Terrier Tri brings unique triathlon training to South Tampa

Terrier Tri, a cycling studio in South Tampa celebrates a grand opening on June 27. Photo courtesy of Tess Hipp.
Terrier Tri, a cycling studio in South Tampa celebrates a grand opening on June 27. Photo courtesy of Tess Hipp.
Published June 22, 2017

Over a decade ago, Robert Pennino traded late nights in the music studio for early mornings in the Terrier Tri cycle studio.

Terrier Tri, a triathlon company which focuses on indoor cycling, is a concept founded in New York City in 2004.

"I'm from Tampa and having the studio in New York, I knew I wanted to bring the experience down here," said Pennino, the president of Terrier Tri. "Not only are you on a real bike, you're watching your avatar (based on your favorite color, hair and bike) as you ride. I can deliver the class based on heart rate, wattage, distance or speed. It's like a spin class in the sense that there's music, but it's a very measurable experience."

Cyclists can ride a variety of courses (100 overall), from Tour de France and Iron Man, to any route in Tampa.

"We don't have 50 bikes, we only have 16 to 24. Our instructors don't ride, we coach," Pennino said. "We'll walk around and engage the athlete in the ride. We can watch everyone's data on the screen, so if I say hold 80 percent and you're not holding it, I can tell."

Even while producing music videos for artists like Jay Z and Joey Mcintyre in the '90s, prior to Terrier Tri, Pennino raced in marathons and triatholons.

"That whole crazy music video world, I was tired of traveling and the nuttiness," Pennino said. "I did a triathlon and kept on doing it and loved it, and saw I could do a business."

Now, the Plant High School and University of Tampa alumni will expand the business into his hometown, while also expanding the original concept.

"We are going to develop more programs once we open here. We're trying to get people to come and try something new," Pennino said. "We'll have a bike inside and run outside, 90 minute workout, and a bike, run and swim workout using the pool at Interbay."

Aside from teaching spin classes, instructors can train athletes in all levels to prepare for a race.

"The St. Petersburg Run Fest is coming up in November. There's a 5K, 10K and half marathon, so we'll have a program for that," Pennino said.

The studio is now open for rides, but a grand opening will be held on Tuesday (June 27) at 1221 W Cass St. The celebration includes a tour and two introductory rides, one from 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and another from 5:15 p.m. to 6 p.m. followed by a social hour.

For more information, visit or call (813) 520-1375.

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