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Riding with Pride

December 2019

One of the core values of 6ix Cycle, a spin studio in Toronto, is community. When owners Julie and Sheldon launched the studio a couple of years ago, they wanted the space to be welcoming to all from day one.

Anyone should be able to come into this space and feel included. They should be able to come and get what they need.”

Through interactions with different clients, Julie found that a large share of her riders identified as LGBTQ2S. And so, they decided to support a local LGBTQ2S cause. Her research led her to The 519.

“If you really want to solidify your connections with your community, you need to give back.”

Michael-Ryan (MR) is an instructor at 6ix Cycle. He came to the studio looking for a spin class and ended up becoming an instructor shortly after.

“What really inspired me was the studio’s community aspect. Here, everyone feels welcome. The idea of changing lives and having people come to class because it would make them feel better is what got me excited to teach.”

During Pride month 2017, 6ix Cycle did their first ‘Pride Ride’, a spinning class, in support of The 519. “We raised only $300, but that encouraged us to do bigger and better.” They raised $1000 in 2018. MR has played a significant role too in 6ix Cycle’s fundraising efforts for The 519.

“As a gay man, I love Pride. When I got the chance to teach Pride Ride, it allowed me to embrace what I always wanted to do – lead by example in the community.”

The first class of 2019 Pride Ride was sold out right away, and so they decided to do a second one. More than 90 people participated, helping 6ix Cycle raise close to $2,200 in support of The 519.

“It’s what The 519 provides to its communities. Everyone is included, everyone is welcome. There are things that The 519 can provide to folks that we can’t. What we can do though is support the cause.”


When Julie and MR first visited The 519 for Donor Appreciation Night, they learned first-hand about the many initiatives their donations were supporting, from direct services, movement classes, mental health support, and beyond.

“Besides just donating, it is important that donors get involved and see the impact they are making. The 519 is a great way for donors to see first-hand the positive impact their support can have on LGBTQ2S communities.”

Besides just giving, 6ix Cycle is also taking steps towards creating inclusive, welcoming spaces. Their employee intake forms now offer folks an opportunity to state their pronouns, something that was introduced after consultation with a trans-identified employee.

“No one should be made to miss out on an opportunity because of systemic barriers. Everybody should take a page out of The 519 book and adopt more inclusive strategies for their businesses.”

The need for services for older LGBTQ2S communities is increasing, and funding for such programs is decreasing.

We need your help to Fill The Gap.

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