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Pedaling with a purpose

CARMEL VALLEY — For Praful Shrivastava, operating a business and giving back to the community go hand in hand.

Shrivastava owns CycleBar in Carmel Valley, the local iteration of a national indoor cycling franchise. Since opening the studio in January of 2018, he has kept his eyes peeled for ways to provide a quality workout while supporting local and national causes.

As such, CycleBar has become home to several “charity rides,” in which payments for the class are donated to a charity.

And in keeping with that same spirit, Shrivastava is celebrating the studio’s one-year anniversary with four charity rides in one week, starting Feb. 8.

According to Shrivastava, the CycleBar franchise encourages owners to give back to their communities through charity efforts — but in what mode is up to the owner. For Shrivastava, that concept has manifested in a hodgepodge of causes.

Local CycleBar owner Praful Shrivastava looks to give back to the community through “charity rides,” for which all the bookings go to a local or national charity organization. Courtesy Photo

This time around the rides will benefit San Diego Fire Rescue, the Helen Woodward Animal Shelter, the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, and the National Foundation for Autism Research. The respective rides will occur at noon on Feb. 8, at noon Feb. 9, and at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 10, with the fourth ride’s time yet to be determined.

And the fundraising efforts go beyond the ride itself — 50 percent of a monthlong membership purchased on the day of the ride will also be donated to that pre-selected cause. Shrivastava said the charity rides have helped bring new customers to the studio.

“Once people come and take a ride, they see what our facility is, what we do for the community and what we do for charity,” he said. “ … we feel very happy about that.”

CycleBar is an indoor cycling studio that prides itself in providing a multi-sensory, rigorous exercise experience for clients. But beyond what the location aims to offer in health benefits, Shrivastava believes that part of owning a business is giving back to the community.

“I’ve been a businessman for over 30 years, and I have always believed in the community — to help in the community and be part of the community,” he said. “The one way I can do that is contribute in the form I can, with this business.”

Shrivastava is “constantly” looking for the next opportunity to give back, and host more charity rides in his studio. He hopes to get in touch with the San Diego Police Department down the road for a potential charity ride, or team up with local schools to raise money for various scholarship purposes.

“We’re talking with the (charities) we’ve already done, and looking for more,” he said. “We will continue to do this.”

He is also looking into hosting an animal adoption event in front of the studio, working with a local animal rescue in order to help animals find a home.

Shrivastava said CycleBar was able to raise $875 at its last charity ride. Riders are able to donate at different tiers, with the minimum donation being $25.

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