For many exercise lovers, hitting the gym alone after work or taking a solo morning jog may be the most centering
aspect of their day. But for the riders at Ohio City’s Harness Cycle, it was their community-driven workout that kept them going — until the pandemic ended the ride.
Now, two years later, Harness Cycle is back — in a temporary space just across the street from what will be the studio’s expansive new home in the historic Vitrolite Building on Detroit Avenue in Ohio City. The new space is scheduled to open later in the year and offer far more than cycling.
“It just feels like a weight has been lifted to be on the other side of what’s been an incredibly challenging couple of years,” says Anne Hartnett, founder and owner of Harness Cycle.
Though the studio offered virtual classes for the last two years, it wasn’t the same. “What we do in person
together transcends a workout,” Hartnett explains. “It’s like that feeling you get when you go to a concert. It’s hard to replicate that.”
And it’s more than just a workout.
“It’s an experience that regulates your heart rate in a way that overcomes stress and trauma,” adds Hartnett, “and there aren’t many humans that haven’t experienced those things.”
Harness Cycle CEO Andria Loczi began as a Harness rider, then moved up to become an instructor and, finally, is in a leadership position in the company. “For me, it’s about being able to carve out space for my own personal growth, while also tapping into the power and the connection that I get from ‘the pack,’” she says. “It’s a place to release, recharge and recover together.”
The team’s positive energy and desire to be more than a gym comes through in its forthcoming Harness Collective project, which is essentially a wellness marketplace that will be offered — along with cycling, of course — in the company’s new 18,000-square-foot facility. This permanent location will also house GroundSwell Co. yoga and fitness studio, a food and beverage cafe, child care for those taking classes and an incubator program designed for retailers looking for a physical presence in Cleveland.
“We’re going to be able to support local entrepreneurs and, specifically, brick-and-mortar entrepreneurs who are testing if they want a storefront,” Loczi says.
Harness is also setting a high standard and blazing trails for its own staff. “We’re trying to disrupt what was,”
Loczi shares. “We’re a women-led business. We’re also an established B Corp.”
To attain B Corporation status, a private certification launched by the non-profit B Lab in 2006, a company must meet certain social and environmental standards. “Which is something that took us a long time,” adds Loczi.
With eight years of experience under its belt and a new adventure ahead of it, the team at Harness Cycle is ready to be a part of a community-driven experience — and to drive change in its community.
“We want to continue to thrive as a neighborhood anchor. That’s going to be number one,” Loczi notes. “Every decision we make, we think about how it affects the community, how it affects the customers and how it affects our team.”