By Billy Ludt
There’s a running joke – or, better put, a cycling joke – between Pure Cycle Studios founder Shelly Colucci and her team.
Any time she says, “I have an idea,” the response from her team is, “Oh, no.” Then after a while: “OK, what are we doing?”
Shelly Colucci opened Pure Cycle Studios, 4150 Boardman-Canfield Road, on Nov. 1, 2013, with her husband, Canfield Police Chief Chuck Colucci. By March 2014, she and her instructors were participating in charity events.
Facilitating, participating and playing host to philanthropic ventures has become tradition for Pure Cycle employees and cycle team members. Most recently, the team raised $53,728.03 in the Bike MS: Buckeye Breakaway 2017, a series of bike trips from Brunswick, near Cleveland and Akron, ranging from 30 to 100 miles.
“I never say no,” she said. “That’s a problem I have.”
With 71 riders, they beat Left Hand Brewery as the largest team in the event by one person. Left Hand Brewery has teams in California, Colorado, Ohio, Texas, the Carolinas and Florida.
The Pure Cycle team has until Sept. 15 to continue raising money for donations to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Ohio Buckeye Chapter.
“I hope we don’t have to ride next year, because I hope they’ve found a cure,” Colucci said.
Her grandmother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis five days before Shelly was born. Though MS isn’t the only cause Pure Cycle raises funds for, it remains a prominent effort for the team members.
“I can’t do the things I did before I was diagnosed,” said Nick Giangiordano of New Middletown.
Giangiordano was diagnosed with MS 10 years ago while he served in the Marine Corps. He had symptoms from the disorder while deployed, and it wasn’t another year until he was discharged.
At 34, Giangiordano is not able to be as physical as he used to be. But he became a member of the Pure Cycle family, and he waited at the finish line of this year’s Bike MS ride for the team to finish. Giangiordano said he hopes to start biking soon.
Colucci said stories like Giangiordano’s are what motivates her to continue participating in charity events.
“[The studio’s] just blossomed into something I never expected it to turn into,” Colucci said. “This community that has rallied around us is incredible.”
Colucci began taking spinning classes in 1998 after the birth of her third child. She said it’s the one form of exercise she has stuck to.
She formulated plans to open the indoor cycle studio when she was unable to find any openings in local spinning classes. Pure Cycle is outfitted with 25 stationary bikes and has daily classes.
Colucci said she thought she never would be an outdoor rider. In fact, they’d never rode on bikes outside. But a day before the 2016 Bike MS: Buckeye Breakaway, Shelly and Chuck Colucci bought road bikes for the ride.
“I think when you’re passionate about something, it’s not work,” Missy Schmitt, an instructor at Pure Cycle, said. “I have an excellent team, and you’re only as good as the team behind you.”
Pure Cycle is hosting 2 Fast 2 Furious Duathlon on Sept. 23 to benefit The Walnut Grove, an inclusive recreational venue planned for construction at 8800 Columbiana-Canfield Road.
More benefits and fundraisers are in the future for Pure Cycle. Colucci said her team often jokingly asks for a month off from any new ideas, but they are always willing to help the best way they know: on two wheels.