RIDE OR DIE | Alex Bergquist, RIDE Instructor
Meet ALEX – originally from Vancouver, she brought the RIDE vibes with her to Toronto and played an integral role in building the RIDE Ossington community. Known for her killer 6AMs and bangers, get to know ALEX’s RIDE story, favourite Toronto spots, hidden talents and more.
Where did you grow up?
Alberta! Was born in Calgary but moved to Edmonton when I was 6. I stayed in Edmonton throughout university and moved to Vancouver in 2011, before calling Toronto home when I moved here last year. I’ve essentially done a full cross-Canada tour.
Can you remember your first RIDE class? How long did it take until you realized you wanted to become an instructor?
I do remember it! It was in our Vancouver studio a few years ago. I sat in the back row, right by the wall, and I was terrible. It was at least three months after my first class before I even came back. I started going more regularly and finally made my way into the front row.
Teaching was a different story: although I loved to ride in class, I never thought about being a teacher. It was only after Ashley and Julie (the lead instructor in Vancouver) forced me into the auditions that I realized this was something I really wanted to do.
Best part of being an instructor is…
Challenging people to push themselves more than they want to, and getting people to a place they never thought physically possible. The best part of being an instructor is getting your riders to a place where you don’t even have to instruct: they stand up longer than you ask them to, and they add on more tension without you telling them to. I’m so lucky I get to ride with amazing athletes who also push me to be a better rider, every single day.
Track you’ve had on repeat
Really into these soulful, beautiful deep house tracks lately. Check out Diamonds by Lane 8.
AM or PM rides?
AM! I’m definitely a morning person. One of my favourite classes to teach is my Wednesday 6AM because I get to be in a room with a group of incredible riders that get out of bed while it’s still pitch black outside to come and sweat it out with me.
Favourite way to sweat outside of RIDE?
Studio Lagree! I’m obsessed. It’s a challenging workout that focuses on that slow burn – the perfect complement to RIDE. Although rare, you can also catch me long-distance running or hitting up a yoga class.
Where can we find you on a Saturday afternoon in the city?
I’m pretty predictable: there’s a pretty good chance you can find me set up at the bar at Union Restaurant or the Drake Cafe for some post-workout brunch.
Best vegan resto in Toronto and Vancouver?
Here in Toronto, I’m obsessed with the new vegan restaurant that just opened on Queen, Hello 123. Amazing food, great prices, and great vegan Caesars, which is key. In Vancouver, my spot is Virtuous Pie, which specializes in vegan pizzas and ice cream. It’s life-changing (and coming to Toronto next year!).
Any hidden or not so hidden talents?
I’m a pretty decent tap dancer (true story) and played classical piano competitively for 12 years.
If you could brunch with any person (past or present), who would it be and why?
Hillary Clinton, hands down. She’s driven and inspiring and I want to know about her journey.
#1 piece of advice for someone looking to have a killer RIDE?
For the newer riders in the room, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Take it easy. Focus on finding the beat and getting on that leading leg. Once you’ve mastered that, bring in the choreography. Master the basics first and the rest will follow!
What has you stoked on life right now?
Toronto. Everything about it. I love the culture, the energy, the food scene, the workouts, and the amazing people I’ve met over the last year. Life is really good here.
What does RIDE mean to you?
RIDE is my safe space. It’s a place where I get to be myself and surround myself with all of my favourite people. It means family, security, friendship, and motivation. There’s honestly no place quite like it.
Catch Alex on the podium at RIDE Ossington – view schedule.