At Sobbacycle, it’s the combination of music, sweat and hard work that makes for a unique workout.
“There’s no actual metrics,” Perrey Sobba, co-founder and instructor, says. “There’s no screen on the bike that tells you how fast you’re going or how long you’ve been going, it’s all just cued to the beat, which is really fun. I think it lets people get lost a little bit in their workout and the whole class is riding together as one, which is a really unique element to something like cycling.”
Sobba and her brother Walter opened the studio in January, offering 45-minute spin cycling classes for people of all experience levels and ages.
A 2013 Whitefish High School graduate, Sobba said she got into spin classes while spending some time out east. When she returned to Whitefish a few years ago, she knew she had to bring spinning to her hometown.
“There’s nothing like it around here, there’s no cycling specific studio in the Valley. This kind of fitness is so popular right now in bigger cities, so I think people are really excited to have something like that here,” Sobba said. “In the summer we’re definitely going to see a huge influx of both tourists and second homeowners that are just used to having this kind of workout in their daily routine back wherever they came from, so we’re happy to fill that gap.”
Having only opened a few months ago, Sobba said they’re still working out the kinks at the studio and getting things together before the summer boom.
So far, however, the response from the community has been great. Sobba says they’re selling out multiple classes every week and every class averages somewhere between five and 12 participants, a solid number for shoulder season in Whitefish.
“The response from the community has been amazing. I think people are just really happy to see something new and different, and we really strive to create a totally different experience than something that Whitefish has. We really wanted to create more of an urban feel, and I think people have been responding well to that,” she said.
Sobba stresses that spinning isn’t meant to replace experiences like mountain biking on the Whitefish Trail or Big Mountain.
The workouts at Sobbacycle are meant to be an entirely different experience, she said.
“We really try to drive the experience from a musical standpoint. There’s obviously a lot of cyclists in the area and just athletes in general, so we’re not here to try to recreate your outdoor experience or compete with that. This is just to do something completely different that’s going to give you a killer workout and help you in your pursuit of other things, but it’s not here to replace anything,” she said.
Being from Whitefish, Sobba and her brother make community a big priority.
They also have several community partnerships with other small businesses, like a post-class Friday morning special with Mountain Berry Bowls or post-class happy hour at Great Northern Brewery.
They’ve also done charity classes, giving 100 percent of the class profits to nonprofits like Whitefish Legacy Partners.
Even their opening day was for a cause, and a very personal one at that. The siblings’ father is the late physician David Sobba.
“The studio was kind of inspired in some ways by our father,” Sobba said. “He passed away in 2013, and he was really involved in the community and giving back in different ways, and we have a memorial scholarship fund for him which gives one Whitefish High School senior scholarship every year. So our opening day happened to fall on the fifth anniversary of his passing, so we did a charity ride for that memorial scholarship. We were able to raise about $1,500 to increase that scholarship every year.”
Sobbacycle will also be doing a class to benefit the Nate Chute Foundation on May 15 at 5:30 p.m. and a charity ride for Rat Pod, a benefit ride for Camp Mak-A-Dream in Dillon.
Staying connected to the community is what’s going to make the business stand out and thrive, Sobba said.
“I think the fact that Walter and I grew up here and we’re locals in the community and we’re staying here to reinvest our time and money into Whitefish is really embraced, versus a big company coming in and opening their location here,” she said. “I think we’re able to bring that modern, urban cycling experience to Whitefish while still staying grounded in the community and giving back and partnering with different people as we can.”
“We’ve been finding that really it only takes getting people in the door one time and then they’re hooked.”