Rocycle office team portraits-18-min.original

HQ Heroes: Larissa

If you’ve been hanging around the studio for a few years now or have just finished your first class, you probably still have a pretty good idea of who are instructors are and what they’re about. Honestly, they pretty much feel like family! You hit those pyramids together on the bike. You connect on our social channels – and theirs. You even get little tidbits about their lives when they talk you through the toughest moments during your ride.

But Rocycle is actually so much more than our instructors. It’s more than our riders! Behind the scenes, we have a pretty incredible team, working to make our studios, our socials and our community inclusive, inspiring and, obviously, very, very fun.

Sure, they grease the wheels and get things going. They make sure Rocycle is a seamless operation from top to bottom – without ever being visibly present. But we think it’s time to change that. It’s time to spotlight our HQ team, to give them a chance to shine. Because without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

One of our HQ Heroes may be someone you recognise from that instructor’s podium. It’s our Head Coach Larissa Hunter. We chatted all things HQ, her journey into the Ro’fam and what Rocycle means to her. Keep reading to get all the juicy details.

Hi Larissa! We’re so excited to dig into another side of you beyond what we see as riders in your classes. Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Larissa; I was born in Auckland, New Zealand and moved to the Netherlands in January 2020. For the most part, I am a typical Aquarius: the creative wild child. I can transition from being exceptionally silly to having deep conversations in 0.2 seconds, and I love moving my body! 

Now that we could’ve guessed – we’ve seen you move on that bike! Tell us something most people don’t know about you.

I first landed on the bike purely out of necessity. While teaching a dance class, I ruptured my ACL. Committed to getting back on the teaching stage, I was willing to do all of the rehab post-surgery necessary to grow strong again. My doctors and physio advocated massively for the bike. During my rehab, I fell in love with being on the bike. I then picked up teaching performance-based riding classes; rhythm-based cycling was not yet a thing in New Zealand. I had NO idea what rhythm cycling was when I got on the bike for my first training session at Rocycle. I was completely oblivious to the love affair that would follow! 

It kind of seems like fate to us. Tell us a little bit more about your role at Rocycle. What do you do?

I’m a little biased, but I think I have the best job in the business! I am the Head Coach at Rocycle. I am responsible for the quality of our product, and I lead an amazing team of Talent Coaches who train and support our instructors to be their best. We develop all training programs from the initial training to our yearly innovations and ongoing 1:1 performance reviews.  Woah! So, basically without you, there’d be no Rocycle. Walk us through a day at HQ for you.

Every day is a surprise. Thank goodness for planners! It could be a day of meetings, check-ins with my coaches, time in one of our 10 studios or coffee dates with someone within our Rocycle community. Otherwise, you’ll find me at my desk with my headphones on developing new content for our team. Once I am done at HQ, I will be off to the studio to bring the magic alive with our riders! 

Now, about that team. What are they like? And what’s it like to work for Rocycle?

I genuinely could not have asked for a better team! I lead the coaching team, and I have never worked with a more inspiring group of people. We are all so passionate about what we do, creating space to grow our people and brand. We don't always have the same opinions, but it feels like we are always working in the same direction. Meetings consist of challenging conversations, loads of laughs and plenty of inspiration. I have a lot of freedom to work autonomously; I set the tone for what I want to create and develop. I am so proud of what we achieve and knowing the part that I play in driving that brings a lot of fulfillment. 

We’re pretty jealous honestly. Could you describe your best day at Rocycle so far?

There have been so many, but the latest was the opening of Berlin Ku’damm. The energy was electric! It was one of those days where you feel to your very core why it is we do what we do. It brought me so much pride being on that bike when the doors opened. 

You’ve mentioned innovation and development. Is there anything particularly exciting in the works for you or your team at Rocycle in the coming months?

Studio openings - I am actually on the train to Cologne to visit our 10th studio! We opened this studio last month, and we are currently training the foundation instructors. We are growing and that is so exciting.

 Innovation - Every year we release an innovation for our instructors; last week we launched Rocycle ‘23. Innovation is about changing the way we look at things, and this is so vital to ensure what we do in the studio is inspired and exciting for our riders.  Woah, we can’t wait to see the innovation in action. What are your three favourite things about working at Rocycle?

The people - I feel so blessed to work with so many incredible humans across all our studios. I am constantly inspired by the people around me, and that really is a blessing.

 Meeting our community - Every time I am in the studio and see our riders smiling, I am reminded why I do what I do. We work in a busy, fast paced environment, but every second is so worth when I see how much joy our rides bring to people's days.

 Wearing fitness gear to the office - I love choosing my outfit in the morning, but on those days when you just want comfort and ease, throwing on my Nikes and my cycling club tee is the best! 

Hahaha love that last one. Ok, first three words that come to mind when someone says ‘Rocycle’?Inclusivity, happiness, passion.We couldn’t have put it better. Is there anything else you’d like our Ro’fam to know about the Ro’team?

What connects us is bringing happiness to our riders! Every ride, every day. We are all passionate about the power our studios have. We share a common purpose! 

Alright, we’ve just got one more question to round this off. What does Rocycle mean to YOU?

For me, Rocycle is home. Through the journey of moving across the globe and enduring the pandemic, Rocycle has always been a safe space for me. It has connected me to some of my closest friends and offered me so much room to grow. I am grateful for every high and every low.