Take a minute (or 50, the length of a class) and come experience a spin at Wheelhouse. For a few weeks the windows were covered and only the street awning sign that read “Wheelhouse” remained visible. I wondered what this new addition to Wellington Street West was going to be. I got the chance to visit and speak with the lovely Nadine Hogan and Heather Andrews, the owners of Wheelhouse.
What is Wheelhouse?
Contrary to what many may think, solely based of the name, Wheelhouse is not a cycle shop. It is bicycle related in some sense, but not the same type of bikes that you find at somewhere like Fresh Air Cycle. The Westboro, Wellington West and Hintonburg neighbourhoods in Ottawa are very lucky to have gained this amazing new business and service.
Wheelhouse is a spin studio. Spinning has become an increasingly popular workout activity. It mimics bicycle racing but it is done usually indoors on a stationary bike. As Wikipedia explains, “classes focus on endurance, strength, intervals, high intensity (race days) and recovery.”
On the walls of the studio, Wheelhouse is also described as, “Your sweet spot where potential is realized”. If that isn’t motivational, feel good and positive, then I don’t know what is.
Nadine explains, “Spinning is high intensity interval training. No matter what your exercise of choice, adding spin to your life will have major impacts that will benefit you both physically and mentally.” I got the chance experience a class and it certainly challenged me. It had been quite awhile since I had used an exercise bike, so I was not sure how my body would react. I thought I was Super Woman and would be able to keep up the entire class. Boy was I wrong. Spinning is much harder than it looks. For the first 15 minutes I kept up, no problem. Heather Andrews was my instructor and with high energy music, a disco ball spinning and her motivating words of encouragement, I was pumped the entire class. After the initial 15 minutes, I had to take a break to let my body have a breather and catch up to my brain. The class was a full house with people of all ages attending. After the class, I felt amazing. The next day or so afterwards, my body was still feeling the affects of the workout. This just means that I will be going back and spinning some more!
The Ladies of Wheelhouse
Heather and Nadine are both amazingly positive, hardworking, wives, fashion lovers, fitness enthusiasts and foodies. While they didn’t personally know each other until last year, they knew of each other. A mutual best friend introduced them and from the instant they met, they just genuinely clicked! Heather moved to Ottawa from Calgary last year. Once this was confirmed, the wheels were put into motion to open up a joint business venture and then Wheelhouse was born. They were able to identify that the Ottawa market had spin studio gap, so it made sense to open up one here. After scouting locations, the Westboro and Wellington West neighborhood chose them, as Nadine stated. They just knew it was meant to be when they saw the available space. I have had the delightful chance to experience their energy and enthusiasm talking with them. Every single time I walked away feeling positive and motivated.
What’s Next for Wheelhouse?
The studio has just approached it’s three month mark. Nadine and Heather hope to grow the spinning culture and community in Ottawa. They have started a “Giving Back” program where Friday evening 5:30pm class proceeds are donated to a local charity. Nadine also mentions that more classes, promotions and partnerships are in the works for us to enjoy. In the meantime, make sure to treat your mind and body to a spin class at WheelHouse.