I Am Downtown Boston: Mark Partin, Co-Founder B/Spoke Studios
It’s crazy how life’s paths can change. Imagine trading in a seat at a desk for a seat on a bike. Friends Ryan Olsen and Mark Partin did just that, and are now enjoying success as the co-founders of Boston’s new indoor cycling center B/SPOKE Studios. Leaving behind financial careers on Wall Street and in Times Square, these two life enthusiasts are helping Boston rediscover a more balanced relationship with fitness and life. Expecting (and delivering) positive change, they opened B/SPOKE in the Financial District and are hosting some of the city’s most exciting indoor cycling sessions. We’re talking high-end bikes, heart-racing tunes and energy packed instruction.
We met up with Partin to discover the ride they took to create B/SPOKE, and how they pay homage to their financial roots.
TheVoiceofDowntownBoston.com: What drew you downtown to set up shop?
Mark Partin: It’s conveniently located in the center of the focus of Boston’s new growth and development: the Seaport District, Fort Point, and Downtown Crossing areas. We love the energy of Downtown and being able to draw from a wide range of demographics. The area is also well equipped to introduce a new lifestyle brand.
VOD: You claim an “industrial Zen” to your classes. Describe the vibe.
MP: The “industrial Zen” aesthetic is best used to describe our entire space and the feelings we want to evoke for our clients’ experience–from the second they step through the front door, check-in, take a class, shower, hang out, and leave. The color tones and textures incorporated into the space were specifically chosen to calm the mind, elevate the mood, and stir the senses. We saw massive potential with the space despite the prior layout.
VOD: Given your past careers, it’s ironic that the space was once a commercial bank.
MP: We like the idea that it used to be a bank. It pays homage to our personal change in careers and life ambition. More importantly, it shows the shift in focus to what is more relevant to Bostonians now. Health awareness is rising everywhere. We love the idea that the shower area in the women’s locker room is the previous site of the old bank’s vault, reinforced with structural steel below. We left the ATM card reader on the outside door as a reminder of what the space used to be. I think the new space does a good job of being fresh and new while still maintaining a high-end feel of one of Downtown’s landmark office buildings.
VOD: B/SPOKE’s online Journal gets members motivated with articles on music, art, living and good health in Boston. How does it grow your community and its relationship with Boston?
MP: The Journal serves to act as a loose guide for Bostonians to incorporate our holistic approach to a better state of well-being outside the studio. It brings awareness to all things relevant in nutrition, fitness, personal motivation, and other cultural events relevant to Boston. It also hopes to inspire by highlighting other Bostonians we believe are already embracing parts of the B/SPOKE lifestyle.
VOD: Much of your business is based on inspiration. What do you find inspiring about the Downtown area?
MP: We both live in the Back Bay and often walk back from the studio. It’s the perfect 30-minute period to decompress from the day’s work and enjoy the Commons, as well as walk down Commonwealth Ave or Marlborough which are both beautiful streets. We both also bike around the city a lot.
B/SPOKE is located at 101 Federal Street in Boston.