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Meet the Ryde Instructors

posted on February 23, 2022

Now that we are almost two months into the newest addition of cardio classes to Union Fitness, we thought it’d be nice to share a little more about the Ryde instructors over the next few weeks. Kayla, Vanessa, and Rachael are first up on this week’s introductions!


Kayla Hersperger


Hi! I’m Kayla! I’m primarily a yoga teacher but I’ve been teaching RYDE classes since this past summer. I absolutely love putting together my playlists and class plan each week and look forward to teaching on Friday mornings.


I started indoor cycling about four years ago at Urban Elements when Britt and Sharon encouraged me to venture outside the yoga room. I hopped around to various studios and then when the pandemic hit, I became obsessed with the peloton bike. Since buying my own, I’m pretty much riding every day between my own bike and the classes at Union Fitness.


In my class you can expect to ride to the beat of the music. I take extreme care creating my playlists that are often themed and always exciting. If you don’t have fun in my class, I haven’t done my job. My goal is to get your heart pumping and your face smiling. Basically, we have a party on the bike.


Vanessa Matthews


Vanessa went to school to be a chemical engineer, but left her career to pursue her passion of fitness full time.  She opened her own personal training business and has taught many different group fitness formats since 2010. In 2015 she was fitness director at a local gym, and won her first figure competition, all of which seemed like significant accomplishments, until her health began to fail in 2016.  When she had her first baby in 2018, health issues continued to spiral out of control.


Chronic pain forced her to change her entire philosophy and approach to health, which she believes is holistic, and more about food and mindset than it is about exercise. After a 4.5 year break from teaching, and now with a 1 and 4 year old, Vanessa is back with a new outlook on life.  In her classes, she takes her students on a mental journey as well as a physical one.  If you catch one of her classes, you will feel like you can take on the world!


Rachael Riddell


Rachael graduated from the University of Colorado Doctor of Pharmacy Program in 2014 and manages a team of Clinical Pharmacists in Pittsburgh. Shortly after finishing pharmacy school, she started teaching cycling, bootcamp, and barre fitness classes in Denver. Her love of all things fitness followed her back to Pittsburgh in 2018 where she has continued to teach around the city.


All of Rachael’s workouts (on and off the bike) are intended to challenge what you think you are capable of doing and leave you feeling accomplished. Look forward to a playlist to keep your body moving to the beat in every class.


You can catch Kayla, Vanessa, and Rachael early mornings during the week and also on the Saturday rotation!


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