. You belong here and that’s the kind of space I wanted to create,” said Smith. “As an African American woman in this industry and also someone who’s a little bit more mature. I think of myself as being a little bit rare. But I belong here and there’s space for me and room here for me.”

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Smith has created an incredible space to watch the growth and achievement in someone’s eyes.

“That’s exactly what we see every day, every class,” said Smith. “I get inboxed all the time and people are like you don’t know how much this means to me as part of just my self-care routine.  You put so much into the family. You put so much into your children and it’s just 45 minutes, maybe an hour with your drive here. Taking that time, carving out that time for yourself is so important. I didn’t know what to expect, but the reception has been wonderful.”

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Vittoria Woodill