Behind Beatbike With Ashton

Ashton with her husband, Hunter, at a Lupus Foundation event.

Ashton with her husband, Hunter, at a Lupus Foundation event.

When Ashton Hill first opened Beatbike in 2014, she never imagined that it would become the community it is today. While many of you have been part of Beatbike’s journey, you may not know the journey that led Ashton to creating Beatbike.

In 2014, Ashton had just been diagnosed with Lupus and was struggling with the toll the disease had taken on her health. Up until that point, Ashton was a recreational dancer, it was her way of “letting loose and it brings [her] so much joy!” she confessed.

Left with much less energy than she had before, she was forced to find new ways to socialize and have fun. A friend suggested she try taking a spin class because it “felt a lot like dancing” but she wouldn’t have to be out as late. After finally building up the courage to go to her first class, she was immediately hooked. Spin became such a huge part of her physical and emotional healing through the diagnosis process that she had to share the experience with more people! She found a location in California and moved from her home town of Seattle to start a studio built on affordability, acceptance and kindness. Thus, Beatbike was born.

However, running a successful business while living with Lupus has its challenges. While some times symptoms are more dormant, when “flare-ups” occur, the effects can be debilitating.

“Lupus is a tricky disease. When you feel great, you live your life as if any one else would,” she explained. “But this is also what gets me in trouble. When I feel great, I tend to forget that I am working with a lesser immune system than everyone else, and end up doing too much.”

Symptoms for Lupus can include brain fog, exhaustion, fever, dizziness, severe joint pain and difficulty walking. Along with healthy eating, rest and blood tests, Ashton has to remind herself daily to take it easy and listen to her body. 

Despite being diagnosed five years ago, Ashton has been hesitant to get involved with the Lupus Foundation.

“Being involved made it feel too “real”. It has taken me a long time to accept that I have lupus, and the thought of bringing it to Beatbike was even scarier for me,” she said.

Last year, when her husband had the opportunity to choose a foundation for a local charity event, he chose the Lupus Foundation. Since then, he has become active within the foundation and was even chosen to to host the Annual Lupus Gala in New York City this October. 

“His desire to jump in and support on my behalf pushed me to finally open up about Lupus and start to accept that it’s part of me.”

When Abbie suggested to Ashton and Lisa about having specific rides to benefit local charities, Ashton knew it was her chance to step up for the Lupus community.

I asked Ashton if she could tell Beatbikers one thing, what would it be? She said that it would be how thankful she is for them.

“Never in a million years should this have worked. When I decided to start Beatbike, I was 23, with no experience. I signed a massive lease and was too naive to be scared. Yet somehow, people trusted me when they had no reason to.”

This trust has been the foundation for Beatbike and it has created five years of community, love, and acceptance. Ashton has put her heart and soul into this studio, but she knows she couldn’t have done this without the riders.

“You are truly the heartbeat of this business. Without the incredible community we’ve built, we’re just walls.”

Karma Rides benefiting the Lupus Foundation are every Monday at 10:30 AM with Abbie. You can donate $10, $20 or $30 to book a bike.

Kaitlin RodriguezComment