By Robert Evatt
Copyright © 2015 BH Media Group Holdings, Inc.
Natalie Cagle and her husband, Chad Cagle, are committed to staying fit.
“I’m a triathlete raised by a triathlete, and my husband is a cyclist,” she said. “Training, for us, is a lifestyle, and travel can disrupt that.”
Their pet peeve happened, yet again, during a 2013 trip to San Antonio for Chad Cagle’s job. The two could find plenty of Tex-Mex restaurants, but not a pool with lap lanes. Even an Internet search wasn’t helpful.
“I couldn’t find a spot that had convenient health and fitness info for travelers, so I built it myself,” Natalie Cagle said.
A few short months after the San Antonio trip, Natalie Cagle founded Ramblen, a website devoted to giving travelers healthy options and active excursions no matter where they go.
For example, the site’s listing for Tulsa includes an array of restaurants, stores, studios and other fitness options, including Zoe’s Kitchen, Palace Café, Fleet Feet Tulsa and Sculpt Tulsa, and information on various local exercise groups.
Cagle said the strategy for the site is to populate each city with some strong choices, rather than everything possible.
“When people are traveling, they don’t want to have to sift through a lot of stuff,” she said.
Users can search by type of establishment or by type of exercise, since what might appeal to a biker might not appeal to a swimmer.
Cagle turned to crowd sourcing from fitness enthusiasts in each area to find the best information for Ramblen. The site offers information on 25 cities, although they’re hoping to expand as word of the site spreads and more fitness enthusiasts contribute.
“We’ve been able to find a local running club that covers Chattanooga, Tennessee,” she said.
Users can sign up to receive a notification for when their city will be available on the site. Cagle said the goal is to have all 50 states covered by the end of this year, and to triple the website traffic they received in 2014.
As far as future revenue goes, Cagle said she plans to work on marketing the site to the hospitality industry, as she believes Ramblen can help them attract fitness-conscious travelers.
Cagle said she credits much of Ramblen’s success to date on the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation, which sponsors Cultivate 918, a group that meets every month and provides a forum for the area’s many entrepreneurs to share ideas and information.
She said the group was able to find ways to address obstacles during the site’s development and point her in the direction of people with the skills to help her.
“To be in a room with people that have walked that same road was invaluable,” she said.