Shapers: Robert Rowland and Hilary Gilbert

Founders of BOOM Cycle, London’s new ‘revolutionary’ style of gym, based purely on bikes and biking. @BOOM_Cycle


I mistook my interest in business for an interest in finance and after a couple of internships I quickly realised working in banking was the last thing I wanted to do.

I think people think it’s strange that we would want to spend so much time together.

People kept saying, ‘it’s going to take another three months to make a decision’ – we could have opened six months earlier if people had made faster decisions.

We’ve always jumped in feet first and just gone for things. We’re not ones to hang around and see how it goes. We like to just get on and do it.

We just opened the business, did what we thought was right, made a lot of mistakes.


I studied for four years in college but I didn’t graduate because my modelling contract came through and I was like, I’m getting the heck out of Kentucky.

I have always had this great thirst for adventure in life.

I needed to make a decision about how I was going to pay the bills for the rest of my life, because we all know that unless you’re super famous, models have a sell by date.

I don’t think we’d know the businesses as well as we do if we hadn’t had to fight tooth and nail for every single thing and learn it the hard way.