RIDE OR DIE | Elizabeth Pipes, Instructor

ride cycle club

Meet Elizabeth, or better known as “Pipes” around the Oss studio. Liz has been instructing since we first opened our Ossington doors, offering classes that are the perfect mix of fiery and approachable. Get to know Liz and be sure to hit up her Saturday 11:45AM RIDE to start your weekend off right.

Where did you grow up?

Vancouver. I’ve lived in Toronto for 5 years now.

Can you remember your first RIDE class? How long did it take until you realized you wanted to become an Instructor?

Yeah – it was Michael’s class in Vancouver and I thought it was the best kind of crazy.
I realized I wanted to be an Instructor when I heard they were opening a Toronto studio and I was in a soul crushing job at the time to get my accounting designation. I thought teaching spin on the side could be a source of some happiness and WHOA was I right. I am so grateful for it.

How would you describe your teaching style?

Someone described it as sweet but savage haha.

I’d say it’s a little something for everyone? I don’t stick to just one style of music and I try to give different options of difficulty to people – if it is their first time or their 100th. I don’t want anyone to come to my class to coast, but I also know everyone is starting somewhere different. Show up and just do you.

Best part of being an Instructor is…

Seeing people first come to RIDE who claim to ‘hate cardio’, ‘don’t have any rhythm’, etc. and fast forward a couple months and they’re absolutely killing it front row and they’re so proud of how far they’ve come.

Track you’ve had on repeat?

One of my favourites since UNDRGRND days has been Indian Summer – Jai Wolf. I’d play it every class after arms if I could, but realize that would probably be annoying.

AM or PM RIDES?

AM – no better way to start the day.

Favourite way to sweat outside of RIDE?

F45. The cardio days always leave me so gassed and the strength days compliment RIDE really well. Also, I like that I know what to expect no matter the location – whether I go to the Trinity Bellwoods location next to my condo or in Seattle when I’m traveling for work.

How has becoming a RIDE Instructor changed you?

You learn to think on your feet pretty quick. If you don’t, something going slightly wrong could completely derail 50 people’s class. Some standout curve balls have been: someone fainting mid-class, breaking a glass candle holder, and playlists shuffling out of order. Things will happen that are completely out of your control so I think it’s just about not dreading it and making the most of it. I think I’ve definitely learned to bring that into my everyday life too!

Go-to quote or words to live by?

Normally not a big quote guy, but a friend posted this the other day and I really liked it: “You are not obligated to slow down your bloom so people can meet you at a level they are comfortable with. Your growth is too important to dim the light within you for someone still trying to find their own.”

Who motivates you?

I’m pretty self-driven. I’m motivated by wanting to get a little bit better each day.

Favourite book?

Don’t wanna pick just one, but I recently really liked Scar tissue on Anthony Kiedis.

What’s your #1 life hack?

Hydrating face masks and compression socks when you fly…not cute, but I’m on a plane for work a lot and this honestly has been a game changer.

Where can we find you on a Saturday afternoon in the city?

Finishing up teaching the 11:45AM class, and, depending on the weather, either going to Pilot for a matcha latte or to Trinity for some sun in the park.

Any hidden or not so hidden talents?

I came 3rd in a breakdancing competition once.

If you could brunch with any person (past or present), who would it be and why?

Present: Oprah – I love anything she touches (podcasts, TV shows, books) and am convinced we would be fast friends. Comin’ for you Gail.

Past: My Grandpa. Some of my favourite childhood memories were spent with him chatting over a pot of tea.

Best memory since you joined RIDE?

Probably a tie between 1) the Spice Girls RIDE where Cat just strut around in heels for an hour, Ash butchered a British accent and I got a lollipop stuck in my pigtail and 2) the Ossington tire pop-up RIDE.

#1 piece of advice for someone looking to have a killer RIDE?

Get out of your head! Get yourself present in the room; focusing on the beat and the form.

What has you stoked on life right now?

I’m obsessed with oat matcha lattes. I have pretty much one a day. Sometimes two. An old co-worker and I are thinking of starting a matcha blend subscription service. Keep your eyes peeled…

What does RIDE mean to you?

Physically, after a class, I’m absolutely pooped, but on the flip side, I leave mentally feeling SO refreshed. As someone who doesn’t do down time or relaxing well (read: borderline hyperactive), RIDE is just about the only time I can turn my brain off and just be present in what I’m doing. RIDE means, no matter how the rest of my day has gone, I’m about 50 minutes from a great mood and a fresh perspective.

RIDE with Elizabeth – find her on the Ossington Schedule.